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.
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?
Tsutsui Yasutaka is a pretty prolific author. He's known for science fiction works featuring dark humour and satire. His most famous work is probably The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. It was first published in 1967 and has been adapted or given sequels several times for live action dramas, films, a manga and an anime film from our old friends at Madhouse. The anime film is a loose sequel rather than a direct adaptation. The big question, is it any good?
Our protagonist, Makoto, is having a bad day. She woke up late. She flunked a quiz. She got into an accident while trying
to cook tempura,another student was tossed into her, sandwiching her between two other students for a while and she heard strange sounds when turning in some questionnaires only to find no one in the next room. Things take their worst turn when her bike's brakes fail and she's tossed in front of an oncoming train. That's when she finds herself back in the past a couple minutes before the accident. Her aunt tells her that it was a time leap, but Makoto doesn't believe such a thing is possible until, after some experimentation, she discovers how it works. She puts on a cricket uniform with celery in the lapel and leaps through time and space in search of adventure.
Actually, she uses her new found power to do better on tests, perform better at baseball, have fun and, most importantly, avoid slightly awkward situations. Yeah, our protagonist is neither smart nor creative. At first, she's having a lot of fun but then she learns that her actions are having consequences, as actions are liable to have. Yeah, about half the film is made up of Makoto using her powers to mess around in relatively innocuous ways and the other half is comprised of her trying to fix things that go wrong. Honestly, it's pretty boring. You keep expecting something interesting to happen with it, but it never does. There is one genuinely dramatic moment, but it doesn't even last ten minutes. The main romance is kind of stupid and doesn't make a whole lot of sense given the circumstances presented.
Our cast is bland. Really, really bland. None of them are particularly interesting, but none of them are obnoxious or terrible characters either. There's just nothing that makes them distinguishable from other characters we've seen thousands of times, if not more. Makoto is an idiot who gains a really amazing ability but can't be bothered to think of anything to do with it aside from playing around. Her friends are the generic nice, reliable guy and the generic off-putting guy with a good heart. Then we have all the secondary characters like the supportive friend, the shy girl and so on.
The art is really good with nice detailed backgrounds and character designs that, though simple, look good. The time traveling effect is appropriately strange and is also well animated.
The voice acting is competent. None of the actors give really exceptional performances, but none of them do badly either. They all do decently. The music is also okay. It doesn't really stand out in the slightest either positively or negatively.
There is no ho-yay in this. 1/10.
The Girl who Leapt through time is a hard film to discuss. Not because it's complicated but because it's tedious and generic. It's a story about time travel where the time travel is never used in either an interesting or a creative way. It's like a mystery story where the detective solves minor mysteries that don't really have any impact. Sure, you can do it but you're going to have to have really strong characters to pull it off. Not the rather generic cast you get in this. That being said, there's nothing really wrong with the film. In the end my rating is going to be a 5/10. It's average. If the concept of a girl traveling through time to make her everyday life better appeals to you, check it out. If you want something more compelling out of your time travel stories, stick to Steins;Gate, Back to the Future, The Time Machine, or any number of other stories. Tomorrow, film festival week ends with a look at a certain film involving cyborgs.
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.
I found no problem with the movie at all, other than the melodramatic overstated mood they went with for the ending considering the natural and low-key presentation they used for most of the running time, although at least they left the science fiction concepts as a subtle wink and kept it as just a medium to the true story of character interaction. It’s amazing how entertaining and delightful the overall product was, and with my words here I am doing no justice to the real feeling behind my statement but want to avoid needless hyperboles and keep this the more down-to-earth I can for now.
Safely can be said that as a whole, be it for artistic attributes, good story telling or the really lovable protagonist and those charismatic personages surrounding her, this is seriously one of the most enjoyable films in recent years, animated or not.
As a “time-traveling” tale the script does has it share of faults but even so I can’t find any as idiotic as what we could already see in “Back to the Future 2”, which even when finding itself in the middle of such paradoxes managed to keep itself a classic thanks to the fact that it can be resumed as juvenile yet somewhat meaningful fun from beginning to end, and by the finale the point of the plot wasn’t really to develop the whole physical mechanics of moving in a temporal plane but rather how such an ability, in a metaphorical sense, affects the life of a young girl, who is by the way one of the most wonderfully done and likeable female teenagers in the medium.
Interesting was also to see how the directorial maturity of Hosoda is much more firm now, the melancholic stylishness is still here but for some reason with a major focus when compared to his still brilliant Digimon movies. He remains both trendy and lyrical but perhaps now he turns out even more restrained and introspectively social than before, probably a reflection of the natural movement beyond Tai and his pubescent friends, or the Superflat Monogram girl, towards a state that borders adulthood.
Besides Hosoda’s firm commandment the other incredibly remarkable technical aspect was the graphical design, which turns up as pure urban magic achieved through visuals, a thoroughly endearing representation of youthfulness, with simplistic and amazingly humane movement that retains a cartoon-like expressiveness that helps it in going beyond the representation of reality and achieving much more aliveness through un-noticeable and at the same time deeply underlying exaggeration. The team went with a very modern interpretation of what “old-school” signifies and they did a brilliant job at that approach.
As a whole TokiKake is as a film unpretentious and sincere, eradiating enchantment in every minute it is shown on the screen. Besides, even if you can’t empathically sympathize with the characters you can’t deny their charisma, the entirely believable naturality of the presence they represent as individuals. Go watch this now, at worse you'll be entertained.
If you haven't already heard, this film Toki o Kakeru Sh?jo (a.k.a. The girl who leapt through time/Tokikake) was awarded "Animation of the Year" by 6th Annual Tokyo Anime Awards/Fair in 2007. Now that that's down, this anime appealed to me because of the interesting concept and theme of "going back in time". I really enjoyed it but, not as much as I should have for some reason. The animation and sounds were theatrical and sufficient. Characters were interesting and easily affected by what is happening. There were some moments however, where the story seems to recount another story and expect you to know it.
This is in fact because this film is a continuation of a book, that was only written in Japanese, called Toki o Kakeru Sh?jo (unofficial translation: The Little Girl Who Conquered Time). Plot twists, great SFXs, and a good concept to begin with, are what makes this movie great.
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.
This movie caught my attention way back when it first came out, due to the interesting premise of a high-school drama played out to the tune of quirky time travel - a fascinating combination of genres and concepts. Where time-travel is usually limited to the geekdom of science-fiction, and as such is used as a platform for (often overly) serious storytelling, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time whacks it onto an otherwise basic drama story to create a fresh, accessible movie with a gratifying romantic plot, and a zany, time-leaping twist. The protagonist, Makoto, has as much fun with the idea of time-travel as her
audience, abusing it for the frivolous and the trivial, as a source of unending entertainment, which leads to a whole slew of amusing scenes toward the beginning of the film. However, it is not until she begins to utilise her ability to travel back in time to avoid responsibility, particularly in avoiding being asked out by someone she considers a friend, that the consequences of her selfish antics begin to accumulate to disastrous effect. This leads the film in an emotionally gripping and turbulent direction as she begins to regret what she has done.
The dramatic themes of the films are juvenile in nature, that is, they deal quite simplistically with the indecision of youth, the inability to look to the future, and unrequited high school love. Some people above this age-group may be hesitant in this respect, but I found it wholly enjoyable because of a strong sense of Nostalgia. I found that it was disturbingly easy to relate to these characters from my memories of how I felt then. Makoto’s emotional immaturity and short-sightedness felt very familiar to me.
The main theme of the film revolves around the line “Time waits for no one”, which Makoto reads on a blackboard the day she gains the ability to leap through time, and is an understated strength of the film. The romantic aspects of the film perhaps are allowed to overshadow this theme, but the very end of the film delivers a strong conclusive moral; it is not until Makoto has well and truly learned her lesson from her obsession with shaping the present, that she is able to look to the future and truly appreciate the meaning of the phrase “time waits for no one”. It was interesting to see time-travel used in this respect, by this kind of character. Whereas the consequences of time-travel are usually dealt with in terms of the dangers of changing the future by changing the past, this movie deals with the idea of consequences resultant of using it to try and avoid changing the present. Makoto’s desperation to maintain the status quo of the life she enjoys so much ultimately proves to her that it’s better to face the future.
The romantic aspect, thanks to very believable characterisation and sharp dialogue that doesn’t pander to soppy romanticism or employ passionate monologues of profession, is very satisfying. For most of the film, love is approached in a realistic day-to-day-life approach that lends it an engaging sincerity. Clichés of romance, begone! More anime need to adopt the concept that you don’t need to look like a French aristocrat and carry a rose to fall in love. The central romance between Makoto and Chiaki is given above average depth by her initial obliviousness to his interest, which, through the challenges the film hits them with, turns to a believable yearning. The network of crushes and adolescent infatuations built up by the supporting characters is perhaps a bit tiresome and needlessly melodramatic, but the relationship between the two lead characters certainly elevates the film from interesting to engaging.
The music, while far from bad or intrusive, is entirely forgettable, employing the time-old (and sufficiently effective) use of violins and piano to back the emotional scenes. The animation is nothing spectacular for a movie anime at all, but because we can’t grade all cinematic anime with the high-budget Ghibli productions, I don’t really have any complaints. The cel animation is very simplistic, but also very fluid and colourful, which may well be a style that is more fitting of the energetic youthfulness of the protagonist. It is an attractive film nonetheless, with really fantastic character designs (particularly Makoto) that don’t rely on stupid hair colours or styles to differentiate characters. The background art is high quality, as should be expected at the movie level, but is nothing exceptional. The element of the production that most seduced me was the seiyuus; Makoto’s seiyuu, who appears to be relatively new to the anime scene, was a perfect casting choice, and put in a strong performance. Without her performance bringing Makoto to life with such vibrancy and gusto, the film could have very easily been quite dull. Chiaki’s seiyuu was also notabley well-cast and was a perfect match for Makoto’s voice, making their interplay very fun to listen to.
When all is said and done, this film is not the kind of film that will go down in history, or leap to the forefront of people’s favourite anime lists; it is not an exceptional movie, but I think anyone who enjoys a well-written drama will agree when I say it is a good film. If anything, it is a film that will be remembered for its sincerity and its quiet originality. Older fans may not appreciate its immature themes, but for the rest of us, this is a very hard film to dislike. It is perhaps bogged down in the middle of the film with Makoto’s frustratingly silly actions and the unnecessary complexion of the many romantic interests, but it is, for the most part, fun and engaging.
Good God. This show means much to me. Really, it does. It gave me a feeling I've never thought was possible for an anime to give me.
Never did I feel CHEATED coming out of a cinema!
I was watching this failure of an animated motion picture in a cinema during my city's animation festival.(Just as a side note, I've also watched Paprika on this festival, along with the French "Reinessance" and the British "The Christies". I could not believe how the Japanese movies were no good, as opposed to the European ones.) Reading about how this featurette got a bunch of awards and stuff, I was
ready to endulge myself in an hour- and a half of quality entertainment. BOY WAS I WRONG! Good thing I saw it at a different time then the one where the director actually came up on stage and talked about his film. To tell you the truth, it was an interesting experience to listen to a directors thoughts about a movie (like a commentary) that I haven't seen yet, but in retrospect, it was actually good luck for him. Had I seen the film during that screening, I don't know if I would have been able to hold myself back from calling the guy an idiot and a moron.
But let us be like Zero Punctuation concerning Bioshock, and get the good stuff out of the way before we start bashing this film for what it is.
The animation and sound are fairly good(as they should be, since this IS a standalone motion- picture), and the time and effort that must have went into making this movie look and sound good shows itself. Altough, none of these aspects particularly excel.
Now let's get on to the bad part.
"The Girl Who Leapt Trough Time" is a story about a girl(duh) named Makoto who one day, while enjoying her youth, rides her bike home from school on an extreemly downward- leening road. Speeding up with her bike, only too late does she realise that her breaks are busted, and unable to stop, she get's run over by a speeding train in a crossing.
In the very next moment, she is right back at school, only a wee- bit prior to the forementioned accident, all the while remembering everything.
After this, Makoto (taking note of digital numbers appearing on her wrist and of her ability to actually leap back in time if getting a running start) starts taking advantage of this newfound power of her's (like anyone would), whilist inquiering information from friends and relatives if they ever had an experience like that before. Whilist fixing up and bettering aspacts of her life here and there, she gets into a close relationship with one of her friends. She has two, best friends actually, Kousuke and Chiaki, of whom the latter plays a significant role in the film. Now, I must give credit where credit is due. The personalities of the three, as well as those of the few minor characters, are very well thought out and played, giving us some of the more believable character portrayals of this decade (not as if there were many of those, mind you). However, this is where the film goes downhil bigtime.
Firstly, the smaller, more personal problem. As I have mentioned before, Makoto uses her newfound powers to fix things that do not suit her right. Now I admit that I am rushing with the story here but what is inbetween is not really all that important. It is more of a frustration of a scene when after an afternoon of playing baseball, the trio head home, and since only Kousuke and Makoto have a bike, Makoto decides to give Chiaki a ride home. On the way home, Chiaki attempts a love confession to makoto, who disliking coming any closer to him, decides to revert time back to the beginning of the scene, and tryes to direct the point of their conversation away from their relationship. However, no matter how hard Makoto tries, Chiaki constantly changes any topic to his love for Makoto, wich in turn, forces Makoto to constantly revert time back to the beggining of the scene. This happens ever faster, they decide to go seperately without saying a word. Never mind the utter stupidiy of this scene, or the logical loopholes that are present in it, if this was the worst scene in the movie, there would be no problem. But it isn't. And altough I might be unable to put into words exactly how stupid the said scene is, believe me, it is. And that is just the smaller problem.
As the great man Yahtzee has told before me, misteries loose all interest as soon as they are unraveled. The greatest mistake a movie like The Girl Who Leapt Trough Time could make is explaining everything. In this regard, the movie ruins itself by actually doing this. It turns out that that Makoto gained her abilityes of time- leaping by coming in contact with (I shit you not) a magical golden acorn. I know, I know. As it also turns out, said acorn was brought into Makoto's time by none other than Chiaki, who is from the future (dun dun dun)! Let us not forget to mention that Chiaki's motivation for coming back from the future is practically nonexistent, as it was addressed in the entire movie for I dunno, three seconds, tops? I really hope that I am stating the obvious for my readers when I say that at this point, anything that made this movie possibly enjoyable is immideatly forgotten at the sight of the sheer directoral stupidity that is put before us in the these finishing segments of the film. Seriously, it's like the director never once thought about what made good movies good! Now, the question begs itself, if the director is such an amature, why are they allowing him to direct a feature of this magnitude?
Be still now, my beating heart, for we are still not yet done. Now, even though the movie takes a turn for the worst in the aforementioned scenes, it still could have been redeemable. However, what the movie decides to end itself with, is inexcusable.
As natural, the golden acorn in Makoto's posession only has enough juice to make one more trip trough time. Which must rightfully be granted to Chiaki so he may return to his own time. But, as it goes in anime, Makoto, realising who she is about to lose, finally falls in love with Chiaki. As he prepares to return to his time, the viewer starts to feel contempt that the bad stuff (fyi the movie) is about to end, and that it can't possibly get any worse. But alas, much like certain characters of Code Geass, the makers of The Girl Who Leapt Trough Time are also capable of suprising us with unexplainable amounts of stupidity, and all crammed into a single line nontheless!
Chiaki comforts Makoto by telling her that he will wait for her in the future.
U U tea eff?
Okay, question: What the hell were the creators thinking! A time when time- travel will be publically affordable is as far away from now as Haruhi is far away from groundbreaking or Elfen Lied is far away from entertaining. Being already born, how in the world are you supposed to wait for someone who was born possibly centuries before you? But the biggest question is: what the fuck were the creators trying to tell us? That we should comfort are loved ones with false hopes which even we know are bulshit? And why did they thought that this is a good idea!
AND WHY DOES EVERYONE ELSE LIKE THIS PIECE OF GARBAGE?
Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujou is an insult to your emotioins, your intelligence, and a complete and utter waist of your time, bandwith or money! Whichever came first.
‘Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo’, or ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’ as it is known in English, is one of the first anime movies to grab my attention. The story of a girl who gains the ability to travel through time, and then faces the consequences of using it, is pretty well known among anime fans. The question is though, is this anime chronology hopping anime a future classic? Or is it an unoriginal, repetitive timewaster?
This is not the first incarnation of the story; in its native Japan it has been adapted into several films and TV dramas. This animated version is actually a
sequel to the original story, but don’t worry- you don’t need to have seen the original version to make sense of it all.
The films storyline takes the fairly basic idea of taking a normal person, and bestowing them with powers which they are unable to control. In the case of ‘Taki wo Kakeru Shoujo’ this works quite well. The main character, Matoko Konno is a tomboy who enjoys baseball, does poorly in school and is a bit careless, so when she becomes able to travel backwards in time, she mostly uses it for trivial things without considering the consequences of her actions. Like most other stories involving time travel though, there are consequences.
We can relate to Matoko’s naive, but generally innocent fun. If all the little mistakes we make in our day to day life- the things which embarrass us and cause us a little grief- could be taken away, most people would be only to happy to put an end to them. Matoko is a likable character and, for the most part, realistic.
The other characters are just as good. Chiaki and Kousuke are both believable and the rest of the cast fit nicely into the normal Japanese high school.
The character design is a realistic but relatively simple style, similar to the more ‘adult’ Studio Ghibli titles such as ‘Only Yesterday’ and ‘Ocean Waves’. But make no mistake. This is not because the animators are lazy, as illustrated by the wonderful CGI effects used in the time leap scenes, something I normally meet with scorn. We are treated to a wonderful show of times progression, including an homage to Van Gogh’s “A Starry Night”. The backgrounds are well drawn, too. The baseball field, the city streets and even a motorway overpass shine with beauty.
In fact, I find it ironic that the painting is actually not very attractive to look at.
Of course, beautiful art should come with beautiful music. Classical piano music is predominantly the music of choice throughout the film, and it works petty well. Unfortunately it’s not up to the standard of the artwork, but good nonetheless.
The voice acting is excellent. For this review I watched the Japanese version with English subtitles, but those who prefer an English Dub need not worry as it is very high quality. No matter what your preference, you are well catered.
The Girl Who Leapt Through time is a thoroughly enjoyable anime movie, an ideal choice for someone who is either relatively new to anime, or for someone who a seasoned fan who has let this gem slip into the wayside.
I’m sceptical that people will unravel the mysteries of time travel; even more so that such a powerful thing would ever fall into the hands of an ordinary teenage girl. However, one thing that I can be a lot more certain of is that ‘Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo’ is a title that you will be leaping back to again and again.
"When you're enjoying yourself, doesn't that mean somebody else is suffering as a result?"
Every person in this world had wished to go back in time at some point; whether it be to fix a mistake or to experience an event again, it's all the same. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is about a girl, Konno Makoto, who obtains the ability to leap back into time. At the beginning, she uses her newfound powers for trivial things to make her life more fun and exciting. However, as she changes events that were supposed to happen, she creates more problems, uncovers secrets, and experiences more pain than satisfaction.
Through her course of actions, she learns that changing the past causes drastic consequences. As she attempts to fix her wrongs, it may be too late since "time waits for no one".
This is a simple story about a girl who learns that "with great power comes great responsibility". The beginning is lighthearted and joyful. It seems to be an ordinary slice-of-life. Somehow, she stumbles upon a device which allows her to time leap; however, she does not know she has this ability yet. After an extremely unlucky day, she accidentally uses her powers to prevent her own tragedy.
There are many questions that are not answered. As expected from a show about moving through time, there are many possible plot holes and unless otherwise explained, remain plot holes. Unfortunately, this show is no exception and contains many unfulfilled questions; about the characters and concept of time traveling.
The conflicts that arise for the protagonist, Makoto, are well developed. It greatly illustrates the butterfly effect of the chaos theory (for anyone interested in time traveling). For a simple explanation, it shows changing one small thing in the past can create a great change in the future. The conclusion was not satisfying. As stated before, there were many questions unanswered and the ending did not clarify much.
For a movie aired in 2006, there was not much expectations for the art, but it was surprisingly fresh and alluring. The animation of body movements was smooth and seemed natural. The designs of the characters were not extravagant but they differed and had their own unique traits that it was easy to differentiate among them. The setting is well-done and even people in the background are animated nicely. However, it was noticeable that some actions seemed awkward but they are usually short and can be overlooked. Whenever Makoto time leaps, she enters what I will call a "time warp area" which seems to illustrate the various timelines. Although this representation is nice, it was a drastic change in art style and elicited more questions about time traveling.
The music reflects the tone of the plot. As the plot progresses, so does the music. All the music choices were enjoyable and pleasant to the ear. Sound effects were detailed and placed meticulously at the right time. The voice acting was incredible and it was especially appealing to hear the emotions shown through the voice of the protagonist. It can be evident through the pitch and tone of her voice of exactly what she is feeling. Tension was also built by the absence of a lot of noise. By creating an almost silent atmosphere, the audience's attention is drawn to what the characters are saying.
Konno Makoto is an easily liked protagonist. She is innocent, fun, and outgoing. She is supposed to be the dynamic character, the one who learns something and changes for the better through experience. However, this change was too sudden and did not gradually happen. The beginning showed no growth and rushed it at the end.
Mamiya Chiaki is one of Makoto's closest friends. He is shown to be joking, playful, and stubborn. Although it may not be obvious in the beginning, he greatly cares for Makoto, her well-being and her feelings. However, later in the story, something is revealed about Chiaki that the audience may assume is a plot twist. The movie does take a few minutes to explain this but it did not settle well.
Makoto's other close friend, is Tsuda Kousuke. He is extremely friendly with everyone and is presented as the nice guy. With Makoto and Chiaki, the three of them form that perfect trio. They always hang with each other and have fun. Although Kousuke does not contribute to the plot until the end, his existence was necessary in order to move the plot forward.
Minor characters display a seemingly small role in the overall story but what they say at the beginning and the end of the movie is perhaps what completes the change for Makoto's character. There are many minor characters in the movie. Notable ones being, Kaho, Yuri, and Takase. Kaho is responsible for the change in the tone of the plot, Yuri is the person who reveals the change in Makoto, and Takase is the one who exhibits the consequences of Makoto's time leaping.
Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo was an enjoyable anime. The theme may not be original but the delivery is there. Consequences were the highlights of the show while explanations of time were the downfalls. The art was suitable and relatively delightful and sound was fine. Overall, it was -time- well spent.
I put this movie on with absolutely no expectations, as I had read nothing about it nor read any reviews. And, I was very pleasently surprised. Of course, pleasent surprises sometimes shift appraisal drastically, so take my review with that as being a possibility.
Despite the aforementioned, the animation/art was absolutely fantastic. Visual effects were tastefully intermixed with standard animation bringing what might have been trite visuallizations to rather astonishing moments, if brief, to colorful life. Although I was not particularly fond of the background used during the main character's many "leaps". Accompanied soundtrack was nothing extraordinary, as I can hardly remember it. Though it may
have simply been overshadowed by the story and art.
If there was something truly enjoyable, it was the character interactions and scripting. Within such a brief span you could become enamored with several characters, laugh at their hysterics and cry through their moments of loss and frustration. This accomplishment alone deserves praise, by comparison many serialized anime fail to do this in even quadruple the time given.
Also making this title shine was its conclusion; it perfectly avoided the trap so many anime fall into, thinking they must throw in a dramatic twist simply for a dramatic reaction, regardless of how it affects the overall story and audience's emotions. My own personal afterthought was of a euphoric and character involving story that left me with a smile and a regretless time well spent!
This overrated movie cements in my eyes Mamoru Hosoda's status as an overrated director, although I really liked Ookami kodomo no ame to yuki (8.0).
I expected more from the animation; the combination of studio Madhouse and the high praise this movie enjoys filled me with expectation, but in the end it was nothing out of the ordinary. Of course ordinary for Madhouse means a cut above the rest. So, great but not spectacular, animation.
The movie begins as a “slice of high-school life” with some time-leaping shenanigans. For the most part the movie does a good job for the first two thirds; the heroine, Makoto,
behaves pretty naturally and develops along with the increasingly complex time-leaping machinations.
The movie centers around Makoto, so I will not fault it too much about the underdeveloped side characters, but I have to point out the the strong friendship (or awkward love triangle) between Makoto and the two boys feels forced. I wouldn't reproach that aspect of their relationship if it didn't became so important in the plot later.
The director attempts escape the genre's prose by introducing some stylistic elements: The actual leaps in order to leap through time, showing numerous times the pompous phrase “time awaits for no one”, and gently insinuating the heroine of the source material as the “aunt witch” (Kazuko Yoshiyama). Those tricks work, but they don't offer anything of substance.
In the final third of the movie the problems appear in massive amounts. First of all, have the inevitable plot holes that associate themselves whenever a work of art depicts some form of non linear time line. People don't seem to mind (yes, I am looking at you, Interstellar fans) but a bunch of plot holes really spoils things for me. I will address the major plot hole in parable form in order to avoid spoilers:
Genie: “Congratulations, you have three wishes”
Makoto: “I want to have an infinite amount of wishes”
Genie: “Cool choice sister, infinite wishes it is”
Another problem is the dubious motivations of the characters towards the end. I don't want to spoil anything, but motives are not well established. If you couple that with the also poor established time travel “rules” you have a mess of a third act. And the mess continues to the very end; Gungrave (7.0/10) managed to salvage itself from it's shitty third act by providing a heartfelt ending, here we have a vanilla ending, devoid of any real emotion.
There are more faults I could whine about; like the lack of sufficient stakes or lessons for the heroine, but I think you get the idea: It begins as a calm and sweet movie, but fails to deliver. You could do worse, but you can do so much better. 5.5/10.
If you liked the good aspects of this movie, like the slice of life and coming of age, I would suggest Sakamichi no Apollon (7.5/10), Cross game (9.0/10), and Barakamon (8.0/10).
The Girl That Leapt Through Time is a good choice for you if you're looking for a plain movie about the circumstances of time travel and the fact that time doesn't wait for nobody. It becomes a bad choice if you expect it to do anything noteworthy with its concept, because it tries to focus on showcasing something any series to feature time travel does as its core theme.
As a movie, there's nothing particularly wrong done in it. I even think that it succeeded in what it did try to portray for its core theme, which is that time travel can be dangerous and leave
serious repercussions due to how every action changes how things will go and so on. And it also tries to explain that time waits for no one and to deliver this lesson through its story, that there's no better moment than now to act. But these are themes that in any story medium that has featured time travel elements, have been explored, while doing a lot more things than just this. To the point my viewing experience of this movie was this: Oh yeah, using your time travel powers irresponsibly will cause bad repercussions, thanks 9154th story that told me that. You opened my eyes. TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE? Does that mean that every single day that passed in my life, each day I have lived, on each of them... I got one day older?
I can't really fault the movie for what it did. It didn't really have any faults in almost every technical aspect and I think it did get its point across, regardless of whether or not every other show I watched also did.
What I fault it for is its lack of ambition.
Its characters are the most barebone essentials in order for them to work. The group dynamic of its main characters are a clutzy girl, a serious guy and another guy that is foolhardy, the most generic japanese childhood friend trio ever. The personality of each character is generic and easy to sum in a couple of tropes. Whoever doesn't have a trope to be assigned to them, doesn't have an inkling of a personality. There's nothing interesting about any of them.
The way the power is introduced is as accidental to the person and with a lot of clock and time indications along the way in case you have not read the title of the movie you're watching. It's called The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. You're welcome. And when she gets to the point of talking to someone about her powers, that person describes what it is like they completely understand it, because I assume they also had that power. And because it's a really easy way to just explain it. By the way, did I ever tell you that this movie is called The Girl That Leapt Through Time. Yo Clocks.
It doesn't really go into any other theme than the irresposible use of time travel might fuck up your life and that of your friends. Like none at all. I mean I guess it tries to build a romance but I can't get interested in that when the characters are just bland, but the romantic tale plays out into the time waits for no one bit, so I can't say it's something out of turn here. Even then, it plays into the time waits for no one bit.
These are pretty much the ways in which the movie just doesn't seem to be trying anything other than being adequate.
As far as its romance goes, it's basically trying to hit you with the "I regret I never hooked up with one of the friends I got along and now I'm 40 and single." It doesn't really strike me, I typically find indecisiveness and lack of assertiveness stupid, but I guess there's some people to which this can appeal to, so all I'll say about it is the type of romance it features is that of lost opportunity.
Other than that, there's not a lot to say about the animation, it does what I expect it to do in a film, featuring a lot of detail and a vivid world, despite the fact that it looks bland, through the fact that there's usually some things happening in the background or actively. Sound wise, I guess the best compliment I can muster for it is that for the most part it didn't feel intrusive. Other than that, nothing noteworthy to mention, negative or positive.
The best person I can recommend this for is someone that is looking for the type of romance I've had mentioned and doesn't really know anything about time travel stories. But I can't really recommend this movie to literally anyone else, because I couldn't in good faith recommend something that feels like is just a raw ingredient, when there's so many plates with so much welldone cooking, that feature this ingredient and many others. If you're specifically looking for just the things this movie does, then you can go for it. The name of this movie is The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Yo Clocks.
I'm probably the only one here who didnt really like this movie but im sorry I just didn't get it. I am a harsh critic so bear with me. The whole time traveling thing was neat but...well lets break it down:
Basic "Don't screw around with stuff you don't understand or bad stuff happens" storyline. Been there done that but havnt bought the t-shirt just yet. One of my rules is a good story will leave you with your mouth hanging open and saying "No Way". Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo only did that twice during the whole movie (want to say what they are but it
says I cant do spoilers). The story had about two twists two it and that was pretty much it. It was also fairly inconsistent, going from being interesting to tedious fairly frequently...and it spent more time on tedious than interesting. It was slow and in the end just didnt make a whole lot of sense so 6 out of 10.
Well I cant really say much for the art style but it, like the story, kind of seemed to vary from average to just above average. What I mean is some shots show wonderful detail over a great depth of field while others look like the video of astronauts playing golf on the moon...well ok the quality never got that bad but still the character artists seemed to be having a pretty bad day. The main character to me kinda sorta looked like a more girlie version of Shinji from Evangelion, which I didn't believe (or want to believe) was possible, thank God she (yes I am well aware that part of this was that Mokoto has more x chromosomes than Shinji but still...) wasn't as annoying as he was. ("Bad dad I dont want to pilot the giant robot!" "Son this is an anime, NOBODY turns down an offer to pilot a giant robot! Now get in and shut up!")
Animation was what really brought down the Art score here. The animation had a bad habit of being choppy, especially for slow character movements like walking. Fast movements were an improvement but even then there were a few "barrel roles" that didn't look right. One particular gripe was the un-realistic way character's clothes or hair moved while they were running or riding a bicycle for example. On exception was the flying fat guy. (Only time I laughed the entire movie)
In my opinion the sound saved this movie, the sound effects were fairly well done and the music was impressive. The character voices were alright, I dont have any complaints to make there. Only wish they would have had more music.
There was however one 90 second loop of the main character breathing loudly as she was running which just sounded really odd since it lasted so long.
As a writer one of my rules is that at the core of every good story are good characters, in this regard Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo almost failed. None of the characters were developed well and you weren't really able to distinguish between most of them until the very end of the movie. The main character herself was often annoying and had a bad habit of being an "emotional basket case" more than I would have liked. The most important failure of the characters however was they just didn't get me to care about them. If a character cannot do that then he or she is not a good character, thats my opinion anyway. I would have given this category a much lower rating but near the end of the movie one character revealed something that even I didnt see coming so it gets a 4 instead of a 2. (I hate the no spoiler rule).
Well it is hard to enjoy an anime where you really dont care about the characters and when you can pretty much predict what the conflict will be. Most of it was very confusing and it almost seemed like the movie was trying to go back and explain what it forgot to explain earlier. There were also several events that had no real significance what so ever. When the thought of not finishing an anime crosses my mind, it means I am not enjoying it.
Like I said people are going to hate me for this but I am a brutal critic, of my own work as well as others mind you. So lets recap: Meh Story, Average art with mediocre animations, exceptional sound quality, one-dimensional characters, and a confusing and somewhat pointless plot. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo gets a 6...out of 10.
This movie moved many feeling inside my heart. I think this movie is well made and has a rich story that will mix your emotions together. I experienced fear, stress, love, loss of time, warmth, happiness, relief, lucidness..etc.
I think this movie can be related to many things we experience in real life, would give much appreciation to time management and how sometimes we need to act fast because time does not stop so we have to have awareness of our surroundings. I do not want to include any spoilers about this movie. Many lessons can be learned and it is one emotional rollercoaster and I
would recommend INVESTING time to watch this, that's how much I think this movie is good
Being an avid fan of both sci-fi and romance, especially when presented in a glamorous and genuine style, I naturally didn’t think twice about watching it. Now considering that this is indeed the eight adaptation of Kakeru Shoujo I will make no comparisons or any relations to other versions of this film, since the others are non-anime anyway.
This film ostensibly presents itself to be a forthright tale on the ability of time-travel and the inevitable ramifications that result from it. To fully appreciate the magnitude and prudent motif the viewer must be astute and open minded. The predominant message carried throughout plot is allusive
rather than straightforward but not to the extent of being incomprehensible or enigmatic.
Story: The story begins with our primary protagonists, senior high classmates Makoto, Chiaki, and Kousuke, who have sustained a close friendship together for the past year. It’s very obvious that they are very inattentive and remiss to their rapidly altering lives as they reach a critical point in their till then static lives, adulthood. Makoto in particular evidently is eager to undertake any bizarre drastic measures to prolong her tranquil life, remaining inattentive to whatever outcomes may arise.
As if devised by fate, her life is radically changed forever, as Makoto stumbles upon this exotic divine contraption that grants her the ability to time-travel into the past. From then on every memorable and joyous experience transpiring is replayed ceaselessly, Makoto’s life couldn’t be more blissful. However she gradually comes to shockingly recognize just how conceited and narcissistic she has become. As Makoto was relishing in hypnagogic wonderland, those dearest to her were suffering as a direct result.
Makoto’s aspiration for a utopian and insouciant lifestyle that is eternal brought about a calamitous and dreadful result. Degradation and contrition now engulfed her as she discerns how the lives of those precious to her have been unknowingly been tampered and dismantled time and time again. As Makoto deduces how to resolve this complication, she will soon also come to the astonishing revelation that she isn’t the only time-traveler out there.
Art: The quality of the background/landscape animations are on par with the preponderance of today’s top quality animation films. The background settings are elegant and quite exquisite, it really does portray a realistic environment effectively. The character designs themselves are peculiar to say the least, they aren’t precisely realistic or innovative but certainly aren’t cliché either.
Sound: The music and background sounds aren’t top-level perfection grade, but are still exhilarating and breathtaking to listen to. The sound is quintessential for constructing and setting the ambiance.
Characters: The character development is what excels vigorously in Kakeru Shoujo over the vast majority of standard anime that desperately strive to do so. The fundamental reason for this being the diverse array of exceptional characters. It’s commendable just how divergent yet analogous each protagonist was to one another. The principal changes and internal conflict that drove this intense story and carried it to such perfection was all due to their contrasting and adamant personalities. Of course none of this could’ve been accomplished without the absolute fabulous and impressive cast of voice actors chosen for this film, and it’s a shame they haven’t voiced much since.
Enjoyment: An underlying reason why this movie achieved and prospered as much as it did was because it was designed for and utilized a considerable diversity of themes and genres, but in a conservative manner. By executing the film in this particular way you can appeal to all audiences/viewer types, just makes a well diversified, gratifying and compassionate film even more groundbreaking. Still the most gratifying and crucial aspect from Kakeru Shoujo it so elegantly conveys to us is the manner in which we as people should live. I would readily and eagerly divulge that message to you but then that would ruin your experience of the film (even though some other reviewers might already have SPOILER). That about concludes my review, Kakeru Shoujo is a genuine distinguished masterpiece(well almost 9 out of 10) that is appealing for all viewers to enjoy, so don’t miss it.
Highly recommend b/c it's the most sophisticated coming of age anime that I've encountered yet. Western viewers easing into anime should watch anime films first before series because there are more palatable gems in movies than in series imo.
-realistic and VERY likable main cast/personalities. No extremes like tsundere-moe dichotomy or goodie two shoes. Trio baseball get-togethers are fun to watch, not expositional
-confident female protagonist--pro b/c it's a rarity to have a great one w/out making her seem rude/conceited
-relative lack of pillow shots which plot and pace-driven viewers can appreciate
-transitioned Makoto's adjustment to time leaping in a concise, humorous, and appropriate way to development.
Props b/c this is hard to do--even in Steins;gate, I felt that some of the time leap sequences were slow and boring
-nail biting climax. Having watched this after wolf children, honestly wasn't sure what Hosoda was going to do.
-STRONG POINT: the film KNOWS its limits and works within its boundaries. It doesn't try to take the butterfly effect to tremendous, unnecessary proportions like world war 4 or politics or pretentious philosophy. Hosoda's message is clear and focused. The element of time leap is humorous and more importantly relevant to the protagonist. Yes it contains anime "tropes:" high school, friendship, and romance, but is it cliche? absolutely not, and almost no elements felt shoehorned. And this is great: sticking to a tradition shouldn't be dismissed as cliche. A great deal of it is what makes anime anime.
-loved the ending: Hosoda executes a tricky element in which he doesn't reveal everything about the story but doesn't make it feel inconclusive or incomplete. This was no gimmick of leaving it ambiguous for the sake of it. I think it was executed perfectly. The conclusion was frustrating >< but mature, honest, and understandable.
-Hosoda reveals a very underrated and particular message about maturity and young people--look for it!
-music wasn't amazing and couldn't find a piece that I think stands strongly on its own. But it works within the parameters of the film.
CONS (virtually nothing major)
-all stories dealing with time leaping does have some illogical inconsistencies when you start to deconstruct it
-some elements came to me suddenly but I got on board
-was not a fan of his animation style in wolf children but slowly becoming one
Ultimately, I liked Girl who leapt through time better than wolf children. In both movies, the themes/lessons aren't anything ground breaking, but takes a fantastical element and uses it to depict real/relevant messages. This movie was, to use the perfect adjective, breathtaking. I'm thoroughly impressed for its hard to find a film that has both great entertainment and a message that I can take away for a long time. I'll leave this at a 9 but the future me (no pun intended) might change it to a 10. I see now why people are paying attention to Hosoda. He might be a catalyst that fuses the eastern and western story telling forms to make globally appreciated films in his prime.
Feel free to read the analysis on what I thought the take away message was about its coming of age theme
END OF REVIEW
WARNING: SPOILERS in the analysis.
Notice that blunders and borderline tragedies occurred when she ironically tried to "help" others and by extension ignored/disregarded her own desires. This seems cruel and counter-intuitive at first: Shoudln't selflessness trump selfishness? Well, I think what Hosoda wanted to show through Makoto's story was that, even if you have good intentions, when you launch into action without wisdom, it can unfortunately harm others and yourself. Even though we may THINK we're doing "good," our young, still-tunnel vision of the world may not know the consequences. Through this film, I think Hosoda values practicing introspection in youth as opposed to blindly helping others, especially at the cost of ignoring your own enlightenment. Of course, he showed the consequences of premature decision making in a VERY dramatic way but he has a point here. At the end, Makoto finally confronts herself and others about her honest feelings towards Chiaki and, even though it doesn't work out perfectly, there is definite emotional closure and finally launches her passion for the future. And because of this underrated message, the conclusion doesn't feel like a duex ex machina--it instead makes perfect sense. Respect and understand what YOU want, for it is a way of helping others find their way as well. This is not a new idea, but certainly hits home and he shows it with finesse. And that's what I love about it. It's not a grand social commentary on the dangers of time leaping or butterfly effect or overarching philosophy. Hosoda was focused and very clear from the beginning about what he wanted to present.
“The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is a story about a young girl named Makoto Konno (beautifully voiced by Riisa Naka) who, entirely by accident, discovers she has the ability to literally leap back in time, allowing her to correct any mistakes she had made in the past. Initially, this power is used for simple things; getting up earlier for school, doing better on a test, abandoning a poor attempt at tempura, and avoiding an awkward confrontation with her friend, Chiaki. It isn’t long, however, before she realizes that abusing this power will inevitably lead to someone else having to take on her
bad luck. While she may have passed her test the second time through, the rest of her peers ultimately resent her for doing better than them. Even though she avoided a classroom fiasco by ditching her tempura, another boy in her class named Takase ends up getting blamed for the resulting incident instead, making him a laughingstock, and subject to torment by his classmates. Avoiding Chiaki’s attempt to confess his feelings to her, Makoto ends up creating a bridge between herself and her friend.
At first, some of these details seem minute, but this is where “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” exceeds as a piece of art: Rather than simply showing the consequences of her actions, director Mamoru Hosoda opted to present the viewer with the long term effects of seemingly unimportant actions. Because of Takase being teased, he begins to despise his classmates, and even goes so far as to attacking the group that was picking on him, and eventually Makoto herself, which leads to her friend Yuri getting hurt.. Because she ignored Chiaki’s attempts to confess to her, he fell in love with Yuri instead. Most importantly, when Makoto avoids an incident early on with a train because the brakes on her bike no longer worked, she ultimately forgets about it until her friend Kousuke borrows it.
It’s the culmination of potentially useless details utilized in such a meaningful way that makes “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” such an important experience. Gorgeous artistic direction allows viewers to gorge on fluid animation, while believable voice acting creates a sense of reality in an otherwise goofy premise. You enjoy Makoto’s character because she’s simply a young girl reattempting aspects of her life she dislikes, as many her age have wished for in real life. Her misadventures are hilarious, and near the end, downright heartbreaking when you begin to realize the consequences of something so forgettably simple.
Ultimately, this is where the message of “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” comes together. In trying to relive moments of her life, Makoto realizes that there’s always a downside. Hindsight doesn’t always tell you everything. Something that may have seemed like a mistake may have actually been better than some other outcome. It’s a story about living with your choices. About dealing with awkward situations. Accepting responsibility for poor decisions. Growing up.
The sheer charm and wit coming from this movie is enough to watch it without too much critical thinking, but on a deeper level, it’s an extremely satisfying experience, and well deserving of whatever praise it gets. Maybe the sci-fi aspects that come into play later on are slightly conflicting with the overall tone of the story. Perhaps the romance forces its way into the story where it would’ve been just as strong without. Regardless, these are nitpicks in an otherwise sound work of art, and I can confidently give “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” a 10/10. There is no wasted time with this film. The general slice-of-life aethstetic may not be pleasing to everyone, but unless you absolutely cannot spare the 1 hour and 37 minute run-time necessary to watch it, you’re doing yourself a disservice by passing it up.
The premise is handled very well initially - the time travel ability is shown in a humorous manner as the character learns to develop it and use it more and more effectively. Eventually this leads to a dramatic moment that was very heartwrenching and gripping where she finally learn what negative effects it may have. Up until here, the movie was a definite ten. The problem is the sudden appearance of a deus-ex-machina plot device which introduces a sudden sci-fi element which feels completely jarring. Granted, time travel itself is a sci-fi element, but it was handled in a slice-of-life manner.
In the second half the film suddenly becomes something else entirely, and quite frankly I feel very disappointed.