Takaki and Akari are two classmates in elementary school. During their time together they have become close friends. Their relationship is tested when Akari moves to another city because of her parents’ jobs. Both of them struggle to keep their friendship alive, as time and distance slowly pulls them apart. When Takaki finds out that he is moving further away, he decides to visit Akari one last time.
“5 cm per second. The speed at which cherry blossom petals fall.” It looks like Makoto Shinkai has directed another little minimalist masterpiece. Bearing a distant resemblance to underground coming-of-age classics such as My Life as a Dog, 5 cm interweaves three short stories seen from the viewpoints of different characters. Each story revolves around a specific time period in the protagonist’s life: his last days at primary school, graduating from high school, his early life as an adult.
Through the prism of an early sakura-blossom romance, the film primarily explores the themes of distance and loneliness, though it does so in a gentle way that is akin to recollecting your most beautiful sunrise memory rather than resorting to being dark and gloomy.
The music blends in very well with the movie, enhancing the emotional experiences conveyed, while passing almost unnoticed – as should happen in the best soundtracks. The animation is top notch and the quality of the drawings is just mesmerizing. You may often get the urge to pause the movie just to explore the richness of the tapestry.