Critic’s Log - Earthdate: October 17, 2013. Review #60: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
In the realms of imagination. Time Travel can be quite amusing. In a fictional sense, it is a creative trope. There have been some fictional stories that use time travel pretty well and show the consequences of altering events whether it be good or bad, and Great Scott! The possibilities of time travel stories is pretty close to infinite. This movie is sort of like this. This is the tale of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
Makoto Konno is a 17 year old high school girl and she somehow gained the ability to "leap" 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 herself and her friends. But regardless of intentions, these actions do have consequences.
May I go back in time and just avoid giving you that brief sypnosis? I would rather just let you see the movie for yourself. Then again. My style is a bit formulaic but that’s just how I do things with all the wibbly wobbly timey-wimey...stuff that’s going around on my daily schedule. Anyway. This is a Madhouse production and this studio has a high reputation and a good resume for having good production values in whatever projects they work on. The animation is pretty high-quality in this movie and it looks really good. An interesting note is that the character design is by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto. Who is known for the character design of Neon Genesis Evangelion as well as being the artist and writer for the manga counterpart. Mamoru Hasoda did have him do the character design in his following movie Summer Wars as well as Wolf Children. I think Hasoda-san likes to have Sadamoto-san do the character designs I guess. Anyway, the animation’s pretty good but I can’t say it’s perfect either.
The music by Kiyoshi Yoshida is something I would like to address. the soundtrack compliments this movie pretty well. There is a mix between orchestral and piano and they are used very effectively for the most part. It’s too bad Yoshida-san did not compose much for anime, but I guess it’s nothing to worry about. The music’s great.
When it comes to voice acting, there are not a lot of big names in the Japanese cast. Riisa Naka is great as Makoto for her debut role. Takuya Ishida is also great as Chiaki, and Mitsutaka Itakura plays his role well as Kousuke. If there is a big name in the Japanese cast of the movie, it would be Fumihiko Tachiki as the teacher. I do like to compliment this movie for having a cast that sounds natural and not having to resort in using extremely professional seiyus. The Japanese cast is mostly good in this movie. However, with the English dub, it almost has the same approach. Emily Hirst is actually pretty decent as Makoto and this is her only role so far, Andrew Francis was great as Chiaki, and Alex Zahara was pretty generic as Kousuke but still filled the part just right. There are some supporting characters that are voiced by some people you may know if you know who “The Ocean Group” is. The dub is actually a decent listen, but it is also a somewhat natural dub to listen to as well, but there are some little hiccups in the dub that could have been acted a little better. Both the Sub and Dub is listenable in this movie, but if I had to pick one over the other, I’d pick the Subtitled Version.
In terms of characters. Makoto is the character you definitely should pay attention to in this movie. Her personality is fitting in this movie and once the movie progresses, you’ll see why. Chiaki is another interesting case, enough said. Kousuke is…a normal guy. The one character that was interesting was Makoto’s aunt Miyuki. Anyway, the characters are believable and nice to watch in the long run.
In terms of the story, it is mostly great. The movie has a typical first act, the second act is pretty damn good. The third act may not hold up to some people’s expectations. Allow me to explain, Some things in this movie aren’t really answered in this movie and did not leave a possibility for much interpretation. I will say that this shouldn’t hinder the movie at all because even though the unexplained questions are not answered. Most of this movie is pretty good. Even though the first two acts are pretty good, that third act can be seen as disappointing to some. I actually liked the third act for the most part. It could have been better, but I did like the end result to it. Why? Because there is a running motif of consequence. If you like time-travel stories, this won’t disappoint you all that much. This is a thought provoking movie that has time travel. I wonder when we’ll get another thought provoking time travel story in the future. I guess time can only tell...
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was available by Bandai Entertainment, meaning… it is out of print. a manga adaptation of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui and Illustrated by Ranmaru Kotone was available by Bandai Entertainment, and it is also out of print. That adaptation’s sequel with the subtitle “After” is also by Yasutaka Tsutsui but illustrated by Minoru Hashiguchi was never released stateside.
With all that said, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a rewarding treat if you like thought-provoking time travel stories. It does hold up pretty well with it’s quality of animation, believable characters, a fitting soundtrack, and a very enjoyable experience. The plot is mostly good, but the last third could have been spruced up a bit if going back in time was possible. Then again, even with its flaws, The last third is still good. This movie is definitely worth your time.
I give The Girl Who Leapt Through Time a 8.7 out of 10. it is VERY GOOD!
Feel free to comment, and I suggest you make an appointment to see The Doctor.