This review was published on The Bath Chronicle website, although since it was quite a while ago it is no longer there. This is an example of a shorter review written for a newspaper, rather than the longer reviews elsewhere on my blog.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Like many Japanese anime fans, I have been anticipating the release of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Mamoru Hosodo, 2006) for over a year now and jumped at the chance to see it at the Bath Film Festival.
I am happy to say I was far from disappointed.
The story is surprisingly uncomplicated for Japanese cinema.
During an accident involving a bicycle, a level crossing and a very steep hill, a teenage girl named Makoto (voiced by Riika Naka) discovers she has to power to ‘leap’ backwards through time.
But adolescence comes with harsh lessons and Makoto struggles when her power starts causing trouble and harm to others, including her friends. While it may not quite be in the same league as Spirited Away, director Mamoru Hosodo could very well prove to be a contender to Hayao Miyazaki in the near future.
The science-fiction element is cleverly combined with a typical romantic school drama, although I did feel the balance was off for a large portion of the film.
Kiyoshi Yoshida’s soundtrack portrays the emotion brilliantly and the stunning artwork brings the film to life with lush colours and spectacular scenery.
The animation and character designs are very simple, yet this makes Matoko’s teenage joys and pains incredibly realistic. Watching the film is like going back to your own school days. Minus the ability to time travel, that is.