Sunday, October 17, 2010

Anime movie review- Toki wo kakeru shoujo

Toki wo kakeru shoujo is a perennial hit much like Hana Yori Dango. It was originally a popular science fiction novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui, a popular japanese science fiction novelist. Following the novel's success, a live action movie was made in 1983. The movie was successful in Japan. A live action series (drama) aired in 1994. In 2006, madhouse released an animated movie of Toki wo kakeru shoujo. A manga was also released. It has since been remade into another live action movie. In all media, Toki wo kakeru shoujo was a hit. The movie, anime, books etc. have won numerous awards. The anime boasts of a long list of awards. The anime grossed $30,000,000.

The story follows Makoto Konno, a tomboyish high schooler who accidentally stumbles into a mysterious shadow in the chemistry lab. She falls down and hits a nut like ball. A flashback (something like that) occurs and she gains the ability to jump through time. She reads the quote 'Time waits for no one' on her school blackboard. While going back home, Makoto's bicycle brakes fail and she almost dies after hitting a train. At that moment, she automatically leaps through time and lands in a safer place.
She meets her aunt later, who works at restoring old paintings. Her aunt tells her that sometimes teenage girls get this ability. At home, she tries out time jump and succeeds. She spends time with her best friends Chiaki and Kosuke, practicing baseball every evening and going to karaokes.

She uses her new ability to its fullest to get good grades, prevent Chiaki from proposing, get Kosuke a girlfriend, sing karaoke, eat pudding that her sister stole and avoid accidents. She begins to avoid her best friend, Chikai fearing that he might propose. She visits her aunt in the museum where her aunt shows her the restored painting. It is calming and Makoto as well as her aunt like it a lot. However, while bathing, one day, she discovers a 09 tatoo on her arm. She concludes that it counts the number of times she can jump through time. She however, forgets to keep track of it. She helps Kosuke get a girlfriend. While walking home, they pass from aside her when she realises that they are about to bump into the train because her bicycle brakes don't work. She panics but all her time leaps are over. Her tatoo reads 00. Suddenly, then, time stops. She sees Chiaki walking to her with her bicycle and telling her that he has come from the future. She is shocked at this revelation. Chiaki also tells her that the shell that gave her power is used to recharge time jumps. In his era, they have invented a machine that allows people to leap through time. He came to this era to see the painting that Makoto's aunt restored. She realises that she turned back time and now the painting is not up for display. Chiaki tells her that he has to go back to his era. He wants to stay because he has made good friends here. Chiaki disappears and time starts moving.

She goes home and to her shock discovers that her tatoo has changed to 01. She runs with full force and goes back to the time when she first went into the chemistry lab. She doesn't use the gadget's power and returns it to Chiaki instead. He tells her that it is time for him to go back. She tries to hint that he proposed to her but he cannot remember because in this timeline, it never happened. She promises to look after the painting for him and make sure it survives in his era. As his last line, he tells her to be less reckless and take care. She expects him to propose and is disappointed by this. He disappears. She starts crying. A few seconds later, he appears and tells her that they'll meet is in the future.
She goes back to her normal life, practicing baseball with Kosuke and looks forward to the future.

Toki wo kakeru shoujo has a strong storyline. In the anime, a lot of scenes are wasted on depicting daily life in the relaxed rural town she lives in. The anime overall, has a relaxed atmosphere. It is laid back. The school life goes much like a slice of life anime. Tension is something the anime completely lacks even in the most emotional scenes. Animation is clear and easy to understand.

The music was good. It propelled ballad singer Hanako Oku to fame. The instrumental pieces fit the anime well. The movie surprisingly managed to create emotion and sympathy for the characters in such a short time. The storyline is one of the strong aspects of the anime and the novel. The idea was quite unique at least when the novel was written (1967). The last scenes are especially emotional but not enough to make the viewer cry. It is laid back and nostalgic. The ending is best categorised as ambiguous.

The anime was a lot like slice of life, school life and sci fi anime Kumo no ue yakusoku to aru basho only better and easier to relate to.

The anime is meant for relaxation and light entertainment. It is a good anime to watch when you're depressed, bored or just need to relax.

Art- 4/5
Storyline- 4.6/5
Characters- 4/5
Music- 4.3/5
Overall- 4.2/5




Lacks tension

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