"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.