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Lights, Camera, Critic's Review: The Girl That Leapt Through Time

Lights Camera Critic writes: Japanese animated feature films have been brought to global audience through the likes of Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away) and Nozumu Sasaki (Akira). Subsequently, they have also raised the bar for animated productions in Japan and globally. Miyazaki, especially, has been seen as the ‘Godfather of Japanese animation’ and anything that doesn’t have the notorious Studio Ghibli trademark has found it tough to gain an audience outside the Asian continent. However, director Mamoru Hosada moves away from his previous works of Digimon: The Movie and One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island to create a refreshing and beautiful look into the concept of ‘time travel’ in a teenager’s world

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Reibooi4328d ago

I would go as far as to say that The Girl Who Leapt Through Time should be a 10/10 or at the very least a 9.

It's a incredible movie and at the time it was a really big breath of fresh air. Alot of people complained about the final parts of the movie when it gets all serious and still others complained about the fact that Chiaki wanting to see the painting made no sense. Which is completely wrong.


He says things that lead you to believe that the time he comes from is a barren waste land(such as saying there is no Baseball and he had never seem that many people in one place) and Makoto's auntie witch talks about how the painting was done in a time it must have seemed as if the word was ending. So put 2 and 2 together and it's obvious Chiaki came to see the painting so he could see something beautiful that was made in times of grief and thus give himself hope. This is something nearly everyone I know missed in the movie and is part of why they think the last act doesn't work.

The comment about the English dub is also way off course. Considering this dub is on par with some of the other greats out there when nearly everyone in it was a complete unknown(or at least had not done much before) is pretty incredible. There are only a few weak characters and they are all minor. The main characters all sounded great and I personally could not watch the Japanese after having watched the Dub because I thought it sounded odd in comparison. Of course this is opinion and your mileage will vary. I just hate how the review doesn't go into the dub they just say as with anime the dub is weak. When dubs have grown in leaps and bounds in past years.

Overall the movie is ALOT stronger then the review gives it credit for. The parts most say are the weak parts are not. You just need to pay more attention and look a little deeper which is what makes any movie great. It's what makes it hold up for repeat viewings.

lightscameracritic4327d ago (Edited 4327d ago )

I appreciate the comment, mate. However, I wrote this review to share my opinion on the film. I gave it an 8/10 which corresponds to a 'Great' film, and that was my own interpretation of it. In regards to the painting, I understand that many will have missed such a 'detailed' and philosophical moral/ or explanation as you have pointed out. But, I didn't get that at all. As I said it was too rushed and the painting aspect just seemed like a afterthought by Hosada, that genuinely frustrated me. I think that more time towards this aspect of the film would have fully allowed a richer/ rounded ending.

In regards to the English Dub comment, I don't fully understand your reasoning. I'm half Japanese, though far from fluent. I just felt that the dubbing contributed to the characters and the overall picture. The film is set in Japan and is Japanese, thus I feel that the true authentic manner of watching any Japanese films in general. The trouble with many 'Anime' productions is an over-exaggeration of emotional tones and actions. This is respective of both Japanese and English Dubbing in general. However I felt it was perfectly natural and balanced in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. The English Dubbing just sounded awkward and as if the voice actor read the script and 'tried' to implement a fluency. 'Akira' is the only example where the English dubbing was excellent, even Miyazaki's productions haven't pulled this off.

8/10 is a great rating, its on par with the majority of Miyazaki's films. However, I personally would only reserve an 9 or 10 for a film that induced a powerful emotion reaction to the picture. I laughed, for sure, but it never was WOW, especially near the end. Different people interpret events, people, films differently, and this as my interpretation.
Anyway, cheers for your remarks :)

Reibooi4327d ago (Edited 4327d ago )

Well I would disagree about the part with the painting being tacked on. The talk of the painting and it's significance of when it was made is very early in the movie(I think they talk about the painting in the first 20 mins and then talk about it's origin abut halfway through) Then in the last act it's revealed that Chiaki is there to see it. Now if it had never been mentioned at all and then you just find out Chiaki was there to see a painting that was never talked about prior I would 100% with your assessment.

And my view on the last act being rushed is that Chiaki is supposed to disappear when someone finds out who he is and that he isn't from that time. That's just my view on it but again it's open to personal interpretation.

As far as the dub it's again personal opinion. I find it far easier to follow something in my native language and I have never had the whole it's in Japan with Japanese characters problem cause simple put it'a animation and the characters in animation rarely look overtly Japanese despite the setting and names they have(In live action I 100% agree with that reasoning and never watch live action dubbed for any reason). I personally thought the Akira dub was rather weak. Not comparing the 2 movies at all but as a overall affair I didn't think the Akira dub was all that great. Was decent and it worked but it wasn't great.

Some of the best dubs in my opinion are ones that are better then the original such as Baccano!(due to the accents), Beck(due to the music just sounding better for the most part), Black Lagoon(due to a number of script fixes and characters sounding more like they looked).

But again it's all personal opinion but I would like to suggest you check out the dubs to the above anime if you haven't already as they put Akira to shame in terms of Quality dubbing.