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bromble

  • Joined Jan 27, 2013
  • ? / M

I watched this film last night, and having heard so much good about it I was excited about it. I was so, incredibly disappointed. The animation quality and "cinematography" itself is simply superb, as is the piano score. However, I, and I'm sure many others, don't watch anime for good animation, but instead either for funny jokes, or in this case, an emotional plot. I wish I could say this had one.

I've seen plenty of people say 5cm/s makes them cry. I am not the faux-macho type that refuses or denies crying to anything. I cried like a baby while watching Clannad: After Story. I cry watching most comedies. I even cried watching K-On!!. But the only thing about 5 cm/s that brought me even close to crying is at the end, when I realised Ihad got myself excited about it only to find it was a waste of an hour of my life.

The first chapter's story, I'll go so far as to say it was average. A boy named Takaki becomes friends with a girl called Akari, but then she has to move away. Then we spend most of the chapter watching Takaki sitting on a train in the snow, staring at his watch, while his internal monologue is belting out pretentious lines about time and fate and stuff. While I of course found this part boring, the ending of the chapter was pretty poignant and heartwarming albeit quite sad as well, and as this was only around 20 minutes in I had been set up to expect the next two chapters to be better and assumed this film only has a slow start.

I set myself up for further disappointment. Chapters 2 and 3 just felt so pointless. The entire story seems to be one of those pretentious, arty stories that are crafted for the sole purpose of an award at one of those pretentious, arty film festivals, and not to actually enjoy. And it seems it succeeded in that respect, as it has won several awards. But it was certainly not enjoyable. I can honestly say I was counting the minutes down, waiting for it to end. I can't really explain what happens in chapters 2 and 3 like I did with number 1, not because of spoilers but because it seems like nothing definite happens at all.

This leaves me to describe the characters. The only one that is prominent in all 3 chapters is the protagonist, Takaki. And oh boy, he's not a good character in any way, shape or form. It is implied that he had trouble fitting in at school and Akari was one of his only, if not the only, friend he had, before she moved away. He comes into contact with her, meets her, then decides that he can't see her ever again, and doesn't. In chapter 2 he seems to stop contacting her. In chapter 3 he's depressed about something, presumably he misses Akari. So why on EARTH did he let himself lose touch with her? Takaki is a miserable, pathetic mess of a character, and I found it impossible to like or support him. This film has no development of any other characters either, be it him or one of the others that get a screentime of about 10 minutes each.

This film is described as a "romantic drama" and I love romantic dramas. People say on forums that this made them feel really sad, and I love watching films that can do that to me. 5 Centimeters Per Second did not deliver on either of those fronts. The film is barely about romance, nothing dramatic happens, and I was left only feeling sad that I had wasted my time.

(Note: In case you wanted to know, I watched subs)

3/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
1/10 characters
4.5/10 overall

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bromble says...

@Thunderbird - I can see why you'd think my rating is too harsh. To be honest, looking back on it 4 months later, I think I may have given it too low a rating. However, the way I see it, while the animation and sound is some of the best of anything I've seen, I believe those two points are only a plus if the stories, characters and writing are any good. If a film fails in those important parts, then I feel that the animation counts for naught.

I'll concede to the fact that I found the characters cute in the first part, but in the remaining two parts the only character with any real importance to the plot is Takaki, and he seems to me like an extremely poorly written character as he has no drive to make things better for himself or get into contact with Akari.

Many shows (not really many films though) that I've watched are very slow-paced. I mean, the first 9 episodes of Clannad are some of the most boring of any anime I've watched, and most of the first series continues along with the pace. However, in the case of Clannad, I felt by enduring the slow-pace I was rewarded with an amazing, touching and heartbreaking story. I did not feel the same way with this film, as to me it didn't even feel like it had an end. There was no closure.

I guess you could say the lack of character development or any closure at the end is what makes this movie great, if you look at it a certain way, as it is certainly realistic. In real-life some people don't change, and some people never do see the people they loved ever again, and some people do, but choose not to speak to them.

In that way, this movie is great, and as you said, it is "artsy, but not very entertaining", and for a person that likes artsy, this film is one to watch. But I am not that person. To me, "entertaining" is the all-encompassing factor that determines whether something is actually any good. The story, animation, characters, sound and writing all count towards whether it's entertaining, but if I don't find it entertaining then ultimately I won't enjoy it. And this film was something I did not find entertaining.

But, honestly, I feel like I only gave this film 2/10 out of spite because I was angry that I had such high hopes and found myself disappointed. I think a more "average" score, such as a 4 or 5 out of 10 is in order.

Aug 6, 2013
Thunderbird says...

I agree with most of your statements, but I think your ratings are way too harsh/low.

It certainly is not total trash with such an amazing animation and there are people who enjoy such slow-paced shows. The stories/characters are cute, just not very exciting. Artsy, but not very entertaining.

Aug 5, 2013
aznkevy says...

I totally agree with you on this. I was also excited about watching this as I heard it would make me cry as much as I cried watching Clannad from my friends as well as online sources (as well as this forum which is usually correct/right/resourceful). However, to my disappointment, this anime totally sucked (Personal Opinion). Just like you, I couldn't take a liking to the protagonist, his an idiot for losing contact with the girl he so liked, they could've at least called each other. Also I seriously don't see any romance after the kiss, I don't feel any sympathy for the protagonist, in fact I sympathise for myself for watching this -_- I don't know why people are rating such a poorly paced out anime so highly, the ending is worse than the Evangelion Seris Ending (Not the additional OVA/Movies). Evangelion's producers (Gainax) ran out of funding hence they ended the anime seris sloppily, although I don't know what's behind 5 Centimeters per Second, I have to say, even if they ran out of funding, this is the worst ending I have seen, even school days has a better ending (not better but left something in me at the very least).

Apr 27, 2013
bromble says...

Well sure, you can disagree if you want, I'm just stating my opinion. However, would you care to give a more detailed explanation as to why you disagree? The more discussion, the better.

Apr 1, 2013
pungis says...

disagree.

Apr 1, 2013