The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006 film)

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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time poster.jpg
North American release poster
Japanese 時をかける少女
Hepburn Toki o Kakeru Shōjo
Directed by Mamoru Hosoda
Produced by Takashi Watanabe
Yuichiro Saito
Written by Satoko Okudera
Based on The Girl Who Leapt Through Time 
by Yasutaka Tsutsui
Starring Riisa Naka
Takuya Ishida
Mitsutaka Itakura
Sachie Hara
Mitsuki Tanimura
Music by Kiyoshi Yoshida
Cinematography Yoshihiro Tomita
Editing by Shigeru Nishiyama
Studio Madhouse
Distributed by Kadokawa Herald Pictures
Release dates
  • July 15, 2006 (2006-07-15)
Running time 98 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女 Toki o Kakeru Shōjo?) is a 2006 Japanese-animated science fiction romance film produced by Madhouse, directed by Mamoru Hosoda and written by Satoko Okudera. Released by Kadokawa Herald Pictures, the film is a loose sequel to the 1967 novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui and shares the basic premise of a young girl who gains the power of time travel, but with a different story and characters than the novel. Riisa Naka voices Makoto Konno, a teenager who inadvertently gains a mysterious power. She learns from her aunt Kazuko Yoshiyama—protagonist to the original story—that she has the power to travel through time. Makoto begins using the time-leaps frivolously to fix problems.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was released on July 15, 2006 and received positive reviews. The film won numerous awards, including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. The English version was licensed and produced by Kadokawa Pictures USA along with Ocean Productions (dubbing) and released by Bandai Entertainment in 2008.

Plot[edit]

Seventeen-year-old Makoto Konno (Riisa Naka/Emily Hirst) lives with her family in the Shitamachi area of Tokyo, Japan. Makoto lives with her parents and younger sibling Miyuki (Yuki Sekido/Shannon Chan-Kent). Her aunt Kazuko Yoshiyama (Sachie Hara/Saffron Henderson), is an art restorer at the Tokyo National Museum. One day, when Makoto discovers a message written on a blackboard at her high school, she inadvertently falls upon a mysterious, walnut-shaped object. On her way home, Makoto is ejected into a railroad crossing when the brakes on her bicycle fail and is struck by a train. She is transported back to the point in time when she was riding her bicycle on the hill. Kazuko explains to Makoto that she has the power to "time-leap", to literally leap through time. At first, Makoto uses her power extravagantly to avoid being late, to get perfect grades on tests, and even relive a single karaoke session for ten hours, but soon discovers that her actions can adversely affect others.

In consequence, Makoto uses most of her leaps frivolously, to prevent undesirable situations from happening, including an awkward love confession from her best friend Chiaki Mamiya (Takuya Ishida/Andrew Francis). Makoto eventually discovers a numbered tattoo on her arm which indicates the limited number of times she can time leap. Using her remaining time leaps, Makoto attempts to make things right for everyone. Makoto impulsively uses her final time leap to prevent a phone call from Chiaki asking if she knows about time-leaping. Due to this, she is too late in preventing her friend Kōsuke Tsuda (Mitsutaka Itakura/Alex Zahara) and his new girlfriend, Kaho Fujitani (Mitsuki Tanimura/Natalie Walters), from borrowing her faulty bike. Evidently, this leads to their death when they are struck by a train after the brakes of the bike fail to work, similarly to Makoto’s earlier experience. However, time suddenly freezes and Makoto discovers Chiaki nearby.

Chiaki confesses to her that he is from the future. He also explains that the walnut-shaped object is a time-traveling device, and he used it to leap through time to see a painting that is being restored by Kazuko, as it has been destroyed in the future. While walking with Makoto in the frozen city, Chiaki explains that he stayed longer in her time frame than he originally planned. He admits to using his final leap to prevent Kōsuke's accident and has stopped time only to explain to Makoto what the consequences will be. Having revealed his origins, the nature of the item that allowed Makoto to leap through time, and is now unable to return to his own time period, Chiaki must disappear. Unfortunately, Makoto then realizes that she loves him.

True to his words, Chiaki disappears once time resumes. Initially distraught by losing Chiaki, Makoto discovers that Chiaki's time-leap had inadvertently restored a time-leap to her: Chiaki had leapt back to the time before Makoto used her final leap. Makoto uses it to safely leap back to the moment right after she gained her powers, at which point Chiaki still has one remaining time-leap. Makoto explains to Chiaki that she is from the future and reveals everything he told her concerning who he is, the ability to leap through time, and extending his stay in her time frame. Makoto promises to make sure the painting stays safe so Chiaki can see it in his time. Before Chiaki leaves, he tells Makoto that he will be waiting for her in the future. When Kōsuke asks her where Chiaki went, she says that he went to study abroad, and that she made a decision about her own future.

Release[edit]

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was released to a small number of theaters in Japan, taking in approximately 300 million yen (US$~3 million).[1] The film received limited advertising as opposed to other animation features, but word of mouth and positive reviews[2] generated interest. At Theatre Shinjuku for days in a row, filmgoers filled the theater with some even standing to watch the film. Following this, distribution company Kadokawa Herald Pictures increased the number of theaters showing the film across Japan, and submitted the film for international festival consideration.

North American distributor Bandai Entertainment premiered the film in North America on November 19, 2006 at the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema and on March 3, 2007 at the 2007 New York International Children's Film Festival. The movie received a limited release in the United States, being shown subtitled in Los Angeles in June, and in Seattle in September. Also, an English dubbed version was shown in New York City in July. Its Boston area showings in August were subtitled. The film has also premiered in the UK as part of the Leeds Young People's Film Festival on April 2, 2008. The film was made available on Cable VOD on December 1, 2010 throughout the United States on numerous major cable systems, such as Comcast, Time Warner, and Cox, among others, by VOD distributor Asian Media Rights, under the Asian Crush label.

Critical response[edit]

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time received generally positive reviews from film critics. It has an 87% approval rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 15 reviews with an average rating of 6.7/10, and the site's consensus: "An imaginative and thoughtfully engaging anime film with a highly effective visual design. This coming-of-age comedy drama has mad inventiveness to spare."[3]

Justin Sevakis of Anime News Network praised the film for its "absolute magic." Sevakis also noted that the film has "more in common with the best shoujo manga than [author Yasutaka] Tsutsui's other work Paprika". He said that the voice acting has "the right amount of realism [for the film]" and gave an overall grade of "A-".[4] Ty Burr of The Boston Globe praised the film's visuals and pace. He also compared the film to the works of Studio Ghibli.[5] Nick Pinkerton of The Village Voice said that "there's real craftsmanship for how [the film] sustains its sense of summer quietude and sun-soaked haziness through a few carefully reprised motifs: three-cornered games of catch, mountainous cloud formations, classroom still-lifes." Pinkerton also said that the film is the "equivalent of a sensitively wrought read from the Young Adult shelf, and there's naught wrong with that."[6] Author Yasutaka Tsutsui praised the film as being "a true second-generation" of his book at the Tokyo International Anime Fair on March 24, 2006.[7]

Accolades [edit]

Year Award Category Winner/Nominee Result Ref.
2006 Sitges Film Festival Best Animated Film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Won [8]
Nihon SF Taisho Award Grand Prize The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Nominated [9]
2007 Japan Academy Prize Animation of the Year The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Won [10]
Tokyo Anime Awards Animation of the Year The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Won [11]
Director Award Mamoru Hosoda Won
Best Original Story/Work The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: Yasutaka Tsutsui Won
Scriptwriting Award Satoko Okudera Won
Achievement in Art Direction Nizo Yamamoto Won
Character Design Award Yoshiyuki Sadamoto Won
2009 Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a Voice-over Role Emily Hirst Won [12]

It won the Animation Grand Award, given to the year's most entertaining animated film, at the prestigious sixty-first Annual Mainichi Film Awards. It received the Grand Prize in the animation division at the 2006 Japan Media Arts Festival.[13] It won the Special Distinction for Feature Film at France's thirty-first Annecy International Animated Film Festival on June 16, 2007. It played to full-house theatres during a screening in August 2007 at the ninth Cinemanila International Film Festival in Manila, Philippines.

Soundtrack[edit]

All music by Kiyoshi Yoshida, except where noted. Piano played by Haruki Mino.

  1. "Natsuzora (Opening Theme)"
  2. "Sketch"
  3. "Aria (Goldberg Hensoukyoku Yori)" (Goldberg Variations by Bach)
  4. "Karakuri Tokei (Time Leap)"
  5. "Shoujo no Fuan"
  6. "Sketch (Long Version)"
  7. "Daylife"
  8. "Daiichi Hensoukyoku (Goldberg Hensoukyoku Yori)" (Variation 1 of Goldberg Variations by Bach)
  9. "Mirai no Kioku"
  10. "Seijaku"
  11. "Kawaranai Mono (Strings Version)" (Hanako Oku)
  12. "Natsuzora (Ending Theme)"
  13. "Time Leap (Long Version)"
  14. "Natsuzora (Long Version)"
  15. "Garnet (Yokokuhen Short Version)" (Hanako Oku)

The film's theme song is "Garnet" (ガーネット Gānetto?), and the insert song used in the film is "Kawaranai Mono" (変わらないもの lit. Unchanging Thing(s)?). Both songs were written, composed, and performed by singer-songwriter Hanako Oku. "Garnet" was arranged by Jun Satō and "Kawaranai Mono (Strings Version)" was arranged by Yoshida.

Manga[edit]

The manga starts with Makoto Konno dreaming about discovering a younger Kazuko Yoshiyama unconscious after having just said farewell to Kazuo Fukamachi.

The film was adapted into a manga by Ranmaru Kotone and was serialized in Shōnen Ace a few months before the film's theatrical release. It received an 2009 English-language release for the Australian region with licensing by Bandai Entertainment and distribution by Madman Entertainment. The manga largely follows the same story as the film with some slight differences. Notably, the manga opens differently, with Makoto Konno dreaming about stumbling in on Kazuko Yoshiyama and Kazuo Fukamachi—the main characters of the original novel—parting ways, and ends with an epilogue of a young Kazuko waking up after Kazuo leaves in her proper time.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tokikake Wins "Animation of the Year" at Japanese Academy Awards: Follow Up". Anime News Network. February 20, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Gedo Senki Panned by Online Critics". Anime News Network. July 26, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2007. 
  3. ^ "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  4. ^ Sevakis, Justin (March 5, 2007). "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  5. ^ Burr, Ty (August 22, 2008). "Time stands still in enchanting 'Girl'". Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 20, 2012. 
  6. ^ Pinkerton, Nick (June 10, 2008). "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time's Real Craftsmanship". Village Voice. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Tsutsui Yasutaka talks about Toki o Kakeru Shōjo" (in Japanese). Retrieved May 5, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Toki wo Kakeru Shōjo Wins at Catalonia". Anime News Network. October 23, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2007. 
  9. ^ ""Toki wo Kakeru Shōjo" Nominated for the twenty-seventh Japan SF Grand Prize". November 23, 2006. Retrieved May 5, 2007. 
  10. ^ "Toki o Kakeru Syoujyo Wins Japan Academy Prize". Anime News Network. February 19, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Results of sixth Annual Tokyo Anime Awards Announced". Anime News Network. March 19, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2007. 
  12. ^ "30th Annual Young Artist Awards - Nominations/Special Awards". Young Artist Foundation. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  13. ^ ""Toki wo Kakeru Shōjo" Japan Media Arts Plaza in 2006". Archived from the original on 2007-04-26. Retrieved May 5, 2007. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]