5 Centimeters per Second Review – Where Love is Torn Apart by Distance

5 Centimeters per Second Anime
Theatrical release poster

5 Centimeters per Second is a stunning and beautiful anime by Makoto Shinkai. I think he has some kind of fascination with the theme of lovers who are separated by distances. This anime tells about two kids who fall in love each other for the first time and then are separated when their parents must move. it is told with visuals that are absolutely wonderful.

I really love the attention to detail, every reflection of light and ripple movement can be adoringly depicted. I also love the way he draws a train ride through the snow and a sunrise. You won’t find of these parts in his earlier works, and this one can be more grounded in reality.

First off, the animation itself can be wonderful! Shinkai carries a sense of real looking that I haven’t seen anywhere. He knows how to capture every single day reality and yet somehow still imbue it with a miraculous quality all his own. No matter what you look at the ending, this can be a sophisticated and emotional journey, driven by characters who are believable and for whom we feel empathy.

So, this 5 Centimeters per Second review will include:

  • What is 5 Centimeters per Second anime?
  • 5 Centimeters per Second anime review
  • 5 Centimeters per Second manga review

Well, this is a wonderful anime to watch. Despite I can’t enjoy this as much as other Makoto Shinkai movies, but still the quality of the anime is a top-notch. So, what is this…

5 Centimeters per Second

5 Centimeters per Second Review

5 Centimeters per Second, or also known as Byousoku 5 centimeters, is the Japanese romantic drama anime film produced, written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. The film was released on March 2007 in Japan.

There is a novel adaptation written by original author Makoto Shinkai which is licensed by Media Factory and released on November 16, 2007. And then, the manga adaptation illustrated by Yukiko Seiko was started serialization in Kodansha’s seinen magazine Afternoon in July 2010.

Discotek Media licensed the film in North America and released the anime on DVD on June 2, 2007. The latest blu-ray was released on February 28, 2017.

5 Centimeters per Second Anime Review

5 Centimeters per Second Blu-ray
5 Centimeters per Second Blu-ray cover
Released on February 28, 2017


Tohno Takaki and Shinohara Akari, two close friends and classmates, are torn apart when Akari’s family moves to another regioni of Japan due to her family’s job. Despite separation, they keep in touch through mail. When Takaki discovers that his family is also moving, he decides to meet with Akari one last time.

As many years pass by, they continue down their own paths, their distance little by little growing wider and their contact with each other fades. Yet, they keep remembering each other and times they have shared together, wondering if they can have the opportunity to meet once again.


Well, the story is really anti-climactic as no real progress is reached by the characters with one another. However, I guess this is how the creator of the anime wished for it to be. It is a collection of short stories about young people distance. I will say though that the idea and execution are wonderful but the story itself leaves us with no real conclusion.


The artwork is as one you can expect from Makoto Shinkai. The backgrounds and the several scenes are shown in a more lovely way than in any other anime I have ever watched. All the little details blend perfectly, and is the thing that becomes this anime as the masterpiece. Mainly the skies incredibly beautiful, and truly creates the atmosphere and feelings in the movie.

5 Centimeters per Second Artwork


The characters are not exciting individuals with dark pasts, but rather look normal people just like us. However, although they are really lacking in personality development, the character are presented in a way that you really feel you know them, which you can fully understand them and sympathize with their circumstances.


The sound doesn’t stand out too much, except for the the music and song right at the end of the show. But the background music could surely put audiences at ease in any situation.

Overall (80/100)

The messages in this anime are beautiful. Despite it failed to make me cry, but I still can feel the heartwarming of the story for couple of days. The only drawback is maybe the ending, I hardly understand the feeling of main character right at the end of the show, and the anime is really anti-climax. That’s why I give it 80, instead 90 or even 100.

5 Centimeters per Second Manga Review

5 Centimeters per Second Manga
5 Centimeters per Second Manga cover

The manga adaptation is based on the anime movie of the same name, 5 Centimeters per Second, which is illustrated by Yukiko Seiko. The manga was started serialization in Kodansha’s seinen magazine Afternoon in July 2010. The English version has been published as a single volume omnibus by Vertical Inc.

The story is about a young boy and girl named Tohno Takaki and Shinohara Akari who meet in elementary school and very quickly develop friendship and tender love. Sorry to say, Akari’s family have to eventually move away so her father can expect a new job in a different city. Feeling devastated, the two young people promise to never forget and write to each other. However, as is often true in life, this is not to be remain. They make an effort to keep in touch for a while, but little by little just drift apart from each other.

The story itself focuses a lot more on Takaki than Akari. You will only see several snippets of her once they lose touch with each other. They do show us that she’s the far stronger of the two. She can move on from past and situations in a way that he can not. The both of them certainly respond to the circumstance based upon the cultural expectation of Japanese modern society.

This manga isn’t a series and it is long enough for someone to get a gist of how the manga works. The book itself is so beautiful, the art is just stunning, and story can be wonderful. It has four colored pages, really detailed scenes, accurately drawn characters with almost no flaws, and a unique types of font for the words.

Overall, the manga is very deep. I highly recommend to those who love literature and always thinking out of the box.

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