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REVIEW: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time


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jsevakis
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:30 pm Reply with quote
Case wrote:
When an anime goes to a film festival this way, who does the translation? Or isn't there a translation? There's no American credits for this film, or Tamala 2010 which is another one I remember being screened the same way a number of years back.


Like every other Japanese movie that goes to festivals and the like, there are a handful of translators (it was just Linda Hoaglund for years) that live in Japan and get used a lot. The translations are then timed and laser-etched onto an existing 35mm print by TITRA Labs in France or LA.

This one wasn't Linda Hoaglund (her translations are a little to loose for my tastes) -- I forget who it was, but he mostly did a good job.

The best translator ever in my book is still Stephen Alpert of Studio Ghibli for his Porco Rosso and My Neighbors the Yamadas subs.

It doesn't happen so much with anime, but foreign films are always subtitled before being solicited to distributors at the various film markets around the world. So most every major film gets subtitles made at some point, whether they get put on the DVD or not.

Bob Loblaw wrote:
First up, anybody know (or can speculate) who might have this licensed?


I asked my contact at Kadokawa, but he couldn't tell me much besides that there had been major discussions That was a few months ago, though. I thoroughly expect an announcement this con season.
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:38 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Interesting that you held back on giving it a good score, considering it's been received better in Japan than Earthsea.


Held back on giving it a good score ?

He gave it a very good score. What he didn't do was give it an "excellent" score in one key area, story.

Christ, when did a B become not a good score ? I hate the very documented "phenomenon" of score inflation.

-t
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:15 pm Reply with quote
jsevakis:
Quote:
I asked my contact at Kadokawa, but he couldn't tell me much besides that there had been major discussions That was a few months ago, though. I thoroughly expect an announcement this con season.


Don't hold your breath. I'm still waiting for a certain bicycle anime from Madhouse to get licensed, too.

tempest:
Quote:
Christ, when did a B become not a good score ?


It's just that, in some ways, Hosoda's more of an underdog than Kon, so I'd imagine the expectations for Tokikake would have been higher than Paprika. Therefore, the score should have been higher too.
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Deltakiral



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:18 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Delta: Link.


Thank you! I was having some difficulties attempting to find where this movie was playing! And now I need to figure out how to get work off.
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ManSlayer07



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:03 pm Reply with quote
Pretty good review, I've been wanting to see the movie for quite a while.

GATSU wrote:
jsevakis wrote:
I asked my contact at Kadokawa, but he couldn't tell me much besides that there had been major discussions That was a few months ago, though. I thoroughly expect an announcement this con season.


Don't hold your breath. I'm still waiting for a certain bicycle anime from Madhouse to get licensed, too.


Wrong, Tokikake will get licensed at some point this year. We can assume that Kadokawa USA has the license and the distributor will be announced later this year (I hope Geneon gets it). Nasu on the other hand, it completely different. I don't see Nasu getting licensed anytime soon (if it ever does get licensed...).
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 11:26 pm Reply with quote
I don't see why Tokikake would get licensed any more than Nasu. Both are arthouse films, although Tokikake was slightly more profitable. I don't think American companies know how to market these flicks any more than Japanese companies. (Look at The Place Promised in Our Early Days.)
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jsevakis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:46 am Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
I don't see why Tokikake would get licensed any more than Nasu. Both are arthouse films, although Tokikake was slightly more profitable. I don't think American companies know how to market these flicks any more than Japanese companies. (Look at The Place Promised in Our Early Days.)


Gatsu, please stop saying things like this as if you actually have any information. Tokikake was a FAR higher-profile, FEATURE-LENGTH, and mainstream production from a much bigger company that's far more aggressive about international licensing (Kadokawa) than Nasu, which despite being Madhouse, was really little more than an arthouse indie short. Tokikake was mainstream.

I don't know what you're even saying about The Place Promised In Our Early Days or ADV's marketing of the title, but it too was a small indie feature that likely made a tidy profit.

Between you and one other person, who continually insist on sharing these half-baked strong opinions without anything to back them up, I am really starting to wish these forums had an "ignore" button.
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Neilworms



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:54 am Reply with quote
Gatsu, not to mention, Place Promised in our early days already has some star power behind it, Yoshiki Sakurai is pretty well known amongst anime fans, in fact arguably better than Mamoru Oshii or Isao Takahata (unless you're French) :P. Despite place being an independent film, it received a fair amount of press and was pretty well marketed to anime fandom...

If your talking about a more general audience, nothing listed appeals to them with maybe the exception of Studio Ghibli films...

On Nasu:

Nasu just has some guy who worked on Spirited Away, is based off of a manga by a popular manga-ka that no one reads in English (PLEASE BUY SEXY VOICE AND ROBO PEOPLE - ITS CRIMINALLY UNDER APPRECIATED!), in other words it has a slim to nil chance of making it here...

In fact given the irresponsible nature of most digisubbers, its shocking that it even got fansubbed in English!
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:53 am Reply with quote
jsevakis:
Quote:
Tokikake was a FAR higher-profile, FEATURE-LENGTH, and mainstream production from a much bigger company that's far more aggressive about international licensing (Kadokawa) than Nasu, which despite being Madhouse, was really little more than an arthouse indie short.


Um, Madhouse produced both films. Kadokawa just distributed Tokikake. And the latter film still got a limited release, but just happened to be profitable enough to get a wider expansion. It's still not big, though. I'm willing to bet it'd be slightly more successful here than Millennium Actress, though, but not much, possibly for the same reason that Di$ney doesn't want to take a chance on Only Yesterday: The anime series girls watch have more to do with dressing up than growing up.

Quote:

I don't know what you're even saying about The Place Promised In Our Early Days or ADV's marketing of the title, but it too was a small indie feature that likely made a tidy profit.


If it was profitable, it would have gotten a wider release. I don't think many people saw it in theaters, to tell the truth.

Neil:
Quote:

Gatsu, not to mention, Place Promised in our early days already has some star power behind it, Yoshiki Sakurai is pretty well known amongst anime fans, in fact arguably better than Mamoru Oshii or Isao Takahata (unless you're French) :P.


Um, Sakurai had nothing to do with it.

Quote:
Despite place being an independent film, it received a fair amount of press and was pretty well marketed to anime fandom...


I saw one or two press mentions, and it was gone. Even Appleseed got more attention than it.

Quote:
Nasu just has some guy who worked on Spirited Away,


That has more weight here than a guy who got booted from a Ghibli film.

Quote:
In fact given the irresponsible nature of most digisubbers, its shocking that it even got fansubbed in English!


That wasn't a fansub...

Quote:
is based off of a manga by a popular manga-ka that no one reads in English (PLEASE BUY SEXY VOICE AND ROBO PEOPLE - ITS CRIMINALLY UNDER APPRECIATED!), in other words it has a slim to nil chance of making it here.


Not many people read Raijin, and FUNimation still put out the Baki series.
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Neilworms



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:36 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Um, Sakurai had nothing to do with it.


Makoto Shinkai did it (slip of the tongue there) he's still more widely known than many other anime directors in US fandom. Sakurai I believe was the guy from IG...

Quote:
That has more weight here than a guy who got booted from a Ghibli film.


Not really, it HAS to be Miyazaki to have more weight, these are anime fans not film buffs, they usually don't know anyone outside of Miyazaki nor do they usually care about directors.

Quote:
That wasn't a fansub...


It did get fansubbed, first in French and Spanish then in English (a couple years later). Search around a bit, you'll find it.

Quote:
Not many people read Raijin, and FUNimation still put out the Baki series.


Even if not many people read Raijin, Baki is a shounen show, shounen is infinitely more marketable than Seinen in this country (heck same deal with anime in japan, where seinen series are rarely made into anime, and usually become live action movies/series).
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jsevakis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:06 pm Reply with quote
GATSU wrote:
Um, Madhouse produced both films. Kadokawa just distributed Tokikake.


There's a big difference, business-wise, between producing the animation (which is what Madhouse does) and being the film's actual PRODUCER. Producers make all of the deals regarding how it gets budgeted, released and sold. Kadokawa is a major Japanese movie studio with a US sales office, presence at every film market, and pull with US distributors of various sizes. VAP is a much smaller company with limited resources. I have never seen them actively solicit their content for overseas sales.

There are a few other major key selling points as well, besides the crew. First, Japanese schoolgirl stories ensure at least a small audience. Second, the fact that it's a Tsutsui story allows a US distributor to piggyback a bit off whatever mainstream press Sony Pictures Classics does with Paprika. Third, and perhaps biggest, it's feature length. Anything less than 70 minutes long is not looked at as a feature, and is worth far less in the marketplace because it really can't be exhibited in theaters, or charged as much for on DVD.

Quote:
And the latter film still got a limited release, but just happened to be profitable enough to get a wider expansion. It's still not big, though. I'm willing to bet it'd be slightly more successful here than Millennium Actress, though, but not much, possibly for the same reason that Di$ney doesn't want to take a chance on Only Yesterday: The anime series girls watch have more to do with dressing up than growing up.


I'd say that's about accurate. I don't think whoever gets it will do much with it in the theatrical realm except get good press, but I expect them to do good business on DVD.

Quote:
If it was profitable, it would have gotten a wider release. I don't think many people saw it in theaters, to tell the truth.


It's a dirty secret that very few art house theatrical runs make back the money it takes to market and distribute a release. More than anything, they're used as marketing and press for the DVD release, which is where the real money is. It also might be a prestige thing for the creators, and therefore a demand placed on whoever licenses it. But I would be extremely surprised if any US theatrical anime release -- even Mononoke -- ever made money (though I doubt that one lost much money either). Just, certain companies have bigger pockets to fund such an effort than others.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:24 pm Reply with quote
Neil:
Quote:
Even if not many people read Raijin, Baki is a shounen show, shounen is infinitely more marketable than Seinen in this country (heck same deal with anime in japan, where seinen series are rarely made into anime, and usually become live action movies/series).


But who would pay for that many eps of a show which was only marginally profitable here?

jsevakis:
Quote:
First, Japanese schoolgirl stories ensure at least a small audience.


Well, perhaps, but the current market needs to ensure that they have a signficant audience. Hence the reason that the only high-profile titles of that type have been Haruhi and Mai Hime.

Quote:
Second, the fact that it's a Tsutsui story allows a US distributor to piggyback a bit off whatever mainstream press Sony Pictures Classics does with Paprika.


You're assuming enough people see Paprika to want to see Tokikake.

Quote:
Anything less than 70 minutes long is not looked at as a feature, and is worth far less in the marketplace because it really can't be exhibited in theaters, or charged as much for on DVD.


*cough* Neo Tokyo *cough*

Quote:
but I expect them to do good business on DVD.


I expect decent business on dvd, but not big business.

Quote:
It's a dirty secret that very few art house theatrical runs make back the money it takes to market and distribute a release. More than anything, they're used as marketing and press for the DVD release, which is where the real money is.


True, but ADV didn't even bother promoting the run. They just snuck it into some random theaters, and posted the locations when people weren't looking. So I don't think they really cared about promoting it, either. I'm guessing the reason is the other Shinkai stuff they released just didn't go big with non-animation buffs.
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Neilworms



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:46 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
*cough* Neo Tokyo *cough*


First off this was an anime done in the 1980s, during the 80s there was something called the bubble economy in which companies took many (oftentimes stupid) risks... Neo Tokyo was one of them. The film probably made nothing at the box office, and had a small but rabid following when it came out on tape/laserdisc.

If you're talking about the American Theatrical release of Neo-Tokyo, as I recall it was packaged with a Silent Mobius movie just to make it run at a feature length, and even then it wasn't shown very many places and didn't make too much money.
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GATSU



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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 10:26 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
The winding, narrow streets of suburban Tokyo haven't looked this gorgeous since Whisper of the Heart.


I was thinking of its similarities to Whisper of the Heart, too. Although I liked this film more, because it had more direction. I really feel sorry about not liking the latter film enough, seeing as the director passed away, but it feels mostly average with some admittedly occasional warmth.

Quote:
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time has more in common with some of the best shoujo manga than Tsutsui's other recently-animated work Paprika. The maturity, the gravity, and the deep symbolism of the latter has been replaced here with the wistful buoyancy that only the Japanese seem to be able to associate with high school.


Hate to say it, but I felt that Tokikake had more maturity, and a better sense of urgency than Paprika; though the symbolism was obviously better applied in Kon's film. Paprika seemed to be like an homage to(parody of?) otakudom more than a story.

Quote:
While the first two thirds of the movie are a blast, the last third derails badly, shifting into something much more desperate and requiring what is nearly a Deus Ex Machina to explain why it all took place.Major questions are left entirely unanswered, as the film prefers to fake us out with non-endings to the point where the real ending feels drawn out.


I didn't really notice that problem, and I've sat through End of Evangelion.
Rolling Eyes

Quote:
We never do find out if Makoto's “Aunt Witch” is anything more than an occasional confidant, or the relevance of the painting she's restoring.


That didn't really bother me. The aunt and painting served the story, rather than detracting from it, so that's all that mattered to me.

Quote:
These are not minor plot threads.


While they're not minor, they're not major, either.

Anyway, the only reason I don't give the film higher than a B+ is it drags a little bit long.

Neil:
Quote:
First off this was an anime done in the 1980s, during the 80s there was something called the bubble economy in which companies took many (oftentimes stupid) risks... Neo Tokyo was one of them. The film probably made nothing at the box office, and had a small but rabid following when it came out on tape/laserdisc.


I doubt Neo Tokyo was a risk, since Otomo being attached to it probably guaranteed that it would at least break even, if nothing else.

Manslayer:
Quote:
We can assume that Kadokawa USA has the license and the distributor will be announced later this year (I hope Geneon gets it).


Looks like they're still working on it, since they said at the panel that they hope many young people get to see it.

jsevakis:
Quote:
Tokikake was a FAR higher-profile, FEATURE-LENGTH, and mainstream production from a much bigger company that's far more aggressive about international licensing (Kadokawa) than Nasu, which despite being Madhouse, was really little more than an arthouse indie short. Tokikake was mainstream.


After seeing it, I consider it to be semi-mainstream, but still a little slow in the pacing to be big here. (For example, some of the girls next to me were laughing at scenes which were meant to be dramatic.) I'd imagine it being moderately successful through WOM, unless someone picks up the novel and cross-promotes the two. Only then could it be big. Of course, Kadokawa might also consider advertising the film through MySpace to reach people, too.
Whoever gets it might want to consider posting clips online. Otherwise, I still think it could get lost in the shuffle, but admittedly not as likely as Nasu. Though Nasu could still be more successful than Freedom.
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DKL



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:32 am Reply with quote
All right, let’s get the ball rollin, gentlemen (bout’ damn time… I’ve been waiting for days).

“Derails”

I didn’t think the movie derailed at all; there were ample clues here and there and it’s not as if the plot-point in the latter part of the movie got pulled out of someone’s donkey.

For example

spoiler[we see Chiaki actually visiting the museum and stuff early on in the movie (kinda knew it was him, but didn’t know what he was actually doing there… in an act of deviousness on the part of Hosoda or whoever, my attention was diverted into thinking that he was contemplating doing the “art course” and I thought that that was the reason why he was there)

Also, Chiaki’s original motivation to go back in time didn’t seem all that implausible to me… ask any random art-dude that, if they had the chance to, would they go back in time to see a painting that didn’t exist today?

I’m pretty sure you’d get a yes (Ceteris Paribus… HA! I love that)

… I mean, we have preserved paintings for hundreds of years, after all (though, I’m THIS sure that we’re not supposed to read THIS far into it, so I’ll stop here).

But yeah… the painting’s significance (apart from its history, which… admittedly, I can’t remember right now) is pretty much the fact that it doesn’t exist in the future where Chiaki’s from.

And, in the context of not having known the original story, Aunt Witch’s reaction to Makoto’s predicament was pretty amusing in itself; it was real casual-like, which caught everyone around me off guard.

(though, Aunt Witch is indeed the original heroine from the original story… this is what Wiki tells me and, given that I don’t know any better, I’ll just believe what it says)]


As for the part as to how Makoto got

spoiler[one more chance to go back:]

spoiler[I know I should see it one more time, but I’m pretty sure that Chiaki brought Makoto back to the point where she had one more

(meaning that that last, wasteful, time she used her jump sort of didn't really happen... but I think she remembers everything else mainly because of her conversation with Chiaki, I dunno... gotta watch again to be sure)

and that’s the reason why she was able to leap back that last time (and it was a beautiful sequence since we got to see how their friendship started out); I mean, she was all covered in bruises and stuff, but then it was gone after the sequence where Chiaki went away.

(Subject to change my mind if I ever see the movie again)

I thought it was pretty neat that the ladybug from early on in the movie was what hinted Makoto off that she had one more chance; everything feels tighter this way.]


As for the end:

spoiler[I like that, when Makoto used up her last jump (for real this time), she made, by far, smarter and simpler decisions in regards to getting things to work out:

-she told Kousuke that it would cost him an ungodly amount of money to rent her bike, in order to avoid the impending accident

-she told Kousuke to just invite Yuki (was that her name?) and her group to play baseball with them instead of going through all the hassle of contriving things to set them up

Most importantly, however, was probably the fact that Makoto just outright admitted her feelings for Chiaki to her friend when the topic came up, meaning that she clearly grew up from the experience and learned her lessons from all those times she spent jumping back and forth in time.

ALSO, the last piece of conversation between Makoto and Chiaki was REALLY good. I thought it was cool that Makoto vowed to make sure that the painting Chiaki wanted to see would still exist in the future when he gets back, since now she’d make sure that it wouldn’t disappear.

I was especially fond of the part where Chiaki teases Makoto one last time since the payoff was real good (and was pretty much a good summary of Hosoda’s quirky style).

Particularly the last line:

“I’ll be waiting for you in the future”

Was, not only one of the best love confessions EVER, but a pretty brilliant contrast to the popular saying in the movie that “Time waits for no one.”

You know it’s a love that can’t ever possibly be, but it really gives you this resounding sense of hope when Chiaki lets go of those words

(that and I literally heard someone squee during that key moment).]


Anyway, all that said, I really think that this is my most favorite thing to ever come out of Madhouse… even more than Masayuki Kojima’s TV-adaptation of Monster (which, arguably, is an extremely hard act to follow considering its quasi-theatrical-quality visuals and how much classic content was in that one).

And I sincerely hope that Hosoda regulars with Madhouse after this one given the movie's critical success.

Also, I sure hope the R1 DVD comes out soon given that I’m dying to see this again…



But yeah, for some confounding reason, I ended up ordering the LE R2 disc despite not having the essential pre-requisites in the form of L33t Japanese skills and an R2 DVD player…

Seemed like a good decision though, considering [that the movie kicks ass]… but damn was it ever so expensive (but it comes with a lot of neat crap I can fawn over, I guess).

Okay… finally got all that stuff off of my chest.

Glad to know people were fond of the movie.
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