5 Centimeters Per Second (秒速５センチメートル Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru), subtitled "a chain of short stories about their distance." is a 2007 Japanese animated feature film by Makoto Shinkai. The film was finished on January 22, 2007. The first part of the film was debuted on Yahoo! Japan as streaming video to Yahoo! Premium members from 16 February to 19 February 2007. On March 3, 2007, the full length featured film had its theatrical premiere at Cinema Rise in Shibuya, Tokyo. The film consists of three segments: Ōkashō (桜花抄), Cosmonaut (コスモナウト), and Byōsoku 5 Senchimētoru (秒速5センチメートル), totaling about an hour of runtime. As in Shinkai's previous works, Tenmon composes for this film's soundtrack. The DVD was released on 19 July 2007.
Makoto Shinkai had expressed that, unlike his past works, there would be no fantasy or science fiction elements in this film. Instead, the feature film would attempt to present the real world from a different perspective. Makoto's film gives a realistic view of the struggles many face against: time, space, people, and love. The title 5 Centimeters Per Second comes from the speed at which cherry blossoms petals fall, petals being a metaphorical representation of humans, reminiscent of the slowness of life and how people often start together but slowly drift into their separate ways.
The plot is set in Japan beginning from the 1990's and ending in modern day, with each segment centered on a boy named Takaki Tono.
Episode 1: Okasho
Okasho (Cherry Blossom Extract): Upon graduating from elementary school, Takaki Tono and his close friend Akari Shinohara
drifted apart. Akari moved to Tochigi Prefecture due to her parents' jobs, while Takaki attended a junior high in Tokyo. The two kept in contact by writing letters, but despite the special feelings that existed between them, the only thing that persisted was time. When Takaki became aware that his family would move to Kagoshima, he decided to go see Akari since they would be too far apart to visit each other after he moved. However, when the day came, a severe snowstorm delayed Takaki's trip, and it would be hours before he reached Iwafune, where they promised to meet. The two finally meet late that night and fall asleep talking to each other. As they share a kiss, Takaki realizes that the two will never be together as time and circumstance draws them slowly apart. He departs the next morning carrying a bitter-sweet feeling with him.
Episode 2: Cosmonaut
Takaki is now in the third year of senior high in Tanegashima, where the Tanegashima Space Center is located. Kanae Sumita
, a classmate of Takaki, has special feelings for Takaki, but she does not have the courage to express her love to him. She later observes that Takaki is always staring off into the distance, as if searching for something far far away. Even though she loves Takaki, Kanae understands that he is searching for things far greater than anything she can offer.
Episode 3: Byosoku 5 Centimeter
It is now 2008, and all three characters have gone their separate ways. Takaki is now a computer programmer in Tokyo, and Akari is preparing to get married. One day, Takaki goes out and sees the face of a familiar-looking woman at a railroad-crossing. Puzzled by the encounter, he tries to look back, but two trains come and cut off his view. Takaki waits for the trains to pass, as if expecting the woman he had seen to be waiting on the other side of the railroad crossing. After both trains have passed, he is initially disappointed that the woman is nowhere to be found on the other side of the crossing, but eventually comes to realize that it is for the best, and goes his way.
- From Wikipedia