What would you get if you gave Makoto Shinkai, who created Voices of a Distant Star on his personal computer, enough money to hire a professional staff and make a theatrical feature? Apparently the answer is this movie, a gentle, wistful tale of young love and loneliness. Maybe this is the story that he was really trying to tell with VODS, now stripped of its science fiction elements and reduced to its bare essentials.
Original TitleByousoku Go SENCHIMEETORU–a chain of short stories about their distance
ContentsA 60-minute movie in 3 parts
LanguagesEnglish, Japanese with subtitles
Character DesignTakayo Nishimura
Key Animation DirectorTakayo Nishimura
Region 1 PublisherADV Films
This isn’t really aimed at a mass audience, but it is thoughtful and well-made. One noticeable difference from Voices of a Distant Star is the quality of the animation. The animation in the earlier work was acceptable but not particularly outstanding. In 5 Centimeters Per Second it is much better.
There is nothing here that I would consider inappropriate for children. However I suspect that most young children will hate it, and it’s not really intended for them.
Premise and Characters
In Part 1, 13 year old Takaki Toono wants to see Akari Shinohara, an old friend from elementary school who has moved from Tokyo to Tochigi Prefecture.
He travels to visit her but is frustrated by a sudden snowstorm that threatens to halt the train service.
In Part 2, set on the southern island of Tanegashima, high school student Kanae Sumita is frustrated by her attempts to learn to surf, and by her inability to work up enough courage to confess her feelings to a boy who fascinates her.
Wikipedia entry (spoilers.)
ANN Encyclopedia entry.