So today I watched 5 Centimetres Per Second. I watched it so I could hit two birds with one stone. First I needed to watched at least the second episode for the live commentary I did of it today with my Co-Host for The Life and Tims and Second I needed an anime fix.
In my opinion this 3 part OVA starts off a little slow. We're introduced to two kids, Takaki Tōno and Akari Shinohara who we find have a very close relationship. The two characters are well designed and the art style of the whole OVA is fantastic.
We are given a reasonable amount of time to grow to like the characters and feel all warm and fuzzy about their cute childhood romance. Then they are separated, Akari is forced to move far from Tokyo. Unfortunately, due to the time constraints of an OVA, I felt no real sadness over the fact they are torn away from each other. I cannot blame an OVA for not giving me enough time to sympathies more with the characters but I can blame the original creators for not finding some way to make this a 12 episode anime instead or at least a film of twice the length this OVA series runs for. (60 Minutes)
To get back on track, most of the first episode is watching Takaki travel on a cold winter's night to see Akari via train. Interspersed are short scenes showing the development of their relationship, their separation and finding out that Takaki is moving even further away from Akari. Eventually they are reunited and we get to see the change in mood that is caused by their meeting and how happy they make each other. Just when I was starting to really get invested in the characters it ends. Lucky for me the second episode was right on its tail.
The second episode is where it all kicks off for me; it introduces a new character called Kanae Sumida who is in love with Takaki and also, not to show my bias too much, my favourite character of the OVA.
The second episode is told, mostly, through Kanae's perspective. We learn about her love for Takaki and we also learn a little more about Takaki himself.
In this episode we see a huge difference in pacing and story telling. While the first episode felt a little slow the second episode seems to go through 3 different semi-plot-points all at once.
The second episode uses the metaphor of sending a rocket out into space to talk about Takaki's feelings for Akari. While it is a little hard to understand at first it's eventually picked up and gives a big chunk of character development on Takaki's part.
While I would love nothing more than to go into more detail about why I loved this episode in particular, I cannot for fear of spoiling it. So I'll move on.
The third episode is set even further in the future. At this point Takaki is a grown man, my guess around 21 - 25, who works for a living but something inside of him aches and is causing him torment.
The third episode is separated into two parts for me. The first part being a monologue of events from Takaki and the second is a bricolage set to a very nice song that sort of summarises the last few dangling threads before ending rather abruptly. Sadly there is little else too the episode I can go into without, again, spoiling it for you.
To summarise, I enjoyed 5 Centimetres Per Second. The varying styles of story telling put together made for a wonderful experience that could make a strong man at least sigh. The characters were all unique and the art design was very very nice indeed.
Interestingly enough this OVA was originally a novel and has been adapted into a manga.
Watch it?: Definitely!
Buy it?: I'd recommend it.
Buy the other mediums?: It couldn't hurt.
I've been Matt, goodbye.