Thanks goes to FallingStar for tweeting to me about this! I must have missed Shinkai’s tweet about this somehow!
It’s been over 4 years since 5 Centimetres Per Second premièred in Japan and since then, it’s been novelised and manganised. Now it’s getting another novel, subtitled “One More Side” – But it’s not a sequel.
The original 5cm light novel was written by Makoto Shinkai himself. Now Shinta Kanou, the author who wrote the novels for Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days, has written a different version of the novel. A 384 page paperback due to go on sale tomorrow, May 20th.
As you might have already guessed from the subtitle, it’s a different take on the story. Quoting from Kanou’s blog entry, “It’s just like how the story develops one way in the novel version and then another in the Manga version of Voices of a Distant Star. It’s kind of like parallel worlds.”
This is it. The last part of the 5cm novel. The animated version was the shortest part of the movie yet, was also the part that received the most cuts – even more than Cosmonaut. Here in the novel however, it is the longest coming in at 67 pages, 8 chapters.
There was a lot to note because practically the entire story was new material so, don’t expect too many screenshots to accompany this post. As for any of the ones that you might not have noticed before from the movie, I just watched out carefully for the images that flash by when the theme song plays and tried to choose the most appropriate ones to fit in with the new scenarios. They do not necessarily portray what’s in the novel so please bear that in mind when reading.
As mentioned in the Amazon summary, this part of the novel covers Takaki’s university life all the way through to his employment as a system engineer. It also covers a bit more about Kanae as mentioned in the reviews.
I’m sure most of you who will be reading this post will probably have seen the movie but for those that haven’t yet, this post contains the full contents of Akari and Takaki’s love letters so you may not want to read on.
You’ll have to excuse the terrible photo quality here because my brother’s on holiday and I lent him my digicam. I’m just using my mobile to snap these photos just now and it doesn’t have a macro mode. I will update the photos once I have the camera back in a few weeks time.
Update: You can now read the story yourself at my new fan site.
Well, I’ve managed to write my comparison for the second part of the movie, “Cosmonaut” now. Besides expecting changes and new details in the story, there was one thing I wasn’t expecting while reading through it.
This thin piece of white thread (sorry, don’t know the name for it!) that’s clipped into the middle of the book! I never noticed it when the book first arrived. Otherwise I would have used it as a bookmark. I don’t think I’ve seen many hardback novels that come with such a little feature so that’s another plus towards quality.
Now without further ado, here is the second part of Makoto Shinkai’s novelised version of “5 Centimetres per Second” which is divided into 3 chapters and 49 pages. Just one last story left before it ends so I’m reading through the book ever so slowly, imagining and digesting every word. Yeah, I like this movie that much.
Update: You can read this story yourselves in English on my new site!
Exams are over and I have a week free before the second semester begins so now I can finally spend time reading my 5cm novel without distractions. I couldn’t help but notice my book was a second print copy which is a little disappointing. This must be the new batch that was printed off when Makoto Shinkai mentioned on his site his novel was selling really well. A first print copy would have been great but too bad.
After reading the first story of the movie, I can say that I agree with all the reviews on Amazon JP that say he has the talents to be a writer. The way he goes about describing characters and setting the scene is pretty astonishing.
Japanese blogs have been categorising his novel under “light novels“, which are basically novels with a theme you would expect from Anime / Manga and contains a few pages of illustrations. Due to the nature of the story I wouldn’t really class it as that myself but, considering it came out in animated movie form first, I guess they’re kind of right about it.
I don’t know how Shinkai went about drawing up the plot for his previous movies but, “Byousoku 5 Centimeters” started out in novel form as part of the many short stories he wrote when he was trying to come up with ideas. Thus, converting it into a full novel really shouldn’t have been hard if that was the case. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the new material is what was cut from the movie considering the number of cuts made.
Here I will be making a comparison between the movie itself and what’s in the novel, highlighting material that wasn’t in the movie. See the notes I’ve been scribbling down here? The very first story, “Oukashou (Cherry Blossoms)” is divided into 5 chapters and a total of 47 pages.