Byousoku 5 Centimeters Review (Part 1)

Byousoku 5 Centimeters

The screening of Byousoku 5 Centimeters marked the first day of my December, followed by random exploring all the way up till Changi Airport’s new sparkling Terminal 3. Though it’s not really complete.

I will begin the review for Byousoku 5 Centimeters with “Oukashou”, the first chapter.

*Spoilers alert*

Chapter 1: Oukashou

Oukashou delivered the wanted effects well, the anxiety from waiting, the heartaches of knowing they couldn’t be together, and the mutual understanding and trust that they have for each other. While I sat and watched the first chapter, I could feel those as Takaaki could. The seemingly forever wait, the acknowledgment that they could not be together as wished, and accepting that albeit reluctantly.

Flashbacks of Akari calling Takaaki up, telling him of her transfer. It did well to make one feel the heavy feelings that Takaaki had felt, sudden yet inexplicable. A powerless state of oneself, being unable to do anything about the fact that something dear would soon be gone. Outside his control, all Takaaki do was to assure Akari it was alright. And all he did was to cry. The pains that time, the sudden pain of losing someone he held dear, Akari, heightened the anxiety Takaaki had.

The scene of Takaaki reaching Iwafune Station saw Akari to have faithfully kept her promise despite having to wait for such a long time. Normally, or at least no one I know of would continue to wait after being stood up for so long. Nevertheless it’s the lack of our modern communications that perhaps have facilitated such. In Oukashou they have always been sending letters to communicate. Not the convenience we have at our fingertips nowadays, but good old snail mail that could take perhaps several days to actually reach and be read.

I had expected Akari not to wait, and instead leave as what Takaaki had resigned himself to expect. But no. Here, with our anxiety building up also, Akari waits, asleep.

The scene totally brought me to view it differently, perhaps they could be together afterall. But it’s just a perhaps. Things are never always as perfect as it could sound like, and from this small, heartwarming reunion, to the separation the next morning, it brought out the emotions, all well portrayed. The second time I watched it I nearly cried at the part when Takaaki meets Akari, and when they settled for dinner.

Following that is the separation, one they knew would come definitely and yet embrace with reluctance. Perhaps it could be they did not want to feel as pained as it was already, and it could be why when they parted, they did nothing but just to wish each other well. Otherwise, if their words were of love and promises, it would definitely promise hurting each other further. Reiterating my point, they had well understood that their distance, not just physically, would grow with each passing day. And it would hurt them more if they wanted to love, cause they knew that could not happen as well. A barrier existed between them, even though that was not what they had wanted. It gave me a fair bit of heart wrenching here, but totally not enough to bring my tears out, for the separation here was too quick, too clean. Some would like a happy ending, but in fact the chapter closes with Takaaki leaving with a heavy heart, leaving without confessing that he had in fact lost the letter he wanted to give to Akari. Both of them held back as best as they could, maybe because that was what they thought would be best. Oh well, there isn’t the “Survive on love and nothing else” kinda attitude here.

*End of spoilers*

I’ll be continuing with reviewing Chapter 2: Cosmonaut and Chapter 3: Byousoku 5 Centimeters in the next post, due to some time constraint and work. =/

BTW the new terminal at Changi Airport looks sparkly nice, with pretty modern designs all around. I especially like the way the luggauge hall was designed. Loads of pretty trees with the lugguage belt around it. And of course the theme for terminal 3 is trees, trees, and more trees. Kinda like the effect they did bring in to the place, though I’m not really sure if those tropical looking trees are all that survivable in such low sunlight, air-conditioned environments. For those interested, the Changi Airport Terminal 3 open house is until 9th December. Seems that there is supposed to be some sort of admission fee, a dollar unless you choose a guided tour of the place, which is 3 dollars. Went there pretty late into the evening and saw nothing but the designs, trees, and more trees. It seems that there’s only one restaurant open for business for now, not sure about Mac Donald’s as it was already closed when I was there.




4 Responses to Byousoku 5 Centimeters Review (Part 1)

  1. Zen says:

    You forgot to mention the invasion of the birds! How could you?! That was the main point of the film! XD

    I found the discerning fact that both the guy kid and the chick didn’t have to go home at all rather disturbing. Most parents would be thoroughly freaked out if their child went to meet someone from the opposite sex and didn’t return for the night. Did their parents not care? Did these 2 perhaps have some troubling family background? Was it why they hated to leave each other, because each felt abit suicidal about returning back home? Maybe this whole thing was about parental abuse! XD

    Haha psychological analysis would probably take this a different direction from your perceived one. They could have continued writing to each other, continued in touch, and remained friends. The feeling of lost love can fade with time. By forcing themselves not to acknowledge each other, they created an artificial rift in their own minds, what is termed ‘mental pressure points’, where when they think of each other, the associated terms are not ones of mild melancholy over losing each other gradually but of forcefully hurt images of having to render themselves apart. That duzzan mean they suck at handling the pain of having to be apart but it sure does speak volumes about how they chose the path of holding back too much till they ended up hurting themselves. Or at least, the guy kid did.

    Eh wait, I juz wrote this wayy into chapter 2 and 3 huh? Chapter 1 only showed them leaving lol. 2am! Its an evil time to diss film animation characters with crappy bits of psychology that interests no one! XD Well you did ask me to comment lolers

  2. Leefe says:

    @Zen: Well there isn’t much of a correct analysis for a show as such, but rather just what I perceived as you mentioned. I didn’t say that they sucked at handling the pain of separation, but rather they chose to separate that way to avoid more pain. But I do agree on what you did say about them forcing themselves to acknowledge that there would always be that distance between them. It could have been otherwise, or perhaps other factors, we’ll never know. Makoto Shinkai presented to us a film about distances but didn’t go really deep into why. Well tastes could differ, as much as I do like this film, I find it a little disappointing for it had not gone deeper into why there had to be the distance.

    In Chapter 1, it’s all about their reunion after a long time, and the promise that held them steadfast. The part on separation has to be inferred from the scene at the train station when Takaaki was leaving, and from what you could gather about his transfer to a farther place. It’s the other 2 chapters, especially the 3rd, which tells one of the distance that grew with each passing year.
    It isn’t really crappy bits of psychology you know. A bit of insightful ‘analysis’ was there, despite the fact I do know sometimes you don’t understand anime characters and their developments xD

    Reviews of Chapter 2 and 3 would be only coming in end of this week because I’ve got a cold, a deadline for a competition, and some school mixed in together. That doesn’t really offer much spare time for me; I don’t wanna do the reviews drugged. Guess when things clear for me, I’d have the review by Saturday. No promise there though, I wouldn’t want to write an half-assed review for the sake of writing one.

    p.s. The competition is an illustration competition held by FM Comics. Would be posting the one I’ll be sending in. Deadline’s 7th and I’m barely done. orz

  3. Marco Milone says:

    Byousoku 5 Centimeter attempts to present the real world from a different perspective.

  4. Leefe says:

    @Marco Milone: Albeit being dramatised quite a lot ^^

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