[[caption-width-right:350:''At what speed must I live... to be able to see you again?'']]

''5 Centimeters Per Second'' is Creator/MakotoShinkai's third film, and was released in 2007. However, unlike his other works, the events here reflect the relentless nature of reality.

The movie's focus is about two people named Takaki and Akari, following them as they mature. It is divided into three episodes that together, comprise the movie. The first part, "Cherry Blossoms", follows Takaki's reflections on his relationship with Akari while they were children. The second act, "Cosmonaut", leaves Akari to depict Takaki as a teenager and is told from Kanae Sumida's perspective. The final part, which is also called "5 Centimeters Per Second", shows them as young adults, in a montage set to the famous Japanese pop song "One More Time, One More Chance".

The title ''5 Centimeters Per Second'' refers to the speed at which CherryBlossom petals fall and acts as a metaphor for the nature of love and human relationships.

!!''5 Centimeters Per Second'' provides examples of:

* AbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder: This is subverted to some degree: while Takaki's mind does indeed go yonder, his heart remains fixated on one constant point: this accounts for Kanae's observation that he is always looking toward something distant, and fails to notice people around him. For most of the movie, he is unable to have the individual who invoked such feelings in him because he was too rigid to move toward anyone -- until the end, at which point he becomes capable of actually taking control of his own life and taking it in the direction that he wants it to go. To this end, his heart has not gone yonder; rather, it becomes a little more malleable and open.
* AdaptationExpansion: The [[RevisedEnding manga adaptation]] breathes insight into Kanae's life following the events of the movie and parallels Takaki's experiences during his adulthood; with her life passing through the same cycle of entering and leaving relationships, she ultimately decides to confront her feelings head-on by trying to meet up with Tohno. Contrasting Takaki's implied meeting with Akari, Kanae [[spoiler:decides to pursue him when she appears to have found him again]].
* AirplaneOfLove: To emphasize how distant Takaki is to Kanae, the launch of a rocket replaces the airplane.
* AlienSky: Takaki's recurring dreams feature sweeping panoramas of familiar landscapes juxtaposed with [[https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-n3gRLPTIgYw/TPxKVSyH5SI/AAAAAAAAD_4/kMJuVigVmBU/s1280/FCPS-2010-12-05-18h33m41s162.png skies featuring unique sights]].
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: The driving force behind the story, this movie illustrates how reality does not follow the "happily ever after" route, and how love is sometimes unrealised.
* BittersweetEnding: While Takaki quit his first job and broke up with his girlfriend, he gradually takes control of his life and begins to overcome the lonely and bitter feelings that he's been nursing for fifteen years. Takaki eventually finds a job as a freelance developer.
* BlandNameProduct:
** ''[=McDonalge=]'', a fast food chain in Takaki's recollections
** A ''Starberks Coffee'' is located in one of the train stations.
** Takaki glances at his ''Ocasi'' digital watch several times en route to Iwafune.
** A ''Windows Vasta'' magazine can be seen in a convenience store that Takaki visits as an adult.
** In an aversion, Takaki uses a wireless ''[=LogiCool=]'' mouse at his workplace. Known as Logitech in other nations, ''Logitec'' belongs to another Japanese organisation that specialises in peripheral manufacturing.
* {{Bookends}}: The film begins and ends with [[spoiler: Takaki and Akari at the train station with CherryBlossoms falling around them]].
* CanNotSpitItOut: Kanae struggles to tell Takaki that she's deeply in love with him.
* CaughtTheHeartOnHisSleeve: [[spoiler: Kanae grabs Takaki's sleeve and tries to confess her love, but it never really works out.]]
* CherryBlossoms: First mentioned by Akari, the rate at which CherryBlossoms fall under normal circumstances acts as a metaphor for falling in love.
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Takaki has a recurring dream of himself and Akari climbing a hill in a surrealistic sunrise. Aside of being a MythologyGag for ''Place Promised'', this could be [[DistantFinale the future]], [[MundaneAfterlife their afterlife]], or an AlternateUniverse.
* {{Expy}}: Takaki incorporates elements derived from the male leads in Shinkai's previous works, and shares some similarities to [[TheGreatGatsby Jay Gatsby]].
* GratuitousEnglish: As with Shinkai's other movies, it has a Japanese title (''Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru''/"5 Centimeters Per Second") but an English subtitle; in this case: ''A Chain Of Short Stories About Their Distance''.
* InMediasRes: The last third begins on March 2008, with Takaki working at home before going for a walk. [[spoiler: He then sees Akari again at the train stop, whereby the rest of the segment flashes back to him at his old job and old (or at least messy) apartment. It is still implied he had finished his three year relationship by this point, due to the date on the text from his ex-girlfriend showing February 2008.]] Of course once the ending sequence begins, the vast majority is in the form of flash backs since it goes back to their childhood, before returning to the present day.
* IWillWaitForYou: This is implied in the second act and [[spoiler: subverted in the third act]]: In the period between the end of part two and the beginning of part three, Takaki has [[spoiler:had at least one long-term relationship with another woman]], and Akari has [[spoiler:become engaged to another man]].
* JustFriends: Takaki becomes this to Akari (possibly) when she doesn't turn back, and Kanae to Takaki when she doesn't reveal her feelings for him.
* NewTransferStudent: Owing to their parents' work, Takaki and Akari transfer to different schools throughout the story, bringing them together in the beginning but separating them as time passes on.
* OfficialCouple: Takaki and Akari.
* ParasolOfPrettiness: Akari does a small dance with her umbrella in hand at the beginning of Cherry Blossoms.
* RealPlaceBackground: The various locales shown in the anime are inspired by [[http://infinitemirai.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/tokyo-region-home-of-five-centimeters-per-second/ locations in Tokyo]].
* RedOniBlueOni: Akari is blue, Kanae is red.
* SceneryPorn: The [[DoingItForTheArt artwork is awe-inspiring]]; the sheer volume of detail present in the movie, especially with respect to some of the minor scenes and [[https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-UIBFWB9nkSA/TPxKDVok6XI/AAAAAAAAD9U/VT1pZTk5udk/s1280/FCPS-2010-12-05-18h25m44s248.png.jpg background]] elements, almost makes reality look drab by comparison.
* ShoutOut:
** In one of Takaki's flashbacks during "Cherry Blossoms", Akari stops to pet a cat named Chobi, and remarks that it must be lonely for him without Mimi around; in Shinkai's short "She and Her Cat," Chobi is the name of the titular cat, and he has a lady-friend (also a cat) named Mimi.
** A tall tower is present in Takaki's recurring dreams, reminiscent of the Union's tower in Shinkai's previous work, ''Anime/ThePlacePromisedInOurEarlyDays''.
* SnowMeansLove: Tohno and Akari kiss under the sakura tree for the first time. While it signifies love, it also signifies the coldness Tohno feels when faced with the prospect of being separated from her.
* StarCrossedLovers: Tohno and Akari have more hope for a happy ending than typical cases, but they qualify nonetheless. This is more apparent in Kanae's situation: her [[spoiler:tearful confession is cut off by a rocket launch]].
* ThemeAndVariationsSoundtrack: Some of the piano arrangements share motifs with "One More Time, One More Chance".
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Akari and Kanae never meet in the movie, but Akari is noticeably more intelligent whereas Kanae is noticeably more physically active and assertive. This is played with in the reverse direction: Kanae comes across as being more emotionally fragile than Akari.
* TrainStationGoodbye: When the two lovers finally part, they leave behind their innocence and unspoken emotions.
* TrueLovesKiss: Despite Tohno and Akari sharing a kiss early on, life for Takaki remains somewhat of a challenge from there until the ending of the final act.
* UmbrellaOfTogetherness: some of their classmates have drawn the umbrella symbol on the blackboard with Tohno and Akari's names under it, presumably to tease Akari; when Takaki enters, he sweeps the board and runs of with Akari
* UnluckyChildhoodFriend: All three characters find woe in matters of the heart, but Kanae fits the trope best, as she's not a main focus character.
* VehicleVanish: This is perhaps one of the most moving instances, as Akari and Takaki become separated after their last meeting together.