The award winning The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is ‘a feast for the eyes as well as the heart’, as the DVD blurb claims. Wonderful animation, brilliantly drawn characters and backdrops, time travel, action, lots of touching and funny parts- what’s not to like?
Makoto is a school girl who, after an accident, discovers that she can travel in time. The first part of the film deals with her discovery of this and using it to her own gain- correcting minor mistakes and mishaps in her past. She never comes close to joining the dark side with such power, but finds that her changes however small can have a greater and harmful effect for the future/present and her friends. However, there is another leaper and her leaps are limited, and soon her choices become extremely important.
This much adapted version of the Japanese novel (there has been other series and movies since the novel was written in the sixties) is one of the best, perfectly suited to the medium and today’s generation. There are questions raised about power, friendship, choice, and love, but the film never becomes preachy or sentimental. One of the best anime of the year.
As Always, feel free to leave your comments on the movie- where does it rank in your recent anime list?
1. I dreamed of work- always nasty. Work seems to invade the refuge of sleep more than Fred Kruegger. It’s even worse when you wake up and realise that it’s time to get up for work. Anyway, it was a team meeting and my boss was explaining to us all that he was a massive Pink Floyd fan. As he listed his favourite PF songs (none of which seemed to be Floyd songs) and how they inspired his career (irony which Waters and co would be proud of no doubt) the team giggled. He seemed to think they were laughing at his terrible old fart taste in music, but really they were laughing because the names were ridiculous. Feeling like I had to stick up for him I stated that I was a fan of the big four Floyd albums, but not the early stuff so much. No one laughed. Then I woke up.
2. I dreamed I was at some sort of party/picnic with various people. Terrorists came over a hill like something from Red Dawn and began firing automatic weapons at us. They were simultaneously killing and rounding us up. Rather than running scared I hatched an ingenious plan; to use a bus as a shield and ride it down to a nearby river. I managed to lift the bus off the ground and push it towards the hill before holding onto one of the passenger windows as it raced down to the river. Never did it occur to me that if I had the strength to lift a bus that perhaps I should throw it at the bad guys. It seems I am not a hero in my dreams. The baddies saw me and fired, one round hitting me in the throat. By the mighty power of my dream passivity, I thought this didn’t matter and the wound mysteriously vanished. Soon I splashed into the river, and began to speed away with the current.
At this point a recurring dream of mine came into play- that I’m on a rollercoaster/ghost train/flume ride/first person shooter fun ride. I mved down the river, steering past logs etc only to realise that there were grizzly bears popping up every so often and trying to take a chomp out of my face. Again my new found immortality and super strength didn’t seem to make me any less afraid. Eventually I got to a junction- right seemed to be the end of the river and looked like an evil swamp, left was a slight waterfall into a came poo. Left I went. Climbing from the pool and walking forwards I found myself blocked by a bigger pool. Climbing out of it towards me was another guy I knew from the picnic. He wasn’t speaking and disconcertingly when I turned away and back he vanished and re-appeared at the other side of the pool and began to swim before me. I think this was repeated a few times. I didn’t want to get to the other side if it was some sort of time looping void, but then I thought that he had died at the picnic and was here as a ghost, swimming the same path for eternity. I also thought the pool was poisonous. Regardless I swam to the other end and beckoned the other guy to follow. He did. This seemed to knock him out of his loop. I looked around for a clue as to where we should go next. Then I woke up.