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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Film
I think the word I would use to describe this film is "beautiful". The artwork blew me away, it is absolutely amazing, so sharp and detailed but soft and almost dreamlike, with the sky constantly through the film being filled with stars and heaven knows what else! The soundtrack is also very fitting and really nice, although not entirely sure how much I love the final pop...
Published on 26 Mar 2011 by Joe.H

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Vacant.
I was really looking forward to viewing this film as I read such great and wonderful reviews from other members of Amazon and anime forums around the web, and i'm glad I took the time to watch it because visually, it is a beautiful film. The time and effort that went into making every gorgeous scene is unfathomable, so that's why i rated it three stars out of five- for...
Published on 24 Jun 2011 by blarp


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Film, 26 Mar 2011
This review is from: Five Centimetres Per Second [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I think the word I would use to describe this film is "beautiful". The artwork blew me away, it is absolutely amazing, so sharp and detailed but soft and almost dreamlike, with the sky constantly through the film being filled with stars and heaven knows what else! The soundtrack is also very fitting and really nice, although not entirely sure how much I love the final pop song. As for the storyline, I liked it, I am a fan of romantic films, and sad ones as well but it wasn't my favourite, I think it was perhaps a little too short, left a little bit too much unexplained. But then maybe that was its point. I agree with another of the reviewers that "The girl who leapt through time" and "millennium actress" are both arguably better films but I certainly don't think this film was far off the mark.

To conclude, this film is gorgeous, the artwork and soundtrack make the film stand out from the rest and whilst the storyline and composition may not make this the best film, it certainly makes it one not worth missing!
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74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cherry blossom petals, 16 Mar 2011
By 
P. Hughes "Peter Hughes" (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Centimetres Per Second [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
I arrived at this movie from several places: some familiarity with animé, including the entire Region 2 Studio Ghibli collection; some familiarity with Japanese cinema, past and present; a visit to Tokyo and Kyoto several years ago.

Five Centimetres Per Second [DVD] [2007], like Still Walking [DVD] [2008], is unadulterated Japan in several respects. The characters behave in a restrained and understated manner, in accordance with the Japanese aesthetic of wabi-sabi. Cherry blossoms (but not cherries) and railways (but not the grease and technology of trains and rails) are important. The voice acting, especially the two female leads, is superior in the original Japanese.

The movie consists of three episodes. In each there is a pervading sense of sadness, loneliness and unresolvedness. The first episode has the most satisfactory story. Although the director, Makoto Shinkai, in a DVD extras interview, states that the theme of the movie is the rate at which things happen (blossoms drift to the ground, a train journey takes many hours, a rocket suddenly blasts off into space from Tanegashima Space Centre), it is the exquisite and pervasive sadness (the Japanese aesthetic of mono no aware) infusing the movie that lingers, as in Grave Of The Fireflies [DVD] [1988].

One of the wonderful features of Five Centimetres Per Second is that it bases itself in the real world, with real, recognisable places, such as in Tokyo, and realistic activities and motivations. In this respect, the movie resembles movies such as Only Yesterday [DVD] [1991] (as well as aspects of Whisper Of The Heart [DVD], Grave Of The Fireflies [DVD] [1988], The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [DVD] and Ocean Waves [DVD] [1993]).

Just as in most Studio Ghibli movies, some of the backgrounds in Five Centimetres Per Second are sumptuous. The attention to small details is gorgeous, for example, the articulating footplates between carriages on the train. Moreover, the 'camera angles' in Five Centimetres Per Second feel fresh and alive - although I suspect that this feature may be drawn from more traditional manga animé. The main characters in Five Centimetres Per Second, with their doe eyes and pointed noses, are pure animé. In contrast, the main characters in Studio Ghibli movies are drawn to appear more realistic. An aspect I find appealing about Studio Ghibli movies is that there can be many objects that are animated simultaneously. (The Ghibli museum in Mitaka screens, amongst other shorts, Water Spider Monmon, which is alive with movement.) In contrast, I found the staticness of characters and objects in Five Centimetres Per Second, which at times appeared like a sequence of still pictures, disappointing and mildly irritating.

The movie is paced appropriately to the subject material: mostly slow and quiet. However, the final section of the movie transforms into a kind of pop-music video, which may be indicative of some kind of emotional resolution, but if so it went over my head. The music was okay, but not haunting as in Spirited Away [DVD].

The English subtitles of the Japanese soundtrack are perfectly reasonable, despite some typographical errors. However, each subtitle quickly vanishes, and occasionally I had to replay some dialogue in order to read what was said.

The extras on the DVD are the usual, not very imaginative, offerings of a 'talking head', rather rambling, interview with the director; interviews with some of the voice artists; and a trailer for the movie. Had I been asked what I should have found interesting as extras, it would have included a short documentary addressing some of the Japanese aesthetics explored in the animation; and a documentary showing the real world locations on which parts of the animation are based. I should also have been happy to have had a director's commentary, and some original storyboarding.

Overall, I have absolutely no reservations about having watched the movie (and I shall view it again very soon), nor about buying a copy (which for me assumes that I shall watch it several times). It will undoubtedly appeal to people who enjoy feel-sad movies, as well as students of animé and animation. I am comfortable with the 4* rating I have given it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, 19 July 2008
Well, I'll keep this simple...this was a beautiful movie and I highly recommend that you buy it. This movie has 2 Titles; '5 Centimeters per Second', which I think is the European title, and 'A Chain of Short Stories About Their Distance', which is the Asia-Pacific title I think.

I bought this movie in China recently and was overwhelmed at how amazing it was. The animation is outstanding (NOT CGI, this is *real* animation) and the soundtrack is so moving...If you want a faced-paced action block-buster, then this is definitely NOT for you. However, if you want a movie that you actually have to think about during the film and afterwards or a movie that will move you, then this IS for you.

Replay value; high!

Buy this now, and enjoy a fantastic movie tomorrow...

K.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Krzysztof Kieslowski of animation, 8 April 2012
By 
Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Centimetres Per Second [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
In many respects this film feels like an animated equivalent of Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three colours" trilogy. The animation is paced at the same speed and the camera seems to linger on the most mundane of everyday detail so that it's importance seems to resonate. Coupled with this, the dialogue seems quite profound and eschews the banality that you might expect with an animated film seemingly aimed at teenagers. In fact, this is a very curious film. With a duration of 60 minutes, this is not an epic that can be compared with something produced by Ghibli and the film istelf is broken down into three distinct sections which culminates in the principle character reflecting on things which might have been.

Japanese anime is a curious animal. The landscapes and townscapes are incredible pieces of illustration and the depiction of the skies probably the most evocative in art since John Constable. On the face of it, this is a romance yet the story looks at the perspective of the girl, the boy and the girl whose love is not reciprocated. In contrast to the wonderfully drawn environs, the three protagonists have the same doe-eyed look that is so familiar in Japanese animation and , in my opinion, effectively expresses the range of emotions whilst reminding the viewer that although this film could have easily been illustrated in a realistic fashion that featured real people, the director clearly was intent on ensuring that this was an animation.

In short, this may be visual candy but when the results are so stunningly beautiful, who cares? The carefully thought words are expertly and profoundly juxtaposed with the images to combine to produce a masterpiece. Had the story been populated with real actors we would have been talking about a potential Oscar but in choosing to proceed the wonderfully drawn images the director has achieved a result that is a peace of high art which, whilst different from something like Ghibli's equally brilliant "Whipsers of the heart" both treads a similar path and offers a viable alternative at the same time. In conclusion, "Five centimetres a second" offers intelligent and Unrated viewing and proof that animation can achieve the status of great art. An excellent discovery.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful and heart aching anime ever, 24 Feb 2008
By 
Johan Fredrik Varen (Norway) - See all my reviews
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I'm dumbfounded, still trying to digest the impressions left in me by this movie. This is one of those movies, if we look apart from the extremely beautiful images and animation, some will either just not get or they will fall madly in love it. I lack the words to describe its beauty, but here you will find images, music and story, all honed to perfection and coming together in a true piece of art. Make sure to settle down comfortably for this one. It is a must-see and have for anyone even slightly romantic. I just wish there was a sixth star to give it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully animated tale(s) of youthful sorrow, 15 April 2011
By 
Fergus Stewart (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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'5 Centimeters Per Second' gets its title from the speed at which cherry blossom petals fall from the tree and of course the symbolism of cherry blossom is fundamental to the Japanese sense of the transience of things like youth, beauty and indeed life ('mono no aware.')

This movie tells three short interconnected tales revolving chiefly around unrequited love and how circumstance leads to missed opportunity. It is the very embodiment of bittersweet as there are no happy endings really but the melancholy tone is rendered wonderfully enjoyable by the astoundingly gorgeous backgrounds and general animation. This film is visually much closer to Studio Ghibli than to anime; Miyazaki would be proud to have animated a film this beautifully and Makoto Shinkai is his natural successor (though he is not connected to Studio Ghibli.)

I nearly gave it 4 stars because the whole movie is only 63 minutes long but that does not mean that it would have been better more drawn out. Because of the melancholy tone, making it longer would have probably dulled its poignancy. Despite its length it's as near to poetry as animation gets and should be treasured as a jewel of the animator's art.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I hope we can see the cherry blossoms again next year...", 14 Dec 2011
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Centimetres Per Second [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Films dealing with romance tend to rely on happy endings and cute stereotypes, but Makoto Shinkai makes an art from the bitter-sweet aspects of love and isn't afraid to explore the male side of things. 5 cm Per Second is no different and the three vignettes which make up this title, cover a relationship across three different periods of time.

The first (and longest) episode, "Cherry Blossom" introduces young Takaki Tono and his love interest Akari Shinohara as they become close at school when they spend time together alone while the other children are out playing. The way they interact is relaxed and there's a strong sense that they are on a higher plane of understanding - instinctively feeling at ease with each other and much stronger together than when alone. Their apparently odd closeness makes them a target of teasing - again, this simply serves to strengthen their bond and it remains strong when Akari moves away. Their history together is summarised through flashbacks as we hear excerpts from letters exchanged between the two during Takaki's excursion to meet Akari - since she moved schools they haven't met face-to-face and the train journey is made painfully long when bad weather causes delays.

A general sense of melancholy permeates all three of the episodes, it's a delicate moodiness which gives a strong emotional depth to the stories. Needless to say that this isn't the sort of title to watch if you want something light-hearted and zany (stick to Puni Puni Poemy for that!), instead this is an immersive animation which tugs at the heartstrings. Takaki's frustration at the frequent train delays are portrayed in a subtle yet effective way, clinging to the letter he has written and checking his watch makes the wasted minutes agonisingly long, his anguish is heightened by his solitude - symbolic of his emotional state. When the two are united, the line of sight (or 'camera angle' I suppose, if this were live action) drifts behind pillars and posts to give the impression that we are being treated to secret glimpses, without intruding on the intimacy of the two young sweethearts as they spend time together. The next two chapters take place further on in their lives, their past still has a strong influence on their behaviour, particularly Takaki whom the film tends to focus on. He is unable to let go and lives with his memories of Akari always in his mind.

The quality of the artwork helps to make their story seem more alive, I'd go as far as to say that 5 cm Per Second contains some of the best animated art I've seen. Often backgrounds are left undetailed in anime, but here every area of the picture has been worked on to create beautifully painted scenes which look hand drawn but also capture an element of reality which makes them look tactile. The human characters have the big-eyed manga look but their actions and mannerisms mean that they never appear cartoony. The audio effects too are natural, if you close your eyes then the electric pinging of lights as they stutter on, or the train pulling out of the station could be real. The extras include interviews with the voice cast and a pretty in depth interview with Shinkai. A brief featurette showing the locations which inspired much of the films visuals is more interesting than it sounds and provides some background to what we see.

In a nutshell: The musings of love are told well here and the film looks gorgeous, though personally I think it was told even better by Makoto Shinkai's earlier Voices of a Distant Star. The ending may not be entirely satisfying but it should leave you reflecting on what you've seen and will no doubt tune into your own emotional memory, the tender way it guides you through the years remind us why Shinkai's work is always highly anticipated.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding quality, 26 Jun 2013
By 
J. Hudson "Manga Geek :)" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 5 Cm Per Second (Blu-ray)
The blu ray version of this film is perfect. However, do not buy it if you want it in English. There are no English subtitle options. I really love this anime but I don't understand French or Spanish enough to watch it :(
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 11 April 2013
By 
M. M. Slagter (Barranquila, Colombia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Centimetres Per Second [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Very good film. I'm relatively new on japanese animation, just watched Studio Ghibli's collection and one or two more films. This one really surprised me. The art, the timing, the structure, the ending, even its somehow short duration blows me away. It's a true cinematic experience, do yourself a favor and watch it.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pinnacle of the art of anime?, 1 Aug 2010
By 
Satchmo "Satchmo" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Five Centimetres Per Second [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Makoto Shinai's "Five Centimetres Per Second" is arguably the finest example of the art of hand-drawn anime.

This intensely introspective film is a masterclass in its palette of colour and light reflecting the gentle narrative of longing and unrequited young love.

Every frame is lavishly drawn and no attention is spared in producing the most graphically beautiful anime that I personally have ever seen. The empty classroom scene, alone,where fluorescent lights flicker on, reflecting in the polished desktops, is truly a superb piece of animation. Make no mistake, this film looks absolutely stunning.

The art for the film has been published in the book "The Sky For The Longing Of Memories" and should be an essential reference/benchmark for all budding anime artists.

The content is purposefully slow and intimate(rather like Isao Takahata's Only Yesterday) consisting of three stories focusing on the relationships, over time, of three main characters. It has a wonderful dreamlike quality which is only marginally spoilt by what appears to be a sudden hasty ending, however don't let this put you off experiencing this exquisite film.
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Five Centimetres Per Second [DVD] [2007]
Five Centimetres Per Second [DVD] [2007] by Makoto Shinkai (DVD - 2011)
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