The Girl Who Leapt Through Times dives into the whole time-travel love concept with an ending that can leave you grabbing for tissues and not for the reasons you think.
By Maria Joan Paula Dino

Romantic movies are always on the “to watch list” of any person, or any women. Classic favorites like The Lake House, The Time Traveller’s Wife, and Kate and Leopold, can make a lot cry buckets. These films featured the time-travelling aspect that added a whole new dramatic level to these chick flicks leaving, probably a lot of us, breathing a sigh of want and need.

Said to be the sequel of the first movie adaptation of Yasutaka Tsutsui’s Toki o Kakeru Shōjo (The Girl of Leapt Through Time) novel, a story about a girl who accidentally gained the power to travel to time, Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is no exception to this fact.

The movie follows Akari Yoshima, a high school student who is ecstatic about passing her college entrance exams. However, her happiness is short-lived as her mother, Kazuko, is involved in a car accident and is brought to the hospital. Kazuko starts to slip into coma but before she does, she asks Akari a confusing favour - go to 1972 and give an important message to Kazuo Fukamachi. Despite her reservations, she agrees and drinks the mysterious clear liquid that will enable her to go back to the past. To her disbelief, she indeed “time-leaps” back through time but unfortunately she arrives in the year 1974. Literally falling from the sky and landing on top of an aspiring film-maker, Ryota Mizorogi, she asks for his help of finding Kazuo who appears to have never existed at all.

Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is simple but not to the point that it becomes boring. However the minimalistic and semi-real approach of Director Masaaki Taniguchi might be disappointing to viewers. The sometimes not-so-great development and pacing of the movie might also be a thumbs-down. Yet the film does redeem itself in several ways.

Like the other films mentioned, Time Traveller is more focused on the romantic development of the two protagonists. The small, and sometimes unspoken, but intimate moments between Ryota and Akari can bring giggles and glee. The film also has dashes of random funny moments that can either be gut-busting or just plain weird. The realistic feel of 1970’s Japan authenticates and creates the atmosphere Akari’s current time. The simple and normal characters tell us there is no need for extremes in movies. But the main highlight of the film, the part that diverges itself from other romantic movies, is that it tells that you cannot change what has already happened.

Time Traveller may not be as good as Mamoru Hosoda’s highly popular anime adaptation of the novel but the movie does deliver. The tear-jerking twist and the sort of realistic end to the movie may be a disappointment to some but it does give us excellent take on romance.

Love is not as perfect as you read it in books. It’s not as adorable as you have seen in movies. It’s complex. It’s imperfect. The way that nature and fate play into our lives makes it more difficult. And this is why, despite its shortcomings, Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is an excellent romantic drama film.

So the next you are craving for some foreign romantic films, add this film to your list.

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