The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/09/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Enjoyable adventure with superb animation, strong direction and likeable characters, though the ending is slightly disappointing.

What's it all about?
Loosely based on one of the most frequently adapted stories in Japanese literature, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is directed by Mamoru Hosoda and is the first animated adaptation of the time-travelling tale. Riisa Naka voices Makoto, a scatterbrained, tomboyish high school student who likes nothing better than spending summer evenings playing baseball with her two best (male) friends, Chiaki (Takuya Ishida) and Kosuke (Mitsutaka Itakura), though she insists to her friend Yuri (Ayami Kakiuchi) that she doesn't fancy either of them.

However, Makoto's life changes dramatically when she narrowly avoids a fatal accident and discovers that she has the ability to leap through time. At first she uses her power for trivial things (re-sitting a surprise test she had failed; beating her sister home so that she doesn't steal her pudding) but she soon discovers that a) she only has a limited number of leaps left and b) the smallest of actions can have severe consequences, so she desperately tries to put everything right before her leaps run out.

The Good
The animation is gorgeous throughout and Hosoda pulls off some interesting directorial flourishes, such as a sequence where Makoto is running and the camera can't quite keep up with her. The script is also very funny in places, particularly when Makoto is frantically trying to derail a conversation when she knows Chiaki is about to ask her out.

Curiously, the film is more successful in its trivial sequences than in its overall plot, notably in a delightful, Groundhog Day-esque scene when Makoto turns a series of previous mishaps to her advantage.

The Bad
Though the film does pull off at least one unexpected twist, the finale is disappointing in that it opts for wistful nostalgia and a last minute plot element that seems like it belongs to another film, rather than the time-leap-based resolution you're expecting.

Worth seeing?
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a sweet story with strong characters and imaginative animation. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (PG)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 19:52

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