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Weekly Musings of an Insane Firebird: 5 Centimeters Per Second

Gabriel Kross

I was at the book store a little while back and happened across the manga version of 5 Centimeters Per Second. I flipped through it a bit because I had never heard of it, and it seemed pretty interesting.This week's article is going to be about the touching story that it told.


The story begins in Tokyo. Akari is a new transfer student in Takaki's class. The two start talking in the library and realize they have a lot in common. Besides moving around a lot, they like the same books and the same places. Naturally, the two start to fall for each other, but Akari's family moves away shortly afterwards. They start writing to each other so that they will stay in touch, then Takaki's family has to move farther away, so he takes a train to go see Akari. Despite several delays, he finds her waiting for him at the designated meeting point. They share an unforgettable evening together just staying beside one another. After moving, Takaki meets a girl named Kanae who falls for him and is too shy to tell him. She always feels that he is looking far off and not seeing the things right in front of him.Takaki had cut himself off from others waiting for Akari, so he wasn't able to connect with the world around him. In the end, after he graduates, he moves back to Tokyo, gets a job, and meets a woman named Risa. In an attempt to move on with his life, he dates Risa for three years. The relationship never progresses; she would try to get close, but he was disconnected from the world. Takaki and Risa break up and he quits his job. Akari had moved on with her life and was engaged. Kanae tries to move on but has regrets, and decides to head to Tokyo for one last attempt to talk to Takaki. Takaki himself was alone, filled with loneliness, but resolved to accept the distance he put between himself and the world so that he could open up to someone in the future. This is essentially how the story ends.


I liked the story; my only issue is there is no real closure for Takaki. You follow his story throughout the entirety of the manga, but finish out in Kanae's, and are left to assume that the guy who just walked by her was Takaki. The story just makes you want to sympathize with Takaki, putting everything on hold for a love that would never be. I almost cried at a few points in this story, and recommend that everyone give it a read or watch the animated movie if they have the time.

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