Anime Blu-ray/DVD Combo Review: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is an anime film directed by Mamoru Hosoda, and it was released in Japanese theaters on July 15, 2006. This home video release of the film includes two DVDs and one Blu-ray Disc.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
English Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Format: Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Release Date: March 8, 2022

The focus of the film is on a high school girl named Makoto Konno. She’s usually almost late to school and is also rather clumsy. Her two best friends are both boys: Chiaki Mamiya (a transfer student who doesn’t seem motivated to study and appears to be obsessed with baseball) and Kosuke Tsuda (the most responsible of the three, and he plans to become a doctor like his father).

One day, Makoto wanders into a science lab after seeing a message written in English on a blackboard, and she inadvertently falls onto a walnut shaped object. After school, as she’s riding her bike to meet up with her aunt, the brakes on the bike fail as she’s going down a hill and heading for a train crossing. Just as she’s about to be hit by an oncoming train, Makoto finds herself transported back in time to when she was riding her bicycle right before the accident.

When Makoto goes to see her aunt and tells her about what happened, her aunt realizes that Makoto can “time leap,” which allows someone to travel through time. After Makoto realizes she has this ability, she begins using it to do simple things like getting good grades and avoiding mishaps. She uses most of her leaps frivolously to prevent undesirable events from happening, which includes an awkward love confession from Chiaki. She also uses the leaps to fix situations but discovers that the actions that occur because of her time leaps can adversely affect others. Not only that, Makoto discovers that there’s a tattoo on her arm that indicates she has a limited number of times she can leap.

The film reaches a climax that reveals the truth behind the time leaping and how the walnut shaped object came into our world and what it actually is. Learning the truth leads Makoto to realize some things, such as her feelings and the direction she wants to go with her life.

After watching the film, I found that I enjoyed the story and the characters, and I thought it did a great job of exploring the relationships between the characters. This was especially true as Makoto’s time leaps kept causing events to change. By the end of the film, Makoto learns a valuable lesson, which ultimately leads to the character progression that she experiences.

If you are a fan of Mamoru Hosoda’s work, or if you enjoy coming of age stories that incorporate science fiction elements, then I think you can find something to appreciate in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

The Blu-ray included in this release has 1080p High Definition 16:9 (HD Native) video. The audio includes Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 5.1. The DVDs included have three audio options: English 5.1 Surround, Japanese 5.1 Surround, and Japanese Stereo. I had no complaints with either the video or the audio quality.

The bonus features are spread out between the second DVD and the Blu-ray Disc that are included in the set. The Blu-ray focuses on the “Feature With Storyboard” and the “Feature With Storyboard Commentary.” This disc also includes the U.S. trailer and trailers for other releases that FUNimation Entertainment was promoting at the time this was released. I didn’t watch the storyboard version of the film that’s included on the Blu-ray, because I personally don’t enjoy watching this kind of thing, so I can’t really comment on it.

The bulk of the bonus features are included on the second DVD in this release. The first is “Premiere Screening Event,” which runs for about 14 minutes. It shows Mamoru Hosoda, along with several of the voice actors, the singer for the film’s ending theme, and the author of The Girl Who Leap Through Time novel on stage before the premiere of the film. They introduce themselves, and then answer a question about what they would wish for on Tanabata (since the premiere was taking place on Tanabata). This was an enjoyable watch. Everyone involved was engaging to watch on the screen, and the bonus feature ran for just the right amount of time.

Next is “Direction File ~a talk with the director~,” which runs for almost 35 minutes. This is the longest bonus feature included, and it’s an interview with Mamoru Hosoda where he talks about some of the visual devices he used in the film, as well as about the ending of the film. There are some interesting things being talked about during this feature, but it does run a little on the long side. Fortunately, the feature ended before I started feeling terribly bored. I like behind-the-scenes features like this, but when it’s primarily a static interview with only occasional footage from the film being used to intercut with the interview, it can start bogging down a little.

Next is “Behind the Scenes at Premiere Screening Event,” which runs for about 10 minutes. This is behind the scenes footage of what was happening before everyone went on stage for the premiere screening event, as well as something that happens right after the screening. There’s an amusing moment with Mamoru Hosoda near the end of this bonus feature, which ended up adding something a little more interesting to this feature.

The music video for “Garnet,” the ending theme for The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, is also included. It’s not a bad music video for what the director was going for. This disc also includes a Japanese theatrical trailer and a Japanese promo clip for the film.

If you’ve seen The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and enjoyed it but haven’t added it to your anime home video library yet, I would highly recommend picking up this release. Not only do you get the film, you also get a decent amount of bonus features included.

Additional post about The Girl Who Leapt Through Time:

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