Anime: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
It's all about choices.
"Time waits for no one."
Original Title: Toki o Kakeru Shoujo
(variously translated as "The Girl Who Cuts Through Time", "A Girl Who Runs Through Time", etc)
Poor Makoto. She's officially having her worst day ever! It's not enough that she overslept and barely made it into school on time, she also flunked a math quiz, got flattened by two rambunctious boys at lunchtime, accidentally set the home economics room on fire, and then had this really weird accident while cleaning the science lab. Then to top it all off, she just had to crash her bike into this really crabby lady on her way home...and that wasn't until ''after'' she'd already been hit and killed by the train!
With a little experimentation, Makoto discovers that she has somehow developed the ability to leap backwards in time, allowing her to re-do events whenever she likes, from preventing her little sister from eating her favorite snack to re-living a karaoke session ten times in a row. But the more changes Makoto makes, the more she begins to realize the effect her time-leaping is having on other people - especially her relationships with her best friends Kousuke and Chiaki. And the source of her ability might not be as limitless as she first assumed...
An award-winning 2006 animated Japanese film produced by the animation studio Madhouse and distributed through Kadokawa Herald Pictures, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
is an adaptation of/sequel to a very popular 1966 novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui (previously adapted into three live action films (1983, 1997, and 2010), a 5 episode TV series (1994), a 2002 TV film and a 2004 manga title (A Girl Who Cut Through Time
), none of which received wide distribution in the west). Familiarity with the previous material is not necessary in order to understand or enjoy the film, although it is implied that Makoto's "Aunt Witch" is the protagonist of the original story, helping to explain some of the comments that she makes.
No relation to Sora O Kakeru Shoujo
("The Girl Who Leapt Through Space"), whose title was inspired by and a reference to this work. Or to the first episode of InuYasha
Provides Examples Of:
- Adults Are Useless: Subverted by Makoto's "Aunt Witch."
- Airplane of Love
- Arc Words: "Time waits for no one."
- Artificial Riverbank: Where Makoto makes her first deliberate time leap.
- Bad Future:
- Never outright stated, but possibly implied. Chiaki wishes to see a painting that's destroyed in his era, and when he talks about what he likes about the present, he mentions how he got to "see the sky for the first time", and be around "so many people". (Worse, the future has no baseball!)
- What makes it worse is that by the end, the first hints of that future are only beginning to show.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between the two main characters.
- Bitter Sweet Ending:
Chiaki: I'll be waiting in the future.
Makoto: I'll be right there. I'll run there.
- Betty and Veronica: Gender Flipped with Kousuke (Betty) and Chiaki (Veronica) for Makoto.
- Bullet Time: Simulated by multiplane animation.
- But Now I Must Go: Chiaki.
- Chekhov's Gun: The sweatband Chiaki constantly wears on just one wrist. A slightly odd but barely noticeable fashion choice that's ultimately revealed to be hiding his own time leap countdown.
- Chew Toy: Poor, poor Takase...
- Crashing Dreams: The opening scene.
- Crash-Into Hello: Makoto arranges one for Kousuke and Kaho.
- Deranged Animation: Especially the first time-leap sequence. It's deranged in a very pretty way, at least.
- Did Not Get the Guy:
- Not really. He said he would wait for her in the future. Even if they do not get together, it would be a bittersweet ending instead, since they do love each other.
- But is it 'He's already out there somewhere' future, or 'Reverse Hikaru Genji Plan' Future?
- And how far in the future are we talking? Will she be old enough to be his grandma?
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: This movie is about a girl. She leaps. Through time, no less.
- Even more specifically: she quite literally leaps through time.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Chiaki.
- Four Is Death: At 4:00, Makoto nearly gets hit by the train before time leaping. Kousuke and Kaho did get hit by it at the same time, in a different timeline.
- Funny Background Event: When Makoto tells Kousuke that he should ask Kaho to play baseball with them, Kaho's two friends can be seen freaking out and running around the tree in the background.
- Furo Scene: Makoto is often depicted brooding in the bathtub. Fanservice free. Or free Fanservice. If you're into that sort of thing.
- Genre Savvy: Makoto's aunt, who was either harassing her with advice, or giving the best she could given the circumstances, such as if she ever considered that maybe her time traveling is ruining someone else's life in the process of her trying to fix something else.
- Going to the Store: Going out in the evening to test her time-leap power, Makoto claims she's "going to the konbini".
- Gratuitous English: "Time leap." and "Time waits for no one."
- Heroes Want Redheads: Or heroines, in this case.
- I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship: How Makoto feels about Chiaki, though she doesn't have the courage to say so. The end result's still no better than if she had, at least at first.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Makoto, twice. Possibly slightly narmy.
- Interrupted Suicide: Subverted for comedy; Makoto, testing this whole "time jump" business, prepares to leap from her bedroom window only to be stopped by her horrified little sister.
- I Will Find You/I Will Wait for You: Makoto's and Chiaki's promise at the end of the film.
Chiaki: I'll be waiting for you.
Makoto: Okay. I won't be long. I'll come running.
- Karaoke Box
- Late for School: Makoto and Chiaki both.
- Lost in Translation: The origin of "Aunt Witch" is actually a pun on the character's real name using "majo," the Japanese word for witch. The joke didn't translate so a literal translation was chosen instead.
- Love Dodecahedron: Yuri has feelings for Chiaki, who has feelings for Makoto. Kaho has feelings for Kousuke, who may or may not have feelings for Makoto. Makoto initially ignores both triangles, preferring to stay friends with both Chiaki and Kousuke, until she realizes she has feelings for Chiaki.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: Makoto and Chiaki are of the UST variety; Makoto's denial of Chiaki's asking her out partially kicks off the rest of the plot and eventually culminates in her eventually accepting her feelings for him - but it's too late.
- Magic Skirt
- Meet Cute: Makoto arranges one for Kousuke and Kaho. It takes her at least four tries to get it right, and ultimately results in Kousuke and Kaho getting hit by the train. After her final reset, she gives up on the idea and takes a much more direct approach.
- Megane: Occasionally Kousuke.
- Misapplied Phlebotinum: Both the heroine and the person who provided it in the first place misused theirs—one to sing karaoke repeatedly, the other to view a painting.
- Motif: The ever-changing Time line, the ladybug.
- The number 13 appears many times. The day when the story begins is June 13, which the newscaster says to be a lucky day.
- Mundane Utility: As mentioned above, Makoto finds many trivial uses for the ability to time jump, including going back two nights to have a dinner she likes instead of one she doesn't.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Makoto does this multiple times, sometimes breaking something else while undoing something she broke.
- On a wider level, Makoto's attempts to dodge a relationship upgrade with Chiaki come perilously close to breaking the very friendship she's trying to preserve.
- The Noun Who Verbed: The title.
- Oblivious to Love:
- Aunt Witch points out that Makoto has always said she would never date either Kousuke or Chiaki as she sees them only as friends but subtle feelings for both of them emerge. With Chiaki, she dodges all his attempts to upgrade their relationship until she warms up to him as a potential boyfriend.
- This can be applied to Kaho as well, in her attempts to get close to Kousuke.
- There's also Kousuke to consider with his subconscious romantic feelings for Makoto, creating a sort of unintentional and unsuspecting love triangle between the trio.
- Also, for a great portion of the film, Chiaki was oblivious to Yuri's feelings for him. And because time returned to normal is still oblivious to it.
- Oh, Crap: First, "I'm borrowing your bike." Second, Kousuke and Kaho passing by on the bike on the hill where Makoto nearly (or actually did) died.
- Panty Shot: Surprisingly averted. Makoto goes tumbling a lot, but the viewer never gets a shot of her undergarments. The movie in general does not concern itself with fanservice.
- Phlebotinum Breakdown: The Time Leaping technology works only so many times.
- Poor Communication Kills:
- Makoto has to learn this the hard way. She uses her time leaps to prevent Chiaki from asking her out, but continues to avoid him because she knows he likes her. Chiaki, who had been unable to ask Makoto out and is growing confused and frustrated with Makoto's avoidance of him, decides to date Makoto's friend Yuri instead, possibly believing his feelings for Makoto are unrequited. This causes Makoto's jealousy, as she is beginning to realize her own feelings for Chiaki.
- Also almost literally. The brakes on Makoto's bike are broken, which leads to her almost getting killed when she skids into train tracks on the first day. On the last day, Kousuke borrows her bike to take Kaho home, not knowing about the busted brakes, and they both skid into the same train.
- Power Trio: Makoto, Chiaki, and Kousuke.
- Railroad Tracks of Doom: At precisely 4:00 no less. (After all, Japanese trains are noted for their punctuality.)
- Real Place Background: The anime extensively uses real locales in Tokyo. The railway crossing, for instance, is a mix of Nakai station in Shinjuku and a slope in the Omokagebashi neighbourhood.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: At first, Kousuke (blue) and Chiaki (red), although Chiaki later drops his facade.
- Reset Button: The heroine pushes this until it breaks.
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory:
- Justified, as it's the heroine bouncing around through time, and nobody else.
- It gets a bit fuzzier near the ending: Chiaki, not Makoto, is the one who makes the jump that saves Kousuke and Kaho from being hit by the train, but Makoto still seems to remember it happening, and doesn't initially realize that she's not out of leaps after all.
- Sarcastic Confession: Makoto, "after" spending 10 hours at the karaoke and asked why her voice is sore.
- Slapstick: Makoto gets hurt. A lot.
- Scenery Porn: Especially at one point when time is frozen.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: On many levels, from retaking a quiz to introducing Kousuke and Kaho to reversing their deaths.
- Subtext: Before he asked her out, most of the hints that Chiaki and Makoto were really into each other could be hard to pick on during the first viewing, especially if you're more used to anime where the signs of a relationship are far less subtle. But they ARE there.
- Shipper on Deck: Makoto, and to a lesser extent, Kaho's two friends, does this for Kousuke and Kaho, with mixed results till the end.
- Shrinking Violet: Kaho.
- Six Is Nine: The '90' tatooed on Makoto's arm is actually a '06', it's the number of leaps she has left.
- Slow Motion Pass By: Kousuke and Kaho on Makoto's bike, headed for the train crossing of doom.
- Tempting Fate: Makoto desires that Chiaki, Kousuke, and she will be friends forever and nothing will ever change. Unfortunately, things do change.
- That Didn't Happen: Possibly a subversion. Even when Makoto goes back in time to make sure that Chiaki asking her out didn't happen, her relationship with him is still changed because of it.
- íThree Amigos!: Chiaki, Kousuke, and Makoto.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: Makoto eventually gets hers.
- Time Stands Still: Near the end of the film, when Chiaki somehow arranges an extended time-stop for a chance to explain things to Makoto.
- Time Travel Romance: A potential one.
- Tomato Surprise: Chiaki is a time traveler from the future.
- Tomboy: Makoto. Big time. She still has a very girlish charm though, especially with respect to Chiaki.
- Troubled, but Cute: Chiaki.
- Tsundere: Makoto towards Chiaki, subverted and played for drama. This film shows the heartbreaking consequences of not being able to express your feelings to your loved ones before it's too late.
- Umbrella of Togetherness: Makoto has a flashback to herself, Chiaki, and Kousuke under a red umbrella.
- Wham Line:
Chiaki: [to Makoto] Have you been time leaping?
Chiaki: Would you... Would you laugh if I told you I came from... the future?
- You Already Changed The Past: Sometimes Makoto forgets about the changes she made.
- You Can See Me?: A variation. One person eventually suspects something and asks Makoto if she's time leaping. Needless to say, this massively freaks her out.