This film in three parts is by the creator of Voice of a Distant Star and Beyond The Clouds (see my review). It follows the style of his other works: showing small fragments of life and emotion, telling of how vital and beautiful each clumsy moment of life is. The narration is minimalist and poetic, and the fragments of story are touching.
As we’ve come to expect from Makoto Shinkai, the visuals are gorgeous. The lighting is staggering, and in places the scenery is practically photo-real, yet the simpler drawn characters don’t feel out of place at all. The the subtle movements of the characters are all carefully chosen for artistic effect.
And yet I was disappointed. Voice of a Distant Star told a simple story that was poetically deep, a pure expression of one emotion. Beyond The Clouds told a broad story that was also very personal, connecting the half-understood fragments of emotion into something larger. 5cm seems to shy away from that, instead allowing the pieces of story to go nowhere. Though they’re connected, they’re rendered less meaningful.