Film - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Liam Anthony leaps into the adventure of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time...

Time waits for no one.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is an anime film from 2006, produced by Madhouse, written by Satoko Okudera and directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The film serves as a loose sequel to the 1967 novel of the same name, written by Yasutaka Tsutsui. The film follows Makoto Konno, a young girl who gains the ability of time travel, and how her actions impact her close friends, Chiaki and Kōsuke, her classmates, and everyone else around her.

Makoto is having the worst day of her life. She wakes up late, she fails her mock entrance exam, she gets thrown in front of a train and dies, and her sister eats her favourite pudding. Luckily, not all is as bad as it seems however... Just as she’s about to hit the train, she wakes up on the floor, a few yards before the train, seeing it pass safely.

Her aunt informs her that this was a “time leap”, which allows her to travel through time by leaping through the air. Although skeptical at first, Makoto attempts a time leap and learns that she can, in fact, travel through time and save her pudding from being eaten by her sister. With the power to control time, Makoto sets out to fix every mistakes she makes, but she soon finds that fixing her own mistakes may cause problems for those around her.

The art style is simplistic yet vivid. Whilst a lot of anime tends to look very similar, filled with pristine girls with large eyes and smooth lines, the art in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a bit more rough around the edges, but the detail in the characters expressions and movements allow it to stand out from many other anime films which may not reach the same effect.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The music in the film works perfectly well, although not much really stands out, which can work to the films benefit. Whilst the background music doesn’t distract you from the film, you won’t really remember much, if any, of the themes from the film. The only exception is the insert song Kawaranai Mono by Hanako Oku, which you may find yourself coming back to after the film is over.

For language options, both the Blu-ray and the DVD releases of the film are available in both English and Japanese languages, with English subtitles, and either one you choose is perfectly suitable. The voice cast for the English language option was well chosen, with the voices suiting their characters well, as is the case for the Japanese cast too.

Just one thing I felt I should note is that there’s a divide between the English Subtitle script and the English Audio script. The subtitles are a more faithful translation from Japanese to English, whilst the audio’s script is slightly more Americanised, and edited slightly to fit better with the character’s mouth movements. That said, both scripts stay true to the themes and feelings of the film, so there’s no need to worry about missing out if you’re watching one version rather than the other.

Overall, this is a film well worth seeing. It’s one of the more well known anime films to come over to the west (at least not under the Studio Ghibli title) and it’s easy to see why. The film can bring both genuine laughs and moments of drama, and is able to balance these out pretty well without feeling lost in it’s direction. If you’ve not had the chance to see The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, then be sure to check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

Follow Liam on Twitter @ThatLiamAnthony

Images - IMDb

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