Having watched this right before I'we written this review, I didn't know what to expect. Then the first frames came in.
OH MY JESUS!
This is it! This is how you make cell animation in 2008! I can tell ya, NOTHING EVER was this beautifully drawn before! I don't think I was even breathing during the second story! It easily puts every other cell animated title to shame(ONLY in terms of animation), and will be the only thing for YEARS to come that will deserve a perfect score. For how it is drawn, naturally.
For in every other aspect, 5 Centimetres per second is a mixed bag. We have one story going back and forth on the line from stupid to beautiful. One that is exactly how the entire feature should have been, and one that's just plain moronic. But let's go with the airing order, shall we?
The first story: I don't really know. Sure, it's anice little topic, lovers seperated and all, but it seems as if common sense would be cast aside for drama. How is it, that in the present day, two people who are in love with each other but seperated still communicate by mail? Why does it take a train trip to get the idea of using the telephone to keep in touch? Why does the story give us the illusion that the meeting itself solved anything when later on it disproves itself? Sure enough, the train trip felt agonizing at times (a HUGE plus), but it was just a bit too melodramatic. So like I said, I can't really put it anywhere.
The second story: HELL YEAH! Now this is romance! I don't know how the show manages to make the viewer forget that the imagery plays a huge part in conveying the overall tone, but it does, and you just sit back, and enjoy a rendition of a girls emotions that is so beutiful, and most importantly, so REAL(unlike 90% of everything else in this regard), you instantly forgive life for failures like Tokikaku. This story has a heart, this story has a soul, this story is so much better then the other two, you would have to think it was written by a completely different person! The best of the bunch, hands down!
And so, we arrived at story three, the train to real life will leave from here in ten minutes, we apologize for the inconvenience.
Ever been on a roller coaster? Harken back to the time when you were on it first, the mesmerizing felling of climbing ever higher and higher, until the point where you reach the top, and suddenly, you realise that you don't really want to go down, but you will anyway, and besides, it's the only way to get back on the ground. Not to mention that you can't do anything about it. Now imagine that suddenly, while you are at the top, the roller coaster crumbles undernath you, and you plummet to your doom at terminal velocity until you stop sixteen feet under ground leaving a crater big enough to fit the entire roller coaster in. This is as close as you will come to the experience that is the third story, something for wich the person who gave the green light for it's enclusion should have his/her lungs exposed to ridiculus amounts of Zyklon B. It tryes, and HOW it tryes to give a fitting aftermath to the first story, but the degree it fails at this makes you question the sanity of the mind that ever thought of it's creation, let alone inclusion! It haphazardly introduces new characters for no known reason, and succeeds in making (at least) the main character look like a totally unrelatable, ununderstandable retard by not only having him NOT living in contact with his girl, but rather getting a new one, WHITOUT SEPERATING HIMSELF FROM THE FIRST ONE, AND BEING ANXIOUS ABOUT IT! Basically any bit of common sense that was gathered for these characters in the first story goes out the window so fast, you wonder why there was any reason giving them any in the first place. Plus, it doesn't solve anything! It's Bullshit with a capital B (no, better, a backwards b, a d), and ultimately pulls the production down into mediocre junk territory for making everyone believe that the characters of the first and third story are the real focus of the story, completely overshadowing the brilliant second one. (Thankfully, it's barely ten minutes long, so it can't detract from the value of it's prettyness and it's middle.)
Oh, and if you are going to have a male solo artist singing the end theme of your show, make sure you get one that doesn't sound like me when drunk and trying to parody sing(this goes double for L'arc en ciel).
No wait, Japan doesn't have any of those.