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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie explores themes of first loves, unrequited love, missed connections, coming of age -- all relatable themes for kids having these first experiences.
Positive Role Models
While not role models in the traditional sense, Takaki, Akari, and Kanae experience feelings of not fitting in, unrequited love, first loves, intense crushes -- all relatable to kids.
This is a Japanese production.
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Violence & Scariness
Some mild bullying from Takaki's peers: Kids poke fun of his relationship with Akari, and they both are outsiders at school.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
First loves, first kisses as tween characters struggle with romantic longing for the first time.
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Products & Purchases
Fast-food restaurant with similar packaging and design as McDonald's. Coffee shop with similar appearance as Starbucks.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 5 Centimeters Per Second is a 2007 anime drama-romance in which two tweens who experience first love slowly drift apart as the years go by. It's a tearjerker told in three chapters, each covering a different era in the lives of the main character. The themes of crushes, unrequited love, and angst should be strongly relatable to kids having these feelings for the first time. There are no real issues in terms of content. Characters eat at a fast-food restaurant made to look similar to McDonald's and a coffee shop made to look similar to Starbucks. The lead characters don't fit in at their school, especially when they start to have feelings for each other, and other kids tease them about it. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a tearjerker coming-of-age anime about unrequited love and missed connections. 5 Centimeters Per Second is filled with beautiful images and insightful observations about how people who are once very close can slowly drift apart. It's likely to be a little too emo for older and more cynical viewers, but for more sensitive viewers and for kids having their own first experiences of crushes, angst, romance, and heartbreak, it's a strongly relatable movie about the sadness of experiencing how someone you know can eventually become someone you knew.
Such themes are mawkish and sappy in less experienced hands, but the great writer-director Makoto Shinkai conveys a richly rendered world of loneliness, disconnect, and things unsaid and unexpressed through trains, rocket launches, city streets. The only bummer note is at the end, with the requisite anime balladry that overwhelms the sincerity of the movie that had managed to keep it from coming across as too mushy. Nonetheless, the quality and creativity of how the story is told ultimately win out.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.