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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Lovely, anime charm with a jarring third act
By JASON O'BRYAN  |  August 20, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars

The novel written by Yasutaka Tsutsui in 1965 had been adapted some eight times before this, but never quite so adorably. Makoto Konno (voiced by Riisa Naka) is an ordinary high-school girl whose chief antagonists are her alarm clock, pop quizzes, and her pudding-thief little sister. Then she discovers that she can time-travel. After a carefree, Groundhog Day–like montage, her aunt reminds her that there may be consequences to her actions in the past, and the rest of the film finds Makoto trying to set things right. Mamoru Hosoda’s adaptation is mostly lovely; the animation by Madhouse abounds with charming details and characters, the myriad shames and successes of idealized youth. The film derails in the third act, losing itself in its own time-warp story and a sudden, jarring heaviness that has no place in this otherwise wistful parable. But the anime charm and lovable Makoto (just barely) carry it through to a decently satisfying conclusion. Japanese | 98 minutes | Brattle Theatre: August 22-25

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