Summary: 5 Centimeters Per Second by Makoto Shinkai follows a boy named Takaki Tono. A girl named Akari Shinohara transfers into his elementary school and they immediately become close friends. A couple years later, Akari finds out that her family is moving away from Tokyo. This devastates both of them but they continue to write letters to each other often throughout junior high. Takaki promises himself that he will become something Akari can be proud of and holds onto his love for her all throughout high school and his young adulthood.
Story Line: Holy cow. This manga, (which was originally an anime film) is one of the most beautiful and bittersweet things I have ever read. The story seems so simplistic when you try to explain it to someone but there were times when the emotions were so powerfull, I ended up with little tearlings in my eyes. Takaki and Akari’s love is so innocent and pure that you just want it to work out.
Art: The art was great. It was in depth when it needed to be and simplistic when it was called for. I enjoyed that sometimes a scene would be illustrated a couple time but from different angles. It made me feel like I was watching a movie or that I was there in real life.
Characters: Most of the manga is through Takaki’s eyes. I went through many phases with how I felt about him. First I thought he was sweet, then an asshole, then neutral (basically, “okay, I forgive you for your assholey-ness earlier). Akari is sweet but is basically the “manic pixie dream girl” of the manga. There is another main character about half way through, but I don’t really want to spoil the whole story for you.
Overall: Hands down amazing manga. When I saw that it was 500 and something pages, I was almos turned off. My attention span for manga can be short at times but I blasted through this one in under an hour. The story is heart renching, lovely and I can tell that some people will be able to connect to it.