On this edition of Creations of Chaos, it’s the YA, time travel film, that makes you ponder, if you had the ability as a teen to do over your most awkward moments, which moments would you choose? It’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
After a near death experience, Makoto discovers she has the ability to time travel.
Her time leaping skill works by sending her to a not so distant point in the past. This gives the often-awkward Makoto the opportunity to do over embarrassing teenage events.
Regrettably, like all cases of time travel, altering time has dire effects on those around Makoto. She finds out too late that there are some things time cannot fix.
My Teenage Fantasy
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is my teenage fantasy. It had my mind spinning, considering which awkward teenage events I’d use my time leaping skills to do over.
Being a teenage girl, Makoto thinks more micro, than macro. Instead of using her leaps to impact the entire world, she uses them to avoid an embarrassing classroom mishap, ace a pop quiz, and eat her favorite meal again.
To her credit, Makoto also utilizes her time leaps to help her friends, though it’s more difficult than she initially realizes. She can control time, but she still can’t control people’s feelings, or their reactions to situations. No matter how hard she tries, over and over again, she learns that people can’t be manipulated like chess pieces, and trying to do so can have disastrous consequences.
I thought it was brilliant to give the gift of time travel to a teenage girl.
Although it is revealed later in the film, that the time leaps can allow one to travel years back in time, Makoto only thinks she has the ability to go back to the recent past.
Now I am all for an epic time travel story where characters travel back to save the world from some apocalyptic disaster, but there is something beautiful and personal, about the limited time travel ability in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
In its essence, the story is about the struggles of growing up and not wanting things to change. Makoto must choose whether she will continue her studies in the arts or sciences. Her relationships, especially with her two male friends, are getting complicated.
As long as she can continue leaping into the past, she can avoid the inevitability of her life moving forward. She can at least, for a time, delay the pains that come with growing up.
Life in Moments
Another point that the film stresses, is that life often happens in the non-epic moments.
Again, Makoto does not leap back in time to change major events, but the smaller moments in her life and the lives of her friends.
There are plenty of smaller moments in my life I would love to go back and do over, or like Makoto, avoid completely, but the film demonstrates that these smaller moments have more of an impact on our future than we think.
Altering time so that she can avoid having an awkward conversation with her friend who has developed a crush on her, modifies and complicates the future to the point that unfortunate, permanent changes occur.
So the lesson is, it’s not always the large dramatic events, but the many small moments, that can also profoundly change our lives.
As a fan of science fiction and young adult materiel, I seriously loved The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Despite her flaws, Makoto is likeable, the use of time travel is fun and clever, and the overall plot is thoughtful and intriguing. It is definitely worth watching.