At Gateway, my officemates and I caught two Cinemanila entries. It’s the Festival’s last day, and still reeling from my experience last Friday, I made sure we picked the right movies this time. Mantra: We have a choice. We have a choice. We have a choice. Repeat 20X.
On the last minute, I dumped the Best ASEAN film winner, MUKSHIN, in favor of Japan’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (released as Tokikake in 2006). I had no regrets. Gut feel told me that I can never go wrong with Japanese animation.
TGWLTT is a story of a schoolgirl, Makoto Konno, who realized that she can travel through time when she was about to meet a train accident. At first puzzled by her newfound powers, she eventually used this liberally to miss coming late to school, beat her younger sister to her favorite pudding, and many more. Soon enough, with a little help from her older sister who claimed to have done something similar in the past, Makoto was made to realize that her actions had adverse reactions on people around her. When she finally runs out of chances to leap through time (one is limited only to 90 jumps), it dawned on her that she should have used the power to do better things – like saying yes to love when it was first offered to her.
The film’s premise is not new, but the way it was applied here gave it its universal appeal. There is humor that connects with the audience and just the right amount of drama – oftentimes amusing in the manner only manga can do it – to arouse sympathy with the character. The only problem is that they didn’t end it when it should already have. We all know the feeling of having to go through many potential endings. It’s like missing your bus stop. There are missed opportunities to make a more remarkable ending by going on and on.
At any rate, it’d be nice to get a copy of this one if only to put it beside my copies of animation icons Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, although the animation doesn’t compare to the latter two.