Time travel is one of those subsets of science fiction that is just fun to think about; indeed, there have been great works built around variants of the concept (think police boxes and DeLoreans). There have also been some that were…not so great (the names of which are withheld to protect the guilty). Fortunately, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is more the former than the latter.
Makoto is a slightly tomboyish high schooler who has a really bad day—almost late to school, bombs the pop quiz, sets fire to the home ec classroom, the brakes on her bicycle go out, and she gets hit by a train. We’ve all had days like this, but fortunately for Makoto, she picked up the ability to go back in time somewhere. Like most people who suddenly have the ability to travel through time thrust upon them, Makoto wastes no time wasting time travel on reclaiming the pudding her sister ate the day before and staging a ten-hour-long karaoke marathon.
She realizes that it’s not all fun and games when she starts hurting people, indirectly and directly, with her manipulation of time. Of course fixing the things she messed up isn’t that easy, and when Makoto’s time travel powers run out of juice, she finds out that her actions have ultimately led one of her best friends and a classmate into a rendezvous with the train that would have killed her…
One of the few quibbles I have with this movie is that…ooh, I almost said something truly spoileriffic. Okay, let me just say that the motivations of one of the characters is not very well developed, in my opinion. This person is engaged in a significant course of action and the reason why isn’t very well explained. Other than that, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a great movie, a solid A in my book. Interesting characters, good plot, nice art style, great movie.