A Timeless Romance
5 Centimeters per Second
By Makoto Shinkai
Paperback, approx. 566 pages, 5.5 x 7.5 inches
U.S.$18.95 / CAN$20.95
Remember a time before cell phones could be found in every pocket? Or when even accessing the world wide web was something only readily available in a library? Back then letters still filled up postboxes and moments just felt so much more precious when captured on Polaroid film. Now life seems to move at the speed of light. Our memories are captured and shared with the world on social media platforms. And love, which is already capricious, can feel like it is moving at terminal velocity.
In Makoto Shinkai’s defining work, the internationally renowned director and animator unfolds a love story that is as timeless as it is fleeting. Yukiko Seike’s rendition of this modern classic adds a new level of emotion and intimacy that is unique to its source material.
Makoto Shinkai is a Japanese film director, animator, and writer. A native of the Nagano prefecture, he studied Japanese literature at Chuo University. He traces his passion for creation to the manga, anime, and novels he was exposed to while in middle school. Considered one of the best animators in the world today, he is often called the “next-Miyazaki“. Shinkai developed his abilities as a video game designer for FalCom, where he worked on the cult-classic role-playing game Y“S. Shinkai is unique as an animator as he cut his teeth by producing almost all elements many of his early works - from animation to music composition to voice acting. He has won numerous awards: 12th DoGA CG Animation Award; 1st New Tokyo International Animation Festival Grand Prize; 7th Kobe Animation Prize; 6th Japanese Media Art Award for Digital Media; 34th Nebula Award (World Con); 59th Mainichi Films Animation Prize; 2007 Asia Pacific Film Award; and the Lancia Platinum Grand Prize (Italy).
His film credits include: Voices of a Distant Star, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and Children who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below
“One of the interesting things about this adaptation is just how much more leisurely the time does pass. The film is fairly neatly divided into three parts... In this manga, the second two sections are greatly expanded upon, giving us a much closer look at the stories of both Kanae and Takaki’s later girlfriend, Risa, which ultimately teaches us even more about Takaki and the women he’s unintentionally hurt with his kindness over the years. Good adaptations can be difficult to come by, but this one is quite good indeed.”
—Manga Bookshelf, “Off the Shelf“
“[W]hat this version has over the film – more depth. The format just allows for it, and Shinkai and Seike take advantage of that. Really exploring the sort of existential crisis that Takaki is having as he grows older. And also giving each of the main women in his life – Akari, Kanae, and Risa – much more individual time, so they are very well fleshed out... So, if you’re a fan of the film, there are plenty of reasons to pick this version up. If you’ve never seen the film, I highly recommend it.”
“5 Centimeters per Second, a manga adaptation of Makoto Shinkai’s anime of the same name. It has a bit of an anime feel to it, with lots of reaction shots and wordless panels, but the art is well done, and it doesn’t look derivative at all. When I interviewed him at New York Comic-Con, Shinkai called 5 Centimeters per Second “a real life story,“ but of course it’ s not really...it is a romantic, wistful tale of childhood love.”
“Shinkai has been hailed as the next Miyazaki, and his dreamy mindscapes often equal or surpass the anime maestro in breadth of detail and depth of emotion.”
“In 5 Centimeters [Shinkai’s] imagination may not leap to Hayao Miyazaki’s strange and wonderful heights, but he is better (blasphemy!) at piercing the veil of the everyday to reveal a poignant, evanescent beauty most of us notice only in rare moments...Is he really the ’new Miyazaki?’ He won’t become one by imitating the master, but at 34 he is the anime world’s bright new hope. That and a brilliant minor gem like “5 Centimeters per Second“ are enough, for now.”