I watched The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, or Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo at Cathay Cinema, Causeway Point yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised that this movie is better than i expected. With a good dose of humor, life’s lessons and romance, this movie has the perfect chemistry to deserve awards that it has received.
The story revolved around an ordinary, but active girl, Makoto Konno and her close circle of friends, namely, Kousuke Tsuda and Chiaki Mamiya.
One day by some twist of fate, Makoto realised that she could literally leapt through time, or more accurately, go back in time to make amends in history. Realizing her new found power, she started using it for her own personal, but rarely evil, gains, such as patching relationships, getting hold of her prized pudding, coming to school on time, acing exams and such. But little did she know, that as she time leapt, her friends around her paid the price. Without knowing the consequences of altering the past and thus affecting the future around them, it nearly costed her friends their lives. As she realizes her mistake and feeling the ultimate guilt seeing her friends’ final moments, one of her friends, Chiaki, managed to time leap for her and alter her history, thus saving them. Makoto couldnt time leap anymore because the power has limited charges. Chiaki then told her that he was from the future, and came back to her era, to check on a long lost painting that Makoto’s aunt was trying to restore in the museum. He also stayed in that era in the hopes of finding the lost chestnut shaped time travel device which Makoto found by chance.
But when Chiaki time leapt to save their friends, Chiaki revealed that he just used up his last chance at going back home. Toward the end, Chiaki dissapeared because he had broken the number one rule, forbidding him to reveal his true nature and origins.
Before watching this movie, i thought that this would be just an average anime film, with good animation but a little shallow on the story side. But i was so wrong. Such a simple plot involving minimal characters, yet it manages to make full use and scope of the characters and the environment to maximise the story. In my opinion, this story explores regret, hope, and the yearning of romance and friendship. It also emphasizes treasuring your loved ones no matter how distant they are. It also emphasizes how your actions can effect the lives of others in such profound ways that it can never be known to you.
To anime fans out there, and to general viewers, if you want to have a different experience in the cinema, i would strongly reccommend watching this film. Its not everyday that a Japanese anime film comes to singapore to have a local theatrical run. So before it ends, this movie is a must watch.
Ive included the theme song. You can listen to it here.