Page 45 Review by Jonathan
...They say it's five centimetres per second.
The speed of a falling cherry petal.
Ohhh, we might just have finally found something comparable to SOLANIN with this adaptation of the multiple-award-winning animated film. It's the story of schoolboy Tohno Takaki, whose innocent and much requited adolescent love for his schoolmate Akari, both recent transfer students, deeply affects his teenage years and early adulthood. For once our love-struck duo part, as Akari's parents move once again, they resolve to stay in touch by letter.
As time goes by, inevitably perhaps, their communications dwindle and eventually cease, but Tohno never stops thinking of his first love, to such an extent that he's incapable of forming any meaningful relationship with another girl. That doesn't stop other people falling for him, however, as he is such a kind and gentle soul, but it appears that he's oblivious to the suffering he's causing through his emotional distancing.
Much of the story once Tohno and Akari part therefore is told through the eyes of those women who would like Tohno to be with them or, as in the case once he's working in Tokyo, his actual girlfriend. Eventually though, even she gives up on their relationship as she realises she cant compete with a dream. The big question is whether Tohno is willing or even able to wake up and start living in the present, either by finding out where Akari is now and attempting to discover if she still harbours the same deep feelings for him too, or by definitively moving on and letting her go once and for all...
This is a very touching and moving work, I can see why the film has garnered such high praise, and this adaptation is very gently and neatly done indeed. As mentioned, people who liked SOLANIN will undoubtedly enjoy this.