Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Mokoto is a girl in the process of having the worst day of her life. While her two close friends Chiaki and Kosuke are sympathetic, there's not much they can do. At school she discovers a strange object that will remedy this, she just doesn't know what it does just yet. On her way home she's killed by a train when the brakes on her bike fail.
Or almost killed anyway. As it turns out Mokoto discovers she's jumped back to her life a day before. While it takes some effort, Mokoto eventually masters the ability of jumping through time, even if the landing still needs work. Worst day of her life? Hah! Not for long! Soon everything will turn out just fine! But there are odd consequences to everything and it seems like even harmless small things are causing problems for others. The more she tries to fix, the more complex everything gets. As she tries to get everything right she discovers that she's limited in the remaining number of time jumps she can make. Will she have enough to fix everything?
Time travel is a concept beyond the capabilities of American cinema to grasp. Aside from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, time travel spells plot disaster. The best thing this country could do is pass a law banning the Star Trek franchise from ever using it again. Other countries seem to be able to grasp this concept and adapt it in interesting ways, but I don't think I've ever seen it done as a focus in anime. I've been traumatized by what Americans do with time travel, but the Japanese can make it fun, and cute with a really good story. Case in point: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
Mokoto happens upon this walnut looking thing and figures out that she can jump to her body in the past. Not to different places, she jumps back to her own body. Many of us would probably do something rather nefarious with such power, but Mokoto does simple things like karaoke for 10 hours strait, aces tests and has fun. If you think in video game terms, you try a stage, fail at it until you "figure it out" and are then able to progress. Mokoto gets to do this with her life. It does have a more serious side as things progress, but it doesn't feel heavy or too down.
Despite only being a feature movie in length, the characters are perfectly developed for what they need to accomplish. I think this title touches on character development so easily because the characters feel so natural.
There are some really good themes to this anime. It doesn't preach morals, but it does say a few things with subtly. The importance of protecting things for the future. You can't live in the present forever. The things people say and do are often for a reason and you shouldn't ignore them. Even the bad things that happen to you may be for the better in the end.
It's a show that is suitable for all ages, and even non anime fans. This is the sort of title you would give to a person to introducing to anime and knowing nothing about them because The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is about as safe of a bet as you'll find. An enjoyable title, that is really well produced with a good story, music and animation. Honestly I'm not sure what else to say other than that.
Yuri: Time waits for no one.
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