The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) Poster

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10/10
A Nutshell Review: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
DICK STEEL16 June 2007
The poster of this animated movie looks a little suggestive, but nope, it's actually a wholesome time travel movie which explores a little on the vestment of such powers to a klutzy individual, as well as relationships, and the perennial question of what would anyone do if you have the ability to go back into time, and make changes presumably for the better.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time tells a wonderful story centered on 3 friends, the tomboyish and clumsy Makoto Konono (voiced by Riisa Naka), and two hunks Chiaki Mamiya (Takuya Ishida) and Kousuke Tsuda (Mitsutaka Itakura). Theirs is a friendship formed after school at the baseball court where they spend quality time talking about typical teenage stuff. Things start to change however, when Makoto by accident gets the power to time travel, and in her own ditzy way, uses her new found abilities for "good" - directly for herself, or in some Emma like moments, to influence the outcome of relationships for her friends and play matchmaker.

And that's just scratching the tip of the iceberg. While it's animation style is kept simple and fairly straightforward, it doesn't compromise on the complexity of its storyline. Not that it serves to confuse, rather you'll be amazed by the amount of pathos the story contains, with its various subplots especially when the time travelling stuff kicks in. It has adult sensibilities in the treatment of the plot, and knows exactly when to hit the right emotional chords when warranted.

Although based on a book, the story here serves as a quasi-sequel of sorts which takes place some 20 years later, what I can say is that the love stories intertwined has its major one being able to touch like that in Be With You. I loved that movie, and watching how this bore some similarities, you can't help but feel the same emotions coming across in the same way, nevermind that the characters here are animated, as you can feel the pain, the love, and their despair. And that is something that I should say is difficult for the genre - they're not real persons on screen - but yet being able to evoke emotions and for one to react and empathize, definitely makes it powerful, and a cut above others. Something that our local animated films had failed to do in giving us cold characters and bastardized stories from folklore.

But it's not always all the time serious in tone or mood. The movie has light hearted moments, sometimes bordering on the slapstick, no thanks to the bumbling Makoto character. In a sequence, it was reminiscent of Chinese Odyssey starring Stephen Chow, where each time travel moment gets played ad nausem with different comedic effect. Undoing blunders as we see is not exactly Makoto's forte, and while she may be using her powers in a carefree way, with great powers come great responsibilities (sorry, can't resist that one!)

As usual, anyone can find fault with the time travel paradox which rears its ugly head in any time travel movie, but I would suggest that you park those thoughts aside, and enjoy the story that the Girl Who Leapt Through Time is telling. There are slight attempts at addressing it with its creation of totally new and different realities with each jump, but even then a major paradoxical flaw still exists. At its lowest denominator, the film reminds to seize the day like it's your last, do what's right, and don't be shy in telling someone how you feel about them.

The Best Animated Film of the recent Awards of the Japanese Academy, this film gets my vote of support too with its superbly emotional and touching tale, and with its similarities to that aspect of the film which I like to Be With You, it will be no surprise if this movie finds its way to my Top Ten of the year. Highly recommended!
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8/10
I laughed, I cried, I sat on the edge of my seat
dbborroughs4 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film at the US premiere at the New York International Children's Film Festival and it really knocked my socks off.

The plot of the film has a high school senior named Makoto Konno going through life blissfully hanging out with friends, and trying to cope with the pressures of being a high schooler. On a day when everything is going wrong Makoto suddenly discovers that she has somehow become able to leap through time. Suddenly able to relive great days or correct past mistakes she thinks she has somehow managed to to find a way to make her wishes (and those of her friends) come true. Unfortunately it soon becomes clear that some of the changes have consequences that she never intended.(I dare not say too much more since the revealing too much will clue you in too early as to whats going on in the film, perhaps taking a bit of the edge off the wonder. Trust me you'll thank me once you see the film yourself).

More like a novel than a movie this film takes its time getting to where its going and its better for it. Here we have a bunch of likable kids who are simply trying to get out of school and go on to the next level, at the same time trying to deal with things like lost puddings and the members of the opposite sex. Since we get to know and to like the kids (and adults) we become invested in what happens to them. Will they make the right choice? Who can say when you have the ability to do it over again.

One of the better animated features of the last year (from any country) this is a smart drama/comedy/romance/thriller. This is unlike any American animated film of recent vintage in that it talks to its audience with out dumbing everything down or needing to follow some corporate formula for success. Here is a film that is more than just dumb jokes, but is instead about people. This is a movie that should be seen by anyone who wants to see a great movie, and not just an animated one.
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8/10
Highly recommended!
wayne-feeney231 July 2006
Having watched the trailers on the net for Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (official English title: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time), I've been looking forward to it for a while. With character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, the same guy who did those for Neon Genesis Evangelion, and animation by Madhouse, Tokikake (as it is nicknamed in Japan), is a great-looking movie. Lively and interesting backgrounds, lush colours and detailed animation, it's a joy to look at. Particular mention must be made of the time-leaping effect, which gives you a sense of breathlessness. The voice acting is extremely enjoyable, with the voice actors really managing to convey their characters' personalities, while endearing them to the viewer. The music is great, with a wonderfully wistful theme song "Garnet", provided by Hanako Oku. The direction is interesting, with some really nice shots effectively conveying the more important events and scenes. Overall, I really enjoyed Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, which is why it is such a mystery as to why it is only showing in one cinema house in all of Tokyo. With Gedo Senki generally failing to live up to people's expectations, were Tokikake shown in a few more cinemas, it could have the potential to be the surprise blockbuster of the summer. Definitely to be recommended over Gedo Senki as the anime movie of the summer.
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9/10
Though not flawless, very well thought out.
honorhorror25 June 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a very original, well thought-out fantasy about traveling through time. It's categorized as Sci-Fi on IMDb and has quite a decent ranking in the genre. However, Sci-fi is only a secondary tool used in the story. The whole movie has a strong undertone of philosophy. I am glad that I could watch it in HD.

Makoto is a jumpy, goofy and lovely highshoolgirl in her senior year. She has 2 buddies in the class, but doesn't know one of them is having a crush on her. Later, she obtained a special ability of leaping through times, and escaped a train accident using this ability. Inspired suddenly, she dumped herself into a time-traveling life that seemed perfect, until......

Don't get it wrong. This is definitely not Back To the Future or Terminator. It's never heavy enough to depress you, yet it got messages delivered. The movie blends ordinary life into the fantasy, which gave you another way to look at our ordinary lives. Makoto was cumulating her ego and gradually becoming ignorant after the magic worked time to time . This is a reflex to anyone that became arrogant after some achievements. Chasing after her personal desire for too long, Makoto finally realized the worst consequences always come from the smallest mistakes. Therefore a great portion of this film is about her trying to fix everything back and forth. Different from Butterfly Effects, this movie dealt with such topics in a comedian way. Makoto's goofy personality never gets old, yet it's very involving to see the whole story from her perspective. The romance, although cartooned, had a very realistic touch concerning the youngsters. In Eastern culture, teenagers aren't really supposed to date each other, since their lives only cross each other's at this very innocent, immature and short time. this film rendered the whole feeling to a new level, that at least ties with If You Listen Closely (Whisper of the Heart). It's more surreal and fascinating at times, and finally come to a conclusion that's as beautiful as it's poetic.

Although Hayao Miyazaki had raised the bar of animation features (in Japan and worldwide) for more than 2 decades, The Girl Who leapt Through Time still stood out on its own. After I watched this, I could only say, "Rest in peace, Mr. Miyazaki, for somebody is coming to take your legacy." Visually, it's not entirely detailed as some of Miyazaki's recent works. In one viewing you can fetch all the themes and little Eastern eggs the director intended. But this one viewing may touch you deeply. Have you ever ignored another girl/boy, who tried to give you her/his puppy love and first kiss? Or have you ever ignored another human being who got into a lot of troubles without your help? Makoto's tears were shed several times during 1 hour 38 minutes, giving me a lot of chances to reflect on my own ego and personality.What if? What if I could give more attention to him/her...? We ask such stupid questions in real life? The movie's not silly. It's a good movie for kids, teenagers, young adults, middle-ages and elders. No wonder it's so worldly welcomed.

9/10 superb direction and art design, with a heartful story to reflect on.
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10/10
Timeless Masterpiece
ethSin21 June 2010
There are about 10 Japanese films that I re-watch almost every year since their releases. "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" is one of only three such animated films for me.

"The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" is based on a 1967 hit novel of the same title. The original work has been used in numerous film and dorama adaptations, most famous ones being the 1983 film directed by Oobayashi Nobuhiko. Instead of making just another anime adaptation and possibly becoming just another adaptation shadowed by the 1983 film, the producers took a risk by creating a spin-off movie with the setting of about 20 years after the original story. The gamble paid off big time, as the animated film went on to win at least 23 awards worldwide.

The underlying theme in this movie was "the importance of living the moment". Our protagonist was given the power to leap back into time to correct her mistakes, only to realize later that the short-term gains only lead to greater losses that followed. The story was extremely well-constructed to teach the lesson of embracing things the way they are, and never run from confrontations, because once that moment gone, you'll never get it back.

The director for this film did a phenomenal job of pacing and creating many memorable moments, but it was the live-action film screenwriter Okudera Satoko, who really made a difference for this movie by composing a story out of number of time leaps that slowly developed the main characters and made so many epic scenes possible. Many anime screenwriters fail in movies because they incorporate too many characters, as it is common practice in series, into the limited 100 minute time-frame. What's remarkable about this piece of work is that it focuses on only three main characters. Even counting the secondary cast, there are only 8 characters in total who we are given the names of. The limited number of characters not only improved character development, it also allowed the story to focus on the underlying theme.

I was actually very uncertain about the viewing this year because I started watching a lot of TV anime again since the last viewing. However, the only new flaws I've noticed was the excessive still motion in some scenes and most backgrounds, and that the protagonist was being a bit overly insensitive in few instances, which made her character a bit unrealistic. Animation is years ahead of its time, and it still is an excellent example of what happens when music is in harmony with the story/animation. The insert song by Oku Hanako, IMO, is still the best selection ever made among hundreds of Japanese films, anime, and live-action doramas I've encountered. Ending theme is a truly poignant one that really captured the mood and made the story sink in, and the music score throughout the movie has been used perfectly to enhance the drama.

"The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" is a timeless masterpiece that made me want to cherish every moment, and it's a movie I expect myself to be re-watching for many more years to come.
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10/10
Wow.
oncex11 January 2008
This film is one of those films that comes once in every generation. The voice actors give the characters a sense of realness that makes you suffer or feel joy. The detail of the work is phenomenal and the story doesn't drag or end in a familiar way. I specially like the detail they put to little things as the sliding doors bouncing back open when Makoto tries to close them. This is one of those films that in the end it leaves you a good feeling and not guilty for spending two hours enjoying yourself. When you see this film you might have to find time to think when was the last time you saw something so good.I just wish there's a sequel for it, because I just couldn't get enough of it. But maybe is one of those stories that you wish it never ended but you know that it has to end.

P.S. Now I have to buy the DVD.
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10/10
Great movie. Tops on my list
orozcosamuel130 June 2008
Well, to put it really simple: You must watch this movie.

The story basically shows how a girl named Makoto deals with her power to leap through time. At first she concentrates on making her life "better", however, she soon finds out that every time she leaps back to change something to her advantage others could be affected.

It is a beautiful story that teaches you to embrace things the way they are, to try to make thing better but to understand that what has already happened cant and should not be changed.

As I already said, you have to see this movie, even if you are not an anime fan.
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8/10
The best of the "Tokikake" Movies...
jmaruyama8 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Toki O Kakeru Shojo" (or Tokikake) is probably the most adapted modern short story in Japanese Literature. As of date, there have been six different versions of the Tsutsui Yasutaka story in both TV and movies -- the NHK drama "Time Traveler ('72) with Shimada Junko; the '83 movie with Harada Tomoyo; the Fuji TV Drama special ('84) with Minamino Yoko; the Fuji TV Drama special ('94) with Uchida Yuki; the '97 movie with Nakamoto Nana; the TBS TV special ('02) with Abe Natsumi and now Hosoda Mamoru's anime movie.

Yet director Hosada (Digimon TV series, One Piece) and screenwriter Okudera Satoko (Concent, Kakko No Kaidan 2) took the unique approach of crafting not just another tired adaptation of the novel but rather developed a sequel to the events of the novel which covered a lot of the same themes but with inventive and interesting twists.

While at first I had my doubts, I quite enjoyed this movie and consider it my favorite of the "Tokikake" movies.

Konno Makoto (voiced with great enthusiasm and likability by Naka Riisa) is your typical Japanese high school student who deals with typical teen problems at school and home. Her best friends include brainy hunk Tsuda Kousuke (Itakura Mitsutaka) and happy-go-lucky transfer student Mamiya Chiaki (Ishida Takuya). As with the novel and previous movies, Makoto's world is suddenly turned upside down as she develops the ability to traverse backwards in time (in this case, through a "time leaping" device hidden within a walnut shell).

What is unique about this movie (and what sets it apart from the previous adaptations) is the exploration of the ramifications of Makoto's "time leaping" powers. Whereas before in the novel and movies, heroine Yoshiyama Kazuko/Yoshikawa Tomoko was able to time travel with no real consequence or impact on those around her, the heroine here sees the impact that her powers have on others.

At first Makoto uses her powers without abandon and almost in a reckless manner. In time however she soon discovers that not only does her powers change the course of events for herself but also the lives of others.

One of the saddest lessons we learn along with Makoto is that "precious moments" can't be recaptured or replayed in time.

There are fun tips of the hat to the novel and previous movies as well. Makoto's eccentric aunt (a museum painting restoration artist) is hinted to be Yoshiyama Kazuko, the heroine from the novel (a lavender branch is seen near a photo of her as a teen) and the accident that gives Makoto the powers of time travel occur once again in a school laboratory during classroom cleanup duty, similar to the movies.

The animation, compliments of the famed Madhouse Studio (Perfect Blue, Paprika, Millennium Actress) are exceptional. The characters move with fluid and vibrant life and the CGI parts are very captivating.

While I miss the 1983 theme song by Harada Tomoyo, the soundtrack music by Yoshida Kiyoshi and theme song "Garnet" by Oku Hanako are serviceable.

"The Girl Who Lept Through Time" (a much better title than the often used "The Girl Who Conquered/Traversed Time") is a wonderfully touching, funny and captivating movie that teaches us to enjoy those small moments in time for they can never be recaptured again.
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6/10
Why are the Japanese so into stories of High School Romance
paliurus-395-50587516 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Before I watched this movie I had watched a marathon of Anime at Glasgow Film Theater which included Wolf Children, From Up On Poppy Hill and 5 Centimeters Later. There's quite a few things I saw recurring in each of them. High School Romances that stem from awkward interactions, either between two separated friends or a girl who can't tell her feelings to a boy, which lead to lots of tears over their incapability to proclaim their love and stress over hesitant confessions leading to no confession at all.

I don't mind Romances in stories, in fact I'm writing my own story where two childhood friends get together, but there are way too many simplistic tear fests in animes, in fact all across animation love stories are developing too quickly. These animes also have a tendency to make the romantic side of the story seem like a death scene from the Grudge. The girl is totally petrified of the guy's feelings towards her in those cases but in others their feelings are immediately mutual. If getting a girlfriend was this easy I would've moved to Japan years ago

I began to really like this movie. Great animation, a strong and independent female character, who for the whole time fought against her strengths with short skirts and hanging around men. Although the idea of a time travelling device being disguised as a walnut was pretty stupid it was funny and enthralling up until the last 20 minutes where it turned into another high school romance story with a lot of unexplored plot points like one guy's reason for going back in time, why time travel was invented (other than allowing silk haired hunks to get girlfriends). And what kind of ending was that. The main character goes back in time, altering everything she had altered on her own for that boy only to be told he was going back . Why? What about the crappy timeline he lives in, which he went to the past to avoid, is so great that after spending years in the past he wants to go back there?
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10/10
Modern Remake of a Classic !
ebiros228 June 2009
The company that made this movie - Madhouse is aptly named, because this movie is insane.

What happens when an average high school girl discovers she has ability to travel in time ?

Makoto discovers she has ability to move back in time, and she "jumps" to correct for all the inconvenient things that happened to her in the past days which includes getting better grades in her exams, exchanging position with another person to avoid getting involved in a chem lab fire, avoiding collision with a guys who's getting thrown across the lawn, eating a pudding before her sister gets to it etc.. All these made possible because she's already experienced them once.

Based on a novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui, The girl who leapt through time, or Toki o kakeru shojo (a.k.a. Tokikake) is an animated version of a classic which has been made into a movie, and TV drama in the past with live actors. This is a modernized version reflecting cultural changes in the way youth perceives the world around them. What haven't changed much is the city scape of Japan in the urban area, and it's interesting to compare this movie to the one made back in the '80s.

The plot takes maximum advantage of what funny things a person can do when they have the ability to travel in time, and this is done in good humor which is insanely fun to watch.

Some connection to the movie with same title made in the '80s also by Kadokawa is hinted as Makoto's aunt is Kazuko Yoshiyama who was the Girl that leaped through time in the '80s version.

Voice over is superb (in the Japanese version), and the voice and character of Makoto matches so perfectly.

One of the best anime to come from Japan in recent years, this movie is highly recommended for anime fans, and Asian movie fans alike.
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9/10
I'll Tell You Some Other Time
garethwatkin27 December 2008
Rarely do I buy a film on DVD without having either read up about it or seen it first. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was the first exception for me. For a dull anecdote, I walked through the store, saw it, and bought it, without knowing anything other than what was written on the back. When i got home, I didn't even start to watch it! But waited until after dinner to watch it, and to cut the already long story short, watching this movie was an experience! From the very first scenes I was grabbed. The artwork, I must say I adore, the scenery is beautiful. As for the storyline, sure, we've had time-travelling stories before, but there's never been one which after seeing it, made me want to watch it again (Seriously, as soon as it was over, I watched it again!) Cutting the even-longer story short again, I highly recommend this film, even those who are not lovers of anime might find themselves enjoying this film. Watching this movie was like an experience for me, and as odd as it may sound, I felt really warm inside after watching this. 9/10.
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6/10
One leap too many?
Mr-Fusion6 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME is wholeheartedly worth a watch for its beautiful animation and nice character design (this coming from a not-very-into-anime person). It's a very pretty film. And for most of its runtime, there's a great lighthearted tone and polished comic sensibility that make things very enjoyable. But things fall apart in the last 30 minutes or so where the tone drastically shifts and everything loses steam. GIRL works best when it's dabbling in teen movie fare, where it's charms are inherent. I couldn't help but be disappointed by the ending, which feels rather disparate from everything that came before it.

6/10
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9/10
The Boy who Loved the Film
mr_popcorn30 December 2008
What an amazing film this was. Its funny, its heartwarming, its emotional during certain points and if you are in touch with your emotional side, there is a chance that you will cry buckets. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a Japanese animated film that dwells in high school life and all that comes with it, the crushes, the puppy love, the platonic friendship and friendship that soon blossoms into romance. To spice things up a bit, the creators incorporated time travel in the mix and gave it to our klutzy heroine Makoto and the end result is absolutely satisfying as it manages to hit all the right spots and tug your heartstrings. The animation is just gorgeous to look at. It reminds you of a Ghibli movie due to its breathtaking use of rich colors and lavish texture, the film itself almost comes alive with its near perfect animation. The voice work done is perfect as well, integrating it seamlessly into the film thus giving life to the colorful and cheerful characters on screen. While the Sci-fi part and the time travel stuff may not be ironed out to the highest level, I suggest you leave your Einstein mindset right at the doorstep and just enjoy the story that the film is telling. All in all, if you look at it, the film is a touching tale bursting with emotions and it just warms your heart in all the right places. Highly recommended.
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9/10
A Great One
imachong1 July 2007
Alert: This movie has the most fantastic background graphics, equal in quality to the very best--like cowboy bebop or something from studio ghibli (spirited away). just wonderful color of the sunsets, schools houses etc.

As a teen slice of life/tentative romance/drama the story seems like it could be cliché, but they do interesting things with it, make it more dramatic in the middle, and at the end i was satisfied. the emotional depth sort of sneaks up on you.

Sounds were well-integrated into the film and the voice actors were spot-on in their portrayals.

just a fine experience watching this on here in Asia.

Highly recommended for all, but a must for anyone who's into anime.

wow I'm gonna look out for anything by this studio and director in the future.
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10/10
Definitely a favorite anime
Steven_Harrison10 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Hosoda Mamoru's The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is an imaginative story about a girl who accidentally becomes able to go back in time to replay her day's events with a simple leap (its never made explicit, but it seems the harder she leaps, the further she goes back in time, but you never know.) Its basically a shojo style anime where the girl takes center stage and faces tough questions about growing up. Of course, these tough questions are given a new spin because not only can she literally avoid answering them, but change what she says once she says it. The film is so well done, however, that it never becomes even remotely obtuse and is easily followed from beginning to end.

The animation is absolutely gorgeous, combining hand drawn and digital through high tech layering software, and achieving a combined effect of realism and beauty that few cartoons can lay claim to (in this way it felt a sister film to Takahata's Only Yesterday and My Neighbors the Yamadas.) If you find yourself staring endlessly at the backgrounds, you're not alone. Nature is on full display in this film, and the characters that inhabit it never seem far from a stream or flock of birds. Sunlight glinting off of sign posts, fields saturated in pastel greens, and the cozy warmth of indoor nesting play a large part in setting the mood. Character designs are detailed but not distracting, with all the main characters having expressive unique faces that don't veer off into the Anime extremes. The sound is a huge factor in the film, as it should be in all animation in my opinion, with subtle and effective voice work.

I have a feeling this will become one of my most watched animes. It has a sense of humor about itself, but the emotional notes ring very true. You find yourself caught up in a world where reality isn't exactly what it should be, but the stakes aren't all that high in the larger universal context. What you end up with is a story about relationships, ethics, communication, and the inevitability of making mistakes.

Hosoda Mamoru was a Studio Ghibli animator and was set to direct Howl's Moving Castle, but declined and went on to work on his own projects. Howl's Moving Castle seems, in retrospect, like the last movie in the world this director should be involved with. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time reminds me more of Kondo Yoshifumi's If You Listen Closely (or Whispers of the Heart), one of my most beloved films, about a young girl also facing adulthood who lives partly in a world of fancy. For this film he's been nominated for a number of awards, and hopefully will begin work on new projects soon.

This film is available with on DVD with English subtitles in Korea.
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8/10
Excellent, although somewhat puzzling
cherold5 September 2013
This terrific fantasy focuses on a girl who discovers she can jump back in time, and much of the movie is a light-hearted exploration of what a teenage girl would do with that power, which is essentially relive life better, avoid uncomfortable conversations, and eat pudding. The lead character is likably average.

There are a few oddities in this movie. Some of them are because it turns out, as I learned at wikipedia, that this isn't actually the same story as the novel upon which it is based but a sequel containing a character from the original movie, which explains a lot. Apparently the original story has been made into several movies and TV series in Japan, so the assumption was probably that everyone would understand a lot of references I didn't get.

Also, towards the end, we are given little pieces of information that suggest there is a whole other story to learn, although whether that story is in the original book or whether that would be the subject of yet another narrative I don't know.

Then there's the ending, which is logically unsatisfying and yet which I ultimately found emotionally resonant. It's one of these puzzling endings that has you reading wikipedia and going through the IMDb forum posts (which offer a lot of fascinating theories).

Well worth watching.
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7/10
A solid animated film that gets a little convoluted for it's own good.
goc62833 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
The film premise is excellent, a young teenager able to go back in time and fix what is wrong. I mean, what is the worst that can happen? Well some of the worst does.

The actress portraying Makoto does a great job with her role and the film does a good job itself showing a high-school kid's life. However, things become magical when she realizes the power of time travel and tries to fix the wrong in her life. However, she fixes what possibly should have not been fixed and puts a strain on both her and her friends.

It gets a little too complex for it's own good, especially around 3/4ths of the way thorough the film. Sub-plots should have been explained a bit longer and the pace should have probably been slowed down just a little bit. The audience almost expected for something to go wrong and that is potentially a bad thing here as it feels like it weighs down the plot and makes the revelations either arbitrary or more of a Deus ex machina.

7.4
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5/10
Sorry Everybody, But This Movie is One Big Slow Plot Hole.
deathsunglasses20 December 2016
Super-Minor Spoilers (in the form of the synopsis you can just read on the box of the DVD, so nothing obvious)

Here Goes:

The film itself is aesthetically pleasing and the voice acting is spot on, but that is about as far as this film goes regarding what it truly has to offer.

The pacing starts off much too convoluted and quickly in order to get to the part where the protagonist can do the thing suggested in the title of the movie. Afterwards it slows down to a crawl in which the whole point of the story seems to be heavy on high school dating, which would be absolutely FINE in the realm of coming-of-age stories if it weren't for the fact that you really don't get an opportunity to feel pathos for any of the characters. There is so much potential there, but for the most-part there are no real dynamics within the interactions or relationships. Also, you get the strong vibe that if you say no to a boy when he asks you to date, you are too picky (just say yes to whomever demands it, I guess), so I don't see how this movie would also be good to show preteens/teens/children.

This becomes another time-traveling movie where the protagonist has fun with their newfound ability at the beginning but then confronts consequences surrounding said fun, and there is nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately it is also a film where the character could have easily solved all of the problems that are beginning to form just by going back to the beginning and not messing around with anything.

Also, the last 30 minutes of the film seem very phoned in. As if the writer looked back and said "Huh, this really isn't going anywhere, let's see if we can just throw in some obvious tropes." Just when you think it is all going to speed up and go somewhere, it really doesn't. Every action within this film just seems like a ploy to suck the viewer in with no real sense of finalized answers.

Specific plot holes, and just blatantly overlooked explanations we would have liked to have known would have been nice to put in this review, but that would be hard to do without giving major spoilers. Trust me though, there are SO many holes and little things that a character could have simply done to solve this that, if you actually care about these kind of things in storytelling, would frustrate the heck out of you.

Not recommended. It's OK, but nothing to write home about whatsoever. Definitely over-hyped.
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6/10
not as good as expected
katanakun18 September 2008
I must say that with all the raving reviews of Toki wo kakeru shoujo, I was expecting a much better movie. I usually like anime, and I agree that on the technical aspect, this movie is near flawless: The style is nice and simple, the animation is excellent (though some 3d scenes look a little rough), the backgrounds are amazing, and the music is nice ( maybe just a little on the generic side). But I'm trying to be as objective as I can here.

However, I think that there are serious problems on the pacing and the story. The pace rushes through the beginning of the film, but halfway through, it abruptly stops, and very strangely finishes in a slow, anti-climatic fashion. In the same way, the story begins very lighthearted, comedic approach, and progresses nicely to a more serious situation building up tension, but there are some events in the end that simply mess up the whole basic idea. Being a time travel story it should be very careful with paradoxes but it ends up being overly complicated, with no explanations about several conflicts, and still doesn't manage to avoid inconsistencies. I understand that the movie is a part of a series of stories about the subject, and maybe reading them all, the final twists might make more sense.. But as a stand-alone story, its very far from coherent.

In my opinion the romantic comedy + subtle science fiction elements were enough for the movie to be very good. I must say I was very interested halfway through the film. But it tries to go further adding complexity and fails. By itself, the characterization and the script of the different situations is very good. It feels more natural than many other anime films I've seen, and I did find most characters endearing, -I do give the movie credit for that-. But I had a very hard time understanding why did the writers decide to go in a different direction by the end of the film, the main idea was already solid and very clear, story had progressed in an intelligent manner. Nevertheless after all that, it's as if the film had an identity crisis, and didn't know what goal to pursue. The tone of the final act clearly attacks all of the previous achievements of the movie, it takes itself much too seriously, throwing in an additional half baked sci-fi plot, transforming the whole experience into a melodramatic, confuse and eventually meaningless mess. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.

(and I did understand the movie, in case someone was wondering)

However, I give it a 6/10, because of what it could have been, and what it does achieve halfway through the movie.
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8/10
A gem of an anime feature.
lewiskendell9 September 2010
"I wonder how someone was able to create such a beautiful painting, when it must have seemed that the world was coming to an end."

When high school student Makoto inadvertently discovers that she's gained the ability to leap (literally) backward through time, she immediately begins using it to her advantage - with little concern for how and why she's gained this mysterious power. No problem is too trivial to be solved by a little time travel, from pop quizzes to uncomfortable conversations. But, nothing in the past can be changed without consequence, and Makoto's frivolous use of her ability may result in one or more of her friends being lost forever.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is about as mainstream and accessible as anime gets. The characters are all pretty normal, likable, and relatable. There's a lot of humor in the first half of the story, while the last half is quite serious, heartfelt, and poignant. The animation and character designs are clean and smooth, and have a very modern appeal. The score has a lot of piano pieces that occasionally caught my ear in a very pleasant way.

I recommend this both to anime fans, and to those who aren't particularly familiar with eastern animation. The story is an entertaining mix of moments both somber and lighthearted, the characters are great, and the visuals were top-notch. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time isn't just a good animated movie, it's good by any standards.
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4/10
Visually stunning, but lacks cohesion overall
t-rexx-568-1968257 May 2017
The visuals are second to none for an anime. The amount of work, the attention to details, the color spectrum used in this anime are absolutely mesmerizing, a real tribute to and a reminder of the seemingly endless finesse of Japanese art. Alas, I have found the narrative and the story line too lightly treated to provide the sense of cohesion which would have made it a true masterpiece. Too many flashbacks, not enough time for the viewer to properly handle the various aspects of a given action development... But like I said earlier, the visuals are a real sight to see.
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Great and different time travel story
Vartiainen20 May 2015
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is the film that put director Mamoru Hosoda on the map and made him a household name in the anime circles. It's a time travel story, but with a very different take on the usual clichés. Here the time jumps are short, almost meaningless, and the traveler is not some young adult with a destiny or a world to save. Instead she's just a teenage girl.

But it's that seeming normality of the story that makes it so special. Makoto (Riisa Naka) is an average girl, who likes to hang out with her friends and play baseball. She's not even all that bright. She's actually pretty dim, especially when you compare her to the usual heroines of cinema. So when she suddenly gains the gift to travel through time, you can bet that she's not going to be responsible about it. And that's where the film's charm and humour come from.

It's also a good animated film on the technical side of things. Studio Madhouse has a distinct animation style that fits the story extremely well, being both fluid, expressive as well as rather urban, if that makes any sense. The voice acting is also flawless, the colours are bright and summery, the music sounds great and all in all it all simply works.

If I had to nitpick, I'd say that the ending was not to my liking. Nothing wrong with it, really, but it shifted the tone rather abruptly, though not as much as to be jarring. Though I did like the explanation for the time travel, even if it seemed to have some plot holes. But then, time travels always have. It's pretty much inevitable.

All in all this is a good film to check out for all anime fans. It has personality in spades and has an astonishingly good idea for a captivating story. Personally I do prefer Hosoda's Summer Wars to this, but it's a matter of opinion.
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Filled with charming human moments
tomgillespie200222 August 2012
Based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's 1967 novel, - which has been adapted several times over the years, including 1983's The Little Girl Who Conquered Time - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a charming mix of drama and romantic comedy, with a slight infusion of science fiction ideas. Makoto (Riisa Naka) is a high school girl who, through serendipity, gains the ability to leap back in time (but she only manages moments or hours back). She has platonic relationships with two high school boys, Chiaki (Takuya Ishida) and Kousuke (Mitsutaka Itakura), and they spend their time playing baseball.

With her new-found abilities, she does nothing spectacularly profound, and the films intentions aren't to comment on paradoxes or to shift the space-time continuum as is usually the case with time travel narratives. Makoto uses her abilities to repeat events that pleasure her, to ace a school test, and also to avoid certain embarrassing situations with her friends. But as her relationships with, particularly, Chiaki and Kousuke, her leaps become more personally profound, as she attempts to possibly save the people she cares for (within the context of small human moments of danger, and not the usual global/country catastrophes.

I love the fact that in Japan, they do not distinguish between live- action cinema and animated (anime if you like) films, they are all simply movies. Now I'm going to contradict this with a Western perspective: This beautifully animated film is a delight to view, with its traditional two-dimensions, it is evidence to the west that 3D, computer generated animation is not the overbearing format, and 2D is still a genuinely viable medium. The film is filled with charming human moments, both touching and thoughtful. Teenage comedies rarely have this level of tenderness of character, that also explores concepts of fate, the passage of time and the intricacies of small human moments, and the delicate nature of human relationships.

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9/10
A Ghibli film not made by Ghibli
Onderhond17 October 2008
A shimmering hot sunny summer day, crickets happily chirping in the background, very bright green and blue colors, two guys and a girl playing some baseball, leasurely talking about life. Yups, Toki O Kakeru Shojo is that kind of film. Which is a little surprising, considering Hosoda's earlier efforts. Luckily, it turned out all for the better.

Hosoda gathered a reputation when he elevated two mainstream series (Digimon and One Piece) to a slightly higher level through their movie spin-offs. Sadly, not enough to make them enjoyable. So I quickly lost track of Hosada and after having watched the original trailer of Toki, felt little incentive to renew my interest in his work.

Still, when I came across Toki O Kakeru Shojo for a second time, I decided to watch it anyway. And I'm glad I finally did. Hosoda manages himself better with material that hasn't established itself yet. Toki is at heart a typical drama reminiscent of the films of Takahata or Hiroshi Ishikawa, enriched with some fantasy elements, bringing him closer to the work of M. Shinkai. And while his talent doesn't match that of any of the names mentioned above, it would be unfair to call Hosoda second-rate or light-weight.

Toki O Kakeru Shojo takes a lighter approach to its romantic theme, mixing in a timid sci-fi perspective. Though the whole time leaping business might sound important, in reality it's just a simple means to put some accents on certain parts of the storyline. It does bring a nice twist to the film, which could otherwise have slipped rather anonymously between a long list of Japanese dramas (animated or not).

Visually, Hosoda's style is somewhat acquired. There's a distinct lack of detail in the character designs and the coloring is kept simple as well. Still, it works for the slender, realistic looking characters, especially when you see them animated. The lack of detail allows the characters to assume some more realistic movements. The backgrounds on the other hand are often very detailed and rather lush to look at.

The soundtrack is simple but effective, largely consisting of music that creates a soothing atmosphere without being too noticeable. There are a few times where the music is a little over-the-top, but in general there's enough cricket-chirping and soft piano music to put you right at ease.

To keep with the lighter atmosphere, Hosoda leaves room for several comedic scenes which blend in well with the rest of the film. By doing this, he makes sure the film never becomes too depressing or hard to swallow. The sci-fi elements remain simple but effective throughout the film and help to keep the film entertaining, leaving the viewer in a constant chilled atmosphere.

Toki O Kakeru Shojo is at heart a very simple romantic drama, with a few additions to keep it interesting to the seasoned fan. If you're in the mood for action or lots of plot twists, there's little here for you. But if you're up for a little variation on the Ghibli magic, this film might be a pretty good bet to make. It's not up there with the best, but Hosoda isn't far behind either. 4.5*/5.0*
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10/10
An instant classic
batatas3123 October 2009
I would have to say that this film is probably my favorite anime Movie. But keep in mind that I watched this in Japanese with subtitles. English dubbing usually ruins anime for me.

What I am most impressed about with this film is the characters. They are just so easy to love. Especially the main character, Makoto. Whether or not I like the main characters will often make it or break it for me and she passes with flying colors.

I really gotta hand it to the screenplay writer. All the dialog seems so masterfully put together. The voice acting for the main characters (in the Japanese version) are also really great. Their combination allowed the subtle humor placed throughout the film work really well.

Here are my ratings in categories with highest being 10.

Plot: 9, an excellent and unique take on time travel.

Screenplay: 10, done amazingly well with very believable dialog

Visuals: 8, looks great but not the best

Overall: 9

All in all, I think that this anime film is amazing and I would recommend it to anyone. It's great for all ages I definitely see it as a classic.
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