Thursday, November 29, 2007

Anime Review: Byousoku 5cm

Byousoku 5cm, or 5 Centimetres per Second, is a set of 3 parts linked together to form a story and shown as a movie/film. Produced by Makoto Shinkai (Alternate link, Unofficial Site but in English), the same person who did Hoshi no Koe and Kumo no Mukou, Yakusoku no Basho (Beyond the Clouds), comes a film which is mainly based on human relationships.

Famous for films which the theme of time and distance comes into full effect in the stories, together with mesmerising background and animation, Byousoku 5cm is no exception. A story mainly surrounding three characters, Tohno Takaki, Shinohara Akari and Kanae Sumida, weaves a picture of feelings, regret, and the cause and effect of actions taken.

The term "5 Centimetres per Second" is a reference to the speed that a Sakura (Cherry Blossom) petal will undergo when falling to the ground, an occurrence that always happens during the Spring period when the flowers bloom and eventually fall. Mainly as a metaphor, it is to illustrate humans' passing, the slowness of time in life, how everything that starts together will eventually be separated over time, be it feelings or separation by death (There's no death involved in the film, but eventually we all will still die). Sad, depressing, but all so very true, there's no escaping it.

The 3 parts are named Oukashou, Cosmonaut and 5cm per Second. Oukashou mainly touches on Takaki and Akari, their beginnings and separation. Cosmonaut is on Takaki and Sumida, things that were not meant to be will never be. 5cm per Second is something like a summary, 10 years later from the start. Of the 3, my favourite is the second part, Cosmonaut. Feelings, emotions that ran high in this part can easily be related to what I have undergone in my life.

Byousoku 5cm is actually being screened at the National Museum's Theatre Galley on the 28th Nov and 1st Dec, however sad to say the tickets for the 1st is already sold out, but I'm fortunate enough to have booked 2 tickets to watch with my cousin this Sat. Even though i had watched it about 3-5 times, I always wanted to watch it (and many other shows) on the big screen, and many Thanks goes out to Animation Nation 2007 for bringing it in. Hopefully when I'm in Japan end of this year I'll be able to find a DVD copy of it (and maybe a few others like Beyond the Clouds etc.), and share it with those who might be interested. This film is highly recommended, both for plot and animation. The music is also top-notch as it's being done by Tenmon (for those in the animation world I'm sure you'll know who this is. For those who don't here's a wiki, but it's not that detailed sadly.)

Here's a video of the theme song, "One more time, one more chance", where you'll be able to see some of the beautiful background and shots from the film. The song is very meaningful, and it really relates to the story well. Hope you'll enjoy it. Click here for lyrics/translation.

Trying not to spoil the story, yet able to convey the message out, my first attempt at a review. Hopefully over time I'll be able to develop a certain writing style and improve. There's alot of first attempts at the re-creation of this blog, so bear with me for the time being ^^.


calv said...

finally! your first steps towards reviews and essay writings!

Papigiulio said...

HOLY COW! Amazing review! I'm jealous ....