The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

Genre: Japanese Anime

I love Japanese anime and this movie is no exception.

Makoto is a tom-boyish teenage schoolgirl who admits to not being cleaver, but not stupid either.

One day while alone in the science classroom, she slips on a small walnut shaped object and falls backwards onto the ground. As she hits the ground she is catapulted through a weird psychedelic effect.

Later that day when riding her bicycle home at great speed down a hill, she suddenly crashes over the barriers of a railway crossing and into the path of an oncoming train. Again, Makoto falls through the psychedelic effect and finds herself back home a few days earlier.

Trying to understand what is happening to her, she tries to trigger the same effect again. Finally she realizes that she literally has to physically leap and crash into things to allow herself to fall through time.

Once she’s mastered the technique she is flipping backwards and forwards doing all the things she’s wanted to do such as sing karaoke for ten hours, only eat the meals she likes and pass the school exams.

Makoto has two male friends, Chiaki who is a bit of a joker and Kousuke who enjoys practicing baseball.

While Chiaki is taking Makota home on the back of his bicycle, he tries to ask her out on a date, but Makota panics and leaps through time to avoid giving an answer.

With Makota leaping through time to better herself, she inadvertently affects the people around her in a negative way. This leads to things becoming very complicated and it all comes to ahead when Makota finds she can’t leap through time anymore and Chiaki reveals his big secret.

This is such a good movie. It really shows how we should seize each day as it comes and make the most of it so that we aren't left with any regrets. This is reinforced throughout the film the phrase “Time waits for no one”.

Technically, this film is amazing with stunning lushus backgrounds full of incredible detail. The movement of the characters, although basic in many ways, looks as though they had originally been shot using live action and then recreated in animation. What I mean by this is little things such as when a character shuts a sliding door and it jams slightly or when another character stumbles slightly when going to retrieve a baseball.

The story takes place during a sweltering hot summer and you can literally feel the heat in the pictures and this is accentuated by a soundtrack rich with grasshoppers and summer insects.

If you like the work of Japan’s great animation director Hayao Miyazaki who created such classics as Spirited Away (2001) and Howl's Moving Castle (2004), then you are sure to love this film.

You can find out about the DVD here.


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