by Chris MaGee
Many of you will know about or have seen Mamoru Hosoda's 2006 animated film "The Girl Who Leapt through Time", and some of you may also know that it was based on a hugely successful Japanese young adult novel, "Toki o Kakeru Shōjo", by Yasutaka Tsutsui. Originally appearing as a serialized story in Chu-3 Course and Kō-1 Course Magazine and then republished in one volume in 1976 the book, about a junior high school student named Kazuko who suddenly finds herself with the ability to leap through time after an accident in her school chemistry lab, was a national sensation. Besides Hosoda's animated film it's also formed the basis for two live-action films, Nobuhiko Obayashi's version released in 1983 and super producer Haruki Kadokawa's version released in 1997. The Girl Who Leapt through Time" has also been turned into a manga and a TV movie. Now there's word that Tsutsui's novel will be adapted once again into yet another live-action feature film, but this time with a twist.
StyleJam and Director Masaaki Taniguchi's take on the story will function more as a sequel to the original "Girl Who Leapt through Time" than a straight adaptation. This time out Riis Naka, the 20-year-old actress who provided her voice for Kazuko in Hosoda's animated feature, will be starring live and in the flesh, but playing Akari, the teenaged daughter of the now adult Kazuko (Narumi Yasuda). Akari's mission in the film is to travel back to the 1970's after her mother ends up in a coma after a serious car accident. There she must track down her mother's first love.
This "Girl Who leapt through Time" will mark the feature directorial debut of Taniguchi and is slated to be released in March of next year. Thanks to Nippon Cinema for the details on this new adaptation, and for the above image of Riisa Naka in character.