[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Five_Centimeters_Per_Second_8059.jpg]]
[[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 Tohno and Akari Shinohara, 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.

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!!''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 is too rigid to move toward anyone -- until the end, at which point he becomes capable of taking control of his own life and driving 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 Takaki. Contrasting Takaki's implied meeting with Akari, Kanae [[spoiler:decides to pursue him when she appears to have found him again]].
* AirVoyance: The FullyAutomaticClipShow in the third act includes a flashback to Takaki leaving the southern islands as Kanae watches his plane depart, although the fact that Tanegashima is a small community with few flights would make it easier for Kanae to determine which flight he's on.
* AirplaneOfLove: To emphasise 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.
* AmbiguousSituation: Takaki comes across a woman who resembles Akari at the train crossing, but it's intentionally left ambiguous as to whether or not he really encounters Akari here to illustrate that Akari or not, he's content to move forwards with his life.
* ArcNumber: Five, in the form of "Five X per Y". First said by Akari in the first act as "five centimeters per second", the speed at which cherry blossom petals fall, then said by Kanae in the second act as "five kilometers per hour" regarding the speed of a massive transporter for a rocket that shows up later. It connects the two main girls in Takaki's life, and judging by his surprised reaction to the second use, it might not have escaped him either.
* 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 railway crossing with CherryBlossoms falling around them]].
* CallBack: In the third act, Akari recalls the first and LastKiss she had with Takaki back in the first act after having unearthed [[spoiler:the letter she had intended to pass to him back then but didn't.]]
* 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.
* ChirpingCrickets: Cicadas are vociferous in the second act, providing an aural cue that occupies the awkward silences Kanae experiences while attempting to express her feelings to Takaki.
* CigaretteOfAnxiety: Owing to the stresses arising from his job, Takaki is shown to have taken up smoking by the third act.
* DidNotGetTheGirl: In spite of the optimistic ending, [[spoiler: Takaki and Akari never get together]].
* DiegeticSwitch: The famous J-ballad "One More Time, One More Chance" by Masayoshi Yamazaki is first heard playing in low fidelity from a convenience store's speakers, but transitions into the soundtrack itself, in the final act.
* DramaticIrony: In the second act, Kanae suffers greatly due to her inability to tell Takaki that she loves him, not knowing as the audience does that Takaki's own inability to communicate his feelings for Akari is causing their relationship to unravel.
* {{Expy}}: Takaki incorporates elements derived from the male leads in Shinkai's previous works, and shares some similarities to [[TheGreatGatsby Jay Gatsby]].
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** You know the tune of the background music in the scene where Takaki and Akari part ways when they're 13 after meeting for the first time in years? Sure is pretty, ain't it? It's actually taken from a pop song, which supposedly pretty much everyone in Japan has heard about. It's about a man who persistently longs for his doomed love. If you know what the song is about beforehand, then you probably had a pretty good idea of where the plot of the movie was going.
** When his train is caught in the snowstorm in the first act, Takaki hopes that Akari went home rather than wait for him out in the cold. [[spoiler:And while she does wait for him this time, by the time of the third act, she doesn't bother any longer]].
** There are various mentions of the Japanese space programme scattered throughout the second act, well before the rocket launch actually happens.
* FullyAutomaticClipShow: A large part of the third act is comprised of small slices of Takaki and Akari's life throughout the years between the first and third acts set music video-style to "One More Time, One More Chance".
* GratuitousEnglish: As with most of 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]].
%%* IronicEcho: A nonverbal variant in the first part. Takaki had written a letter to Akari containing his compiled thoughts, [[spoiler:only to have it get accidentally blown away by the wind before he could pass it to her in person. As his train leaves Iwafune Station after their meeting, Akari takes out a letter of her own that she had written to him, but didn't pass it to him during the meeting.]]
* JustFriends: Takaki becomes thus to Akari (possibly) when she doesn't turn back, and Kanae to Takaki when she doesn't reveal her feelings for him.
* KissingDiscretionShot: Akari stands on her tip-toes to kiss Takaki under the sakura tree before they spend the night together.
* LastKiss: Takaki and Akari share a (first and) last kiss at the end of the first chapter. The remaining two chapters are about their separate lives afterward. Heartbreak ensues.
* LastNameBasis: One of the signs that Takaki never feels anything for Kanae is that he always calls her by her surname, whereas he addresses Akari by her given name.
* LeaveTheCameraRunning: The final VehicleVanish shot, set to the final guitar riffs of "One More Time, One More Chance") is noticeably longer than scenes elsewhere in the film, concluding only after the trains have passed to reveal that the woman's walked on.
* LonelyPianoPiece: The piano pieces in the soundtrack convey a gentle and melancholy tone, appropriate for capturing themes of longing and distance within the film.
* LongDistanceRelationship: Takaki and Akari share letters over long distance as youth, but when Takaki moves to the southern islands, their communication ceases, and their relationship gradually fades.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Kanae mentions experiencing this with regards to Takaki. Her inability to voice her feelings, however, cause her no small amount of angst.
* LovingAShadow: In his adulthood, Takaki appears to be in love with an abstraction of Akari, rather than Akari herself. Consequently, he finds it difficult to make meaningful relationships with those around him, leading his girlfriend, Risa, to remark that he feels distant in spite of all the time they've spent together.
* MenCantKeepHouse: One of the signs of the loneliness Takaki experiences in the third act is the messy state of his apartment, including but not limited to an undone bed and empty beer cans haphazardly strewn about.
* 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.
* 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]].
* RealityEnsues: {{Long Distance Relationship}}s have to be worked at if they are to survive. Takaki and Akari's communication with each other slows and eventually dies out, and the relationship unravels; by the time they are adults, although Takaki has been nursing the feelings for years, his inability to properly convey this means Akari has not. In fact, [[spoiler:she has gotten engaged to another man and doesn't even recognise Takaki when they cross paths, maybe, the final time onscreen.]]
* RedOniBlueOni: Akari is blue, Kanae is red.
* SadTimesMontage: The third act portrays a flashback of Takaki experiencing the aftermath of his breakup with his girlfriend and ensuing depression.
* 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.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Takaki says this in the second act when a classmate calls Kanae his girlfriend.
* 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 Anime/SheAndHerCat, Chobi is the name of the titular cat, and he has a lady-friend (also a cat) named Mimi.
** The satellite belt in Takaki's recurring dreams bears resemblance to the Union's tower in Shinkai's previous work, ''Anime/ThePlacePromisedInOurEarlyDays.''
** The cover of the railway book that Takaki buys in the first act is an environment shot from ''Anime/ThePlacePromisedInOurEarlyDays''.
* SlowMotionPassBy: When [[spoiler: Takaki and Akari pass each other at the train tracks at the end]], the picture briefly slows down.
* SnowMeansDeath: While Akari and Takaki spend time together under a quiet snowfall, the snow also is set during the death of their relationship; it's the last time in the movie Akari and Takaki are together in person.
* SnowMeansLove: Takaki and Akari kiss under the Sakura tree for the first time. While it signifies love, it also signifies the coldness Takaki feels when faced with the prospect of being separated from her.
* SoundtrackDissonance:
** The jarringly up-beat pop music in the second chapter sharply contrasts the landscapes and mood: One song piped in to the convenience store crows "daijobu da yo (It's all right)" while Kanae suffers her unrequited love in silence. In another case Kanae on her bike is passed by her sister playing similarly upbeat and indelicate tunes. This seems to be a mordant joke about the interference of the modern world with even the potential solace of SceneryPorn in the midst of disappointment. The sonic environment is being destroyed.
** The third chapter, on the other hand, shows the protagonist browsing magazine racks with "One More Time, One More Chance" playing in the convenience store.
* StarCrossedLovers:
** Forces outside of Takaki or Akari's control drive a distance between them, as their parents must move for their work.
** For Kanae, her [[spoiler:tearful confession is cut off by a rocket launch]], and she ultimately decides against letting Takaki know of her feelings on the basis that he appeared to be longing for something beyond what she could offer.
* TemptingFate:
** Late in the second act, [[spoiler:Kanae says that if she doesn't successfully confess to Takaki after having finally regained her surfing skills, she'll never be able to do it.]] No prizes for guessing that it doesn't work out.
** In the third act, [[spoiler:Takaki voices his belief that Akari will turn to greet him after they pass each other at the railway crossing.]] This too doesn't come to pass.
* ThemeAndVariationsSoundtrack: Most of the soundtrack pieces are rearrangements of either "Distant Everyday Memories" or "One More Time, One More Chance", sometimes even incorporating both.
* TimeSkip: Each act is separated by the passage of a few years.
* TitleDrop: The movie opens with Akari explaining to Takaki that cherry blossoms fall at a rate of five centimeters per second.
* 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 at the end of the first act, they leave behind their innocence and unspoken emotions. Both can only watch as the distance between them begins growing in both a figurative and literal sense.
* TrueLovesKiss: Despite Takaki 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 Takaki and Akari's classmates have drawn the umbrella symbol on the blackboard with Takaki and Akari's names under it to tease Akari. When Takaki enters, he clears the offending material and takes off with Akari to his classmates' surprise.
* 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: In the final shot of the film, Takaki walks through the train crossing from the first scene at the same time that a woman who might be Akari does so too. After they pass each other, he turns to check, but a train obstructs the view; by the time it's gone, so is she.
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