Finding my True Self: A Dream + A Short Review on Byousoku 5 cm + In Relation to My Life

I overslept a while ago. As I woke up, I noticed that the small hand of the clock was about to reach 12. It was already noon when I regained my consciousness from a very deep slumber – a slumber so happy that I can almost touch it – like a reality.

I had a dream. A dream about her. Again. We finally met. She was smiling – a smile I’ve never seen for more than 3 years now. The smile that I was searching for all this time. The smile that filled my life once. I approached her as she approach me. We had a nice time together while walking and sharing some stories. But I never noticed how it ended. It’s like one day you’re here and wham! You’re gone again.

Despite that, I feel like I’ve seen her in reality again. It was like she was so close to me that it was that very moment I was looking for all this time – even though it’s a dream. And so, I finally decided to watch 5 cm/sec. And wow! I MEAN WOW! To my surprise, it was like patterned to my real life. Almost as exact as it can get. Not only that, the future it held could be my future too (Comparisons to be discussed later on). And so, here’s Byousoku 5 cm:

13:51:02

18 Aug 08

Byousoku 5 cm

5 centimeters per second – this is the estimated speed that a sakura petal falls to the ground. In this three-episode movie, the separation of the petal from the tree is greatly explored. Why did the petal have to leave the tree and where will the petal drop off? Will the distance between the tree and the sakura petal have any significance at all? This is a chain of short stories about love, people, time, space, distance, longing, memories, and pain. These are the everyday struggles that we, human beings, don’t seem to notice until one day, the most important things in our lives will be gone.

The arts and the animation of the series is really visually stunning. The staff really made a wonderful job to make it look as real as possible. The voice acting weren’t bad also, as the emotions can also be felt in the tone and how the speech was delivered. Although the movie is quite short (only three episodes), it is self-sufficient in a sense that it conveyed everything it holds. All the possibilities and the amazing potentials it brought out were realized in the end in a good manner. The conclusion, half expected-half not (although it favors me that the conclusion be the one I expected), was really good.

The three episodes were all connected to each other as it brings about the main theme of the story – moving on. The past is the past and what is important now is living on with the present.

Takaki Tono never really realized this until the final seconds of the movie when he though he saw Akari again across the railroads (where he never really did confirmed it because of the trains passing by). Their relationship started at a good pace and a good foundation – friendship. But as time goes, this relationship grows further, eventually surpassing friendship itself and moving on towards love.

The first deeply emotional scene was when Takaki and Akari met again after nearly 1 year being separated since the end of middle school. Takaki arrived at the station they were supposed to meet more than 4 hours later because of the delays in the train stations due to a strong  blizzard. As soon as Akari saw Takaki, Akari teared – of joy, surprise, and probably the disappearance of disappointment, fear, doubt, and worries. They shared stories of immeasurable amount as they went to sleep together.

But before they slept, Takaki and Akari kissed – and this changed the view of Takaki, and as well as Akari. They knew that it was because of that moment, they would never see each other again. Everything would be different from now on. Now why is that? One, because friendship ends and probably, love starts. Second, it would be very hard for love to survive in such a scenario lacking time for each other. Their true enemies are time and distance. Takaki said that he would call and he would write, but that may never be enough. Love needs nurturing and this could not be done in its full form without the presence of the other.

So the next morning, as they woke up, Takaki left the station. Akari never gave the letter she was suppose to give Takaki while Takaki’s letter for Akari also never reached her (because he accidentally dropped the letter in one of the stations, causing the letter to fly into emptiness).

The story continues in the second episode where Takaki is now in high school where he met Kanae Sumida, a friend of his. Takaki doesn’t know that Kanae had fallen for him – but this is a fact that will never reach Takaki. Although at one point in the story, Kanae was centimeters away from confessing to Takaki about her love for him, she hesitated. And in the end, she never got to tell him the truth that she had been keeping to herself (and to some of her friends). Why?

Because she knew that she was not the one Takaki is looking at. Everytime Kanae would look at Takaki, he seems to be looking at a far away distance where he seems to be waiting for someone. This alone let Kanae feel that maybe, just maybe, she was not the one for him – aside from the fact that Kanae always sees Takaki sending a message through his phone (although Takaki never really sends any of those messages to anyone – he just types then and then deletes it afterwards).

So in the end of that day, Kanae just rested in her bed, crying of pain, because she knew, that even though she will not tell Takaki the truth and that Takaki will be with someone else, she will still continue to love Takaki as much as yesterday or even greater tomorrow than any of the previous days.

The story concluded in the final episode that is self-entitled. Kanae, Akari, and Takaki lived their own lives according to the path they have chosen. Takaki became a computer programmer while Akari was engaged to another man. Takaki had a girlfriend but the movie never really explored on this much. The last episode was shown with just a set of clips – of the past and the present – together with a very beautiful and masterful song One More Time, One More Chance. THIS IS THE BEST EPISODE IN ANIME EVER, together with the song. IT IS ADVISED THAT YOU WATCH THIS SCENCE AT LEAST TWICE. One for the lyrics of the song, and the other at least once for the clips shown, as it gives a ton of info in the story.

In the end, Takaki was shown wandering around that same area where he and Akari last met at the end of middle school. As he crossed the railroads, he also crossed a woman and after crossing the railroad he thought to himself, “I know deep inside and I can feel that this woman would also look back at me as I will look back at her”. And as Takaki looks back at the woman, two trains pass by the railroads and as soon as the view clears up, the woman was not there anymore. This is the highlight of the story. How? Because as soon as she sees that the woman was never there anymore, he knew that he had moved on, because he smiled. The woman was strongly hinted as Akari, though there was no confirmation. But then, he smiled, turned around, and walked his way as the present would continue on its path. The way cleared up for him and it was just up for him to run and follow that woman to confirm and to see for himself. But, and a very big but, he did not. He had the choice. And he chose the better one.

Living on the present and then not regretting what was over. This is what I like about the story. A lesson which I wish I had learned eons ago. Now, I’m confined in this entity called time and now I’m trapped. From the movie, I can clearly see my life and myself as Takaki.

In a sense, let’s just recall my memories. I have also been in love with someone in high school. Though she knew what I felt, I never really got the chance of what I really felt, say the intensity or whatever. But the point is that, I never told her. Then, we got separated. Their family moved to a farther place, so we only exchanged thoughts through text messaging. Back in the later parts of high school, I also had a girlfriend (and still is up to now) where she also fell in love with me as I fall in love with her too. But at times, she always talks to me about how she was inappropriate for me and that how I would be happy with someone else. Why? Because I’m also looking at a distant, far away place. I’m also waiting for someone to return.

And now, it’s been more than 3 years since we haven’t met face to face. It is only in dreams that I can talk to her and see her. But that’s ok. At least there’s a chance.

This truly contradicts my perspectives – the fact that Takaki lived with the present. I can’t even think about that. I’m still trapped by the past. A moment that has passed and I was carried away with it. Takaki had no regrets while I had mine – because he has something which I don’t have, or have not found yet – and that is courage. The courage to move and live in the present and be satisfied. Unlike in ef ~A Tale of Memories~, there are memories which we don’t want to forget. Yes, I do not want to forget those memories with her, but heck, those memories will never come to life again, nor will there be a conclusion to it, unless everything gets cleared up in the near future. And I need the courage to do that. In Fate/stay night, Shiro could eventually forget Saber’s tangible everythings, but not the fact that someday, she loved Saber. And now, here in Byousoku 5 cm, Takaki lived with it, and continued on the path that he has chosen. Akari also lived the life she chose.

The excellent metaphor of the petals and us human beings gave Byousoku 5 cm something to think about. As the petals drop 5 cm per second, we human beings are also unaware that we drift apart from each other at a slow rate. But in fact, this is not that important. What’s important is the time it takes for this drifting to take place. It doesn’t matter if a petal drops for 5 cm per second, or a space shuttle to travel at 5 kilometers per hour – the time it takes to travel makes the distance wider. The longer time it takes, the farther you distance from the other. This will leave you with a lot of pain to deal with. And although other people are ready to help, support, and love you, you will be covered with the pain. It will be like a barrier that will prevent you from waking up to reality and be constantly trapped in the time where now, you regret the most.

As for me, I hope I find the way to live the life I chose, or the life that was here, destined for me. It’s like, something is so unclear.

Oh wait, now I get it. It just passed my head just now. I NOW KNOW why I am feeling like this right now. In ef ~A Tale of Memories~, I can strongly relate to Kei Shindou. Why Kei? Because she is in so much pain. A pain caused by the unclear feelings of Hirono for her. Hirono never told Kei what he really felt, until Kei finally understood that it was just sisterly and brotherly love and that the feelings she had for him is at wrong place. After that, Kei was contented with what the situation is, and Hirono then chose to love Miyako.

Like Kei, I really don’t know on what ground I am currently standing at. Because, she never told me. I know she knew what I felt, but she in fact, come to think of it, never ever told me what her feelings are or were all these time. Now I know – because I don’t know.

So overall, I gave this movie a rating of 9.7 and relational rating of 10. If you haven’t watched this movie yet, then you are definitely missing something. This movie is one of the best anime movie ever made.

One More Time, One More Chance
Lyrics and Vocals: Masayoshi Yamazaki
Arrangement: Toshiyuki Mori

Koreijou nani wo ushinaeba kokoro wa yurusareru no
Dore hodo no itami naraba mou ichido kimi ni aeru
One more time kisetsu yo utsurowanaide
One more time fuzake atta jikan yo

Kuichigau toki wa itsumo boku ga saki ni oreta ne
Wagamama na seikaku ga naosara itoshiku saseta
One more chance kioku ni ashi wo torarete
One more chance tsugi no basho wo erabenai

Itsudemo sagashite iru yo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
Mukai no HOOMU rojiura no mado
Konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai no ni
Negai ga moshimo kanau nara ima sugu kimi no moto e
Dekinai koto wa mou nanimo nai
Subete kakete dakishimete miseru yo

Sabishisa magirasu dake nara
Dare demo ii hazu na no ni
Hoshi ga ochisou na yoru dakara
Jibun wo itsuwarenai
One more time kisetsu yo utsurowanaide
One more time fuzake atta jikan yo

Itsudemo sagashite iru yo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
Kousaten demo yume no naka demo
Konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai no ni
Kiseki ga moshimo okoru nara ima sugu kimi ni misetai
Atarashii asa korekara no boku
Ienakatta suki to iu kotoba mo

Natsu no omoide ga mawaru fui ni kieta kodou

Itsudemo sagashite iru yo dokka ni kimi no sugata wo
Akegata no machi sakuragichou de
Konna toko ni kuru hazu mo nai no ni
Negai ga moshimo kanau nara ima sugu kimi no moto e
Dekinai koto wa mou nanimo nai
Subete kakete dakishimete miseru yo

Itsudemo sagashite iru yo dokka ni kimi no kakera wo
Tabisaki no mise shinbun no sumi
Konna toko ni aru hazu mo nai no ni
Kiseki ga moshimo okoru nara ima sugu kimi ni misetai
Atarashii asa kore kara no boku
Ienakatta suki to iu kotoba mo

Itsu demo sagashite shimau dokka ni kimi no egao wo
Kyuukou machi no fumikiri atari
Konna toko ni iru hazu mo nai no ni
Inochi ga kurikaesu naraba nandomo kimi no moto e
Hoshii mono nado mou nanimo nai
Kimi no hoka ni taisetsu na mono nado

One More Time, One More Chance
Transliteration and translation: daike
Translation support: Emma
Translation edit: icie:

How much more do I have to lose, before my heart is forgiven?
How many more pains do I have to suffer, to meet you once again?
One more time, oh seasons, fade not
One more time, when we were messing around

Whenever we disagreed, I would always give in first
Your selfish nature made me love you even more
One more chance, the memories restrain my steps
One more chance, I cannot choose my next destination

I’m always searching, for your figure to appear somewhere
On the opposite platform, in the windows along the lane
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If my wish were to come true, I would be at your side right away
There would be nothing I couldn’t do
I would put everything on the line and hold you tight
________________________________________
If I just wanted to avoid loneliness, anybody would have been enough.
Because the night looks like the stars will fall, I cannot lie to myself.
One more time, oh seasons, fade not.
One more time, when we were messing around

I’m always searching, for your figure to appear somewhere
At a street crossing, in the midst of dreams
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If a miracle were to happen here, I would show you right away
The new morning, who I’ll be from now on
And the words I never said: “I love you.”
________________________________________
The memories of summer are revolving
The throbbing which suddenly disappeared

I’m always searching, for your figure to appear somewhere
At dawn on the streets, at Sakuragi-cho
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If my wish were to come true, I would be at your side right away
There would be nothing I couldn’t do
I would put everything on the line and hold you tight

I’m always searching, for fragments of you to appear somewhere
At a traveller’s store, in the corner of newspaper,
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If a miracle were to happen here, I would show you right away
The new morning, who I’ll be from now on
And the words I never said: “I love you.”

I always end up looking for your smile, to appear somewhere
At the railroad crossing, waiting for the express to pass
Even though I know you couldn’t be at such a place
If our lives could be repeated, I would be at your side every time
I would want nothing else
Besides you, nothing else matters

Yeah, the lyrics of the song pierced my heart and tore it to pieces. The lyrics are absolutely beautiful. I can say the same for HER. Though you could never really be there…

P.S. Makoto Shinkai, you’re a genius!

The Place of Happiness: A Short Review on ef ~A Tale of Memories~

ef ~A Tale of Memories~ Introduction

07:51:10 PM

17 Aug 08

ef ~A Tale of Memories~

Euphoric Field – The place of happiness. A Tale of Memories revolves around a wish. Something everyone must have. And that in order to reach that, we must attach these wishes to the memories that we don’t want to forget.

A Tale of Memories is one of the best drama anime out there presented in its very own unique way. The story is told in 3 perspectives each having different scenarios from the other (actually, it was 4 – this fourth one is continually being inserted in some episodes while it was put to an end in the final seconds of the anime). Being unique means being presented in a really “psychological” way which will really make you think, “Why is it this way?”

To “not-fans” of slice of life-drama anime, this anime is a MUST NOT HAVE. I repeat – A MUST NOT HAVE. It contains heavy drama all throughout the story and an episode will most likely end the way it started – conversations that will unfold a character’s life. No action, no comedy inserts (unlike Clannad), and certainly, no fanservice. Everything has a connection with everything.

Though at first, the story is a bit confusing and there are MANY parts of the story that you wouldn’t understand by just watching it the first time – so rewatchability of the series is really high, as it will unfold unclear memories.

There were quite a lot of memories that I do not want to forget about the series, but the thing is that they are too many and this series really has reached the limits of a good bitter-sweet anime (although yes, it was a good ending! n_n).

Overall, ef ~A Tale of Memories~ deserves a rating of 9.5 for me. I’m just a sucker for good plots and storylines. The story will really keep you thinking “what will happen next”, or “damn, how come that didn’t happen?”, and with some twists and turns with the story. Sadly enough, I was able to relate to it again.

ef ~A Tale of Melodies~

Season 2 Announcement

Official Website

Promotional Video [Streaming]

And now, I have the answer why, after all these years, I can’t seem to find a way to forget you.

Because…

..

.

I do not want to

Sola – A Review

Sola – Nomad Animation Productions
11:10:20 PM; August 8, 2008

-Bit of info – The title, Sola, is close in pronunciation to the Japanese word sora (? lit. “sky”), and homophonic to the Spanish word sola, meaning “alone”. At the end of 2007, Japanese anime fans voted Sola as the best anime of the year. -wiki

Confusion, and then clearance. Clear as the blue sky. Yes, the sky.

Although the sky is one thing that can be noted upon when I thought of Sola, I can still remember the mixed emotions (again?) that I got after watching the series fully.

The first episode gave me a really good impression of a boy-meets-girl under some sort of scenario which they do not hold. And then later, their lives would be intertwined so that the two will be together for an unknown force that will hold them. This unknown force shall I name Anime Force of Togetherness. This law states that if the boy meets the girl at the first episode, then so shall they be until the very end. However, this law exists in many forms, and the anime Sola has presented one in a unique way.

Going back to the plot, like what I said, the story was a little slow to develop in the first three episodes, but then everything cleared up starting from the fourth episode. A lot of mysteries arises and puzzles yet to be solved which lets you have something really to think about. Consequently, this makes you want to watch the next episode, so did I, as I sat here in my bed, staring at the monitor of my computer for more than 4 hours straight. Come to think of it, I haven’t had dinner yet. >.< Anyway, it’s well worth it.

After all the questions and mysteries have been put up, episode 9 gives us a daring end to one of those mysteries ( which I will not mention so that I will not be A TOTAL SPOILER 😄 ). However, as the story dwelves deeper in the next 3 episodes, it still hasn’t reached its climax yet (although at some point in time, you sure would’ve felt that the series can be over NOW, in which case would’ve made me a happier viewer than what has taken place). Anyway (again, sorry for rants.. can’t be helped), the series almost killed itself in these episodes as I began to ask too many a questions that the story has been a mix of water and oil – assuming that the water is the story plot of Sola (as seen in the previous episodes), while the oil is the story plot of episodes 9 to 12. It just didn’t mix very well, and I ended up asking myself, is this anime going to be a disappointment after all? I felt like amazed, in a non-positive way, that it had to be something like this (you’ll see why; or if you’ve watched it, you know why don’t ya?).

I get the point of what it was trying to tell us, but putting it in that way makes me feel like the Sola I’ve watched from the start, is a very different one from the Sola at that point in time. For me, yes, it was a mess.

Then came the last episode, where a new form, say alcohol, has mixed along with the water and the oil. It completely erased what had happened back then and the least that it can do is to remain its characters which leapt through time. A few more explanations to the mysteries have been resolved and all that’s left for me now, are the mysteries of Yorito, Aono, and Matsuri’s past, which for me, is very unclear (or is it clear? i didn’t understand it much. it’s kind of misleading and really confusing, as they are joining the confusing present and the much more confusing past : therefore, Confusing + Confusing = 2 x Confusing.. Okay, that’s bad!) But anyway, it left a good impression overall.

The characters were drawn beautifully and the voices were dubbed masterfully, taking all the emotions into account. The story is a mediocre, but judging by the way it was meant to be and not the way it was presented, I’ll say it’s really great. The musical scores were also great, as well as the insert songs (especially the first episode intro, which will also be heard in one later episode at an incredibly amazing entry which really made me cry a lot), and the background music. Rewatchability is quite high and I think you should watch it again to clear up some misunderstandings and probably to realize some Oh, so that’s why parts of the story.

So in the end, the Anime Force of Togetherness was presented in a way that existence may or may not play a role in this law – which really presented the law in an even larger scale – which also made it more vague. There is still more to be known about this Anime Force of Togetherness.

Overall, I’ll probably rate sola a 9 over a possible rating of 10. Compared to Myself; Youself[9.5], Clannad[9.6], and H20 ~Footprints in the Sand~[9.2], Sola is just a little below these titles (in my point of view). [Another P.S. I have re-rated the other anime that I have watched as shown above. My past ratings were too subjective as I got really carried away with too many emotions <– see the impact of anime? Hahaha..] While the presentation of the thesis was a little confusing, the other elements did its job to say that this anime is not a disappointment. In fact, it was a good one. [And oh, sola means sky n_n]

As for my favorite quote for the anime, you may read it in my blog entry below (the previous entry).

Arigatou and I hope you watch Sola. n_n

P.S.
As for the explanation of the quote which I have written down on my previous post:

“The sky is present here. I found it in Yorito’s. . .

For me, I see this as the first time that seriously enough, Matsuri confessed to us the she was, after all, in love with Yorito. She said that the sky was present there, and that it was with Yorito’s what? It was intentionally cut there to masterfully say that it was not in any of Yorito’s possessions because it was precisely Yorito himself, who is the sky which Matsuri found.

Sky? Yorito is not a sky. Yes, but haven’t you thought that the blue sky is one thing that Matsuri haven’t seen in such a great while (about 400 years) ? . . . Which also means that it was also love which she had not found in that great span of time. So in those very few words, Matsuri conveyed to us, that even though they shouldn’t be existing in that world in the first place, love will still conquer all and explain everything. [Okay, those last words were reaaaaaaaaaaally cheesy. But hey, its true.] n_n

To Those Who Needed This Most

To those who have lost someone they love, think of it this way: God has a plan for everyone of us and I’m sure why He has taken your loved one. We should be happy for him/her because he/she can finally be with Him. But don’t worry, we’ll all meet each other again at the end of time.

Nan’s Song Performed, Written by Robbie Williams

You said when you’d die that you’d
walk with me every day
And I’d start to cry and say
please don’t talk that way
With the blink of an eye
the Lord came and asked you
to meet
You went to a better place but He
stole you away from me

And now she lives in heaven
But I know they let her out
To take care of me

There’s a strange kind of light
Caressing me tonight
Pray silence my fear she is near
Bringing heaven down here

I miss your love I miss your touch
But I’m feeling you every day
And I can almost hear you say
‘You’ve come a long way baby’

And now you live in heaven
But I know they let you out
To take care of me

There’s a strange kind of light
In my bedroom tonight
Pray silence my fear she is near
Bring your heaven down here

You taught me kings and queens
While stroking my hair
In my darkest hour I know you are there
Kneeling down beside me
Whispering my prayer

Yes there’s a strange kind of light
Caressing me tonight
Pray silence my fear
She is near
Bringing heaven down here

The next time that we meet
I will bow at her feet
And say wasn’t life sweet
Then we’ll prepare
To take heaven down there

If you want to hear this song, you can search it on imeem or in Youtube. Really beautiful and moving. Love is love. Even death cannot stop you from loving them. And that’s why we continue to love. Because of love.

Myself; Yourself Review

Myself; Yourself Introduction

Myself; Yourself Official Website

6 July 2008
01:00:12 AM

Excited. Overjoyed. Sorrow. Overwhelmed. Furious. Hopeful.

Watching Myself; Yourself really left me a whole world of emotions that I have never indeed experienced for a long time. This anime deserves to be on one of the top.

My thoughts after watching the first episode and after watching the last episode really ARE different, and I mean, WAY TOO DIFFERENT.

The anime reminds me a lot of things about my past, not to mention the characterization and the looks of the characters. Anyway, what’s really striking here is the story and the plot. If it hadn’t been for all the twists and turns of the story, it wouldn’t have had the impact it made, not only to me, but I’m sure to you too.

I’m sorry I haven’t got any screen caps of the highlights of the anime. I was too carried away since the first episode. Which means, you really have to watch them to understand what I really mean.

I’m very grateful that I have encountered such a wonderful anime, the kind that I like, which almost has the same characteristics with the ones I have watched before.

A great story of friendship, tragic betrayal, endearing loyalty, loving family, not to mention what really makes a family, realization of one’s self and the realization of what one has to harness still, overcoming troubles in the past and looking forward into the future, looking back to what others have done, false belief, corrupted minds, hidden emotions, and lastly, commitment and the choice to love and for love. There’s still more that words undeniably can’t express, which will make you want to know more.

But I warn thee, that watching the closing seconds of the final episode will really make you infuriated. I expected a lot to happen but thanks to the amazing yet horrible cliff-hanger, it left me really want to explode! To ask.. But I think that is a great way of saying, “No matter how it will turn out, I’m sure you knew.”

A lot of really memorable lines have been said and I am hoping that I could find more of such kinds. Watching things like these makes me forget the present state that I am. It brings me to a whole new world where anything is possible and the possibilities are endless. But what I liked most about it is that I can really relate to the stories told by them. It’s a form of consolation to myself; that no matter what happens, a silver lining will appear from the dark clouds.

It is just fitting that the title is Myself; Yourself. It couldn’t have been said better by Nanaka-chan. (If you want to find out what she said, then watch it.) Obviously, the title Myself; Yourself does not only refer to Sana-kun and Nanaka-chan, but to each one of us and all the people that we have met and will meet.

The opening and ending themes couldn’t have been chosen any better. It best suits the anime, as the music of Nanaka-chan resonates in my head, and so does her hardships and how she was able to get over it and live with what was written, along with her friends.

My musical performance for tonight is the first tune I ever composed. This tune took a long time to complete. In between, there were many fun and happy times. And there were many sad times as well. I met many people. Separation. And then reunited. This tune contains all those feelings. Listen, Myself; Yourself.

Overall: 10/10. No, it’s not an exaggeration. It’s just the way it is.