Five Centimeters Per Second Review

Plot: Takaki and Akari seemed to have no one else in the world but each other when they were children, and the affection that they had quickly developed into romance. However, Akari ends up moving away, and she and Takaki decide to have one more meeting before he too ends up moving so far away that visiting would be near impossible. Love is a strong bond that is hard to sever, and sometimes you can’t ever let go of it.

Breakdown: Five Centimeters Per Second is a movie that chronicles the life of Tohno Takaki throughout about 15 years of his life with focus being mostly on his lost childhood love, Akari.

This movie/three episode OVA has received much critical acclaim over the years, and it’s been touted as being one of the greatest anime movies ever. It certainly is a gorgeous movie, probably the best visual experience I’ve ever had with any animated feature, but let’s explore if it really lives up to its reputation story and character-wise.

Episode 1The first episode focuses on a 13 year old Takaki. He became friends with a girl named Akari when they were young kids. They spent almost all of their time together and even got picked on for how close they were. The two slowly started falling in love with each other until the day came when Akari had to move away. Takaki and Akari exchanged letters, but it still saddened them both to be so far apart.

When Takaki got the news that he would be moving practically across the country, he decided to meet with Akari while he was still close enough to visit. After being stuck on a train ride for many hours due to weather related delays, he finally sees Akari waiting for him in the train station warming up by the fire. After a lengthy conversation, they kiss underneath a cherry tree. They take shelter in a nearby abandoned shack to sleep until the trains start running again.

Morning comes, and it’s time for them to say goodbye. Neither can bring themselves to say much beyond ‘goodbye’ and ‘take care of yourself.’ With promises to write each other, they finally depart.

This is my favorite of the three episodes. It’s bittersweet, but holds promise for the future.

Episode 2 The second episode is about five years in the future when Takaki is 17 or 18 years old about to enter college. He has befriended a girl named Kanae who has fallen in love with him since the first time she saw him, but she could never tell him. Takaki always seemed off in his own world and was constantly seen emailing someone on his cellphone. He never noticed Kanae’s feelings in the slightest. It’s later revealed that he is constantly writing out emails to Akari, but never sends them for some reason.

It’s not exactly clear when they broke off contact with each other or why. It’s possible that contacting someone that you know you may never see again may be too painful when you’re in love, but that still seems a little cruel on both ends. You may never get together romantically, but you don’t value the friendship you had enough to be able to send a quick email, text or letter?

Kanae’s an avid surfer, but has lost her spark in surfing. She can’t find the right wave to get back up on her feet, and for some reason she hasn’t surfed for six months.

After she finally rides a wave again, she gives herself an ultimatum – either tell Takaki how she feels now or she’ll never tell him. After riding home from school together, she tries over and over to tell him, but she can’t. As she sees the new rocket launch into space, she decides not to tell him. She realizes that he was never really seeing her the way she saw him and left her love unrequited. He later moves back to Tokyo to go to college.

This is the saddest of the three episodes because, despite not really getting to know her much beyond she surfs and loves Takaki, I was kinda rooting for him to move on and for them to get together. It would’ve been bittersweet under the circumstances, but they could’ve made a nice couple. Plus, it would’ve been more realistic. Which brings us to emo-central, episode three.

Episode 3
The third and final episode of the movie shows Takaki at, guessing from the magazine article he read, age 27-28. He’s basically become a mopey workaholic who is still hungup on his old love of Akari. Speaking as a person who knows the feeling of being hungup on an old love, DUDE, GET OVER IT. Deep, true love is great. But you have wasted 15 years of your life being hungup on a girl you loved when you were 13. Think about her every now and then with nostalgia, but let it go, man. There’s a difference between being lovesick and being sick in the head.

To give him some credit, he does eventually start dating a girl named Lisa (?) from his work, but they break up for some reason, and it’s shown that, despite numerous attempts to contact him and saying she still loves him, Takaki shows that he never much cared for her at all. It seems like he’s not even putting effort into their relationship because of his love of Akari.

He crosses paths with Akari over the train tracks, but neither turn around until the train has blocked their view of each other. By the time the train leaves, Akari is gone. It’s later shown that Akari has gotten engaged and hasn’t much thought of Takaki until she dug up an old letter from him in her stuff as she was moving. It’s almost as if that’s healthy or something.

He comes to the realization that he’s become obsessed with his lost love (wow, took him 15 years to realize that. That’s actually sad.) and that he’s lost all of the passion in his life and personality as a result. He eventually quits his job and decides to move on with hopes that he’ll cross paths with her someday…despite the fact that she’ll be married then.

I appreciate the actual ending being a healthy and realistic development, but the final episode as a whole is just sad in the wrong way. Him still being hung up on Akari in the second episode is understandable. He was still a teenager and she was very important to him. But when you’re nearly 30 and still so distracted by a teenage love that your love life and life as a whole are a complete mess because of it, that’s when my sympathy starts to wear out and my worrying for his mental state begins.

Takaki’s also not very interesting as a main character. His one character trait is that he’s hungup on Akari to the point where it’s both legitimately sad and a bit….sad. Maybe I don’t have the most romantic heart in the world, but I still feel more uncomfortable vibes from the finale than I do any feeling of hope or resolution.

He as a character is very somber and boring. He doesn’t smile much, and when he does it’s in a very melancholy manner, even when he’s with Akari. I will admit that it was cool of him to not really be bothered by the terrible delays he suffered on the train ride and still retained hope that Akari was waiting for him. That was sweet.

Everyone else is perfectly fine as a character, and I really liked Kanae. I hope things ended up well for her.

Art and Animation: The art and animation are breathtaking. I’d watch this movie all the way through again just for the visuals. Especially the scenery. That scene where the rocket takes off is amazing. It’s like it cracks the sky in half.

Voice Acting: English – The voice work here is pretty good. No one really has to emote much except for Kanae and she does pretty good. Everyone else is pretty much just melancholy, but that’s on purpose.

Music: The music is great, and I really enjoyed the ending theme.

Bottom Line: The ending on its own can be simultaneously annoying and warm. However, I can’t emphasize enough that it is a beautiful movie with an artistic and philosophical atmosphere. It’s also extremely relaxing. If the premise of the ending doesn’t bother you, then feel free to bump this one up a point.

Additional Information and Notes: Five Centimeters Per Second was directed, produced and written by Makoto Shinkai, who has also directed Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days and the video game Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two.

It was animated by CoMix Wave Films, animators of the same films listed above and many other Shinkai features.

An English dub was licensed by the now defunct (though possibly returning?) ADV films, but is now licensed by Crunchyroll in the US.

It later spawned a novel version and a two-volume manga both of which were written by Makoto Shinkai with the manga being illustrated by Seike Yukiko.

Runtime: 63 Minutes

Year: 2007

Recommended Audience: There is no questionable material in this, but I doubt younger kids would enjoy it. It’s fairly philosophical and depressing. It also deals with subject matter I’m pretty sure younger audiences wouldn’t be able to relate to. For that sake, I’d give it a 13+

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

2001 Nights (Manga) Review

Plot: Humanity is reaching out farther and farther into space to colonize, learn, explore and discover. With so much to explore, it’s hard to think that it ever ends. Will humanity find everything that it ever wished for beyond the stars, or were humans not meant to traverse outside of earth at all? This is a collection of somewhat connected short sci-fi stories filled with adventure, friendship, mystery, tragedy, love, family and amazement.

Breakdown:….Best manga I’ve ever read.

Not kidding. I cannot sing the praises of this manga enough. I love sci-fi, I love anthologies, especially when there are links between the stories, the art is PHENOMENAL, the stories are intriguing and beautifully written, the characters are realistic and likable, and I recommend this manga to anyone who finds the premise even the slightest bit interesting.

It’s hard for me to think of anything I didn’t like. The ending concluded a certain early storyline, and while abrupt and a little confusing, still seemed like a great and fitting end to the series. Like most anthologies, some stories are stronger than others, and some of the stories, called ‘Nights’ are just a little weird or confusing. Time traveling birds is all I have to say in that regard.

The style sometimes seems inspired by 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is great, and takes some notes from other more well known stories of sci-fi. If this has been a big project made in homage to the sci-fi space genre as a whole, then it succeeded in being a truly honorable tribute.

Bottom LIne: I know this is short, but this is really a masterpiece in manga. It’s beautiful in all respects, and I suggest everyone give it a read.

Additional Information and Notes: 2001 Nights was written and illustrated by Yokinobu Hoshino. This manga had a spin-off book called 2001+5 that I’m excited to watch, as well as an anime movie of the same name and a two episode OVA called TO both of which I’m looking forward to.

Volumes: 3

Year: 1984-1986

As a bonus, here’s some of the awesome artwork shown in this series!

Recommended Audience: It’s all tastefully done, but the series does contain some nudity, slight bits of sexual situations, minor swearing, a little bit of blood and death as well as disturbing imagery. The subject matter might also be over the heads of children much of the time. 14+

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Ef: A Tale of Memories Review

Plot: The first and main half of the story follows a boy named Renji who happens upon a girl named Chihiro at an abandoned train station. Chihiro was in a terrible accident when she was a young child, which left her with only one eye and a severely damaged memory.

Every day when she wakes up, she believes herself to be a young child and can only retain her memories throughout the day for 13 hours before they’re erased again. In order to combat this, Chihiro started a series of diaries chronicling every detail of her day. She reads the diaries to help keep her memories permanent, if only in the confines of those pages. But will these diaries allow her to retain her relationship to Renji?

The second half is about a love…square between Chihiro’s older sister, Kei, a filmmaker, Kyousuke, a lonely girl, Miyako, and a closet manga author/artist, Hiro.

Breakdown: This is one of the best anime I’ve had the pleasure of viewing. Almost everything about it is wonderful and beautiful, and Renji and Chihiro would definitely make it on my top ten list of anime couples.

Their relationship is so pure and tragically beautiful – it’s just wonderful to watch. I won’t spoil their story, because I love it so much, but trust me, it’s amazing. Almost made me cry several times.

……Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to that other part of this series, The love square. It’s mostly a love triangle, but Kyousuke’s in there too. (Warning—I will be spoiling a lot of the love square plotline through this review. Reader discretion is advised.)

Kyousuke likes Kei because she’s pretty (seriously, no other reason) Miyako likes Hiro because of an ‘adventure’ they had on Christmas night. Kei likes Hirono because they were childhood friends. And Hiro’s dense as Diamondhead’s…….head.

To be completely honest, watching the love square is a huge chore compared to watching Renji and Chihiro’s relationship. Every time Renji and Chihiro are on screen, they captivate my attention. I smile, I feel like crying, I watch with intensity. Every time they switch back to the others I feel bored or angry.

Kei is overly possessive and majorly jealous. She even goes so far as to tell Miyako that she’s going to ‘erase her from Hiro’s heart and mind’ to ‘make room for’ Kei. It’s not like Miyako had done anything with him or to Kei either. He just hangs out with her and sometimes she goes to his house. Doesn’t help that Kei’s English dubbed voice sounds horribly bitchy.

That’s not the only terrible aspect about her. She’s also the cause of Chihiro’s accident.

When they were kids, Hiro, Kei and Chihiro used to always play together. However, Hiro seemed to always pay a little more attention to Chihiro than Kei. One day, Kei got pretty jealous that Hiro had a play date with Chihiro, so she told him Chihiro couldn’t make it, and then she suggested they to go to the beach together. Chihiro arrived and was disappointed to not find Hirono at the house, but found a note saying that they went to the beach. Chihiro went off to meet Kei and Hiro, much to Kei’s dismay, and as she was standing in a nearby road Chihiro got hit by a car.

So, obviously, the right thing for Kei to do in this situation would be to practically completely forget about her sister, letting Chihiro live her life in limbo just sitting at a train stop day after day, as she learns no lessons of the dangers of jealousy to viciously and jealously pursue Hiro on a day to day basis. We’re supposed to be cheering for this character? (Note: I now know that this is properly addressed and explained in Melodies. However, this is the view left on this matter having just seen this series alone. Taken at face value, this opinion still stands.)

Miyako’s not much better. She’s spunky and quirky, but also seems very moody. It doesn’t help that she seems to take nothing seriously and, in serious discussion, she acts condescending.

Later, we’re shown that she has a ‘sad backstory’. Basically, her parents went through a bad divorce and were ‘gone from each others’ hearts.’ This led to them forgetting about her too (?) and being erased from their hearts. Then they abandoned her (?) Thus she freaks out when Kei threatens that she’ll erase her from Hiro’s heart.

However, despite this being the reasoning behind her newfound affection for Hiro as a new friend/boyfriend, she gets incredibly creepy in the same episode we find out about her backstory. Almost seven minutes are dedicated entirely to her leaving voicemails on Hiro’s phone nagging him about where he is because he won’t pick up. It gets insanely creepy after a while. I understand that she’s upset that she may actually be losing Hirono, but jeez. I’ve seen horror movies less creepy.

Kei erases all of the messages Miyako leaves on Hiro’s phone. Granted she leaves 99 (!!!!) messages, but that’s still not her phone nor her right to do that.

Kyousuke’s pretty boring. He doesn’t have much of a role here. The only thing he cares about is filming things. His initial focus on Kei also seemed kinda stalker-y. Again, he only liked her because he saw her when he was filming one day and thought she looked pretty. If anything, his role in the love square seems purely to give Kei someone to pair with when things don’t work out with Hiro.

Then we have Hirono, more commonly known as Hiro – the one everyone’s fighting over. Like a lot of characters that have multiple women fighting over them, I have no idea what his appeal is. He’s a closet published manga artist who has two girls vying for his heart and can’t see it. He’s also terribly boring. He’s like eating dried oatmeal made of paper mache and distilled water. I’d understand more people being attracted to drywall.

The end of the love shape has Miyako and Hiro sleeping together after admitting their feelings for each other. Kei arrives to wake Hiro up for school and spots the two of them naked in bed. She destroys the room with her crutch (she injured her knee in basketball a few episodes earlier) and runs away. Hiro tries to go after her, but Miyako stops him saying he has to choose because he promised he’d love only her and see only her for the rest of his life. Basically she gives him an ultimatum that she’ll leave if he goes to comfort Kei. He leaves anyway stating he’ll be back soon.

This is where I pretty much say “Ya know what? Maybe they’re both completely wrong for him.” Kei’s wrong for him because, well, Hiro’s never shown any romantic feelings towards her and she’s an obsessive bitch who will go so far as to erase messages from his friend and emotionally assassinate another girl simply because she’s close friends with him.

Miyako’s wrong for him because she slept with him to ensure he’d stay with her forever and wouldn’t accept that he can have other relationships (non-romantic) besides loving her. This is not true love. This is bitterness, obsession, dependency, manipulation, and being enamored by a guy simply because he paid attention to you.

In the end, Kei admits that her dream with him was just a dream and that they should both move on from it, but remain friends. He also states he’s going to quit high school to focus more on his manga career. After that, he calls Miyako who states she is planning on moving away from the town because she doesn’t want to be reminded of the pain. Hiro begs and pleads for her not to go, stating he’ll do everything for her and take care of her and tries to confess that he loves her. Miyako agrees to trust him before the phone cuts out since her phone card ran out of minutes. Hiro shows up saying he loves her and they kiss, ending their story.

So, remember kids, quit school and shack up with your needy obsessive girlfriend. What could possibly go wrong? Granted, I prefer him going with Miyako over Kei, but I still think neither of them should’ve gone with him. Kyousuke ends up with nothing, by the way, even if they do kinda hint that Kei and Kyousuke kinda like each other after that. Supposedly, they’re canon later, but it’s only a tiny blip and I don’t care anyway.


Even though the love square pissed me off quite a bit, the ending to their situation could’ve been much worse, so I won’t take off much points for that. However, I really don’t think that storyline was necessary, and I can’t ignore the fact that watching it is a big chore, especially in contrast to the Renji and Chihiro storyline.

Art and Animation: Amazing and very creative. I’d recommend a watch simply to see the great visuals. The lighting, the colors, the details are all beautiful.

Voice Acting: English – The dub is really great. A lot of the voices fit very well, and many of the actors were superb in their roles. That being said, I should mention that it is a serious pet peeve of mine to hear Japan suffixes like -chan, -kun, Oneesan etc. in English dub anime. I know I should technically be praising the dubbers for this since they’re trying to make a truly faithful dubbed version, but it really annoys me and it just sounds awkward in English.

Music: The music is amazing. I adore the opening, and a lot of the BG music is great. It’s definitely a soundtrack I’d pick up.

Bottom Line: The love square takes quite a bit of tolerance. It was trying my last nerve as the characters are hardly likable in that story. However, the main story and couple is so enjoyable that it really makes up for it. If need be, skip the square and just watch the parts with Renji and Chihiro. You won’t be disappointed.

Addition Information and Notes: Ef: A Tale of Memories was based on adult visual novel games called Ef: The First Tale and Ef: The Latter Tale. The games are combined with several different stories taken from various characters’ perspectives that are separated into chapters.

This series takes chapter one from The First Tale and chapter three from The Latter Tale. One could also argue that chapter two from The First Tale is included but eh. Melodies is comprised of the prologues of both games and chapter four from The Latter Tale.

Memories is produced by Shaft, producers of other notably stylized series such as the Monogatari franchise, Dance in the Vampire Bund, the Zetsubou Sensei franchise and Madoka Magica, so you can be certain there’s plenty of eye candy.

The series was directed by Shin Onuma who is also the directing force behind C3, Bakemonogatari, Princess Tutu, Pani Poni Dash! and Silent Mobius.

Episodes: 12

Year: 2007

Recommended Audience: There’s no real questionable material until we get to the later parts of the anime where sex is implied and some of the girls are nude from the waist up. Also, some of the plot elements can be pretty heavy for younger audiences. I’d give it a 14+

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at