Chiaki Mamiya, circular time, closed timelike curves, CTC, film, Kurt Gödel, Kōsuke Tsuda, linear time, Makoto Konno, possibilistic, romance, Science Fiction, spacetime, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, time dilation, time travelling
Time is one of the many perplexing variables that I used to be so obsessed with. Once again, I was able to rekindle my passion to discuss about it after watching The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. In this story, I truly enjoyed how it precisely illustrated that the flow of “lived” time isn’t being experienced equably—time can fly and time can crawl. As the major theme suggested, “Time waits for no one.” I also liked how it consistently obeyed the parallel universe and supporting theories of time-traveling—as far as my limited knowledge is concerned.
For those who haven’t seen the movie yet, The Girl Who Leapt through Time is the story of a girl named Makoto. She accidentally fell upon a strange walnut-shaped object after hearing something strange while doing her class duty. On her way home, her bicycle’s brakes got broken. Due to the highly steep-down road, she lost control of her speed, thrown into a railroad crossing, and killed by the train. However, because of the mysterious object that she came into contact, she’s able to transport back in time prior to her accident. From there, she realized she has the power to “time-leap.” However, the “catch” is traveling through time is limited—as shown by the numerical tattoo on her arm.
Long before Einstein made a distinction between proper time and coordinates time, a variety of ideologies where circulating and questioning the existence and actual motion of time—whether time flows circularly or linearly.
A diverse way to look backward in time is found in an inquisitive thought of looking forward in time, an idea that assumes time is a “closed loop.” In this concept, the future turns out to be the past and whatever might be observed today would happen again in the future. Or simply, as Plato visualized, time is curving back on itself. Also, other Greeks and Romans believed that time was in motion and cosmic activity was cyclical, however it’s important to emphasize that this idea wasn’t envisioned as detailed endless repetition such as multiple rebirths.
As for the non-circular time believers, linear time is highly acknowledged. This suggests that time is a notion that is seen sequentially, as a series of events that are leading toward something—beginning and end. As Newton articulated, time is something absolute in reality, regardless of human perception. Likewise, all past events are laid out on a single and fixed timeline—once an event has occurred, it is set in stone.
It’s hard to reject either of these two notions when talking about time travelling. As the film showed, the traveller’s future becomes his/her past, but not the other way around because they’re reappearing on a fixed timeline. Furthermore, Makoto’s jumps implied that she’s using time dilation by moving at high speed and taking advantage of the presence of an intense gravitational field. I find it really funny how she surprises everyone whenever she reappears. If you’re wondering how it happened—using the similar concept—her gravitational motion and acceleration are being dilated. However, it’s vital to keep in mind that time dilation is neither an illusion of the observation nor is a matter of the second having diverse definitions in different reference frames. Temporally we experience this—time feels so fast, but technically it’s not. In this film, it’s beautifully illustrated by cleverly down-speeding and up-speed the right camera shots and angles.
Another interesting theory of time leaping is asserted by Kurt Gödel. He’s Einstein’s office-mate and was first to derive a time travel equation which obeys Einstein Field Equations (ECE) and Theory of General Relativity. Gödel conceptualized that anyone who travels to the past, that traveler’s personal future becomes part of the universe’s past as judged by cosmological time or coordinate time, and that several worldlines in closed spacetime could curve so rigorously that they arched back onto themselves by forming a loop or closed timelike curves (CTCs) in spacetime. Hence this neatly explains how Makoto could rampantly travel back in time. In addition, the possibilistic view of time—wherein the past and the present are fixed and definite, and only the future is arbitrary—supports the idea how Makoto and Chiaki could alter the past.
Overall, I truly enjoyed how this anime depicted “time-leap” consistently—it’s the most brilliant that I’d seen by far. Aside from that, the animation and plot is so well-executed and flowed so smoothly. The character’s art and design may not be the best—based from my own perception—however the characterization is superb, that minor flaws can be so easily forgiven. In fact, this anime was the first to receive a ten on my MAL account, that’s why I highly recommend this to everyone especially to those who enjoy slice-of-life, sci-fi, and drama. And for those who aren’t enjoying these kinds of genres, I’d still suggest to give it a shot, I’m optimistic that you’d like it.
- Thanks to jigabachi/@avvitus for introducing me to this lovely anime film.
- I tried to avoid the mathematical proofs and equations; I hope my wordings make sense.
- You don’t need to be knowledgeable about the physics and philosophy of time in order to enjoy The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, but basic knowledge adds to the satisfaction factor.
- Time travel is still openly debatable. Nobody can fully prove nor disprove it.
- Next post is going to be “non-sciencey”—because physics is dreary for some
- It has no fanservice. I particularly appreciated the scene where Kōsuke got hit by his classmate, and fell upon a freshman girl, because normally in anime, on this occurrence, a guy will most likely grope accidentally the girl’s chest. But on this one the Kōsuke’s hand was on the girl’s face.
- [Click Here] for simpler and much better explanation of time-travel
Oh, Toki o Kakeru Shōjo is surely one of the classic of anime.
Unfortunately when I watch anime I disable my own scientific brain to avoid overload of contradictions so well…let’s just enjoy it. :P
Agreed. whether with disabled or enabled scientific brain, we can enjoy this regardless. :)
Ah, what a pain in the ass watching this movie was. It was worth it in the end, but the sheer amount of effort I had to go through to get it up and running was nothing short of maddening.
My theory is the time traveling device pretty much puts her in a state of temporary hypersensitivity to slow her perception of time, kind of like a treadmill slowing down so the person can step to where they desire without being rushed back by a strong force. Then it opens a sort of rift between the world lines, allowing her to move freely to a point where the tangents diverge, allowing her to take the path that she desires. I’m no expert on this thing, nor am I good at summarizing it in a coherent and eloquent fashion, so I hope that made sense.
Also, much gratitude in advance for the non-sciency post to come. That was never my strongest subject, so I struggled with everything except biology.
I think I understand what you’re trying to say. It’s like you’re saying that the time is slowing, and because of that Makoto gets the chance to open or dilate the timeline, then freely chose a timepoint. Btw, no worries, I’m also not an expert an. Plus, we’re free to imagine and be creative of our own interpretation.
Hopefully, this didn’t outweigh the viewing experience.
Precisely. It slows in such a way that time boundaries start to become a non-issue.
And no, it was still a fantastic movie, totally worth it.
I’m glad to hear that :)
I’ll put it this way. It gave me so much trouble that I spent an entire night trying to get it to work properly on my computer, watched it in small chunklets as a result, yet I somehow pulled off an 87% on a trig test the next day.
It was a lot of hassle, but oh so worth it.
Oic… so it’s the technical aspects, that’s really quite a hassle, but I’m really glad that you liked my recommendation. ^^
Ah, the Girl Who Leapt Through Time. It’s considered a classic, and for good reason. While the character designs tend to not stand out, I think it adds to the “realism” (or something, there’s probably a word for that) of the movie. Really, the only “unreal” element the story has is the time travel, everything else is pretty close to real life, which makes it easy to relate to the characters. After all, how many of us haven’t wished they could go back in time, just for kicks? Ten hours of karaoke FTW!
Oh, I just found that word. It’s “verisimilitude”.
Verisimilitude–great thanks for the fyi! ^^
Indeed, if everything is beautiful and whimsical then it’s not going to leave a realistic vibe because it’s not like that in the real world. Also, I believe that what made this movie even more beautiful is the fact that, it didn’t really bombarded the viewer with it’s sci-fi but instead focused on how the viewers can easily relate to the characters.
You are most welcome, and there’s more where that recommendation came from :)
Huh? Haha, I still yet to watch your other recommendations. But you know that I trust you, so sooner I’ll blog about them too. :)
a bystander said:
Wow, and here I thought that the whole leaping thing was just a fun plot device. But then again, I never pondered much about time-travel (except maybe after the movie “Primer” which I found very convincing) since I’ve always believed that space is most likely ‘falling’ along a fixed time axis…
Yes, I believe that the time leaping is also to make the plot interesting. But I guess for me, what happens is whenever I get so hooked with what I’m engaging at, unconsciously it makes me overthink and question how it works.
Anyway, I believe, if I’m not mistaken the space isn’t “falling,” but instead it’s expanding according to Einstein. :)
a bystander said:
I’m familiar with the theory of universal expansion along three dimensions. But considering time as the fourth, would space then be expanding onto time?
Yes, because universe is composed of the four variables.I should’ve made it clear that it’s the universe that’s expanding and along with it are the four variables and that was explored further by Minkowski’s spacetime continuum.
Similar to my thoughts on the show, except more of an emphasis on the show’s exploration of the time-loop concept. It isn’t easy making a time travel based movie these days that will ignite the person’s imagination and keep them interested. Very nicely written hypothesis ma cherrie.
I can’t deny the fact that this is a very well written love story plus, it actually got me to care about the romance and shows like that DESERVE praise in my book. You can tell by this sentence that I rarely care for non-yuri romance stories, unless they’re well paced and the characters are likeable.
I’m glad that you enjoyed this movie the same way I do my dear OG. It’s atypical to find something beautiful that is out of our interest, and those are such rare gems. With this movie, I really love how I could relate to the characters easily. Also, I know a little bit about physics and I enjoyed how this movie reminded me of those theories.
It’s a great feeling to watch a medium that relates to a subject you excel at. I’m not a physics person but I can say that I felt the same way you did watching this show when I saw Hanamaru Kindergarten and Kodomo no jikan.
I guess I can’t stop addressing you formally either since I picture as a beautiful woman for some reason.
Aww, that’s flattering >///< No worries about it, feel free to address me however you want since I believe you’re a nice guy. :)
LOL Time Dilation……
Wouldn’t she need to be traveling near the speed of light to have such an effect?
Also, because the maximum speed alotted by any object is the speed of light, how would that be possible? Maybe my physics is a bit rusty after a couple months, but I do kind of see a flaw in that.
However, since you’re posts are soooooo good as usual, I’m just going to have to DL and watch this over the weekend :D
Yes you’re correct she needs to travel in a speed of light or much better than that to dilate the spacetime, and that is exemplified by the camera slow motions. That became possible for Makoto when she came into contact with the walnut-shaped device. And no worries, my knowledge is also limited and I’m kind of rusty too. :)
Btw, the anime is less sciency than you think, but I’m positive that you’ll like it.
Less science more anime.
Never liked the science side anyways :D
I love physics, and I feel like this topic truly deserves a spot on my blog. ^^
Haha, I don’t think the animators were thinking that deeply about the technicalities when they were making this film. Nevertheless, it was great, but I don’t know if I would give it a ten.
Time-traveling is a Sci-fi craft, if they want to produce the best, then they have to present the least possible error. That’s why I believed that this is a well researched anime, considering the amount of awards that they received.
Ephemeral Dreamer said:
Time is too complicated for me to even bother with (although I do wish that I could have the power to manipulate time, but that’s just a fantasy due to the immutable laws of physic). That said, I still enjoyed this movie very much. :D
I guess, that childhood curiosity is something that didn’t really leave me. Plus I grew up with lots of science-talks with my family that’s I really enjoy exploring this kind of stuff. Anyway, thanks for the thoughts as always :)
This could win a prize somewhere, have you tried? It is an incredible look on time and physics based on the impressions of a movie… Really great and thanks for sharing your views and the information you’ve gathered.
I have to admit that The Girl Who Leapt through Time is one of the very few romance movies I like… Great graphics and a sense of fantasy and life more than the romance that sometimes got in the way for me more than the time thoughts.
To be honest, I, unlike the ones who stated they like to turn off their minds an just watch, I enjoy thinking and overthinking everything that I am served. It just makes me feel great and I have to say that I , at the time I watched the movie, ended up looking at special machines that are faster than the speed of the light and were said to travel through time. Though, got nowehere with the research. Too bored to continue at some point.
I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post. Physics is one of my favourite courses, and I just happen to know a little bit about time travelling. It’s amazing that the stuff that I know perfectly fits on this anime.
Aside from the time travelling, I also loved the story as a whole. I don’t have any negative to say about this, it’s really such a delight to watch it.
I, too, subconsciously overanalyze whatever I’m watching. If I can’t find anything to think about then I will be bored and lose my interest. Since you’re running your blog hopefully next time you’d be able to transcribe your thoughts, because you will get the incentive of adding post on your blog. ^^
Anyway, thanks for reading this post and for dropping by. ^^
Pingback: 12th Day of Anime: Finding a Timeless Favourite « Lemmas and Submodalities
Pingback: Craft of Balancing Time, An Aniblogger Testament « Lemmas and Submodalities