Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Anime Review: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME: Perfect balance of exposition and plot development

Makoto Kanno is just your average teenager -- she lives with her family; she has friends; and she fails on school exams. But one day, on her way home, an accident makes her discover that she has acquired the power to leap through time. She takes advantage of this power in her family life, friendships, and school activities. But soon enough, she discovers that the effects of time travel is more complicated than she has thought.

What I really like about this story is that it presents the clichéd concept of time travel differently. Most time travel stories don’t even consider time travel its core concept. The concept is just there to add an impression of historical fiction. But The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a different case. All of the plot elements revolve around time travel.

Speaking of plot elements, this anime clearly knows how to establish them without appearing to be information dumping. They are interwoven with the actual plot development, meaning that they are presented while the main story is progressing. It makes the show a lot more fun to watch, because from the very start, something is actually happening, and it’s not just bombarding the viewers with boring exposition. In this sense, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is much better compared to Steins Gate.

What makes everything better, even suspenseful, is when these plot elements create a butterfly effect. One change through time travelling could have tremendous repercussions in future events.

But as much as I like the story, it’s not perfect. There are instances that I felt that it has been dragged out. There are plot elements that could have been removed and nothing would change in the overall story.

Aside from that, I also didn’t like that concept about Chiaki being from the future and everything else about that big reveal. It just spoils the magic for me. And the ending is a bit lacking as well, maybe because it has not much cathartic value, considering everything Makoto has been through.

I really like Makoto Kanno as a character. But this is biased -- I just like characters that are naive. I find it fun to see their good intentions result into tragedy. As for the other characters, there’s really nothing much to say, because this anime is mostly focused on Makoto. The only other character that has a fair share of screen time is Chiaki. I admit that their hints of a romantic relationship are interesting. They add to the seemingly plot-oriented nature of the story.

The art style is also unique. It’s not very detailed but not very bland too to appear uninspired. The music is not amazing, but I admit that there are soundtracks that deliver the emotions that the show wants to present.

Overall, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is of above average quality -- almost amazing, if not for the lacklustre ending. The story is very unique, and sometimes it could even be too hard to understand for those who are not very bright. It doesn’t take a genius to understand the story, but it does require some thinking to follow through.

But the best part of this story is not the story itself, but the lessons that are hidden between the lines. I recommend this anime to those who are not bored with anime that are not too flashy with action-packed sequences, and to those who believe that the true entertainment value of a great story is how the plot elements are interwoven to create suspense and drama.

            Additional Note: If you are interested in more time travel stories, you can check out Steins Gate. You can find my review of it here.

Related posts:
           Anime Review: Summer Wars
           Anime Review: Wolf Children Ame and Yuki


  1. Excellent review, I completely agree with your final statement how the best stories create great suspense and drama, and I have to say that The Girl Who Leapt Through Time does that very well. I became very attached to Makoto by the end of the film and I was not as bothered by the ending as much as you where, however I will agree it was not as good as how the film began.

    By the way, it is great to see a fellow Otaku on Blogger, I have had difficulty finding other blogs about anime. Also where is the follow button? I would like to be to able to keep up with your posts.


    1. Thanks! I've just added the follow button at the top right (I thought it wasn't working before so I put the widget just now. Thanks for letting me know that it's working.) Nice to meet other bloggers too!

  2. Great review:)

    I have to agree that despite its anti-climatic ending The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was a great anime movie.

    1. It was great indeed. But for me, a good ending is one of the most important parts of a great story, so The Girl Who Leapt Through Time could have been better with it. Still good overall though.