Book club screening! Read the manga version (available in English) and then join Adriel Luis, curator of digital and emerging media for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, for an informal discussion in the Freer conference room after the screening.
Manga comics and anime movies both belong to a long, rich tradition of Japanese narrative visual art. Both versions of 5 Centimeters Per Secondillustrate how sophisticated these art forms can be. The title of Makoto Shinkai's wistful coming-of-age film, which he adapted from his own manga comic book, describes the velocity at which cherry blossom petals fall. This metaphor for the impermanence of human relationships is the theme of the film's three connected stories. Each takes place at a different point in the lives of the three main characters, from puppy love thwarted by a family move, to an unrequited teenage crush, to melancholy reminiscences in adulthood. "[A] sensitive and achingly beautiful tale of youthful love, loss and longing" (Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times). (Dir.: Makoto Shinkai, Japan, 2007, 62 min., DVD)