The power to travel through time... It can be used for the good of humanity, or just selfishly abused. While many may fantasize about obtaining such a power, it has become nothing less than reality for otherwise-normal schoolgirl Konno Makoto.
After a fated event, her life takes a turn for the extraordinary. Though she initially uses her power to literally "leap" into the past and change little things in order to make her life easier, she soon has to face the fact that changing the past can have drastic consequences.
“Toki wo Kakeru Shojo” is a juvenile novel written by Tsutsui Yasutaka. It became TV drama, movie, and Manga several times. However, this is the first time to become anime. The main character, Konno Makoto, is brighter and more easygoing than any other characters in movie or TV drama made before. At once she knows she acquires the power of “time leap”. She uses it without hesitation to satisfy her own desire.
Won the Animation of the Year in Tokyo Anime Awards, 2007.
If you suddenly gained the ability to quite literally leap through time, what would you use it for? The sheer fun of it? Getting better grades? Or something else? What if you merely wanted the present to continue; to still live out those memorable days with your friends, playing around and having fun; rejecting the future and not wanting things to change? In Toki wo Kakeru Shojo, a girl is presented with this exact possibility. She suddenly finds out that she has been granted the ability to travel through time, and uses this ability for the purposes mentioned above. At first she tries to correct all the mistakes she made that same day she got the ability; from preventing making a mess out of things in cooking class to dodging people being hurled towards her. And before soon, she tries to keep the times from changing, undoing love confessions and other events which can change her and her two friends' lives.
However, everything has a consequence.
Even the seemingly most insignificant and puerile of acts can have grave consequences, as such acts are often made out of ignorance or selfishness; both which are traits that rarely bring out a good result if actions are based on them. Our heroine has to learn this the hard way, as she sees how fateful her so-called insignificant acts are, and how wrong she is in her childish beliefs. What she want is merely to keep the fun times around; with her and her two beloved friends. She wants time to stop, to remain in the present. However, time is inexorable; the future is relentlessly closing in on us. And she has to learn this the hard way. But she learns. Through hardships, through death, and most important of all, through love, she learns that the future is not something to be avoided. Rather it is something to be cherished; something one should embrace.
And that is the basics of the plot and characters in this story; a girl who repeatedly travels back in time to keep the times as they are, and actually learns during this process that it is better to look forward and into the future rather than intransigently dwell on the present. Her two friends aren't focused on that much, but both are portrayed beautifully when they are, both the though-shelled Chiaki and the obliging Kousuke. Accompanying the beautiful plot is a standard-fare movie animation; which means beautiful and detailed landscapes, cityscapes and backgrounds. And while character movements are fluid, the designs themselves are a bit lackluster, and should have been more detailed. The soundtrack which follows on top is equally beautiful, with serene piano tracks accompanying the at times laughter-provoking and at times melancholy story, and a somewhat expected, yet beautiful ending theme.
Toki wo Kakeru Shojo is a beautiful movie, which is good for many things, but especially its underlying hints about looking towards the future and accepting that the present will change as well as the simple message that every act has a consequence; especially childish and ignorant acts at that. And even if such themes does not interest you, I think this beautiful story is well worth spending one and a half hour of your life watching.read more
Hands down the best movie (animated or otherwise) I've seen in at least five years.
Although the character art is simple, I love it <i>because</i> it is simple and clean. The backgrounds, environment, and special effects are a different thing entirely. They are rendered in such gloriously realistic detail. The landscapes, the classrooms, the streets -- I have never seen such detail in an animated film. It makes things like Beowulf and Final Fantasy: Advent Children look really silly.
The movie also has such beautiful sound. The effects are perfect and clear. This is topped off by one of the most beautiful soundtrack and score I've ever heard outside of...well, nothing! The music is so appropriately poignant at times that I almost cried from it, fifteen minutes into the movie. I actually knew, glowing reviews aside, fifteen minutes in, that it was going to be a wonderful film. I mean, if the music can make goosebumps rise on my arms, then it can probably save even a disaster of a film -- which this is certainly not. The ending theme is the most appropriate song ever written for any anime. Ever. Just listening to it makes me go "awwwww" and I really want to find it. I'm making it my mission. It's like a direct line to Makoto's head at the end, and made me cry all over again. I'm really not normally a sap, but I'm very sensitive to music, and this movie's music is just so awesome. Not in a grandiose and sweeping sense, but in a gentler, more subtle way. (In fact, subtle describes this whole movie: subtle but effective.)
The characters are also very well-written, complemented by good voice actors. Chiaki's has a tendency to mumble so much, I can barely understand him sometimes, but it actually fits his character well. They're quite convincing as high-schoolers, though, and I love how they were all created so realistically, without following any staple formulae or types. They're all just...normal, even though two of them can do very abnormal things.
Though the plot itself is very simple, the way the characters develop throughout the seemingly minor conflicts (and that big, heart-pounding one toward the end) gives the story incredible depth. And when it reached the ending, I didn't want it to end but, at the same time, I felt the ending was perfect. I'm a sucker for this type of ending: very, very hanging. Like most of the novels and movies and anime I like, the movie ends just when another story is about to start -- the rest of Konno Makoto's life. I mean, the movie is set within two or three days, I think, though with the time leaps it may feel like it takes place for a much longer period of time. Those days are when Makoto is merely poised at the threshhold: summer is drawing near, school is almost out, and they have to decide on their majors. Yet what happens in that short time is so profound that I'm sure it will affect the rest of her life.
Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo also drives home a message. The line "time waits for no one" is mentioned several times during the course of the film, and by the end it makes sense why the writer chose that line. That there is no time like the present seems like such a cliche, but when we can't leap through time and change events to suit us, the present is all the time we have. We have to cherish each day as it comes and each person as they are, for how do we know that by tomorrow they won't be gone?read more
Whereas I had watched the movie because of its high recommendations, I was disappointed to find out that Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is very lacking in many regards, in my opinion.
The story wasn't very new (character finds out can travel back or forth in time, uses it, abuses it, and learns - the end), but I did enjoy the approach taken by <i>this</i> particular anime. Featuring some interesting plot developments and approaches to how the time travel was "invoked," it did feel fairly fresh. However, other than that, most of the development in the film was mainly comic relief and I didn't feel like I got much from the story. What truly disappointed me most about the story, however, was its ending. The plot twist which was introduced also introduced with it a myriad of plot holes and inconsistencies which I felt very letdown by because of the earlier lack of them. Additionally, the ending just did not suit me and the way the conclusion of the story changed the main character seemed fairly ... hollow. I won't say anything else other than that, but for those who have seen this movie:
I didn't really understand the sudden hollowness we find from Chiaki's character at the end of the movie. His motivation to return to the future was very foolish, in my opinion, and lacked any true explanation for it. What was he going back to if he was losing what seemed to be something extremely precious in the present? I felt his going back was simply a badly used plot device to "change" the main character and their coming together would have achieved that same sort of thing much better.
I suppose you can make your own conclusions about that.
Continuing on, I felt that whereas the story seemed somewhat mediocre, the art in this movie was pretty special. Featuring what seems to be simple character work, yet extremely detailed environments, you begin to feel sort of immersed into the characters because of discerning features, particularly of their personality, rather than by simply their appearances alone. I actually felt the artwork was very easy to watch and very crisp and clear.
The sound utilized in this movie was pretty good. Character sounds were clear and distinct and there weren't any parts of the movie where I felt that the music interfered, but neither were there any parts where I felt the opposite.
In respect to the characters, I believe that they were very fleshed out in general and that all of the facets we see of them were very intriguing. However, the character development is what made me decrease this score so. I felt that the development that was apparently supposed to be experienced by Makoto was badly done, and that the conclusion failed to really deliver to me the realism or achievement that was done on her and her character's behalf.
Overall, I enjoyed the first hour or so of this movie immensely because of its fresh and interesting approach and delivery. The last bit, however, disappointed me and made the story and everything else feel... incomplete and not satisfying.read more
If you haven't ever wanted to go back in time and change something in your life, then congratulations, because you must have one of the most flawless and happiest lives ever. Konno Makoto is not one of those kinds of people. On a particularly bad day full of sleeping late, failing a test, and getting a guy thrown on top of her, Makoto wanders into a science lab after she thought she heard someone in there. After falling and having a "trippy" experience, Makoto goes about the rest of her unlucky day only to have a near death experience. But she can't figure out how she's still alive. And somehow it seems like she went back a little in time. After some experimenting, Makoto discovers she can literally leap through time. So what does she decide to do with her new time traveling ability? Just a bunch of dumb stuff to make her unlucky life a little luckier. However, her time traveling has some unexpected results on the people around her as well as herself.
The story of "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" starts off a little slow with Makoto's normal school life, but where it truly shines is in the drama built up due to the changes made because of her time traveling ability. She begins to realize that the slightest changes in her life can have drastic impacts on the people around her (and you'd think she might have some back problems as well due to all the rolling into walls and other things).
The characters mostly consist of Makoto and her two best male friends, Chiaki and Kousuke, as well as some of the minor characters affected by her time traveling. Makoto is a great lead character. She's extremely relatable and goes through an amazing amount of development during this hour and a half movie. All she wants is to just enjoy her life with her two friends without anything changing. From playing catch after school, to her and Chiaki being scolded in the morning by Kousuke for being late, she enjoys her life despite how unlucky she is sometimes. Chiaki and Kousuke are both popular guys, and they tend to spend most of their free time after school with Makoto. Despite being main characters, I felt these two didn't get quite as much development as they should have, but some of that is because it's a little difficult to develop when everything is unknowingly being repeated many times. There's also Makoto's female friend named Yuri, a group of girls in the Volunteer Club, and a few other supporting characters who are all good despite not getting much development at all.
The animation is good and poor at the same time. Characters in the background tend to be very poorly detailed, but the scenery always looks gorgeous (though it does make the strange-looking characters look a little worse by comparison). However, up close, the characters are well drawn and look great. Due to the time traveling aspect, several scenes and locations are shown multiple times, but it's necessary for the story and the repetition never becomes annoying. The soundtrack didn't stand out very much since there's a lot of time in the movie without any background music. When it was there, it added nicely to the scenes, though, and especially to the dramatic ones. On the other hand, the movie also uses a lack of any sound at all to add a nice tension to several suspenseful scenes.
This is an excellent, dramatic movie with a small amount of romance thrown in. The movie can actually be quite funny at times, especially with Makoto's priceless reactions to some things. With a great lead character and a good supporting cast, good animation despite some issues in the background, suspenseful moments, surprising plot twists, and an interesting look at time travel, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is an excellent movie which anyone who has ever wanted to turn back time and change their lives like Makoto does should watch.read more
It is easy to say that the most beautiful anime are those produced by Studio Ghibli. For sure, Ghibli’s films set the bar for what is anime art. However, although five of their films populate this list of the 20 most beautiful anime, other examples from the past four decades are just as impressive.