Five Centimeters Per Second: A foreword on my revisitation
November 28, 2013
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“I had a bit of a hard time understanding the ending, but thanks to what you wrote, I understand it now.”
“Great blog on 5 Centimeters per Second! It was very interesting and clarified a lot for me.”
—Comments from readers about my Five Centimeters per Second content
It was on a grey autumn day back in 2010 when I decided to pick up Five Centimeters per Second. I believe it was a Tuesday in late November, but my memory does not serve me. That said, I do remember that it was very cold, overcast and snowy when I picked up Five Centimeters per Second. I had just finished an organic chemistry lab report. I was home unusually early that day because the heating on the medical campus failed and classes were cancelled, giving me time to make some progress with the lab report. I presently still have those files archived: I was either doing a discussion on caffeine extraction or nucleophilic substitution on alkenes by halogenation, but that probably is of a lesser interest. Having completed the first draft of the lab report, I began watching Five Centimeters per Second. An hour later, I ended up twice as cold as I was before, and I realised that this anime probably had been the best I had seen at that point. I subsequently acquired a copy of the soundtrack, and wrote one of the largest reviews on my old site. This review featured roughly 184 screenshots from the film and content adapted from the novel accompanying the film. Released on November 16, 2007, the novel provided additional insight into the story where the film had left something ambiguous, and as such, I used it to assist my own discussions. The Five Centimeters per Second novel is available here, as a PDF typeset in LaTeX, for all interested readers.
- I’ve been waiting for the longest time to do a proper talk on Five Centimeters per Second, ever since I mentioned wishing to drop support for the old website.
- The old website at Webs.com was not indexed by Google well, and as such, the different pages were not particularly visible to interested readers. Having heard feedback from some readers, I decided that this site could probably provided interested readers with what they were looking for.
- This revisitation was further motivated by the fact that L.H. Yeung’s Five Centimeters per Second blog was decomissioned after he decided to use his web-hosting space for other purposes. I’m sure that many readers out there are still interested in being able to read the novel, so I’ve stepped up to the plate and offer a more compact, more well-formatted document for readers.
- What will follow are my thoughts on the different acts and the movie as a whole: it’s time to make good on the promise I made back on my Two Year Anniversary post, which should be a good sign for the Gundam 00: Awakening of the Trailblazer and Gundam Unicorn posts to be done in the future.
After watching Five Centimeters per Second, my interest in anime was revitalised: I spent Summer 2010 watching Real Drive and Rideback, but didn’t express much interest until Five Centimeters per Second restarted it. I spent Summer 2011 watching Sora no Woto, Break Blade and Ika Musume, as part of a journey to rediscover myself after the difficulties I had encountered in the second year of my undergraduate program. While I was unaware of it at the time, it is quite possible that Five Centimeters per Second induced a sense of melancholy and lovesickness in me at that time; since I did not quite understand it, I merely thought I was facing an unnaturally difficult year, With this flow of time, Five Centimeters per Second fell to the back of my mind until around a year ago, when messages from individuals expressing thanks for helping them understand the plot points in Five Centimeters per Second began appearing on my website’s guestbook and Facebook pages. I realised that my discussion was perhaps one of the few English sites that provided a satisfactory account of what happened in Five Centimeters per Second, and thus, decided to port these articles over here. I will be giving each act a re-writing to be more clear and more consistent with my current writing style, which has changed slightly since I first wrote the original review.