Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Just watched: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

This is the latest in what seems to be a long line of drama/anime adaptations of the original novel from 1967 (interestingly, now the novel is so old that in this version the girl leaps back in time to the 1970s, after the novel was written). I’ve not seen any of the other versions, so I can’t compare them.

Naka Riisa stars in the lead role as the girl who drinks an elixir that would take her back to a time if she speaks the date out loud. This is so she can give a message to a schoolboy friend of her mother, but she misremembers the date and arrives two years too late.

This story then turns into a mystery (the boy she’s looking for doesn’t seem to exist) and a romance (with the film-making student who helps her) with a bit of science fiction thrown in. But these different genres all fit together well and the story is strong enough to keep everything together.

I can only guess at how accurately it recreates Japan in the 70s, but the from what I remember of my own childhood, the clothes seem spot on. The final scene, with the girl back in the present time watching the film made back in the 70s is quite a tearjerker. There’s something about 8mm film that seems to evoke the idea of memory and nostalgia. Perhaps that’s just because I’m old. Maybe people born in the 80s feel the same way about VHS.

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