12 Days, 12 Moments in Anime – Day 11

Moment #2 – 5cm per Second

Byousoku was, and still is, my favorite animated film.
I’ve re watched it twice last year and another time this year, with each rewatch adding more and more to my appreciation of it. The visuals were excellent, the sound was great, but there was something more to it. A lot of people mentioned how they were able to empathize with Takaki – how his experiences in the film were able to remind those people of their own. Now to be honest, I’ve never had a romantic relationship before (go figure) so I never could empathize, but despite that, it was able to bring out a sense of sympathy for Takaki.
In my first viewing, I was never really able to take in the deeper aspects of the film. Rather than concentrating on the movie’s other portions, like themes, moods, emotions, I was more concentrated on the technical aspects of 5cm. The graphics were downright stunning, and the voice acting wasn’t half-bad either. In the end, I didn’t really feel much about the movie. It was an incredible display of well, scenery porn. And that’s all I thought in my first watch.
My second was a little more satisfactory. The last part of the movie was able to get me awfully depressed because of the ending – its ability to bring out raw emotion in me is perhaps only matched by a small number of things – ARIA and planetarian to name a few. I was also able to relate it to another of Shinkai’s movies – Voices of a Distant Star – and I noticed a couple of parallels in the themes present: love, distance, separation, they were there. After that, school took over and I wasn’t able to think about it much after.

This year, I was able to view it with a little more time to spare. A lot of parts of the movie stay in my memory, but there is a certain part: the last moment at the crossing where I found something more to the movie. It’s where a train cuts off a possible reunion with Akari and after which, Takaki moves on. Everything comes back back full circle, except this time, Akari isn’t on the other side of the tracks. To be honest, it really made me depressed and angry because they could have seen each other again, yet they were not; the distance of a single train crossing becomes comparable to that of one light years away as in Voices of a Distant Star.
I thought it was just unfair – the entire thing. And then Takaki just moves onward with a little smile on his face. Evidently, it’s not exactly a happy ending, and I guess that’s life. It’s never going to be a happy ending, but even then, you have to move on. You have to accept what life throws at you and press forward.
I guess what makes 5cm so great is its encapsulation of so many little things that you get to realize and appreciate the more you watch it.

Moments Left: 1

2 Responses to “12 Days, 12 Moments in Anime – Day 11”

  1. December 25, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Hell yes. I think you have it there, in a nutshell, what makes Byousoku 5cm, among other things, such a great slice-of-life anime. I am in concurrence with you: it remains my favourite animated film and I feel I have quite a few more rewatches left under my belt.

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