I find Byosoku an edgy kind of anime, I hear some calling it a masterpiece and those who find it mind numbing, I say if you like clouds this is might be the anime for you. The first person who recommended me this anime, I can only describe him as a cynical romantic, aware of its unpopularity said “if you haven’t loved (mutual) and lost, you wouldn’t be able to understand it”1
Said, watched and an 1 hour and 5 minutes, many tissues and red eyes later I gave my seal of approval.. kind of…. don’t judge me, I was still young and inexperience and that’s my excuse, I didn’t have a crush on the person who recommended it or anything. Now with a time skip of a few years many things happened and the only thing I remember about the film was how sad and unfair life was…hell!! If that’s the only thing I can recall it must have been a really depressing film, on that train of though I decided to take the journey again.
5cm/s is a journey,even if I feel like that’s the best way of describing it (those who’ve seen it will know) ,still is a very ambiguous answer,
What I liked?
First is beautiful and emotional, Shinkai nailed it in that respect, the story is all about the emotions instead of events, the focus on the characters’ emotions, feelings and struggles is felt well transmitted to the viewer but you really need to be familiar with them. It kind of transform their story into your own story, even if your life is not as melodramatic.
The backgrounds are beautiful and artistic, the open shots of landscape with the magic piano build just the right atmosphere to turn your heart into a pink dramatic mess, and is beautiful, yet I couldn’t find myself to love it this time nor ended up crying and life wasn’t so sad and unfair anymore.
What I didn’t like?
The characters, well developed characters have existed in short films before so is not impossible but that’s no the issue here, they truly piss me off, after thinking it through I find myself indifferent to their melodramatic love story. Striping the story down to the bone into something that could work, I get:
“The journey of a love that could never be”
Sounds nice, there is an impossibility factor, fighting against fate and losing is sad an unfair but is something that could work. The whole love vs distance affair is featured all throughout the film, “A chain of short stories about their distance”, is made very clear with every and each of their internal monologues but I wanted them to struggle more.
Yes, this is a journey about emotions but at the same time just hearing them struggle in their minds and taking no action is not enough. You might suffer all you want a whim about your poor circumstances, feel lonely and miss your beloved one and then you do nothing about it, as our dear 5cm/s characters were so kind to demonstrate, your love can go all the way to oblivion…and that’s why I feel nothing about they love story. Unfortunately lethargic characters don’t get my sympathy even if this could have been intended as part of their character, such as they are too shy, too young and too inexperienced, because that’s how character development works and yet I saw very little of that.
This first part was good though, it had that sense of challenging distance and characters fighting against it, the ambiguous resolution worked too and then it all went down 5cm/s,perhaps that’s why is such a short film.
This “review”2 might sound a bit contradictory, because some of the things I liked about the film are dependant on the things which I didn’t like…. but that’s just me being plain weird and no, this doesn’t get my seal of approval anymore.
- 2This is not a review … I think
He actually didn’t say that, but if I try to phrase it word by word many people might be offended so all you get is my version of the events, as to what I think he meant by what he said…which you’ll never find out what it was.