starlady: Sheeta & Pazu watch the world open out before them (think in layers)
[personal profile] starlady
Well, I'm back. California is beautiful, for the record, and despite some baggage folderol secondary to SEA being one of the most inefficient airports I have ever encountered (and that's saying something), my travel was pretty good. I even saved the $50 baggage fee Alaska was supposed to charge me, which I suppose is a virtue of experience. And learned paranoia.

So Parallels 2011! I wrote Turning and Turning, a Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo fic for [archiveofourown.org profile] person. 2800 words, Makoto/Chiaki/Kousuke.

And on that note…


Toki wo Kakeru Shôjo | The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Dir. Hosoda Mamoru, 2006.

In a strange, tangential way, this movie reminds me a lot of Utena--no, not for the plot, but for certain plot elements and the way that damn piano music accentuates absolutely everything, because if I learned one thing from Utena--well, I learned a lot of things from Utena, but one of them was that genteel piano music is totally appropriate for totally creepy things, and this movie is, for most of the way through, a horror story.

To back up, this is Hosoda Mamoru's first movie, adopted from a 1967 novel by Tsutsui Yasutaka. Hosoda's Summer Wars remains one of the best anime movies I've seen in the past few years, and Toki wo Kakeru Shôjo is also quite good. I'm not sure which is the stronger movie; I like Summer Wars better in all honesty, but that's entirely subjective.

At any rate, this movie concerns one Konno Makoto, a feckless high school student who suddenly discovers, when she literally dies in an accident at a railway crossing, that she has the ability to turn back time by leaping into the air. Her aunt, a professional art restorer at the National Museum in Tokyo, assures her that the Time Leap is completely normal, and Makoto is soon using it to make sure her life goes swimmingly. She can't quite prevent problems in her relationships with her two best friends, Chiaki and Kousuke, even so, and then she discovers that the Time Leap isn't infinite, but limited and running out.

I say that this movie is a horror story because of all the times that Makoto--and other people!--quite literally die in the course of the story. Further, if Makoto weren't absolutely assured about leaping through time, the movie would just be a collection of increasingly desparate suicide attempts on her part, and I found both of these aspects frankly discomforting, particularly since I'm not sure that the movie is quite cognizant of them. The ending is, not random, but something of a twist, which I also found somewhat disorienting.

So I suppose in the end that I am saying that Summer Wars is the stronger movie, despite the fact that the gender roles in Toki wo Kakeru Shôjo annoyed me much less. Amusingly enough, cyberspace and the inner workings of Time look quite similar in both films.

It says a lot that, living in Japan, I look at that damn bag of peaches Makoto carries around and think, "Damn, that's like ¥3000 or ¥4000 worth of fruit!"

I think my contention that the movie has horror elements is borne out by the AMVs that have been made from it. In particular, Maniaki's award-winning Paranoia Drift is very subtly creepy (and also excellent). DL and streaming at the link.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-19 00:28 (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
Welcome back! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-19 05:29 (UTC)
troisroyaumes: Painting of a duck, with the hanzi for "summer" in the top left (Default)
From: [personal profile] troisroyaumes
Starts at 1 PM roughly, but people do show up much later, so come when it's convenient!

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-19 01:44 (UTC)
esmenet: one hand held in two others (hands)
From: [personal profile] esmenet
if I learned one thing from Utena--well, I learned a lot of things from Utena, but one of them was that genteel piano music is totally appropriate for totally creepy things, and this movie is, for most of the way through, a horror story.

It is absolutely a horror story, which I had no idea of going in. I was very glad to be watching it on a good day, especially at the moment when she realizes her time leaps are running out, just as things start to get more and more serious. D: Scary scary scary.

I did like it though, especially the sweet-creepy piano music and the happily OT3 ending.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-19 15:44 (UTC)
esmenet: Mugen, Fuu, and Jin, with the caption "Go Team!" (go team!)
From: [personal profile] esmenet
Mmmm, OT3 is probably the wrong word for it. It's just that Makoto spent the whole movie worried about romance breaking up their friendship, turning her-and-Kousuke-and-Chiaki into her-and-Kousuke or her-and-Chiaki or Kousuke-and-someone-else. Splitting up the team. And then at the end Kousuke kind of goes off with his girlfriend and Chiaki goes off to THE FUTURE and Makoto is a bit alone, but there's an understanding that they'll get back together when they can, even if it's a long way away and only sometimes. A close & platonic friendshippy ending, let's say.


(I was actually chanting "don't kiss, don't kiss, don't kiss" in my head during the goodbye scene. And then they HUGGED, and it was amazing.)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-19 02:25 (UTC)
eisen: Isako (regrouping). (i might be wrong.)
From: [personal profile] eisen
N.B. which I am sure you know already but your phrasing makes my "BUT BUT BUT" radar rise: The reason the movie feels so very much like Utena is because Hosoda worked pseudonymously on several significant chunks of that series, including being one of the section directors on the movie, and also it's not really Hosoda's first movie, he having multiple theatrical releases to his name for the Digimon franchise before this one. Unless we're not counting those as movies.

And to answer your question about the horror elements: given Hosoda's other work, I think I feel safe saying if it feels disorienting or unnerving then it's probably intentional on his part, as that same disaffected/unacknowledged unease is all over his Digimon work and his Utena segments, and though his work on One Piece Movie 6 allowed him to expunge most of it, it still bleeds into Summer Wars too, I think. And, more specifically to this movie, I believe the '70s novel it's based on was a romance/horror hybrid, and certainly the bits of the other adaptation I've seen of it bear that idea out. (There's been something like five adaptations of that novel since its publication. Talk about remake-heavy ...)

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-19 02:32 (UTC)
eisen: Mai (god god dammit). (why is my life so fail.)
From: [personal profile] eisen
'60s novel, even, goddamn fingers, and me without an edit comment option. :/

(no subject)

Date: 2011-08-19 05:28 (UTC)
eisen: Ginshu (allow me to introduce myself). (in this way we're refined.)
From: [personal profile] eisen
If you're going to take in one adaptation of the story besides Hosoda's, I think I'd do best to recommend Obayashi's '83 movie first.

I've only seen about five minutes of it so this is mostly a rec of a movie I've not watched, but Obayashi's directorial style was an undeniable influence on certain of the '90s anime directorial school - Kon, Anno, and Ikuhara all owe a debt to his aesthetic/approach to filmmaking - and since Hosoda owes such a debt to Ikuhara in turn (fun fact: Utena was his first key animation job after years of inbetweener work, and the first credited scene to his pseudonym, IIRC, was ... the first sword duel between Juri and Utena! yeah), it's probably the richest in terms of connective tissue with the one you've already seen. And aside from the 2010 live-action film it's probably the easiest one that isn't Hosoda's version to obtain a copy of somehow.

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