The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) 720p

Movie Poster
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) - Movie Poster
Adventure | Animation
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
Japanese 2.0  
Run Time:
98 min
IMDB Rating:
7.7 / 10 
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Directors: Mamoru Hosoda [Director] ,

Movie Description:
A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.


  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) - Movie Scene 1
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) - Movie Scene 2
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006) - Movie Scene 1

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Excellent, although somewhat puzzling

This terrific fantasy focuses on a girl who discovers she can jump back in time, and much of the movie is a light-hearted exploration of what a teenage girl would do with that power, which is essentially relive life better, avoid uncomfortable conversations, and eat pudding. The lead character is likably average.

There are a few oddities in this movie. Some of them are because it turns out, as I learned at wikipedia, that this isn't actually the same story as the novel upon which it is based but a sequel containing a character from the original movie, which explains a lot. Apparently the original story has been made into several movies and TV series in Japan, so the assumption was probably that everyone would understand a lot of references I didn't get.

Also, towards the end, we are given little pieces of information that suggest there is a whole other story to learn, although whether that story is in the original book or whether that would be the subject of yet another narrative I don't know.

Then there's the ending, which is logically unsatisfying and yet which I ultimately found emotionally resonant. It's one of these puzzling endings that has you reading wikipedia and going through the IMDb forum posts (which offer a lot of fascinating theories).

Well worth watching.

Filled with charming human moments

Based on Yasutaka Tsutsui's 1967 novel, - which has been adapted several times over the years, including 1983's The Little Girl Who Conquered Time - The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a charming mix of drama and romantic comedy, with a slight infusion of science fiction ideas. Makoto (Riisa Naka) is a high school girl who, through serendipity, gains the ability to leap back in time (but she only manages moments or hours back). She has platonic relationships with two high school boys, Chiaki (Takuya Ishida) and Kousuke (Mitsutaka Itakura), and they spend their time playing baseball.

With her new-found abilities, she does nothing spectacularly profound, and the films intentions aren't to comment on paradoxes or to shift the space-time continuum as is usually the case with time travel narratives. Makoto uses her abilities to repeat events that pleasure her, to ace a school test, and also to avoid certain embarrassing situations with her friends. But as her relationships with, particularly, Chiaki and Kousuke, her leaps become more personally profound, as she attempts to possibly save the people she cares for (within the context of small human moments of danger, and not the usual global/country catastrophes.

I love the fact that in Japan, they do not distinguish between live- action cinema and animated (anime if you like) films, they are all simply movies. Now I'm going to contradict this with a Western perspective: This beautifully animated film is a delight to view, with its traditional two-dimensions, it is evidence to the west that 3D, computer generated animation is not the overbearing format, and 2D is still a genuinely viable medium. The film is filled with charming human moments, both touching and thoughtful. Teenage comedies rarely have this level of tenderness of character, that also explores concepts of fate, the passage of time and the intricacies of small human moments, and the delicate nature of human relationships.

A gem of an anime feature.

"I wonder how someone was able to create such a beautiful painting, when it must have seemed that the world was coming to an end."

When high school student Makoto inadvertently discovers that she's gained the ability to leap (literally) backward through time, she immediately begins using it to her advantage - with little concern for how and why she's gained this mysterious power. No problem is too trivial to be solved by a little time travel, from pop quizzes to uncomfortable conversations. But, nothing in the past can be changed without consequence, and Makoto's frivolous use of her ability may result in one or more of her friends being lost forever.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is about as mainstream and accessible as anime gets. The characters are all pretty normal, likable, and relatable. There's a lot of humor in the first half of the story, while the last half is quite serious, heartfelt, and poignant. The animation and character designs are clean and smooth, and have a very modern appeal. The score has a lot of piano pieces that occasionally caught my ear in a very pleasant way.

I recommend this both to anime fans, and to those who aren't particularly familiar with eastern animation. The story is an entertaining mix of moments both somber and lighthearted, the characters are great, and the visuals were top-notch. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time isn't just a good animated movie, it's good by any standards.
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