Anime Review – The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Written by Kidijs on June 12th, 2009

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (時をかける少女, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo)


A seventeen year old girl named Makoto Konno discovers a way to travel through time. She uses it to turn situations in her life to benefit her. Unfortunately, she is oblivious to the Butterfly Effect and how there can be horrible consequences to playing with time. At first, she uses her newly-acquired time travelling abilities for frivolous things like trying to get perfect grades, re-playing a karaoke session and to avoid being clumsy. However, the aftereffects of her time leaping go in a completely different direction after she starts using her newfound skill to avoid awkward and unwanted situations. The story progresses and eventually Makoto discovers that her ability to leap through time is limited. Once she discovers that her ability allows only a certain amount of jumps, she decides to jump through time, not for her own selfish reason, but to make things better for everyone.



The movie follows the standard shoujo anime plotline with romantic, idyllic clichés of what life in Japan is during the summer. The viewer is quickly introduced to the potential romances waiting to unfold in the life of Makoto Konno, the cheerful, playful and light-hearted high school student.
It seemed to me that TkWS would be another standard ‘shoujo thingy’, but the time travelling twist made this show so much more interesting, in fact, it could even be called brilliant! The story also does a great job of exposing the viewer to a great spectrum of emotions without making the characters stifled and clumsy.

Makoto’s time traveling opens room for both comedy and drama. The lighthearted beginning blends into the drama filled scenes in the later part of the show very well. The great comedic moments go hand in hand with drama and saddening memories of Makoto’s lost childhood. They also show the helplessness of an average teen when the protagonist faces problems no one would even dream to face at their age. The charm and playfulness of the other characters suit the overall entertaining tone of Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo and, contrary to some anime series, make TwKS fun, brilliant and full of unexpected surprises.

TkWS’s animation has detailed character designs, but leaves the impression of a minimalist structure. The animation isn’t really at the prime level, but if it was, it’d probably scare you away. The animation fits the movie really well, as it expresses a lot with the help of colorful animation scenes and idyllic, warm sceneries. Except for some CGI scenes in the middle, that, pardon my French, do look like crap, the animation techniques used in the show are stunning.

The soundtrack’s instrumental tracks REALLY fit the movie. I’m not kidding here; the animation looked like it was made for the music in the background, not vice versa. The character voiceovers are fine by any standards, with the voice of Makoto standing out from the crowd, at least in the English version of the film.

All in all, Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo has an awful lot to offer, even if you don’t like anime. If you like anime and you still haven’t seen TwKS, you are really missing out.
Its delightful tone and atmosphere makes it, if not a classic then at least a show everyone should see. It was definitely the top anime of 2006 and can compete with most of the one-outs that are released today.

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