I’ve been on a bit of a movie binge this past month, and the most recent one I watched is The Girl Who Leapt Through Time! This is a spoiler free review, so you guys can enjoy it yourselves!
What’s The Plot?
Makoto Konno is in her last year of high school, but is having a hard time deciding what to do with her future. In between enduring the pressure of her teachers and killing time with her best friends, Makoto’s life suddenly changes when she accidentally discovers that she is capable of literally leaping through time.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time follows Makoto as she plays around with her newfound power. However, she soon learns the hard way that every choice has a consequence, and time is a lot more complicated than it may seem.
That’s the gist of it. The movie was actually loosely based on a novel of the same name, and fun fact, the protagonist of that novel is heavily implied to be Makoto’s mysterious aunt in this movie, who knows a bit too much about her powers than most normal people should.
Before we talk about the characters and such, I want to talk about-
Animation, Visuals & Soundtrack
This movie is gorgeous. Maybe not Your Name or Koe no Katachi gorgeous, but it has a really high production, as fitting for a movie made by Madhouse.
The setpieces and backgrounds are very realistic and detailed, which reminds me a lot of the stills from stuff like Makoto Shinkai and Satoshi Kon movies, but more obviously, of this movie’s director Mamoru Hosoda’s own work, Wolf Children.
In sharp contrast, the characters themselves are very simple and stylized, but they more than make up for that with fluidity and realism of their movements, as well as how much personality you can get from their movements alone. It really can’t be captured by any gifs I found online, so instead, watch the trailer here to see it in action.
It’s a great looking flick!
The main song, Kawaranai Mono, also perfectly encapsulates the movie’s feel of regrets and wanting to fix things, and you can expect the same sort of ambient, melancholic sound throughout the whole movie.
The Characters and Themes of the Movie
Like I said in the title, the movie’s a coming-of-age story about responsibility and the consequences of your actions. I love the fact that our main character Makoto is an idiot, and the first things she does with her power that can literally manipulate time, is to skip chores, cheat on tests, and hang out with friends for hours at a time.
Exactly like how the average teenager would use it!
She constantly uses the time leap to rethink and re-do all the petty little things teenagers worry about, and doesn’t really think ahead of what her actions might do to everybody else around her. A huge part of the story is that she really doesn’t appreciate how big a deal the time power is, and doesn’t appreciate it until a certain point. Her aunt even calls her out on this
The characters are all very realistic portrayals of teenagers. No over-exaggerated anime tropes are in play here, everybody acts like normal people. The whole story basically hinges on the escalation of her uses of her power, from simple teenager stuff to changing events entirely and causing domino effects that won’t even be shown until later in the movie. The movie is fairly lighthearted, but as with most anime movies of this kind, some very heavy and very well done scenes happen in the later parts of the movie, all of which is a result of Makoto’s careless nature.
The core theme boils down to how one must learn to accept life as it goes, and not cling on to past regrets, and to not try to escape from your problems, because not confronting it will only make things worse in the future.
If you enjoy time-loop movies like Groundhog Day, coming-of-age stories like Your Name, and even do-over movies like 17 Again (you heard me), you will really enjoy this movie!