Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5 cm. per second review (I can never get into Makoto Shinkai films...)

Episodes: 3
Aired: February 11, 2007 - March 3, 2007
MAL Score: 8.46
MAL rank: 104 (of course, this is subject to change)

Short synopsis:
Tohno Takaki and Shinohara Akari are two very close friends that have the potential of being something so much more, but  they're torn apart during middle school when Takaki's family moves far away. Despite their distance, they try to keep in touch and hope they can meet up again one day...

(The summary above is kind of crappy; here is the anime list one)

I have a complicated love-hate relationship with Makoto Shinkai's work. The concepts are always fantastic and the artwork is breath-takingly gorgeous, but there's always something lacking in his pieces. I just don't feel that deep connection with the characters or the emotional ties to them. Why? Well, I think it's because Makoto Shinkai's films are typically very short and don't give a lot of time to properly develop the characters.

I had a lot of hope for 5 cm per second because it's around an hour long. This could actually go somewhere! I did find that there's more character development this time than in some of his past pieces (read: Voices of a Distant Star), but in the end, I felt strangely dissatisfied.

I mean, 5 cm per second had everything; some of the most detailed backgrounds and heart-stirring artwork I have ever laid eyes on, interesting characters that were easy to relate with, and forgettable but still great music. Where could it possibly go wrong?

It just felt like the end came way too fast without putting anything to a proper close. I know what you're probably thinking, 'Well, Nadja, it was just trying to be realistic. It was showing you the pains of never seeing the one you love again, but still holding on to the blind hope that you will find them again.' Well, yeah. I can see that, but it wasn't satisfying at all. The perfect ending would've been having him see her once again. It would've been cool if he was walking towards a train station, all half-depressed and thinking of his old childhood friend and what she may be doing now, then he sees her sitting there sipping on a hot chocolate or tea, and he starts running towards her. He reaches her and looks down at her with his desperate, hopeful eyes. She looks up at him, startled. [FIN] That would've been perfect! BUT NO. Instead we have to go with the more "realistic" ending where he only dreams of seeing her again.

It just felt as if the ending was too rushed, and as the viewer, I felt surprised by the sudden ending credits scrolling across the screen. It was dissatisfying.

Going back a little bit, I'd like to mention that all the plot development before that was pretty good. I really loved how when he moved away, he met another girl that he became good friends with, and even though she fell in love with him, the feelings weren't reciprocated. It gave the whole movie/OVA/whatever-you-wanna-call-it a realistic feeling of trying your hardest to move on. Instead of just moping around when he moved away he actually made friends with a fantastic girl, though you could tell his heart belonged to his elementary school sweetheart. So I can safely say that the character development here was much better than some of his shorter works (*cough cough* VOICES OF A DISTANT STAR *cough cough*), but the ending just ruined it for me somehow...

Plot: 8/10
Music: 6/10 (just not memorable)
Ending: 5/10
Art: 10/10
Characters: 8/10
Personal Enjoyment: 7/10
Total: 44/60
Mean: 7.333... (rounded to 7 on MAL)

In case you may not have noticed, I just added a new category to my scoring rubric. That is "Personal Enjoyment." I figured that a show could still be very enjoyable while being absolutely terrible at the same time. I will not be updating my older reviews with this new category, but I will be using it in my reviews from now on. :)

Other random shit
  • As you can probably tell, I found a way to put pictures in my posts, but it's different than what I had to do before. I can't upload a lot of pics at the same time anymore, but whatevs. At least I can put pictures on my blog now. 
  • I tried watching The Place Promised in Our Early Days once on Netflix, but I fell asleep. I recommend watching Makoto Shinkai films in the middle day because they're a little slow in the development area. Not that they're boring or anything, but you'll enjoy it more at noon than at midnight. 
  • I'm going to start up a new post segment soon.... Oh, and I'll be getting that strawberry shortcake to you soon, du5k.