Let’s be honest, anime to the uninitiated can appear odd and overwhelming. Most often feature graphic violence with hyper stylized imagery that can be off-putting to some people. Also, only a few shows really reach into the mainstream such as Naruto or Dragon Ball Z. These shows are certainly legendary, but they offer a narrow view of anime. Anime can produce any kind of genre. Not all include the stereotypical over-the-top action sequences. Even avid anime fans search out shows that don’t feature hyper violence as a peaceful escape. One such genre is called “slice of life” which describes an anime that uses everyday issues of life for its characters to conflict with. Slice of life utilizes mundane experiences of life and infuses them with surreal moments.
The movie, “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time,” is one of my favorite slice of life anime. It features Makoto, a high school student, who is seemingly have the worst luck. She is late for class, a soccer ball hits her in the face, and she fails a math quiz. Later while on classroom cleaning duties, she notices a strange message on the chalk board. She then stumbles and falls on a metal object. Then, numbers appear on her arm. Despite the fact of being a slice of life anime, it does have some science fiction influence. Even after the numbers appear on her arm, Makoto still does not notice. She leaves for home on her bike, but the she forgets that the brakes still aren’t fixed. Makoto’s route home features a hill with train tracks. When she rides down the hill unable to stop her bike with a train coming in. Makoto is hit by the train but the anime slows down into slow motion, drawing attention to her the numbers on her hand. She is then transported to her bed, and it’s a day earlier. Makoto discovers she can leap through time and begins to use it and at times abuse the power, the film is a fantastic coming of age movie that anyone can enjoy.