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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

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Original title  Toki o Kakeru Shōjo
Language  Japanese
Originally published  1967
Country  Japan
3.2/5 Goodreads

Translator  David James Karashima
Publication date  1967
Author  Yasutaka Tsutsui
Genres  Drama, Science Fiction
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Publisher  Kadokawa Shoten Alma Books (English)
Media type  Print (magazine and paperback)
Characters  Kazuko Yoshiyawa, Kazuo Fukamachi, Ken Sogoru, Gorō Asakura, Fukushima
Adaptations  The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006), The Little Girl Who Conquered Time (1983)
Similar  Works by Yasutaka Tsutsui, Science Fiction books

The plot of the girl who leapt through time

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Toki wo Kakeru Shōjo (時をかける少女, literally "Time-Soaring Girl")) is a science fiction novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui. It tells the story of a high-school girl who accidentally acquires the ability to time travel. Originally serialised in seven installments in two of Gakken's secondary school student-aimed magazines, beginning in Chūgaku Sannen Course in November 1965 and ending in Taka Ichi Course in May 1966, and first published as a book in 1967 by Kadokawa Shoten, it has gone on to become one of Tsutsui's most popular works and has been reinterpreted in other media many times, the most famous internationally being a 1983 live action film directed by Nobuhiko Ōbayashi and a 2006 traditional animation film directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The original novel was first published in English translation by the British publisher Alma Books on May 26, 2011, in a translation by David James Karashima.


The title is also that of a song, written by Yumi Matsutōya to be performed by Tomoyo Harada for the 1983 film, which has enjoyed considerable fame of its own.


Kazuko Yoshiyama, a third-year middle school student, is cleaning the school science lab with her classmates, Kazuo Fukamachi and Gorō Asakura, when she smells a lavender-like scent and faints. After three days, strange events transpire around Kazuko, including the burning of Gorō's house after an earthquake. The next morning, at the exact moment of a car accident, Kazuko is transported 24 hours into the past.

She relives the day and relates her strange experience to Kazuo and Gorō. They do not believe her at first, but they are convinced when she accurately predicts the earthquake and ensuing fire. Fukushima, their science teacher, explains Kazuko's new ability as "teleportation" and "time-leap". To solve the riddle of her power, she must leap back four days.

Finally, Kazuko's determination enables her to make the leap. Back in the science room, she meets a mysterious man who has assumed her friend Kazuo's identity. He is really "Ken Sogoru", a time-traveler from AD 2660. His intersection with the girl's life is the accidental effect of a "time-leaping" drug. Ken remains for a month, and Kazuko falls in love with him. When he leaves, he erases all memories of himself from everyone he has met, including Kazuko. As the book ends, Kazuko has the faint memory of somebody promising to meet her again every time she smells lavender.

Publication history

The novel was first serialized in the Japanese youth magazines Chu-3 Course and Kō-1 Course, from November 1965 to May 1966, and has been regularly re-edited in Japan ever since, notably in 1967 (ISBN 4-04-130510-1), in 1997 for the release of the second film (ISBN 4-89-456306-1), and in a new version in 2006 for the release of the animated film, including two more stories: Akumu no shinsô and Hateshinaki tagen uchû (ISBN 4-04-130521-7). The novel is also published in foreign countries, like France (La Traversée du temps, 1983)., South Korea, and China.

1972 television series

NHK produced two adaptations titled Time Traveler and Zoku Time Traveler, aired in 1972. Starring Mayumi Asano.

1983 film

The 1983 live-action film is a direct adaptation of the novel, released on July 16, 1983 in Japan by Tōei, directed by Nobuhiko Ōbayashi, with a screenplay by Wataru Kenmotsu, and starring idol Tomoyo Harada in her first film. It's been since released internationally on DVD, with English sub-titles, under several unofficial English titles (The Little Girl Who Conquered Time, Girl of Time, The Girl Who Cut Time, among others).

1983 short story

Yasutaka Tsutsui wrote a short story parodying his own novel titled Scenario: Toki o Kakeru Shōjo in response to the film adaptation.

1985 drama

Adapted to an episode of Getsuyō Drama Land. Starring Yoko Minamino.

1994 drama

The second live-action television adaptation aired as a five-episode Japanese television live-action TV series broadcast on Fuji Television between February 19 and March 19, 1994. It was directed by Masayuki Ochiai and Yūichi Satō, with screenplay by Ryōichi Kimizuka and music by Joe Hisaishi. It stars the then-rookie idol Yuki Uchida in the main role.

1997 film

The second live-action film adaptation of was released in Japan on November 8, 1997, directed by Haruki Kadokawa, with a screenplay by Ryōji Itō, Chiho Katsura and Haruki Kadokawa, starring beginner Nana Nakamoto in the main role.

2002 TV film

The novel was adapted into one third of the Shinshun! Love Stories anthology film starring members of the all-girl J-pop group Morning Musume. The segment was written by Toshio Terada, starring Abe Natsumi and directed by Kazuhiro Onohara.

2006 anime film

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was produced by the animation studio Madhouse and distributed through Kadokawa Herald Pictures, first released in theaters in Japan on July 15, 2006. The film was later released on DVD on April 20, 2007 in Japan in regular and limited editions. The protagonist of the novel is the aunt of the film's protagonist.

2010 film

A third Japanese live-action film adaptation of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time was announced in Yahoo Japan and released on March 13, 2010. The theme song of the film was performed by Ikimono-gakari. The movie features Riisa Naka, who previously voiced the protagonist Makoto Konno in the 2006 animated film, as the lead character, Akari Yoshiyama, the daughter of Kazuko Yoshiyama. The film is a sequel to the original tale in which Kazuko's daughter, Akari, travels back in time to relay a message to Ken.

2016 drama

A 5 episode live-action television series was aired on 2016, with Fuma Kikuchi of Sexy Zone and Yuina Kuroshima.


The novel was adapted in 2004 into a two-volume manga called The Girl Who Runs Through Time (時をかける少女, Toki o Kakeru Shōjo), illustrated by Gaku Tsugano, and story by Yasutaka Tsutsui (ISBN 4-04-713620-4 & ISBN 4-04-713640-9). The manga was released in English on October 2008 by CMX Manga. A manga adaptation of the 2006 anime film was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Shōnen Ace manga magazine between April 26 and June 26, 2006, illustrated by Ranmaru Kotone; the chapters were later collected into a single bound volume which went on sale on July 26, 2006. Another manga, known as Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo - After (時をかける少女 After), set as prelude to the 2010 film was serialized in Young Ace magazine.


The Girl Who Leapt Through Time Wikipedia