Remember a time before cell phones could be found in every pocket? Or when even accessing the world wide web was something only readily available in a library? Back then letters still filled up postboxes and moments just felt so much more precious when captured on Polaroid film. Now life seems to move at the speed of light. Our memories are captured and shared with the world on social media platforms. And love, which is already capricious, can feel like it is moving at terminal velocity.
In Makoto Shinkai's defining work, the internationally renowned director and animator unfolds a love story that is as timeless as it is fleeting. Yukiko Seike's rendition of this modern classic adds a new level of emotion and intimacy that is unique to its source material.
Byousoku 5 Centimeter was published in English as 5 Centimeters Per Second in an omnibus by Vertical Inc. on June 26, 2012; in Brazilian Portuguese by NewPOP in July 2015; and in Polish on March 9 and May 5, 2015, respectively.
Like others, I saw the anime first. I thought it was quite good and started to look for the manga for alternative ending. Well, I found a lot more.
First, I don't cry, ever. My eyes get little wet sometimes but that's all. Well, that was before I started reading Byousoku 5 Centimeter. After the first 2 chapters I had no choice but to take a break. My eyes were something similar to waterfall during the first reading session.
After reading more chapters (and taking some more breaks) I found feelings I didn't know to exist. Romance is so dramatic, beautiful and pure that it makes
me wanna go out to the rain and sing Red Light Pledge (and I don't even know the words).
Art is made by Seike, Yukiko. They have not made other mangas but I sure hope they will do in the future. What I'm trying to say is that the art is really awesome. By awesome I mean perfect.
When I wacthed the anime I found some characters rather annoying. That's all gone in the manga. Couldn't really ask for better characters. So, again, perfect would be the right word to choose.
I loved the manga. It gave me much more than I asked, it will stay on my heart forever.
"Every minute felt like an eternity time, clearly as if it had a malicious intent, slowly ebbing away from me. I clenched my teeth and keeping myself from crying was the only thing I could do"
It all started when I was discussing the anime with a friend. It turned into a sort of debate on whether the ending to the anime was depressing or happy. Did he move on or just “chicken out.” Did Takaki get the short of the stick or was it really a good thing that it turned out the way it did. It kept going on or a while, in
the end, we just agreed to disagree, but my curiosity was already stirred. So, I did the one thing I do about everything, I read.
Knowing that the manga went beyond that of the anime, even if it’s only a short time after, I decided to try give it a try. Knowing that any small amount of closure would have been better than none at all. Ready, if for anything else, to at least be swept by the waves of emotions that is, 5 Centimeters Per Second once again.
I was right, but in a whole other way I didn’t even consider. The side characters, more specifically Kanae. While the anime is focused only on Akari and Takaki most of the time. The manga gives us even more of them and a little extra. We get to know and care for Kanae. Who’s role is a combined ten minutes if anything in the movie.
For those that don't know what the manga is about: Takaki and Akari, both knowing the feeling of being the new kids in class, form a sort of bond in a short enough time. Akari has to move away because of her dad's job and they try not to let the distance tear apart their friendship by still keeping in touch through letters and such. Time and distance isn't on their side though and these two are but one example of growing up and apart.
This manga could mean many different things to many different people. That’s actually one of it’s charms. Somewhere along the way we’ve all been dealt a crappy hand in the game called Life (I think I just quoted Eminem lyrics). It flows effortlessly. We see through different stages of life, not the good moments either but more of the moments that change you. Or that you are forced to take action in. How it really isn't just one person living but that (shockingly) there are other people our lives are tied to by an invisible string.
I think what really made me love this manga was the realism of what happens to relationships even if you don't want it to. It was just how it unfolded. It isn't just about their relationship in 5 Centimeters Per Second, we get to experience other characters even if for a short while.
The art is great, beautiful even. The sadness on their expressions is in perfect harmony with the story and dialogue.
If I had to choose, hands down I choose the anime. Because even though the ending is more or less different, the beauty in this anime, what makes it flow together so well. Is not only that the story is lovely but that the music fits the melancholy and nostalgia Takaki is feeling. That the animation is beautifully done and executed to the point that almost every screenshot could be a wallpaper. It’s all those things that made the anime a winner. BUT it has to be said that the amount of detail Shinkai adds to the scenery is amazing. Not many do, some just let characters take the spotlight as a whole.With each passing page I saw myself being drawn not only to the story but I looked forward to the next scene. The next expression, the next sakura tree...
The manga, it’ll break your heart with it’s characters, something that the anime could only graze. But the magic of it, honestly, is in the way the soundtrack, animation (colors), and how it flows together to make it one heck of a trip.
Out of the billions of people on Earth these two people found each other, in one of the most bittersweet manga I have read.
I was 14 when I saw the first part of the anime on TV. It was melancholy and beautiful, and I loved it immediately. I didn't know there was more to it until five years later, when I watched it again. After watching part 2 and hearing Kanae's story, I cried harder than I had ever cried since I was a child.
After that I had to read the manga. The art is AMAZING, much more satisfying than Shinkai's anime, and there is a lot more development to the characters that allows you to understand where they are coming from better.
The epilogue that is part 3
in the anime is also much more expansive, so there is a lot more about what happens to the characters in adulthood. If you were on the fence about reading it, that in itself is enough reason to do so.
More than anything else I have ever seen, this manga perfected the portrayal of unrequited love: from the anxiety of trying to admit your feelings, to the lightheaded joy of finding that your crush has the slightest thing in common with you.
It made me cry all over again, and Sumida Kanae has become one of my favorite characters in fiction. I find myself opening it and re-reading my favorite scenes dozens of times. If anyone asked me my favorite book, I would have to struggle not give this manga as my answer.
After I had watched the movie "5 Centimeters Per Second: a chain of short stories about their distance", directed by Makoto Shinkai, one of the biggest problems with the movie I had was the lack of depth in the relationship between Kanae and Takaki.
In the manga, however, I feel like this relationship was explored more in depth, which left me with a more complete feeling after reading the manga. This also helped build both Kanae, Takaki, and Akari as characters, because narration from Kanae about her feelings revealed more dimensions to each character than what was depicted in the movie.
If you enjoyed
the movie, I believe that you will definitely enjoy the manga. For me, it started slow. The first few chapters, covering the childhood relationship between Takaki and Akari were dull for me, and it was a struggle to continue reading. Thankfully, once Kanae was introduced and the characters weren't children anymore, the emotions and the way that they displayed them seemed more real, causing an overall maturation of the manga as a whole.
I will not write a whole summary of what happens in the manga because I am sure that many of you have seen the movie; however, I will say that in my opinion, the strength of characters is MUCH stronger in the manga, and I am able to return to the manga, re-read it, and still enjoy it, which I unfortunately cannot do with the movie. (Just not the same as the first time when rewatching the anime version in my opinion :[ )
I rate this an overall 8/10 for these two reasons mainly:
-The slow start, if continued, would have earned the manga an overall 5 in my opinion. However,
-the manga after the first few chapters was EXCELLENT, a 10/10 in my opinion.
Because more of the manga was in the "after first few chapters" category, (8/11 chapters?) I give byousoku 5 Centimeters per second an 8/10.