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  Publicity Stills of "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time"
(Courtesy from Cathay-Keris Films)


Animation of the Year, Japan Academy Prize
Special Award, Hochi Film Awards
Best Animation Film, Mainichi Film Concours

In Japanese with English and Chinese Subtitles
Director: Mamorou Hosoda
Cast (Voices): Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Ayami Kakiuchi, Sachie Hara, Mitsutaka Itakuru
RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins
Released By: Cathay-Keris Films
Rating: PG

Official Website: http://www.kadokawa.co.jp/tokikake/index.php

Opening Day: 21 June 2007


When 17-year-old Makoto Konno gains the ablility to quite literally "leap" backwards through time, she immediately sets about improving her grades and preventing personal mishaps. However, she soon realises that changing the past isn't as simple as it seems and eventually will have to rely on her new powers to shape the future of her and her friends.

Movie Review:

Director Mamoru Hosoda was originally hired to direct Studio Ghibli's "Howl's Moving Castle" but apparently left the project midway. “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is based on a story by the author of “Paprika” (another acclaimed Japanese anime coming to our screen soon), Yasutaka Tsutsui and based on these few facts; we hope to expect something special…

The story begins with our young protagonist Makoto Konno, an ordinary high school girl who enjoys karaoke, baseball and hanging out with her two best friends, Chiaki and Kousuke. Male to be precise. A little character setup for the first act but things start to pick up a little when Makoto for no apparent reason survived a what’s supposed to be a fatal train accident while cycling on the way home from school.

A God-aided miracle? Supernatural power? Whatever it is, we are equally befuddled as Makoto. Soon after, she decide to confide in her aunt about her strange encounter and her aunt simply tell her she has the power to time leap, it’s her call. That’s how she survived the accident, by leaping backward a few seconds earlier. We aren't particularly sure if her aunt meant it literally though.

At this juncture, you might turn a bit fidgety if you are not used to the usual style of Japanese Anime. But there’s where the fun lies because right now, Makoto is off to save the world after learning of her newfound ability! Save is too big a word. Makoto is just a playful teenager in search of some fun. Now she’s no longer late for school, all she has to do is leapt and be right on time. Test? No problem, she just needs to jump back and forth to learn the questions and write the answers.

But things are not always what it seems. Makoto’s good intentions to fix people’s problems unfortunately doesn’t really work all the times. In fact, it got messier the more she tries to fix it. You have some laugh-out moments especially the part where Chiaki declare his love for her and she tries to attempt to steer their conversation away to more mundane topics and also the endless karaoke session.

If you wish to make a comparison between a Studio Ghibli production and “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time”, the latter has less fancy anime-effects to show off perhaps due to a tighter budget but the hand-drawn animation and linework is equally captivating and the camera angles appropriately brought out the vast boundary of Makoto’s time-leap world. Who says traditional animation should be phase out?

Lastly to get back to where we were, what’s the revelation of this girl who can transport herself from time to time, place to place? Not to spoil the soup, the outcome isn’t anything mind-blowing. It's not on the grand scale of "Back to the Future" or even "Groundhog Days".

In fact, it gets to the point of being too self-absorbing and silly in the last act. But deep down, it has a far more meaningful message which touches us all. We might only have one chance in life to do the things we want and yes, no matter how advance time-leap technology is, we will never ever return to the original desired starting point.

Isn’t that a wonderful lesson in life after you step out of the theater?

Movie Rating:

(A fun meaningful piece of animation work that deserved a wider audience)

Review by Linus Tee

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