Alternative Title: Byousoku 5 Centimeter – a chain of short stories about their distance
Director, Writer and Original Creator: Makoto Shinkai
Production and Distribution: CoMix Wave, Inc.
Release: March 3, 2007
DVD: July 19, 2007
Running Time: 63 Minutes
Movie Theme: One more time, one more chance by Masayoshi Yamazaki
Kenji Mizuhashi as Takaki Tōno
Yoshimi Kondō & Ayaka Onoue as Akari Shinohara
Satomi Hanamura as Kanae Sumida
The plot is set in Japan beginning from the 1990s and ending in modern day, with each segment centered on a boy named Takaki Tōno.
Episode 1: Ōkashō
Ōkashō (Cherry Blossom Extract): Upon graduating from elementary school, Takaki Tōno and his close friend Akari Shinohara drifted apart. Akari moved to Tochigi Prefecture due to her parents’ jobs, while Takaki attended a junior high in Tokyo. The two kept in contact by writing letters, but despite the special feelings that existed between them, the only thing that persisted was time. When Takaki became aware that his family would move to Kagoshima, he decided to go see Akari since they would be too far apart to visit each other after he moved. However, when the day came, a severe snowstorm delayed Takaki’s trip, and it would be hours before he reached Iwafune, where they promised to meet. The two finally meet late that night and fall asleep talking to each other. As they share a kiss, Takaki realizes that the two will never be together as time and circumstance draws them slowly apart. He departs the next morning carrying a bitter-sweet feeling with him.
Episode 2: Cosmonaut
Takaki is now in the third year of senior high in Tanegashima, where the Tanegashima Space Center is located. Kanae Sumita, a classmate of Takaki, has special feelings for Takaki, but she does not have the courage to express her love to him. She later observes that Takaki is always staring off into the distance, as if searching for something far far away. Even though she loves Takaki, Kanae understands that he is searching for things far greater than anything she can offer.
Episode 3: Byōsoku 5 Centimeter
It is now 2008, and all three characters have gone their separate ways. Takaki is now a computer programmer in Tokyo, and Akari is preparing to get married. One day, Takaki goes out and sees the face of a familiar-looking woman at a railroad-crossing. Puzzled by the encounter, he tries to look back, but two trains come and cut off his view. Takaki waits for the trains to pass, as if expecting the woman he had seen to be waiting on the other side of the railroad crossing. After both trains have passed, he is initially disappointed that the woman is nowhere to be found on the other side of the crossing, but eventually comes to realize that it is for the best, and goes his way.
Bittersweet movie till the very end. When I sat down to watch, it took quite some time before I get hold of what the movie is trying to tell me. Long distance relationships and unrequited love, that is. You know, I thought somehow in the last scene, they’d still end up being together. But sorry to disappoint you early on… they won’t.
Such nice scenes accompanied with melancholic music. It will definitely set you into drama mode and will make you want to make hurry things so the story would end sooner! I think it was worth the wait, finally being able to see the movie. There were lots of hidden meanings and you’ll know that in real life such situations happen and there are worse things that are meant to happen… maybe not to you but to someone else.
Again, guys do fall in love only once. They may love again but they will never love the same way.