Miou Aida and Haruki Serizawa might seem like polar opposites to those around them, but as the two third-years prepare to end their high school experience, they couldn't have been been closer. While Miou is a shy and reserved member of the school art club that prefers to stay out of the limelight, Haruki is the boisterous and confident ace of the movie club, already winning awards for his directing prowess. However, after a previous chance encounter during their school entrance ceremony, they quickly become friends despite their stark differences in personality. But although their closeness might be growing, they've never become anything more than just that, much to the bewilderment of their friends.
As their time in high school draws to a close, Miou and Haruki, along with their friends in the art and movie clubs, have just one year left to face their hidden feelings and the daunting task of deciding their future careers. The two might always be only an arm's reach away, but as Haruki chases his dream of becoming a professional movie director and Miou struggles with choosing a path for herself, they'll learn just how hard it is to get past those last 10 centimeters.
Before starting this review, I would just like to say that you CAN watch the other 2 movies after or before watching this. That is because they occur at the same timeline. The only difference being that each focuses on different couples.
Here's the titles of the 2 movies
Zutto Mae kara Suki deshita.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai
Suki ni Naru Sono Shunkan wo.: Kokuhaku Jikkou Iinkai
10 cm. Such as short distance. And yet it is too much to close this gap between these 2 people. No matter what you try, distance in love is not something easily explained. Although the person you love may be right next to
you, you somehow feel that he/she is out of reach, almost impossible to ever meet to get closer. And when that person is on the other side of the world, you feel like you could reach him/her no matter what, holding on to your feelings. This is what 'Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta.' explores, the distance between people both literally and metaphorically. It is probably the best part about this anime.
The anime is pretty good in my opinion, unless you don't want something a bit cliched. But even if it is, there are some anime series which do better on other things than just uniqueness. This is one of them, I think.
First of all, I wouldn't say the story is the best part about this work. I think it was a bit too simplistic. A boy and girl seem to have a good relationship together. A few obstacles appear and this affects their friendship. They try their best to fix things up. That's it. Nothing new about the story, this kind of story has already been explored in many other shows. If I was to pick something unique out of this, it's probably the male lead's hobby, which is film-making. Therefore I gave a 7.
In terms of characters, this series focuses on 1 main couple. They're a very cute couple, whom I strongly wished to get more screen-time when I watched the other 2 movies. Other than the main couple there are other 2 pairs and we see some of their development too (and of course you would see them as well in the other 2 movies).
Miou is a good character, she is very honest and kind (too kind at times). The scenes when she's shy were the ones that made me really like her, it's a cute part of her personality. However her lack of confidence has been a slight problem. Miou was a bit too sensitive to the news about Haruki's brother, blaming herself for the problem. Going a bit overboard there. It felt as if her weakness in perceiving certain things was deliberately made to be an obstacle in her relationship with Haruki, So I lowered the character score to 7.
Haruki is a very likeable character who is presented as someone who enjoys film making a lot, and is friendly to everyone in his club. I really liked the part where he doubted himself, people can always have a time when they're not at their best and start to question their decisions. Maybe he's a bit too good at film-making...
The art is really good, way above average I'd say. Very bright colors are used to create a joyful atmosphere throughout. 10/10. However I was a bit disappointed by the movements, sometimes it really looked forced and repetitive. Of course the sound is good thanks to Honeyworks, both the OP and ED are great. 10.
The merry atmosphere in the anime is something I must go over on. It's the best aspect of this anime, and I've always seen ever since I watched the other movies. Whenever one or two of the characters are down, there is always someone who cheers them up or helps them out. It's a simple yet essential part of the anime, forming a good development and only strengthening their friendship.
Overall, a 9 would be suitable. I'm the type who gives higher scores than most people so...
Riding the wave of the recent popularity of melodramatic teen-dramas with a mixture of coming-of-age and troubles of expressing one’s feeling in fear of them not being mutual proved to be successful in the latest times, not judging the quality of each individual work related to these traits per se. However, one might as well be blind to not see that this particular instalment, harbouring the gloriously long LN-esque title “Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta” (which I’ll just call “IBnKw10cmD” from now on, because why not?), is just riding off the recent hype concerning these titles in a completely uninspired and passionless
way, not being more than your flavour of the month anxious teen-melodrama. Seriously, go to any middle-schoolyard and you’d find more interesting and above else, qualitative writing than what we’re being presented here could even have a title like SSNT14YO (“Stop sending nudes to 14 year-olds") to compete with the high straightedge the title set itself up in that regard.
Okay, jokes aside. However, funnily enough, as I did my research this Anime series was based off a novel about some Vocaloid songs, which has already been adapted into two movies back in 2016. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to re-adapt IBnKw10cmD into a 6 episode long TV-series is beyond me. And whoever came up with the idea to adapt frickin’ Vocaloid songs deserves an award all for himself.
Last year of high-school arrives and aspiring filmmaker-kun Haruki falls in love or rather grows interested in shy-Japanese girl #45 Miou on first sight, while she’s starring at a cherry blossom on the school-yard, detailing the colours of the blooms in much detail. Sparks of first love arise but is overshadowed by their inability to show each other’s feelings and unsureness in what kind of future they want to see themselves in plus their hilariously dramatic connection to their recent pasts, of what they are still left in the unknown at the start of the series and unironically gets revealed by their teacher of classic Japanese literature by accident, friendly related to Haruki since long ago.
Judging by how I decided to describe our two mains beforehand, it’s a given that I think that they are far from good characters themselves. The ingredients (in terms of characteristics) of both have been thrown into the pot from a recipe so uncreative and generic, that you can predict the features of their character, how they relate to each other and what development they might undergo when conflict happens before you even start watching more than about 10 minutes.
Haruki, dedicated film-maker and aspiring big director in the film-biz falls in love with Miou, but doesn’t seem to be able to close the final gap, leaving his club-work at a stand-still in quality later on, especially when her significant repel towards him happens to strike towards the middle, something I will get to later. While the conflict and essentially the love-story between him and her could’ve been interesting, if it has been dealt with maturely and not in a checkbox-fashion of watered-down “must-have” events, moments succeeding each other as it was from some kind of robotic formula was apparently the plan to go. The staff of IBnKw10cmD decided to not take any risks and play down the drama in some of the most uninspired ways I have seen to this day and with blandness-kuns on both sides of the romance-spectrum, them keeping me intrigued was out of the possibility as well. And with Haruki, he seems to be just there and wants to make films in the future, falling depressed in the middle for only semi-understandable reasons and makes his final attempt at a confession (which might’ve or might not have worked) in “rainy anime confession scene #108” at last. All his interactions, be it with his love-interest or with virtually any other character radically define him as a character with basically nothing of "character" in him, just a tool to bring the story forward. #Howtowritegoodprotagonists
The female counter-part, Miou Aida, is probably as shy as she can humanly get, has a voice that sounds so high-pitched it might as well go above humanly-audible frequencies sooner or later and would represent a non-survivable lifeform in today’s day and age, as the trend of overly-shy anime love interests seem to go on forever. She’s part of the art club, very talented at the art herself, but struggles to find both right words for Haruki or get her feeling on the canvas. The latter characteristic of her is very much undermined through the very forced subplot-line the art club has undergone in middle episodes. Couldn’t they have been even more obvious and/or shiftless in how to depict the emotional conflict of hers across? I mean it’s pretty ironic, that Haruki himself is the sole defender of some sort of subtlety in the final scene of his film project, he would even understand that storytelling like that will turn the show into a boring, chewy experience, at least I’d hope so from someone aspiring to go to film school. But as I have been repeatedly speaking of the conflict which arises between the two main characters, ruining their incredibly “passionate” moment during episode 2 in hindsight, which ended with a cockblock at a Japanese folklore festival, wearing kimonos and only slightly being cucked before the finishing line (where have I seen this before?), I will have to share the pretty ridiculous plotline initiating that:
The relation between Saku (literature-teacher), the deceased brother of Haruki and Haruki himself has been revealed by complete coincidence, as Miou pays the grave of her saviour back then a visit, where she almost drowned in a nearby river, she meets Saku right before his graveyard. Because of the awkward situation, he reveals his connection to Haruki’s brother, with who he was incredibly good friends with and still visits his grave yearly, to pay respect by laying…a lolly on his grave. It’s been revealed that he chills in his lab coat (classical style for a classical Japanese literature teacher, no question) licking on a lolly 24/7 because school is non-smoking, but laying it down on the grave of a good ol’ bud adds even more bits of hilariousness. However, ignoring that little silly aspect of it is definitely possible, but ignoring the obnoxious feeling of forced drama added to it because of that, going on for three whole episodes, is definitely not doable.
Oh, and his brother seems to die because of a cold as he jumped into the water, or at least it’s the only plausible disease which can be deduced by the way he chills at the bed with an IV connected to his body, nigga seems to have gotten it real rough. The other option would be that he drowned during his heroic action, but by the way the show presents it, it could be both.
But I’ll take it. A grown-ass man dying because of a cold. Great.
IBnKw10cmD has a small cast of minor characters as well, but their importance to the story (besides those I’ve mentioned in the spoiler section) is utterly negligible and it speaks volumes, that I can neither tell you one name of them (especially the art club) or one single scene of relevance they had in the story. As with most of the show, it’s just there for the sake of being there and never tries to do anything more with them than the bare minimum, basically marking them as extras, gotta love these kinds of series.
The artstyle is as average as it can get, regarding the Animation there’s almost nothing notable to say besides that is okay, it’s not like there’s much room for usage of it in a story like this. Gotta add, that two or three scenes were directed decently (lead up to rainy anime confession scene #108), so I won’t be labeled a mindless hater. Otherwise, the directing is as bland as it gets as well, doesn't really give me an opportunity to comment on any aspect specifically.
VA is fine in general, but with the soundtrack, they struck another nerve of mine, as it has been basically varying only two things the entire series:
- Slow piano music on constant repeat, as engaging, eclectic, or beautiful as elevator music.
- ♫♫♫ Bokura koi suru nan jyu nen nan byaku nen demo,
Hikare aun dayo marude mahou no yoni,
Ano ne konya yume no naka de wa,
Kimi wa boku to koi ni ochiteru,
Kiite mirai egaku ehon de,
Kimi wo boku to ai wo mitsukeru,
Itazura wo suru koi no kamisama,
Kimi wo kidzutsuke nakaseta no nara,
Boku wa akuma ni nachauyo,
Bokura koi suru nan jyu nen nan byaku nen demo,
Hikare aun dayo marude mahou no yoni,
Deau mae kara sagashite ita yo kimi wo,
Hiki sakareta ate ai de tsunagateru,
Hatsukoi zutto nan jyu nen nan byaku nen demo,
Soshite kasanari aun da boku no monogatari to. ♫♫♫
I have to admit, over the past years of watching Anime I’ve grown weak. Weak in a sense, that I am way less resilient to series that are not even trying to derive from the fool-proof formula of genericism, offer a pot of “meh” in virtually every single category and don’t feel like anything but an attempt to strike some quick $ $ $, basically a product with no heart or value in it, just commerce. And with this show, we have basically found our prime suspect, a summation of underwhelming aspects, which makes a borderline terrible show as a whole. Fast Food at its finest.
If you’re looking for a much better coming-of-age story including the incredibly similar set-up of the search for passion for a single, unique subject (like Haruki and his film-making), try out “Whisper of the Heart” by Studio Ghibli. You can thank me later.
Art (5/10), Animation (6/10)
This series was absolutely beautiful and I enjoyed the hell out of it from start to finish.
This is an excellent example of a romance anime done right and was definitely one of my favourite animes of fall 2017.
Our love has always been 10 centimeters apart is a good example of a normal high school romance with no extraordinary characteristics or tropes you normally see in these sorts of anime and it still managed to keep me engaged with the characters and their stories.
The art style and music is fantastic perfectly syncing to the scenes and made them all the more powerful. I began looking forward
to watching the opening each week.
Characters were lovable and funny to watch making me wanting to support them and bridge that 10cm gap between them. The series keeps referring to that gap which is a nice touch.
The series is sadly only six episodes but is much better than most full series and was a great send off for 2017. If you want a quick watch masterpiece this is the series for you.
No matter what people might say, I personally like the HoneyWorks anime franchise. As of now, the story from their original music videos was adapted into two, hour-lenght movies, and this six episode series. The first movie focused on all of our three main couples, and I enjoyed it quite a lot. The second one was worse in comparison, the characters were especially weaker, but it still remained on the positive side of things. And now we have this. A short six episode series resolving around one of the main couples. Did it live up to the potential? For me, certainly yes.
First question that comes
to mind is, do you have to watch the movies to understand this series? Not really, it stays pretty independent from each other. But if you like romantic stories, there is no reason not to do so. It's a good watch.
Anyway, let's get to the bussines. The story is centered around one of the couples from the first movie: Miou Aida and Haruki Serizawa. I called them a couple, which technically shouldn't be the case because they're not dating or anything yet, but that doesn't really matter. This is a straightforward romance. No love-triangle, just pure one on one. Which is a really good thing. Being a short anime, the decision to focus only on one couple is welcome and we get to see the story around them develop a lot during the time.
Miou is a shy and a self-confidence lacking girl, that enjoys painting more than anything. It's her own way of forgetting her problems, and she is both more lively and cheerful when she's in an artist environment. While being shy when talking to other people, it's not done over the top. It is always hard to balance out the personality traits of characters, especially when they are so over-used as the confidence lacking characters are. Miou however, is a case of a well made one. She's more quiet, but has her own sweet and happy moments. She can do something you wouldn't expect from her. And despite her falling into depression at a certain point, her motives to do so are understandable and her recovery is a well-fought battle.
Haruki seems, unlike Miou, as an outgoing and forward type of guy. He holds a passion for movie-making, around which the whole plot of the show evolves. Despite his first given impression, whenever he's alone with Miou, he tends to get nervous aswell, not having the guts to even hold her hand. The good thing on Haruki is that he's extremely realistic as far as his personality goes. I can see myself in him. And I think it's that touch of reality that makes him a good character, because if we were talking about the other things he does or doesn't, he's as straight-forward as it goes. Ya know, he's good-looking, outgoing, friendly and a "leader of the gang". Despite all that, I still like him. Because the show did a really good job at showing both good and bad personality traits of both of our characters.
The writing of the show in itself is something, I would like to talk about for a bit. You see, incase you don't know yet, this is a romance drama. And the word drama can also mean trouble, as the modern animes seem to find it harder and harder to do a proper, not over the top drama that fits the atmosphere well. Which is not the case this time around. It could be actually called the carrying point of this show. Starts of slow and nicely, then suddenly picks up the pace at both ends, and although the peak could be called maybe a little too dramatic, I think I would just be nitpicking at that moment. The setup is decent, the turn-around respectable and the resolution nearly fabulous. I do find the two main characters written well too. They are lacking a bit at certain times, but that just adds to the fact that this show does it's best at making them beliavable.
If you're familiar with this franchise, you also know that there are three main couples overall. That's true in the grand scheme of things, but the other two just play the supporting role in this one. Akari + Souta and Natsuki + Yuu. Considering how things went in the first movie, I think and I hope that they will both get their own short animes, like Miou and Haruki did. They deserve it. Atleast Akari with Souta do, I find the two to be destined for each other. Anyways, these four are written in about the same way as the two. Different personalities, but every one of them feels realistic with their behaving, especially in the romantic moments. And despite their romance being cut off this time, they still work well as a supportive cast acting like High School friends do.
Ultimately, Itsudatte Boku- whatever 10 cm, is a quality show. And it's hell of a fun to watch. Despite not impressing me that much at the start, the show made me appreciate it's strong points and I wanted to see more and more every week. It's not as rememberable as I would like to, but to be honest, which school romance anime is? For me it's important that the show besides it's own selling points also had a big entertainment value. While it was seeing Miou and Haruki together or alone, I never started doubting their purpose in the show and I never got bored of them. Which can be said about their story aswell. Just a cherry on top of all things I've said is a very well made ending, that warms your heart to the core.
The general looks of this are really good. I always liked the desings of all the characters, which haven't changed since the movies. That stays the same and I still find it pleasant to look at. The animation feels on-point most of the time, despite not showing that many hard-effort scenes or moments.
I loved the music of the movies. Both the vocal and ambient OST played a big role in them and I still find them very nice to listen to. That being said, no vocal songs aside from opening and ending were used in this one. Which is a shame in my opinion, as exactly these types of animes are the ones that would deserve it. The ambient OST stays almost the same, but felt a little less impactful than was before. Overall, despite the music taking a step back, it still be considered a huge plus when not comparing to the prequel movies.
Itsudatte Bokura no Koi wa 10 cm Datta is a great example of a show that focused on the things an anime of this genre should have. It presents a well made dramatic story with a respectable cast around it. And with the fair producion value qualities, I just can't do anything else but say: This anime was a pleasure to watch.