Version reviewed: Japanese, Subtitled
Date of Review: 27 Aug 2015
Makoto Shinkai’s third outing reveals a definite pattern, but in his case, it’s welcome.
Told in a series of three vignettes, we follow Takaki Toono from middle school to early adulthood as he comes to terms with the relationships with others he’s had in his life.
Makoto Shinkai has a pet theme, but somehow he finds a new way to explore it each time and not repeat himself. That theme, of course, is how distance affects the relationships between people. Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days both did that, and quite well. In 5 Centimeters per Second, Shinkai does it again, this time without the science fiction element.
Storywise, there really isn’t much to talk about, but that is not a bad thing at all in this case. Unless you don’t enjoy slow-paced character drama, 5 Centimeters per Second is definitely worth checking out, and if you’re already a Shinkai fan, you know exactly what you are going to get, and it won’t be a disappointment.
Another of Makoto Shinkai’s trademarks is impeccable attention to visual detail, and the case is no different here. 5 Centimeters has a very organic look to it, which adds to the personal nature of the story. Little touches which blur the line between animation and reality helped to draw me further into the story.
This film is another case where I feel that the less I say, the better. If you are on the fence about watching 5 Centimeters per Second, go for it. Chances are that you already have a general idea of what to expect. Makoto Shinkai has done it again with a less-is-more approach.