“Time waits for no one”
That small and simple quote holds a truly profound meaning, and is used as an important point of focus in the Japanese animation feature film, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time – which I only just recently watched (and find myself astounded and slightly shamed that I didn’t pick it up and watch it sooner!).
The DVD blurb covers the basic outline of the story well enough:
“Something strange has happed to Makoto Konno. Time has suddenly stopped and moved her backwards.
With her newly discovered ability to literally leap backwards in time, Makoto finds that tests become a piece of cake, embarrassing situations are corrected, and she can have her favourite food anytime she wants. Unfortunately, her carefree time travelling has adverse effects on the people she cares for.
With every successful leap, Makoto somehow alters the fate of those around her. This wasn’t supposed to happen, and she races back in time to fix everything, she notices that her abilities are not limitless, but with every successful jump she’s one step closer to discovering the most wonderful secret in your young adult life.”
After watching the movie, I was struck by a wave of emotions. I found myself thinking over and over again about its underlying messages, and about Time itself, and about how we each get a small piece of it to use in the relatively short span of our individual lives – and we only get to use it once. And right then and there, I was reminded of how precious Time really is, and how we need to embrace every moment, and not be so quick to forget the value of the present we all pass through. Because once a day is gone, unlike our protagonist Makoto, we can’t leap back through time to re-live it (or change things). Once it is lived, it is gone.
What this fun, amazing, beautiful story reminded me, was the importance of embracing things the way they are, yet strive to make things better, and to realise that what has already happened cannot and should not be changed and so should not bind you with remorse or regret.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time left me with simultaneous feelings of pure delight, contemplative sadness and enduring hope. The animation is beautiful, the characters endearing and the story unforgettable. A lot of exceptional detail has been put into the animation, and the execution of the story delivers both in emotional experience, and cinematic quality.
Even if you are disinclined toward animation – see this movie. Even if you are critical toward time-travel paradoxes– set such thinking aside and watch this movie for the brilliance of the tale it is telling. If you enjoy fun, romance, heart-stirring themes, and a touch of science fiction – you must watch this movie!
And in closing, I want to remind everyone out there in the vast virtual world, that our lives are the only ones we get to live out on this earth. Life is a precious gift, and so is Time. Use both wisely, and joyfully, for you are here only for a short while.
“Man is like a mere breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” – Psalms 144: 4
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorrow will be dying.” – Robert Herrick
“I know there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime.” – Ecclesiastes 3: 12
So Carpe Diem, fellow adventurers! Seize your day, wash away your regrets, make the most of the moment you are in here and now, and look to your future with purpose and hope.