Film Review: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

I’ve been meaning to watch this moving for quite some time, so given I was in the mood for Anime after watching From Up On Poppy Hill yesterday I decided to give The Girl Who Leapt Through Time a watch.

This is a review of the 2006 Animated version of the film, the film is based on a 1967 book by  Yasutaka Tsutsui and there have been a number of adaptations of it (TV series, TV drama, live action movies and manga). Given that it’s been adapted so many times I’m going to assume the source material is pretty good and will have to look the original book up.

This film centres on 17 year old Makoto Konno who lives with her family and accidentally gains the ability to travel back in time. Her time travel takes the form of her rewinding the clock rather than her physically travelling back in time. This gives her the opportunity to relive events that have happened and in doing so alter their out come by behaving differently. If you seen “The Butterfly Effect” it’s a bit like that.

To start with this has comical effect Makoto goes back and has the “Perfect Day” having seen everything that went wrong with her day and fixing it, but of course events don’t happen in isolation and inevitably Makoto finds herself having to back track to “re-correct” the changes she’s made to get a better outcome as the net result of her time travelling escapades wreaks havoc on the lives of the people around her.

The characters in this are amazing, Makoto is brilliantly done and you will find yourself really connecting with her, less so with her slightly distant friends but they are still well written and well played and you learn that there is a reason that they are slightly distant.

I really enjoyed this movie, I’d happily watch it again and I’d even debate looking up some of the previous incarnations of the story. In the west you will probably find this film sorted among the Studio Ghibli films, and although it’s not a Ghibli Film if you like Ghibli you will probably like this film too.


Story Idea: The End of Immortality

I had a dream two nights ago which could be turned into a science fiction short story, maybe even a novel. I the Dream I was one of a race of Immortals (I think in the dream we were Humans who had just solved death, like in Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, which I’ve only listened to the first couple of chapters of as a podcast), In this society no one worked, all menial labour was done by clones who were treated a subserviant race.

Also in this society criminals rather than being incarcerated were just paralysed from the neck down, for the duration of thier sentences, they were walked about in wheel chairs by clone servents.

At some point in the dream it became apparent that we were no longer immortal, this meant that people who had no need to worry about death suddenly had this enormous shadow looming over them.

I think there a multiple facets to look into in this story, I think the Immortality bit is a bit Down and Out and a bit BSG. It would also be interesting to look into how the same circumstances would effect something non human, like the Endless from the Sandman, or more traditional dieties (I guess this is probably what the plot of American Gods is about, I’m only hafway throug it though), it’s also a bit Highlander I guess.

The treatment of criminals is something I’ve never encountered before, most science fiction seems to assume either incarceration, freezing, some form of game where they fight for thier life/freedom/fame, or just the death sentence for everything, not very many take the view of a more lenient society… Arguably paralysis is not nessisarilly more lenient, at least in prison you can move your own body even if it’s within the confines of your cell. When your body becomes your prison I think thats possible a worse punishment.

The third aspect of the dream, the subserviant clones echos my blog post from a few months ago, maybe the clones will notice that they are treated like shit, and rebel. Maybe it’s a criminal who is being served by the clones who makes them realise this fact? It wouldn’t be the first time a criminal sanctions criminal acts while imprisoned, then again is freeing a race who are subjugated and treated as slaves really a criminal act?

All food for thought.