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 [ 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.
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