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.