By Joy Ong
What would you do if you could leap through time?
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is an animation directed by Mamoru Hosoda. It depicts the story of Makoto, an average and relatable high-school student. She is in her last year and has little to no clue of what she wants to do in her future. She simply wants time to stop. She wants to remain in the place she is. Makato lives in suburban Tokyo and is totally consumed in her world of going to school and withstanding pressures from her teachers and parents. She spends her time in the photography club and with the same friends she’s enjoyed everyday with for the past three years, Kousuke and Chiaki. Their moments together are filled with baseball, karaoke and goofing off. She is in a constant state of comfort causing her to fear change. As many young people do, she wants to enjoy the good times and is afraid of the adult world. She’d much rather ignore the passing days to her graduation, then face them.
Makoto’s life is suddenly flipped upside down as she accidentally discovers her newfound power, that she can leap through time. With a propelled run-up she can travel back to the start of the day. She experiences the “what if” situations, many face on a daily basis. She decides to use her power for her own personal benefit. Finding herself quickly playing with her power, using it over and over again to create the perfect present. She soon learns that time travel is a lot more complicated than she had anticipated. She realises that every puerile and even unconscious action and choice she makes has a consequence. That she is affecting the path of others as much as she is her own. No matter how hard she tries to manipulate the present, she can never control it.
This animation shows a story, every youth can relate to. As your teenage years begin to end you are quickly faced with the concept of your future. It can be scary, and you may wish for it to never come. To be young forever. However, over time Makato learns that she must accept that the present will change. The future is inevitable and to avoid it, is impossible. She learns to appreciate the simple, everyday things that she never realised could completely change the course of her life. She learns that she can shouldn’t fear but welcome the possibilities that will leap her to her future.