Monday, February 2, 2009

Review | Movie | The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME : Makoto Konno is a typical high schooler
who spends most of her free time playing baseball with her friends Chiaki and
Kousuke. On a day when nothing seems to go her way and everything leads to
disaster, she has an encounter with a mysterious man in the science lab of
school, and is suddenly endowed with the ability to leap through time. As she
goes back to various points in her week to fix the problems she runs into, she
begins to realize the terrible adverse effects that amount from her alteration
of time.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was very recently released on DVD in America, and was shown on several college campuses across the United States. Upon discovering an advertisement on an anime website about the movie, I decided to have a sit-down and watch the film.

Even though it was not a big box office smash, through kudos from viewers and film critics, "Toki o Kakeru Shōjo" soon soared to large heights and did considerably well thereafter, despite not being advertised as much as other 2006 anime features.

The movie begins simply and paces simply, but once Makoto's run-in with a shadowed figure in the science lab sends her flying onto a strange nutshell, the time debate begins. Makoto's most trusted adult figure appears to be her aunt Kazuko, who instead of brushing off Makoto's time-leaping dilemma, actually becomes the one who suggests Makoto's experience was a genuine journey through the fabrics of time. At first Makoto thinks this impossible and denounces it, but once she begins to take literal leaps that would otherwise severely injure her, she discovers she can really travel to any time she wants. And how do you reckon a tardy, accident-prone girl with bad grades use a time-bending power?

Naturally, this is all working out quite well. All of Makoto's accidents are instantly fixed, and she is not above hooking her guy friends Chiaki and Kousuke up with girls who watch them from afar. She doesn't mind bragging a little about it to her aunt, either. Her aunt's speculation, however, turns out to be a true one: You can't just one piece of the timeline; if one thing changes, everything changes. Makoto soon realizes this the hard way; to avoid her cooking accident, she switched with a classmate who ended up having the accident instead of her, and this earned her classmate school bullies that mocked him for destroying the kitchen. The next problem? The battered boy wants his revenge, beginning with the girl who made him switch with her in class.

Her relationships with her school friends are tested, and some sparks even fly, but Makoto is determined to fix everything. Despite her attempts, a wrench is thrown in by her new discovery: She can only leap for a certain amount of times before her ability goes away forever.

This movie tells a great story and pulls its weight at a great pace. Makoto's comedy turns to drama as time unfolds itself and Makoto begins to question the source of her ability. The reviews were definitely correct about this one, and the awards were well deserved.

Parents should feel fine about showing this to their kids, although it doesn't contain elements that may interest very young kids. This may be a movie for the middle schoolers of your family and older.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is beautifully put together and plays out the fable of how every drug has its side effect in a lively, humorous and touching way. This one is unquestionably going to my anime collection, and I think it'll make a great addition to yours, too.

Overall Rating:
/ 5


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