The anime ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’ portrays an innocent but likable teenager, Makoto, who discovers her time-leaping powers after unwittingly rescuing herself from dying in an accident. She quickly realizes that she can travel back in time and change the consequences of her past actions. And like any other teenager, she thoughtlessly uses her newfound powers to her advantage, giving herself second chances to alter anything in her past that causes her shame, anger, or discomfort.

While, in the beginning, she thoroughly enjoys her ability to redo her past, she eventually discovers that it is terrifying. She starts to notice that while she could alter her past to prevent herself from regretting bad choices, she was doing so at the expense of the safety and well-being of the other people in her life. Soon, she realizes that true power lies not in manipulating time but in navigating its complexities with patience and understanding. The story ends blissfully, with Makoto losing her incredible powers but finding herself powerfully transformed.

The anime begins with Makoto playing baseball with her best friends, Chiaki and Kosuke. Although most days are clumsy and erratic, Makoto finds solace in her friends, who bond over her silly misfortunes. When she tells them of her time-leap experience, Chiaki jokingly ridicules her, and Kosuke expresses concern that she might be going insane. Her friends disappoint her with their responses. Yet she clings to what happened and begins to exploit her power for flimsy personal gains. She completely overlooks how her decisions could turn against her.

Just as she masters her way in the world with her new powers, Chiaki expresses a romantic interest in her. Embarrassed by his proposal, Makoto time leaps to avoid the conversation altogether. She begins to avoid him in school, and Yuri, their classmate who secretly admires Chiaki, gets close to him. At this point, Makoto regrets avoiding Chiaki and realizes that wielding her powers for immediate personal gain may not always work for her long-term. When one of her time leap incidents hurts Yuri, Makoto is terrified that her powers can cause significant damage to others. It strikes her as an important realization, but she forgets it eventually as she does not grasp it entirely. She continues to manipulate past events until one day, her time leap sets a series of uncontrollable events that result in the death of Kosuke and his girlfriend.

Makoto despairingly wishes to turn back time but finds out that she can no longer wield her powers. Stripped of her time-manipulating abilities, she confronts the consequences of her self-centered actions, when everything around her suddenly comes to a standstill, and she hears Chiaki’s voice. He reveals that he is from the future and the source of her powers. But now, since he used up his last leap to save Kosuke and his girlfriend, he has no way of changing anything else. At this, Makoto begins to see how her choices had such a profound impact on her life, and the lives of those around her.

For the first time, Makoto fully grasps that she wasted her powers on selfish desires, and almost even caused the death of her friends because of her self-centeredness. She regrets her lack of forethought about why she got her powers in the first place, and how she used them selfishly. She turns around to Chiaki with a bleak hope that he could turn things around so that everything could go back to normal and she can express his love for him. But Chiaki shatters her expectations that he cannot stay or return to the future because he used his last chance at a time leap to save Kosuke and his girlfriend from dying. Chiaki disappears, leaving Makoto grieving under the weight of her irresponsible and thoughtless choices.

Makoto returns home, with a posture of contemplation than with an urge to turn back time. She accepts the reality of her situation, despite knowing that she almost destroyed the lives of her loved ones, and completely sabotaged her relationship with Chiaki. But surprisingly, she finds out that she has one more chance at a time leap (a tattoo on her arm was a counter regarding the number of leaps left). Amazed at such a gracious opportunity, Makoto immediately leaps back to the first instance where she finds her powers so that she can start afresh. She meets Chiaki with the hope that she could hear his confession again, and stay with him. To her dismay, he never proposes again and turns around to leave. But before he completely disappears, he quickly whispers to her that he will be waiting for her in the future. Makoto is overjoyed at this, and although Chiaki leaves her at the moment, she believes in the hope he promises. She realizes that waiting for the time to reunite with Chiaki was of more worth than having the power to control it.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a powerful story that invites us to reimagine the power of time and the importance of patience in navigating it. It teaches us that it is better to have the power to wait for the right time than the power to circumvent it. While Makoto lost power over the constraints of time, she goes through an incredible transformation of having the power to live through them. She no longer needed to time leap so that she can only deal with situations she can predict. Now she could power through every situation until she meets Chiaki, even if they were unpredictable. Even if her waiting might prove to be difficult, her hope in what was promised to her gave her the power to face the vagaries of time even when they demand incredible patience. Her trust in a future union becomes a testament to the enduring strength found in patience and the acceptance of life’s uncertainties.


Written by Roselina Vundi