“Akira” is one of the most influential movies to come out in the last 30 years. It opened up anime to film-goers outside of Japan in a big way, and the animation style was unique and expensive — but still lauded to this day. “Akira” is one of the most intense films I have ever seen — not just in animation — and even though I am writing this review the day after I saw it, I am still thinking about it. “Akira” is memorable not just because of its brilliant plot but also its visual design, fantastic setting, and the phenomenal soundtrack. Some people are put off by anime, but if you are going to cut your teeth on some and need something to get you started, watch this movie.
The difference between Western animation and Japanese animation, or “anime”, is very stark and instantly recognisable. Both parties tend to exaggerate their characters physically and often emotionally. Anime itself tends to delve heavily into melodrama for which it frequently draws criticism for, and “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” does sometimes dip into this melodramatic tone. Admittedly I haven’t seen very much anime at all — this is actually my third anime film — and I’m happy to say that my recent branch from Western animation has been pleasant and unique. “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time” is a gorgeous and visually rich film, that deserves your attention.