Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo

Alt titles: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time



vivafruit's avatar By on Aug 1, 2007


At its core, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is really just a standard shoujo slice-of-life show. There’s the plucky, cheerful protagonist, there’s the myriad of possible romances just waiting to bloom, and of course there’s the lazy summer afternoons spent loafing around in idyllic Japanese suburbia. The closest analogue is most likely Ghibli’s own Whisper of the Heart.

The only noticeable differentiation from its counterparts is a time-traveling plot device introduced early in the show. Handled carelessly, this fantasy gimmick could have easily been a sour point (see: Junkers Come Here). However, TwKS is surprisingly clever about how it implements the time-travel into the story. Throughout the series, the ways that protagonist uses her new-found power make for some of the most delightful comedy that I’ve seen all year.

The humor blends seamlessly into the drama, whose main theme revolves around the slogan, “Time waits for no one” – certainly not a unique message, by any means. Fortunately, the excellent characters and sharp writing lend the movie a compelling sense of urgency that sets itself apart from similar works before it. Every minute of this movie feels immediate and precious, and as a result, the movie’s familiar message is unexpectedly powerful.

In the end, I loved Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo's story for its near-perfect mixture of drama and comedy; the movie is one of the funniest anime I've seen this year, but also happens to be one of the most poignant. Even as I laughed at the brilliant humor, I mourned the loss of the protagonist's happy childhood - a childhood which slowly but inevitably slipped away, leaving nothing but bittersweet memories.


Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo’s animation is, for the most part, extremely clean and fluid. The simple character designs resemble Ghibli’s (in a good way), and character movement is realistic and charming. There isn’t quite enough detail to the visuals to rival the upper echelon of anime movies, but for the most part the animation is more than serviceable. The only exception is the CGI used for the time-travel sequences. Although brief, the scenes are jarringly ugly; the protagonist’s character design looks completely out of place on the hideously colored background.


For the most part, the instrumental soundtrack does a good job of setting the mood of the show. For the most part, the songs are lazy and laidback, but there are a few nice dramatic tracks as well. Voice acting is competent all-around. In particular, the heroine's seiyuu deserves special mention – her upbeat, cheerful performance goes a long way toward making the character instantly likeable.


A common pitfall that many people (including myself) occasionally fall into is that anime characters must be well-developed for a show to work. If this was the case, then movies would almost never be good, because there is far less time to spend on character development in a two-hour production.

Unlike characters found in series (which for the most part are required to be multi-faceted and complex), movies call for a different kind of character. Essentially, they rely on characters that are likeable at face value. Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo is a wonderful example of this.

Like in Ghibli films, it’s somewhat difficult to explicitly state what makes the characters so appealing. In the end, I think TwKS’s are excellent not for what we know about them, but for their immediate actions. The characters move and talk in ways that are both familiar and unexpected. Rather than jerking like puppets to the script, they act naturally, intelligently and occasionally unpredictably.

In other words, they feel alive.


Seriously, how could anybody possibly dislike this film?

For strange, off-kilter movies like Paprika, I can fully appreciate that the show will have its fans and its detractors. However, for Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, I can only gape in awe and disbelief at anyone who claims to dislike it. There is something so universally wonderful in Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo’s storyline that the very idea of not enjoying it is completely alien to me.

As a whole, this is a fantastic work, and is looking to be the crown jewel of a year that has already yielded  several excellent anime. I’d recommend this not just to those who like slice-of-life, but to just about everyone who likes anime.

9/10 story
7.5/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
shanedublin's avatar By on May 30, 2015

This review contains slight spoilers,

The story was good, it kept me interested. 

The animation was ok, it was a bit slopy and lazily done in a few places, the back drops where pretty good though.

The main characters were interesting enough, They werent exactly like your typical anime but they were pretty close.

The ending sucked, It was kinda open ended. no one really knows what the ending means. 

5/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
BigDumbOhFace's avatar By on May 13, 2015

I have no good knowledge of any anime movies.  I've been more involved with shows.  I know that a there are a lot of great anime movies but that's like knowing it'll rain eventually someday.  I have actually taken somewhat of a break from regular episodic anime in order to watch some movies.  Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo is my second movie in as many days.


Makoto Kanno is your basic high school female protagonist: a tomboy with endless energy just enjoying her time with her two best friends Chiaki and Kosuke.  One day while doing her class duties she trips and falls and gains the ability to go back in time.  What would a high school girl do with that power?  Prevent disasters?  Cheat in a lottery?  Saved loved ones?  Nope.  She goes around goofing off such as going back in time to redo a karaoke night with her best buddies over and over.  It was like a controlled Groundhog's Day.  However, the story gets more dramatic the further you get into the movie and she finally realizes the consequences of her action.  Also, there's a great romantic plot point that is worked very well into the story and it plays along well with the premise of the show.  One great thing is that there weren't any dumb plot holes brought up


Brought to you by Studio Madhouse, who've brought you shows like Hajime no Ippo, Black Lagoon, and Death Note, this was a total turn from the usual.  It was much more tame than the over-the-top action and drama they definitely do well.  I liked it.  All the subtleties were enjoying to look at.   The colors were really muted but that kinda helps moments with lots of color pop out at you.  There wasn't really that contrast but I really didn't mind it because I was too occupied looking at how the movie was in general!


Although the movie was playful and fun to watch, the music was mostly mellow and really slow-paced.  Although there was some music that matched the former, I remember the slow piano instrumentals that really set the tone.  Also the actors had great range in tone.  Love they can go from cheery to deep and very thoughtful.


All characters showed great chemistry with one another.  I thought that Makoto's character was really great.  I loved how even though she's somewhat of a typical female character, she still kept her common sense of the situation at hand.  She was frustratingly dimwitted like how most become.  With that it goes to all characters that they have no quirk about them (good or bad), to add an unnecessary dimension that gives potential to hurting the movie.  They all are like regular people which helps you connect more.


It's a time travel movie done correctly.  No ridiculous rules that provided many questions about "how they did that" or "why they didn't do this?".  It's a really endearing movie that wasn't too over the top.  I do love how relatable it was without the aspect of time travel.  The characters really made the movie keep going and go in the right direction.

10/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
CassieFleurs's avatar By on May 3, 2015

Such a sweet movie, its great for a lazy afternoon.

I watched  at random in a hotel but was so captivated i didnt even go to the pool to finish this hear warming tale.

8/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
TurtleLordLeo's avatar By on Jul 10, 2014

Makoto Konno is a foolish and tomboyish high school student who spends most of her time hanging out with her two male friends. Things change one day when she suddenly gains the ability to leap through time! Initially, she used her powers and did mundane acts like preventing her sister from stealing her dessert and cheating on tests. However, the small alterations she made to the timeline turned out to have unexpected consequences that compile into dramatic and fatal situations for her and the people around her...

This movie is a Japanese animated movie, with English subtitles. I think the voices of the characters are fitting and likeable, and I found it almost impossible to not fall in love with the heroine’s voice. As if the voices alone don’t make the characters likeable, the character design and their personality makes them even more likeable!

Overall, I find this movie fantastic. It is sufficiently entertaining, and not really absurd but rather realistic and simple - It is relatable among normal people like us. In many sci-fi movies, if a character were to gain the ability to time-travel, they would most likely go back in time and do things that will alter history to a huge degree, like killing Adolf Hitler to become Fuhrer. Instead, Makoto uses her powers for her own mundane purposes. Of course, she didn’t realize that these mundane acts would still impact the timeline just as badly, due to the law of cause & effect. This movie started out slow but slowly picks up pace. Surprisingly, this movie turned out to be more of a love story than a time-travel tale, and a good one while at it! It’s light-hearted, fun, and teaches us all to appreciate the lives we live – like leaving the past behind and move on with life, and just “Go with the flow”

“Time-travel tales are just too complicated and headache-inducing...” said my brother, Farshad.

I like time-travel tales, however, and I definitely enjoyed this one!

If you’re looking for a romance movie with a slice of sci-fi in it, then give The Girl Who Leapt Through Time a chance!

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
10/10 overall