Beautiful In Many Levels – Review of 5 Centimeters Per Second

Like I mentioned in my last post, Makato Shinkai makes beautiful anime.

The last one I talked about from him, The Garden of Words, was a decent show with beautifully made animation.

5 Centimeters Per Second is something else entirely.

Yes, it’s beautiful. It’s gorgeous. That has been told before that Shinkai does beautiful animation.

Whereas Garden had beautiful fauna and rain effects in the animation, Centimeters has gorgeous snow and wind effects.

The beautiful look of the movie is also subtle to not take attention away from the story: about a boy named Takaki who becomes friends with, and subsequently falls for, Akari.

Now, like Garden of Words, this is a short story. It’s about 55 minutes long, so I will leave the story there.

The subtle beauty of snow falling, the sound of a breeze flying through the grass: aesthetically, this movie is a lovingly told poem drawn to animate.

Like with Garden, I would urge anyone to check out the trailer on YouTube just to see how gorgeous this animation really looks.

But the One Thing You Should Know About 5 Centimeter Per Second is:

That the animation isn’t it’s biggest strength.

Unlike Garden’s fairly uneven story, there is an expert precision in the way this anime tells the stories it is showcasing.

5 Centimeters Per Second plays in two parts. Both are exceptional, but the second part is incredibly heartwrenching.

The first, telling of the young friendship of Takaki and Akari, plays like a short, innocent love story where you feel yourself going back to your elementary school days reliving your first crush.

The second, again not spoiling, is even better than that.

The movie does one thing incredibly well: it brings you back to those times when your heart was tender, your mind has hope and your eyes are heavy with the bitter sweetness of your tears.

For the first time in a decade, I’ve never sobbed from a film that hit such note so succinctly. So powerfully.

I will say this: If you like romantic or weepy movies, you must give 5 Centimeters Per Second a chance. It’s a lovingly animated movie that has an even better story and characters that you can’t help but love.

It might just be the best animated movie that I have ever seen. Better than Beauty and the Beast. Better than Lion King.

Quite possibly better than Spirited Away.

It will also drive me to hyperbole: Take the hour, get a free trial at Crunchyroll, watch this. It is absolutely worth searching out for.

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