Time travel is impossible, right? Unless you’re a Time Lord and own a TARDIS, right? Wrong.
Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) is an adventure, sci-fi, romance film that follows the story of Makoto Konno – a girl who can, funnily enough, leap through time. It starts out with a traumatic event, but you soon learn that this is where Makoto learns she can ‘time leap’ and that not everything is like how it seems to be.
It’s quite a concept, really, but her Auntie Witch seems to somehow understand due to her past ability to time leap as well, her experiences being told halfway through the film. Even here, you can see the similarities between the characters and the actual storyline, although I won’t go into too much detail about that here, as that would be spoiling it for everyone who hasn’t seen it.
The characters themselves are quite, well, typical. You have Makoto, a tomboy. You have Auntie Witch, the whimsical supporting character. You have Kosuke, the popular guy at school. You have Chiaki – the…other main character. (Again, spoilers!) Honestly, you probably couldn’t get more stereotypical characters in a single anime if you tried.
So, with average characters, how good was the actual film? Well, honestly? I didn’t really think it was that good. For me, personally, it was your typical highschool drama, which although I normally like, the sci-fi aspect of it meant that it sort of became a little OTT, particularly with how the story could have alternatively panned out if Chiaki hadn’t done his good deed towards the end of the film. In all fairness, it could have probably been a little better if that actually happened, now that I think about it…
The animation wasn’t the best either. In certain places, I did feel as if Madhouse were lacking in quality, but perhaps that was just my scepticism. The film did win an award for Best Animated Film at the 2007 Sitges Film Festival and also won the Animation of the Year award from the Japan Academy Prize, so maybe I’m just too pessimistic for my own good.
The movie does redeem itself slightly, however, in the soundtrack. The music is nicely composed with fitting lyrics that pull at the heartstrings slightly quite a lot once you know how the movie ends, particularly the verse that goes:
I was searching for the things that never change.
The unfamiliar place we found on that day,
If the two of us can go there together again,
I will be reborn as many times as it takes.
So darn cute.
So, in conclusion, I haven’t really been able to conjure up the words to give a more detailed review than this due to panicking slightly that I’d give away spoilers. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is only a short film after all, lasting only one hour and 38 minutes. However, I did feel as if this was an ‘average’ film and I personally disagree with the average rating of 8.45 that appears on MyAnimeList. It’s a nice, easy film to watch if you’re new to anime, but I don’t really see the appeal to it otherwise.
Kawaranai Mono – Unchanging Things – Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo – Anime Lyrics Dot Com [Accessed on 4th October 2016 at: http://www.animelyrics.com/anime/tokikake/kawaranaimono.htm]
Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo on MyAnimeList.net [Accessed on 4th October 2016 at: https://myanimelist.net/anime/2236/Toki_wo_Kakeru_Shoujo]