Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

I had a chance to watch this amazing film the other day.

As some, or many of you, may know, I'm not one for anime. Usually, when someone suggests a series or film that I should watch, I--nine times out of ten--tune them out and forget all about said anime. Although I'm an animation lover, I find most anime rather trite, and I often loathe the voice work--both the original and the dubbed. However, there are exceptions. Of course, Hayao Miyazaki's films are excellent. I enjoyed Trigun, and Tekkon Kinkreet was one of the better films I watched last year. Because of my selectiveness in watching these things, I was more than a bit wary about The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. But seeing as my wife was out of town and I didn't have much going on, I popped this one in. And was very impressed.

The film has a pretty simple idea at its core: a girl has the power to jump back through time. From some of the other anime's I've seen, I feared this might take a ridiculous turn, going over the top, becoming silly or too bizarre for no real reason. But, TGWLTT keeps things close to heart, following Makoto through her last few weeks of school before she has to figure out what she wants to do with her life. When you get right down to it, this is really just a coming-of-age/love story that just happens to have fantastical elements to it. And as many of you know, these are my favorite kinds of stories.

The whole time-travel aspect is handled both with maturity and makes sense. Often there are too many holes left in a time-travel story, but this one keeps things tight, slightly complex, and very intriguing.

Animation-wise, the film looks wonderful--especially as (at least until Princess and the Frog) American films have all converted to computer animation.

And the voice acting isn't too shabby either. I watched it with the original Japanese dubbing, so I can't attest to the English, but there weren't any overtly squeaky or otherwise annoying voices.

Basically, whether or not you're in to anime, you should check this film out. It's amusing, emotionally engaging, and a nice take on a coming of age tale.

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