The Girl who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shōjo)

The Girl who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shōjo) 2006

Before moving to Madhouse, Mamoru Hosoda worked a lot in franchises like Dragonball Z, One Piece and Digimon but for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time he created a loose sequel to the novel of the same name by Yasutaka Tsutsui (who is also the author of one of my favs, Paprika).

In many ways The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is tonally quite different however, being far less surreal for one. Instead, this film mixes time-travel, romance, comedy and school drama really well – using its science-fiction elements to serve the character development.

I think most folks recognise this as the ‘breakout’ film for Mamoru and fans will certainly know he went on to direct a whole lot of other top notch movies but what I find most interesting from a reviewing standpoint is that it’s also the beginning of a three-film partnership between Mamoru and Satoko Okudera, who wrote this adaption.

To me, her work seems to be a really important factor in this mid-late 2000s period of his filmography and the progression of personal stakes and great dialogue seemed key to how I always respond to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Together, Okudera and Mamoru really put Makoto through the emotional wringer as she tries to ‘time-leap’ her way out of trouble, most of which she brings upon herself during the course of battling through the ups and downs of young love.

As a minor note, something I noticed that The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (and many anime film and series) does so well is romanticise the Japanese summer, especially with the giant cloud/blue-sky/cicada scenes that I seem to enjoy. And I know I’ve added mostly production context here instead of discussing the meat of the film itself, so I apologise but basically to finish, I really enjoy this movie and I think most folks would find the characters compelling and the storyline engaging, and of course, it’s full of beautiful visuals too.

5 Stars

6 thoughts on “The Girl who Leapt Through Time (Toki o Kakeru Shōjo)

  1. Watch as the aniblogger community freaks out about this fact. I have yet to see this movie. I’ve heard great things about it. Funny how the same director who started out with Digimon would be considered an esteemed animator.

    Wait? The book this movie is based on is from the same person who wrote Paprika? WOW! How did I not know this? Now, this gives me a reason to watch it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, was that around the time of your break? And Digimon always stands out a little in his filmography, yeah.

      Yep! I was happily surprised too – I’ve been trying to grab (and find time to read) the prequel story he wrote for a while now. From memory, the Aunt character in this film is the heroine of the novel (hope I got tht right!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Close to it even though I did see a few works a year or two after it. That really is true in hindsight with Digimon.

        It would be great to read the actual books from that same author. I wonder how similar or different they would be to these films.

        Liked by 1 person

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