There are many things to be excited about this month. It was Mewtwo’s 20th birthday on the 6th; this Friday, the 12th, is the much awaited premiere of the Deadpool movie; Pride, Prejudice, and Zombie is in theaters already; Nintendo is not pulling any punches on the festivities and exclusive merchandise releases for the 20th anniversary of Pokemon this month; the amazing Katsucon 2016, New York Toy Fair, MAGFest are making landfall this weekend and the next respectively; and Fire Emblem Fates and Street Fighter V comes out this month!
… Oh, right! Also, there’s Valentine’s Day. It seems to pale in comparison when you read all the other exciting events going on, doesn’t it?
Nevertheless! Valentine’s Day is a special day for couples. There are many ways to celebrate – how about a nice, low key evening cuddled on the couch with blankets, a nice meal, and anime to boot? To help you and your sweetheart decide, here is a list of recommended romantic anime to watch! The list I’ve collated is a balanced mix of genres ranging from pure drama, rom-com, and even supernatural/horror-romance. Something for everyone!!!
5 Centimeters Per Second
Brace yourselves, we’re starting off with a heavy hitter drama from the get-go. Critically acclaimed and recognized as a masterpiece, 5 Centimeters Per Second is a brutally honest, realistic, beautiful, and bittersweet portrait of reality dealing with the core themes of love, time, space, distance, communication / expression, and growth. The story, divided into three acts that occur sequentially and across vast jumps of time follows the lives of Takaki Tōno and Akari Shinohara.
Upon their chance first meeting in elementary school, Takaki become Akari instantly become close friends & sweethearts. However, due to their parent’s jobs, their lifestyle is often nomadic. Their friendship & love is put to the test when Akaki suddenly moves someplace far, far away. The story follows how the two seek and struggle to maintain friendships, love, and connections across great distances & time – where our taken-for-granted access to the Internet or smartphones had not yet come to fruition. The title of the anime refers to the speed at which cherry blossom fall, and it is symbolic of how humans’ lives and circumstances can change incredibly slowly over the course time… particularly the nature of first loves and friendships where time and distance can cause people to gradually drift into their separate paths.
What is striking about this series is that there is not a fairy tale, happy ending. The film dares to be bold in displaying a nuanced, modern, and adult & mature understanding of love – where people should let go of past loves & to strive to be happy in the present & future. I imagine that this may sound bleak or cynical on paper but the incredible animation, a moving score, and powerful writing of the film makes it a truly heart-felt and engaging experience. Hold fast to your koibito while watching this one – the feels are REAL.
5 Centimeters Per Second is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.