Makoto Konno couldn't pick a better day to screw up. After waking up late for school, failing a pop quiz, and torching food in her cooking class, just to name a few. She's about to be killed in an accident. Until suddenly, she finds herself lying on the ground a few minutes before the incident. She later understands that she can perform time leaps. She then carries on with her life, by taking advantage of the new ability that she somehow obtained. All the while, completely oblivious to any possibility of the consequences.-summary
I really have to admit. I didn't expect this to be so good, when considering it was directed by Mamoru Hosoda, director of numerous Digimon titles. I guess that goes to show that a persons intelligence can't be judged based upon the mindless swill that they're known for churing out. I was very impressed by this film. So impressed, that I watched it twice back to back, and it can easily make my top ten list of best anime films.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a very well crafted film, and it does a lot of things right. The film does a very good job developing the characters personalities, but the main character Makoto possesses the most depth. The other characters are very likable as well as believable. They have some very fun and realistic personalities. I think there's someone everyone can relate to(that is, if you don't crave completely angst-ridden characters). The character development did surprise me somewhat due to the length of the film. Many anime films forsake character development, and merely utilize their characters only as plot devices. Thus, making it hard for the viewer to establish some type of connection. Thankfully, this isn't the case here.
Makoto is definitely the heart of the film, in which she drives home the films "coming of age" theme. Watching her grow by making mistakes, and attempting to correct them is something viewers can take away, and possibly grow on for themselves. The concept of the film, such as, being able to travel back in time appears to be a pretty realistic and heavy theme to me. I'm sure almost everyone in existence would love the ability to go back and fix some past dilemma. I believe this was a plot device that was used to its full potential.
The film is very fun, light hearted, and packed with a good dose of comedy that actually works. The comedy is more present during the first half. However, later on it takes a very dramatic turn, with a thought provoking, yet realistic twist that definitely adds a bit more depth to a story, that used such a serious gimmick to begin with. The film teaches one the possible hazards of being able to change past events, while also showing the possible benefits as well. Makoto's intentions on time leaping were innocent in every way, but her unawareness on the trade off proved to have consequences.
The animation is very good as well. It's very fluid throughout with great character body, hair, and facial movements. CG was definitely used and wasn't really a problem, but I've seen it blended in with 2D a lot better. The artwork is fantastic at times but not consistent. Overall, the character designs, and the scenery especially gives off a very neat and clean appearance. The backgrounds are simply beautiful.
I also have to give credit to the very wise use of the budget. The production values were pretty high, and this film could have very easily gotten worst visually over time, or delivered a cop out ending due to going over budget, but they cleverly reused scenes during time leaps to prolong their budget. Therefore, the animation stayed at its best throughout, even though there were a small amount of stills used, and to a small degree this happens to plays into my con. The reused scenes are actually a negative for me just a little. The time jumps added to the comedy, but sometimes those exact scenes would replay in an almost endless loop, and the comedy would wear itself out. That's like someone telling you a funny joke 4 times in a row. Although the joke came out of left field, it's not going to be as funny anymore.
The soundtrack by Kiyoshi Yoshida was also very good. It consisted of piano pieces that would begin slow, and eventually speed up to match events during scenes. This provided a nice tune, which seemed to fit very well with the personality of the film. The voice acting was very well done for both languages. Of course, this is another time the sub outshines the dub clearly, but I will always prefer the dub in almost every thing that I watch. My reason being is simple. When focusing on reading subs, it's more difficult for me to pay attention to the visuals.
Overall, this is an anime film that more people need to know about. I think it's one of the best I seen in a very long time, and it can fit perfectly in any otakus collection. I also believe there is a lot here for casual fans as well. The DVD extras consist of trailers and commentary, with the main characters Japanese voice actors, as well as director. This anime film was worth every penny for me. The run time for the film is 98 minutes. I also recommend the manga to those who prefer reading.
-Plot and character development
-Some comedy a bit over played
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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女, Toki o Kakeru Shōjo?) is a 2006 Japanese animated science fiction film. The film focuses on a high school girl who inadvertently gains the power to travel through time and begins using it frivolously to fix problems. It was produced by the animation studio Madhouse and directed by Mamoru Hosoda. It is inspired by, and is a pseudo-sequel to, the 1976 novel Toki o Kakeru Shōjo by Yasutaka Tsutsui.
Critical response to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was very positive, and it won numerous awards, including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year.