Name: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Released: July 17, 2006
Based On: Spin-off of Tsutsui Yasutaka’s novel The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Produced By: Madhouse
US Distribution By: Bandai Entertainment
Major Japanese Cast
Makoto Konno: Riisa Naka
Chiaki Mamiya: Takuya Ishida
Kousuke Tsuda: Mitsutaka Itakura
Kazuko Yoshiyama: Sachie Hara
Yuri Hayakawa: Ayami Kakiuchi
Kaho Fujitani: Mitsuki Tanimura
Miyuki Konno: Yuki Sekido
Major English Cast
Animation: 9/10 (x 4 = 32 pts)
Story: 9/10 (x 4 = 36 pts)
Music: 10/10 (x 4 = 40 pts)
Coherence/Story Arc: N/A
English Dubs: N/A
Gut Score: 9/10 (x 5 = 45 pts)
Total: 157/170 (92.4%)
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is about a girl, Makoto, who after accidentally crushing a strange nut-looking thing at school, discovers that she has the power to “leap” back through time. She finds this out after the brakes on her bike fail going down a hill, and getting flung in front of a train – something which should have killed her. However, instead of being killed, she finds herself standing a few feet away just moments before, with no one around her being the wiser.
She attempts to use this power to help people at first, such as setting up one of her friends with a girl that likes him. She soon starts using for less than noble reasons as well, such as retaking a test (taking the answers back with her in time), milking as much as she can out of a karaoke room rental, as well as trying to prevent one of her friends from confessing to her so as to maintain their normal friendship.
However, she soon learns that being able to go back through time and do things over isn’t as good as it seems like it would be, and can have unexpected and sometimes disastrous consequences. Eventually she discovers that the number of times that she can jump back is limited, and she becomes more desperate in fixing the problems she keeps causing by jumping back.
I thought this was a very, very good movie, but with a few flaws. The story of following Makoto as she goes back in time repeatedly, and, initially, all the fun she has with it, and later, the problems she creates by doing so, was really interesting to me. It also creates the philosophical discussion along the lines of the “butterfly in Africa” scenario, where changing something small in the past may have more far reaching implications than you were expecting.
I think the biggest issue with this movie is that it is rather drawn out in the end, where one seems to hit several false endings along the way. There are also a couple of questions left unanswered, though I don’t think they are serious enough to really take away from the film all that much.
As far as technical aspects, I thought both the animation and music was pretty good. It’s no wonder why this movie has won awards and is one of the more highly regarded animated movies to come out of Japan for some time, and I think many, many anime fans would enjoy this movie.
Overall, I think that if you’re a fan of some of the anime movies that come out of Japan – especially the Ghibli movies, since I think this movie is somewhat similar to those, you’ll like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
First Watched: July 2007
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes