Japanese Title: Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo
Qualia the Purple (manga)
Watched in: Japanese & English
Length: 1 hr. 38 min.
- Fun, lovable protagonist.
- Lighter take on a usually dark premise.
- Natural character interactions.
- The change of heart is too abrupt.
Repeatedly leaping through time in the hope of saving a loved one has become a popular concept in recent years, as seen in the likes of Steins;Gate and Live Die Repeat. The prevailing tone of these stories is grim and dark – no matter how many rewinds, all seems hopeless for the hero. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time differentiates itself by taking the opposite approach – happiness.
After those heavy (and great) aforementioned stories, it’s refreshing to see a protagonist that has fun with the superpower. One afternoon, high schooler Makoto gains the ability to leap short distances through time (the bigger the physical leap, the further the rewind), and as anyone would do with such an ability, she uses it to retry exams and re-experience fun afternoons with friends. I love her sense of fun and optimistic attitude. She’s one of the few realistic depictions of getting a super power and having fun with it.
She most notably uses her power to undo personal mishaps. Unfortunately, whenever she turns events in her favour, someone else must take the loss. If she causes an accident, reverses time to undo it, someone else causes the accident. Of course, this results in serious consequences.
Now, it never gets heavy like Steins;Gate. Even at its most serious, a moment of fun isn’t far away. I adored her interactions and dialogue with her two friends. Their discussions on relationships reminded me of every cringe moment from my own high school days. Time leaping to avoid an awkward love confession was perfect.
Girl Who Leapt’s only real flaw is with a change of heart around the middle, which is a little abrupt. They didn’t take the time to sell the audience on the sudden change. Not a major problem, though. I would have also liked some exploration of the source of the power – they give almost nothing.
There isn’t much to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. It’s a simple story, especially for time travel, small in scope, focused on a few friends in a Tokyo neighbourhood. It doesn’t overreach, accomplishing exactly what it set out to do. And I loved every moment of it.
Art – High
Good animation, environments and backgrounds, but the characters are flat – no shading or lighting, not even line details, just outlines. Colourful palette matches the light tone.
Sound – High
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time features good voice work in both languages, and the music alternates between peppy tunes for comedy scenes and piano when emotion kicks in.
Story – High
A girl gets the power to leap short distances through time, but quickly learns her meddling has consequences. It’s rare to see a light-hearted time travel story, accomplished with a great balance of humour and conflict.
Overall Quality – High
Recommendation: Watch it. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is good fun for all – great time travel story for kids – and worth an hour and a half of your time.
Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)