Oh hey, I didn't see you there. I was too busy time leaping you see. Join us in the parlour for
tonights this weeks motion picture entertainment. I think I might have some pudding around here, and afterwards we can partake of some "Ka-ra-okay" and "base ball". Welcome to the club.
Housekeeping: Blink and you miss it! If you're wondering what the Ani-club is you're late to the game on this one (unless you've already seen the film), don't fret though! The next Ani-club series has been decided, you can find out what it is and how to participate in the next one through this artisan link. Naturally here be spoilers.
Well what can I say, beautiful film. Dumb plot but beautiful nonetheless. The characters made sure that it didn't spoil it. Why was it dumb? Well I'm going to take this opportunity to rant about time travel a bit. I'll bookend the rant, if you're not interested just skip to the bottom where I'll continue my non-ranting impressions.
Okay, I don't like time travel. For a multitude of reasons. First of all is the incredible difficulty in fathoming how time travel could possibly work. As a concept it's more alien than... heck aliens. At least aliens are composed of familiar concepts: biology, society, history, culture, technology, psychology. Sure they're bound to be entirely different to our versions of those concepts, but they'll have them. From that framework we can at least imagine mostly believable alien lifeforms even if we've never actually met any.
But time travel? Our experience in that is limited to the steady crawl forward. We just can't truly grasp how going backward could work. Oh there's been a lot of guesses on how it might work, the many worlds hypothesis being the most popular. There's holes in every theory though, and fictional versions of time travel just exasperate those holes.
However my gripes with time travel aren't just limited to its nebulous mechanics, no way. It's also about how characters with the ability to time travel use that ability. And no, I'm not actually talking about Makoto here. I can forgive that. After all as Chiaki helpfully pointed out: she's an idiot. It's completely forgiveable when she was unaware that her new found superpowers had a limit that she squandered them on stupid crap. Less forgiveable that she continued to do so after she found out. Kind of hard to forgive her wasting her last charge on redoing a conversation instead of something important, like winning the lottery... or y'know saving Kousukes life. Smooth Makoto, smooth.
Still I can tolerate stupidity on an individual level. On a societal level though? Chiakis era sucks, yet they have time travel. So how in the hell does their era suck? One would think that if you lived in a sucky future as soon as time travel came along you'd go back to the past to make it less sucky. Of course if we consider many worlds anyone who did that might simply end up in another universe so their original sucky future universe would continue existing. But with the ability to freely leave that sucky future why would anyone stay? Why not just mass emigrate into the past?
Speaking of which, why the hell does Chiaki have to disappear anyway? Doubly so when he's rendered unable to return to the future. I mean why does he need to leave? Because people in the past can't know about time leaping? Bit late for that, I'm not sure how deserting your friends helps with that situation. Even when he can return, why does he leave before even seeing the painting he travelled to the past to see? I mean he's a time traveller for crying out loud, he's not exactly pressed for time. Time is his freaking bitch. What the hell is a few more weeks going to matter? He can arrive home before he even left, it's not like he has some temporal curfew or something. Time travellers who act like they're in a rush just irritate the hell out of me.
Also the time machine. Limited uses fine. Charges the body is a little weird but I can let that one slide. Why not bring a spare though? Seems like it'd be pretty smart to carry an extra just to avoid being stranded in the past due to an idiot abusing your time machine. Especially when they're freaking bite-sized! You could probably keep a thousand time leaps worth of charges in your pocket! Also if you're down to your last one, why not use that to just go back to the future and stock up. I mean it doesn't seem like they're hard to get your hands on in the crappy future if any random teenager can take one out for a joyride to go see a painting.
One other thing that really bugged me, is why near the end of the film Chiaki asks Makoto if she was time leaping on day zero. Nope, not a conversation that might have come up when Makoto was acting weirdly and barrelling into rooms after being on the sofa a moment ago. Instead it jumped out at him on a day when she was mostly acting like herself as far as Chiaki could see.
Don't get me wrong though. I still like things which use time travel as a major plot device. Doctor Who, Steins;Gate, I even like Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and the time travel is a complete and utter mindfuck in that series. But mostly it just leaves me with too many questions and too many headaches.
SAFETY: Rant Ends.
At any rate whatever my personal gripes with time travel it doesn't spoil the film. I liked the pretty realistic school setting. It was a nice change of pace from the usual over the top school settings used in anime. Most of the goings on seemed like the sort of shit that high school students would actually get up to. The characters were all quite likeable and it didn't take itself too seriously. One of the stand out moments was when Makotos little sister thinks Makoto is about to kill herself and freaks out about it.
The animation was just outstanding to boot. Maybe I watch too many series and not enough movies, the difference in quality is just pretty striking. Time travel aside I did like the story, the ending was so bittersweet.
Well that was my longer than normal take on things. Remember to add yours below, and remember to check out the new Ani-club series and watch the first three episodes by next Wednesday. Ta-ta for now.
P.S. Ouran had better gifs. :(