25 Days of Anime - #22: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

One of those feel-good films for viewers of all ages, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time tells the story of Makoto, a high school girl who is characterized by her quirky behavior and somewhat bold nature. Her friendship with Kosuke and Chiaki is addressed early on, and becomes increasingly important as she faces social pressures and internal conflict. On the one hand, Makoto likes things just the way they are - with her being friends with both boys. On the other hand, she wants to help Kosuke work up the courage to ask another girl out while simultaneously wrestling with her uncertainty over the future of her relationship with Chiaki.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a curious film - it combines a traditional teenage drama scenario with the element of time travel. There is no physical time machine and no ritual that needs to be performed before Makoto makes the leap backward or forward. Instead, she can simply jump at will, with her actions having rather drastic effects on the events that she alters. It isn't until she has a very limited number of jumps remaining that she realizes her mistake.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is presented with gorgeous animation. The three main characters are wonderfully realized, and though the story does not spend much time on the remaining cast members, both Makoto's sister and aunt are well-rounded and present interesting perspectives on Makoto's actions (the former having an incomplete concept of just what Makoto is doing, while the latter knows exactly what is going on). It's a great story that is rooted in rather simple origins, and taps into the inner teen and all the pressures and confusion one faces during those years.

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