Director: Makoto Shinkai (2007, Japanese, 63 mins)
Reviews: RottenTomatoes (N/A), IMDB (7.9), Wikipedia, Amazon.
Watch online: YouTube, WatchAnimeMovie.
Similar movies: anime, depressing.
Cherry trees along the former course of the Berlin Wall.
A pensive story of a young couple that grows apart over time. The movie is slow but delightfully artistic. The opening dialogues of the movie explain the title:
"They say it's five centimeters per second."
"What do you mean?"
"The speed at which the sakura blossom petals fall... Five centimeters per second."
The sakura tree (cherry blossom) is a Japanese national symbol of how fleeting life and beauty can be. It is a gorgeous tree that blooms in spring. Briefly. The petals hold fast to their branches for only a few days. The Japanese eagerly await these days because they indulge in festivities when the sakura trees blossom. The significance of cherry blossoms in Japanese culture is captured very well by a passage at Bon Appetit's Blog.
The movie has three chapters. Chapter I was awesome! It shows how fervently the couple keeps in touch despite physical distance, and their last meeting. Chapter II and III are good too.
An Amazon reviewer summarized the movie as follows:
"The sakura petals are like us, falling from the tree of life. As we fall, we encounter all sorts of people. There will be people who we will fall in love with. However by the time the petals (us) reach the ground we don't know who will be beside us."