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Abstract

Makoto Shinkai’s 5 Centimeters Per Second is a manga (comic) and anime (animation) that takes place in Japan during the 1990s up until 2008. The manga version of this story was serialized in Afternoon, a manga magazine targeted to adult men. Tono Takaki and the new transfer student, Shinohara Akari quickly become good friends because of their similar interests and personalities. However, upon their elementary graduation Akari moves due to her parents’ jobs. The story takes place during a time when cell phones were uncommon and email was not utilized. Shinkai portrays several realistic themes of the struggles some people face such as space, time, and love. Both the anime and manga are broken down into three connected stories; “Cherry Blossom,” “Cosmonaut,” and “5 Centimeters Per Second.” However, the anime and manga are different in the way that the story is structured as well as the visual representations of certain scenes. Visual representation of the same story has different effects in the two different medias; anime and manga. Through both mediums there are different messages that are relayed through the way that the story is presented. The anime presentation of 5 Centimeters Per Second implies an unhappy outcome for the story whereas the manga version implies more optimism. The different representational choices in both mediums create very different receptions of the same story.

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