Sorry for the delay! orz
It’s been a long time since the last post, which was the review for Byousoku 5 Centimeters, Chapter 1: Ouksahou. School was pretty taxing, so it could only be done now seeing I have a short term break, instead of the estimated last weekend. And to add fuel to the fire, my desktop’s LCD was down due to a defective chip, and it’s only friday it was back up and running. Many thanks for the Samsung serviceman as he had to come down to my house twice. The first time he changed my LCD panel, thinking it was the problem. Shortly after he left the white screen of death appeared again, and he popped back after I called him again. Well if you think changing the chip for LCD is boring then I guess you’re right.
Now to the ultra-delayed review of Chapters 2 and 3 of Byousoku 5 Centimeters. It’ll be a word-intensive post, so I’ll add in screenshots to offset the wordiness as well as to supplement what cannot be expressed in mere words from a mere human with mediocre English, and very little adjectives…
Note: All of the below are my humble opinions and thoughts, and may not necessarily be as the original interpretations the movie and its producers had intended.
Cosmonaut: Pretty opening scenes
Chapter 2: Cosmonaut-
‘Sis, I promise not to get pregnant! Don’t ram me!’
It begins with a slow pace, with Sumida Kanae in her motorbike busy avoiding getting rammed by a mean-looking car. Ok I jest, it’s just her older sister asking if Kanae would be going to the beach after school. Kanae, in this chapter, is the typical kind of girl that doesn’t dare to confess to the one she likes. Throughout this chapter, she has proven to be a
stalker timid girl who regularly preempts Takaaki at the school car-park and so they could return home together. She has a long-standing crush on Takaaki, but he doesn’t notice, due to the fact he still hasn’t got over he and Akari’s separation.
‘Ima gonna plant a bomb in da freezer, don’t stop me.’
Kanae plays the indecisive role here in Cosmonaut, be it choosing a drink, deciding a career, or confessing to Takaaki. There are always people everywhere who are unsure of what to do, or if they dare to do it, and Kanae is one of them. She worked hard for her examinations so as to be able to enroll in the same high school as Takaaki, rather then deciding what is good for herself.
‘My fifth bottle of steroids…’
You can call this a blind, one-sided love, but even then, Kanae is a rare breed as
she surfs she stayed true to her love for Takaaki, even though knowing there is already someone in Takaaki’s heart. Never failing to keep an eye out for Takaaki, Kanae is satisfied with being around Takaaki. But it is only for the beginning of Cosmonaut.
‘Transporting Exia to launch site. It reads ‘Celestial Being’ on the transport, right?’
Towards the end when the rocket launched, Kanae realised she needed to express her inexpressible love to Takaaki, and alas, she had failed in her confession. Instead she cried. Cried not because she was sore for not being able to confess her maiden’s heart to Takaaki, but rather because of her love for someone who always look past the fog of present reality.
Ironically Takaaki and Kanae had a similarity, in that both are chasing an unreachable goal; Takaaki’s being Akari and Kanae’s Takaaki.
Takaaki, on the other hand, has still not forgotten Akari. It was inexplicitly expressed from the fact that Takaaki, on several occasions, was seen to be messaging someone on his mobile phone. And the scene whereby he deleted a message soon after he wrote it.
He was not without doubts in life, and it was seen when Kanae popped the question (not marriage, mind you) of whether Takaaki too had doubts of what to do in life. One could call Takaaki delusional, always hoping for a reunion with Akari, despite the minute possibility. But in my opinion, that having Akari and only Akari in his heart, looking forward to nothing but meeting her again, and living on a feeble hope, is an unmistakable feat itself. Now in our world, the modern era dominated by hot-blooded youngsters, how many would have been so faithful to a childhood love? Maybe not just childhood, but you get my point don’t you? Many change their heart (Sunohara-style) and it might not be necessarily bad for being adaptable, but such faithful love is not at all common in real life. Ironically, Takaaki is quite abit of a fool, though admirably so. He looks past everything around him, sees things in a different light, because he has always been following only one thing; the route to finding hope where he could reunite with Akari. But he ignores reality, and Kanae. Cute and devoted as she is, Takaaki doesn’t yield.
‘Nuke fired. ETA T-10.’
The rocket that NASDA launched bore several meanings. To mankind, it was a hopeful probe in the vast outer space. To Kanae, it was her understanding that she would never be able to have a place in Takaaki’s eyes. To Takaaki, it was an epitome of a blind hope, a desperate reach for light from the darkness.
Cute dog LOL
Chapter 3: Byousoku 5 Centimeters-
Starting off with a recap, after Takaaki thought, and very possibly, that he bumped into Akari at the train crossing, the movie progresses back to where both Takaaki and Akari had settled down. Takaaki being a working adult (though he left his job soon after), and Akari a wife-to-be.
Someone looking really really familiar… And mysterious. Hope she doesn’t transform into a dragon…
Nevertheless, Takaaki had not forgotten Akari to the extent he could accept someone else, as seen in the e-mail sent to him from his supposed girlfriend. Time might had helped in dealing with his pained heart, but nevertheless it left a scar. Overworking himself to keep him occupied might be a painkiller, but it only deals with the numbing of the pain, not the problem itself. It is destined that they would never be together, and destiny had proved true to fate. They could not be together then, they could not be together now as well.
Ending of the movie, “One More Time, One More Chance” – Vocals by Yamazaki Masayoshi.
The cherry blossoms had reminded Takaaki of his childhood love, as Akari had told Takaaki right in the beginning of the movie. Cherry blossoms, which fall at the speed of 5 centimeters per second, is of the most significant importance throughout the movie. It had symbolised what Makoto Shinkai had wanted it to; the slow but sure separation of the 2 protagonists.
How one deals with life, and deals with what life deals you, has always been a hurdle to many. More often than not, people cannot cope with the challenges they face, and simply give up. Maybe it would hurt a little, but the pain would fade soon enough, afterall what doesn’t change in this fast-paced, ever-changing world of ours? It all boils down to determination, perseverance, to achieve what they want.
I mentioned this “It is destined that they would never be together, and destiny had proved true to fate.”, and reason for the difference is that destiny can be changed with one’s own hands, but fate cannot be changed. However when coupled with the circle of uncontrollable force, destiny is fate. From Oukashou to Byousoku 5 Centimeters, Takaaki was unable to be together with Akari for as long as he wanted to be, or at least for the love to continue blossoming.
Always unprivileged by fate, Takaaki still had the last dribble of hope, when he thought he bumped into Akari, and if he turned to look, so would that woman. The trains that passed then and before, during their childhood, had a great significance as well. When they were together as children, the trains merely made them wait so they could be together on their way. But as adults, after a long separation, it was a test of faith, if they believed each still held the other in his or her heart.
If she had short purple hair, wore seifuku and a pair of glasses, and doesn’t talk for the whole of episode 14… Are you thinking what I’m thinking?
To Takaaki, Akari meant to him as a irreplaceable love, but to Akari, it meant her childhood love, but she had already gotten over it. She did no wrong in marrying another man, afterall like I said, not many in the world would wait years after years for a childhood love, without guarantee of requitted love. It could be their hot-hotheadedness as youngsters, or perhaps true pure love, but to Akari it was all but an experience. She plays the tolerant figure here, only to sway in the end. In Oukashou, she waited hours, clinging onto the promise of meeting up, but in the other 2 chapters, Akari had lost all contact with Takaaki. Be it geographical or emotional distance, it grew to be more and more vast, until they were no longer in either’s lives.
‘One More Time, One More Chance’
In Byousoku 5 Centimeters, Makoto Shinkai presented to us not only a touching story with stunning visuals, but also reflected upon us that not many people would hold promises like their lives. A promise that could go on for years and years, despite not knowing what could happen next. Nowadays it’s not at all unusual for people to own mobile phones. So in reality perhaps a promise to meet up would be easier to keep, as phone calls could always be made to remind the other. But have anyone of us here pondered, for example, if one day, all the phones in the world got fried. And it’s a mere verbal promise to meet at the place you frequent as a child after a year, would you keep your promise, and meet up with someone you had not seen for a year, and no means of contacting?
I’ll leave this as it is, and let your heads think about it. Reading a nice long review of more than 1.6k words, you probably deserve a clap. Ok maybe it ain’t nice, but anyway, thanks with sticking through this with me ^^;