Mamoru Hosoda's THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME
A Movie Review by Dennis D. McDonald
At first I thought, “Uh-oh, this is another one of those interminable animes about Japanese high school kids dealing with adolescent angst.”
Boy, was I wrong. Instead, what we have here is an artful and beautifully crafted tale about friendship and the small and large dilemmas brought about by the ability to travel through time. At first our 17 year old heroine uses her new-found gift to perform silly pranks. Later she discovers more serious entanglements that can generate real emotional and physical trauma.
It’s a beautifully produced and well acted story. Voice talent is excellent and mouth movement is, unlike many other anime I’ve seen, well synchronized with the spoken Japanese. Dubbing is adequate and reflects subtlety when necessary. Street scenes of everyday Japan are very authentic looking with striking details providing a realistic backdrop for very natural character movement.
Most appreciated is the natural looking and sounding friendship among the three main characters. The director treats them with respect. As a result, a very real sense of camaraderie is portrayed without overt sentimentality or sexuality.
This reminded mea bit of the great Japanese TV series Lain but without the fantastic sci-fi and Internet concepts. Both have high artistic content, mature themes, and intelligence. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time adds sensitivity and emotional impact.
Review copyright (c) 2009 by Dennis D. McDonald