Darkshaunz follows Trunks back to the future
Score: 9.9/10 (An anime movie for the Ages)
As people move from place to place, as events happen, as the landscape changes and as the mankind tries to fill the void between past and future, there is one thing which will always stay the same. There is never enough time. For as long as I can remember, we have done everything in our power to change the one element we could not harness to our advantage, we have construed strange and bizzare astrophysical formulae to comprehend the manipulation of time and to our dismay, it seems it will be a long time before anything of the sort happens in our lifetime. Conveniently, the power to change everything, to turn regret to happiness, to change bad to good, lands on the palms of a young high school girl named Makoto. The master of Time, is truly the master of everything. But…even Masters make mistakes.
Time Travel, the concept is not a stranger to Anime
This was us before we evolved some decent brains.
My first exposure to time travel was quite basic, it was in fact from a Doraemon Manga. Those of you who know of the Robot Blue Cat, he was sent from the Future Nobita to oversee the successful growth of his younger self. Doraemon himself could time travel, using all kinds of bullshit-hax items like the Time Machine and Time Towel, then again, Doraemon was one cool cat (Pardon the pun). My next encounter was less “straightforward”, this time it came in the form of DragonBallZ. This time, the future was being ravaged by Androids, Trunks who was the son of Vegeta, returned to the past to give Goku a cure for his heart problem and to eradicate the androids before they could destroy his future. Here, I was introduced to the concept of separate parallel timelines, despite having killed the androids, he could not change the events of the future…as his timestream was separated from the one of the past. He did however, get strong enough to return to the future in order to kill Androids and Cell (That’s another doozy of a Parallel timeline).
In this anime movie, time is controlled by a Peanut Time Device.
A lot of time-manipulation enthusiasts reading this would also chime in all kinds of Paradox-Nullifying Theories, Multiverse Theories and “Infinite Us” Theories. I am sure there are many of you out there extremely well read in this rather mysterious field of astrophysics. What I do know, is the closest thing we have to time travel is the ability to observe stars from hundreds of thousands of light years away, as the stars we observe are actually at the state as they were hundreds of thousands of years ago. The void which the light has to travel is kind of a static time-stamp between us and the star. However, this anime movie assumes a basic “Single Time Stream” concept. This concept is easiest to work with, as it assumes your past actions will change the future which you have already observed. It assumes that Time is retrievable after all, however, it also contradicts many time-travel theories which state that past events cannot be changed. But what if you don’t want to change it?, What if you merely wish to skim the surface of the time stream to see someone or something?
“Cabbage in the Hole!”
The movie starts off with a series of digital clocks ticking away, eventually stopping, well I am assuming this represents the user’s future ability to stop time. We get introduced to Makoto, who at first glance reminds me of Shinji Ikari from Evangelion. However, the similarities do end there, Makoto is pleasant to watch and follow from the very beginning. A lovable, outgoing and suitably well-voiced character, she would be our little guide, our point of reference in this Four-Dimensional acid trip across time. So the movie gets it right from the start, you take a look at your VLC Media Player Slider and it reads 1.5 hours, frankly speaking, I knew I was going to enjoy having her as the main character for that time. Makoto’s a very clumsy girl, late for school constantly, can’t deep fry anything (save for a Fireball Cabbage Surprise) and other students seem to like twirling fat people in her general direction when she is minding her own business. What Luck.
Makoto was wondering why that man was getting Bigger. And then it hit her.
Before she can be released from the Jail-like clutches of School, she has to pack away some papers, and she hears some scuffling in the next door Lab preparation room. Heading in to check it out, she finds nobody, and spots a peanut like thing laying on the floor. She suddenly notices a Visage of somebody on the other side of a vial, which startles her. I might note that the visage looks suitably familiar to Chiaki (one of her redhead guy friends). Upon landing on this peanut, which is obviously a time device (obviously!) she activates it, causing her to go through a time tunnel, as the thing passes “charges” into her arm. She witnesses the what looks like the Three main epochs of the world, the Prehistoric world of beasts (represented by horses in massive plains), the World of Men (current day, represented by fireworshipping ape-like men) and the Machine Future (the distant future, we lost to Terminators remember?). She wakes up thinking it was just a dream of sorts and carries on.
This is one mad acid trip!
Time Leaping isn’t just for Space Frogs
They see her rollin’, patrollin’.
Buns don’t deliver themselves, and our Makoto knows this, so off she goes to deliver them to her aunt over at the Museum. As she speeds down the hilly district, nearly flattening a mother and her child, she realizes the train barricades coming down in front of her. Reassuring herself her bad luck is finally over, she goes on to engaging the breaks. Oh snap! the breaks don’t work and her vain attempts to use her feet as friction were equally useless. She impacts the barricade and is flung conveniently at two very hungry looking Death-Trains. At this point, she announces that she is going to die. But we know better, she has both time and Plot armour on her side, making her indestructible for at least for the first hour of the movie. As we expect, her first time leap is accidental, wasn’t a leap at all, more like a “Time Fling”.
Xtreme!!! Gymnastics makes it debut in 2007.
Nevertheless, it does the job, the velocity she was travelling at and the distance she “leaped” (albeit not intentionally) propelled her far enough in time to assume she actually hit the mother on the road first. Of course she knew she should have died there and then, but she didn’t. So like all normal people, we should all go visit our Aunties called Aunt Witch to report on our accidental time travel shenanigans, I know Makoto did. Her aunt suggests to her that she did a “Time Leap”, stating that it happens to girls her age all the time. Its very possible that her Aunt actually did come across a device similar to the one Makoto encountered, hence knowing about the whole concept. However, it seems more likely that she is merely using the “Time Leap” concept as more of an analogy to something Makoto would say in denial to how she feels. Kind of like how we use metaphors to represent a situation when we are talking about something we are not usually comfortable with.
“I’ve got a crazy niece”
If you’ve got it, Flaunt it…or Abuse it
With great power, comes grea-WOO YEAH TIME MASTERY BABY!!!
So Makoto’s gotten her hands on one dandy of a Superpower (Rets is probrably thinking of Hiro from Heroes now or something). She decides to take it for a whirl, and decidedly tries to “leap” from the window, her little sister interprets this as Makoto wanting to choose the “Goodbye Cruel World” option and hastens to ensure her endeared older sister does not become worm food so quickly. After a steady reassuring, Makoto takes her power for a spin. Overlooking a few brats skimping some rocks on a river, as its meant to represent the story itself, the river being the “Time Stream”, and skimping rock representing Makoto’s “Skipping on the Time Stream”. She decides to turn back, thinking that it was all just bad crack, then she changes her mind and bolts to the stream. She is then momentary displaced from our dimension, and enters a Clock-like dimension which has interweaving digital streams and clock gears (representing the future and the past). Forced into a commando roll upon re-entry into our dimension, she is richly rewarded….with delicious Pudding.
“Anybody got the time?”
After a slight pudding injection, it was time for her to re-materialize back into her original point of warping, and the kids overlooking the whole leap was spooked, noting her disappearance from our time plane and tangible dimension. Also important note is that she could not bring her pudding in with her, seeing as the peanut-time device gave her charge, not the pudding, hence it could not be translocated across multiple time streams unlike her. I guess in a concept of twisted physics, some things definitely have to remain constant before it gets all ridiculously confusing. Obviously, her control over time has reached a pretty impressive mark, she was gone only a few seconds according to the kids, yet she spent a good few minutes sampling the pudding and talking with her family who just arrived home.
Ah yes, the spoils of Time Leaping. Delicious Pudding.
Time Start! Version 2.0
If you had the power to control time, the natural thing to do is to try out small things first, then move on to the bigger things. It’s kind of a safety net we humans have, start in small amounts then go all out. When you first try out a food you haven’t tried before, you tend to do a nibble, then proceed to a healthy “chomp”. Makoto’s pudding experiment was a success, and now she’s got Groundhog-Dayitis and what better way than to ace a test, dodge that fat man, make another goofball fry that cabbage and destroy your friends in Baseball because you know exactly where the pitches will land? Hell, you can start abusing it like Makoto did and do yourself in for ten hours of non-stop Karaoke. Ah yes, Makoto is so pleased with her seemingly unstoppable power, she seems almost drunk on it. But like everything intoxicating, how much till you realize it was too much?
Cooking Pots are the next-gen of armour shielding against Explosive Cabbages.
Makoto performing her daily stretches.
The Love Confession|niossefonC evoL ehT
Makoto’s adventurous time-slinging day has come to a close, and she needs a ride back home, as she did not bring our her bike. After all, why bike when you can Time Leap? Chiaki, being the chivalrous young man that he is, offers our heroine a ride. Upon a romantic river bank generically tailored for love confessions, our Redheaded hero can’t help but stick to the cliche’. With some hesitation and small-talk cover, he blurts out that he wishes to go out with Makoto. The main precedent for this was because Kousuke, their other comrade was confessed to by a junior-classmen by the name of Kaho (The shy type). Makoto’s jaw drops to a point I could probrably fit a Truck inside it. She’s shocked and like all platonic-to-romantic relationship transitions, it almost seems like a Bad Joke to her. She makes her first mistake however, she undoes the event with a Time Leap. Tsk tsk.
So the third time around (the second also ended in a confession), she just ignored Chiaki’s offer for a ride home. This means Chiaki never got the opportunity to ask her out anymore, Makoto’s indecisiveness and possible concern over Yuri’s (Her short haired friend) crush on Chiaki may have caused this. In an encounter with Cabbage-Frying man, who was getting his ass hosed by bullying classmates, Makoto indirectly shoves Chiaki into “meeting” with Yuri. From there, the two hit it off relatively well, and Makoto purposely eludes and avoids him because she feels awkwardly about him having ask her out again and that she thinks that “its alright that Yuri and Chiaki are getting along fine anyway”. As if it wasn’t enough, the first time, Cabbage-Frying man literally snaps and starts attacking his bullies with a Fire Extinguisher. The reason being, they tipped what looks like noodles onto his head and uniform. I’m surprised the guy didn’t hose them and then proceed to crack their skulls with the extinguisher instead. He did, however come close.
I has a fire extinguisher.
Makoto and Chiaki enjoy a game of Basketball.
Having reached his limit, the guy throws the extinguisher at Makoto, citing that her request to swap was what landed him in such a situation in the first place. Before the extinguisher case could hit her, Chiaki dives in front of Makoto, with his head (what valiant bravery). However, Makoto burned a Time Leap charge in order to push him out of the way in time before it could have done any serious damage. The rebounding of the extinguisher, did however slam Yuri in the shoulder. It was becoming apparent to viewers that maybe Time Warping across the Time stream wasn’t as fantastic as well thought it would be. Chiaki furthers his relationship with Yuri, and Makoto could only stand helplessly as she sees Chiaki slip through her fingers. However, this could have been what she wanted for her best friend, or was there a nagging doubt at the back of her mind that something was not right? Perhaps.
Oh Makoto, that could have been you sitting there.
Playing Love Doctor
So Moe, you’re already dead.
So she feels like she needs something to make her feel good, the whole Chiaki-Yuri thing was beginning to eat on her. Plus she did feel Kaho and Kousuke needed a little matchmaking nudge to make the romance bloom or something along those lines. Kaho and company told a story about her Kaho used to be in the same volunteer club with Kousuke a long time ago and how she has this thing for him, so being the good love doctor, she Time Leaps back to the time Kaho first approaches Kousuke for the confession (remember, he turned her down the first time). The two attempts she made were pretty bad, the first one had her sounding like a Stalker, knowing about Kaho’s personal life and family were all things which freaked the group out. The second time wasn’t as freaky but was way too blunt, blunter than a Warhammer. She basically confessed FOR Kaho and no doubt this also caused the trio to blast off again.
Attempt number One: STALKER ALERT
Attempt number Two: CONFESSION ALERT
The third time required an awesome leap from the higest diving platform at the school, and a little planning as well. This time she would make it so the Kaho trio were sitting at the tree which got owned by the fat guy, and walked Kousuke to the precise point where she got smashed by the amazing human cannonball. Like clockwork, everything fell into place according to plan, Kousuke was impacted by a massive human jellyroll, effectively shielding a helpless Kaho from certain harm, and “conveniently” landing on her. Kousuke, also chivalrous like Chiaki, offers the fair maiden assistance back to her home and treatment for her ankle. Makoto cheers in delight, but sighs in despair when she only has one charge left.
The things you do for love.
Play with Time, prepare to get Burnt.
One for the road.
Kousuke needs transportation for his rescued damsel in distress, and since he didn’t have his bike around, Makoto’s bike had to do. He informs his comrade through text that the bike will be under his receivership for the time being. All good, friend gets girl and friend gets to ride new girlfriend to the clinic and look totally awesome. Wait. Rewind <<<. Bike...bike, that's right, that's the bike which nearly got Makoto killed at the very start of the movie. The brakes, they do not work, and what a completely horrid state of affairs for our heroine. She chases after Kousuke and Kaho with an amazing speed, I am sure even The Flash would applaud her courageous attempt at breaking the speed of sound using only her legs. She runs and she runs and finally reaches the train crossing before the two, however, there was no accident. Relief. She receives a call from Chiaki and the two share a warm, pleasant conversation...until Chiaki asks her if she has been Time-Leaping (much to her awe and shock). She expends her final Time Leap charge to make it so Chiaki never asks her that question over the phone.
Sometimes, a mistake can cost more than just your own life.
Lamenting wasting a Time Leap charge on something so “small”, Kousuke and Kaho come cruising down, greeting her as they glide down the hill to their eventual deaths. Makoto, could do nothing but run in vain as she watched in agonising slow motion, the faces of a terrified Kousuke trying in vain to brake using his feet, like she did when she was cruising to her death on that very same hill. As she bumps into countless strangers hard, Kousuke’s sneakers slams at her, causing her to go down painfully, tumbling and bruising all over. Like some demented punishment, she was forced to watch in all it’s glory, the blood she that her body and the lives of two other friends had to pay in order for her crime against time. Is the concept of alternate consequences the true representation of cruelty? or is it the frivolous usage of our Time stream as a manner of personal leisure more cruel? Regardless of the answer, it was apparent that doom bethrothed the two, as they are flung exactly as she was that fateful afternoon. Difference is, they can’t Time-Fling.
Makoto wails in agony as she fails to stop Kousuke in time.
Xtreme!!! Gymnastics is getting kind of dangerous.
Time Stop! Collabarate and Listen, Ice is back with his new edition.
The day Tokyo (3) stood still.
If you close your eyes and wish for everything to stop, apparently it will, if you have the power to leap through time. Before audiences can be mortified at the sight of two death, scattered young high school students, everything stops. We cry some form of foul divine intervention, it’s almost too convenient. Until, Chiaki appears with Makoto’s brakeless bike in tow. Seems like Chiaki knows all about the Peanut Time Device and that he has enough of an understanding of Time travel to actually stop time itself. However, the business of a man from the future would be in question, and it turns out he merely wanted to feast his eyes on a Timeless painting which was being restored by Makoto’s aunt at that period. The painting was painted in a time of great famine and war, yet it reflected such beauty and tranquility. He explains that he ran out of charges for the device, with the final ones spent on saving Kousuke and Kaho. Also, In Chiaki’s future they had no bicycles any more and the painting was burnt in a fire, I just hope the future isn’t being destroyed by Androids or Zerglings.
“I totally stopped time with my Future God-like powers”
It came to pass that by telling someone from the past about the Peanut Time Device, he has broken a cardinal rule. In order to minimize the damage of this, he has to disappear from Makoto’s life forever. Like everything she does, she can only try in vain to stop Chiaki from vanishing from existence altogether. It’s a bittersweet irony that has us clocking in and out of the events, how can someone with so much power be so helpless in times of great peril? Makoto can, and its a fine display that the perfect power in the hands of an imperfect being can only lead to one thing, pure and unadulterated misery. There’s no helping feeling bad for Makoto, first she undoes a love confession from a close friend, then she watches helplessly as two friends glide down to their doom and then watches Chiaki vanish from her life despite indirectly getting a second chance at reconciling how she feels about him. With her Time Leap charges completely used up, she can only lead a life of normality once again. Easy come, Easy go, such is the mistress we call Time.
Poor Makoto, things just keep on going wrong for our girl.
Memories can Conquer Time
The aftermath of Chiaki’s disappearance hits Makoto hard, as she is overcome with great grief. She loses it a bit looking at his empty desk, snaps when the class starts spreading bad gossip about him and utterly breaks down when talking with Kousuke about his sudden disappearance. “I’m a terrible person”, she exclaims with a great sense of regret and sadness. She proceeds to run out to the school roof to cry louder than a Spartan warcy, its all extremely depressing and even I felt bad thinking, “I told you so” during this sequence. However, luck was beginning to smile upon our heroine and upon inspecting her arm whilst lamenting on her bed, she spots a one on her arm. How on Earth did she get this new charge? Quite possibly a distortion in the Timestream caused this anomaly, a one in a million chance…or perhaps she managed to Time Leap herself back one charge, effectively creating a recycled-loop effect on the Time Leap charge. Who cares, its time for our girl to run like Forrest Gump did, fucking fast.
From Hopeless Sadness to…
In a glorious final dash, Makoto gives it her absolute all, flying towards a buzzing nightscape, quite a sight to behold if you were a passerby. As she makes her momentous last passage within the Time Dimension, memories of her past with Kousuke and Chiaki come to life, glorious shining and reflecting her true desires. For she was entering a realm that not even time itself could touch, these were all from caches of her memory and although there is never enough time, memories will always be there to cushion the blow and remind us that a part of us existed sometime in the distant past, and a part of someone else exists within us. Knowing this, Makoto forged her way through the Time Tunnel and back into the first day of the movie, the place she received her powers (Science lab), and this provides a nice cyclical effect to whole movie. Makoto tells Yuri to “Stay away from my man, girl” and then tells Kousuke to “Get it on with Kaho by inviting her posse to some Baseball-fo shizzle”.
Pocket Umbrellas seem practical on paper.
“Dude, seriously, go shape up some bitches.”
Our Heroine meets up with Chiaki, and wastes no time in explaining to him she knows all about the Peanut Time Device and about his future self tells her about his intentions about staying in our Timeplane. With the both of them having expended their charges for real this time, it was time for the two to part, I am guessing because Chiaki has a life back in the future. I also know that having a exotic entity from the future on our timeplane can’t be good for the fabric of the universe and universal constants.
Waking up to Yesterday
Parting ways is always the most difficult.
Especially if you are the one saying Goodbye.
Makoto and Chiaki part ways at the same riverbank that Chiaki confessed to her in one instance of our Timeplane. Chiaki seems at one point about to confess to Makoto once more, but instead says, “Take care of yourself properly, think before you act”, citing how clumsy and emptyminded Makoto can be. This surprises Makoto as well, and she beckons him to go back to the Future before the Time-window or Soul Society dimension door closes on his face (I’m pretty close). Makoto weeps upon having to watch Chiaki disappear from her life, once more. Dear God it’s like a constant wave of depression in this movie, I was secretly hoping the Teletubbies and Pirate Ninjas would suddenly show up to cheer this emo atmosphere up hardcore before I reached for a razor blade. Chiaki runs back hastily to embrace Makoto, saying that he will wait for her in the future. It’s a bittersweet end to their friendship, but Makoto manages a weak smile, saying that she will hurry herself to the future, that she’ll “run” towards it.
It is delicious Makoto, you must gently love it.
“Im wearing this totally rad cologne, can you dig it?”
The movie ends with Kousuke complaining about Chiaki not telling him a thing about doing a Houdini on everybody, Makoto and Kousuke are playing Catch-ball with Kaho and her friends and they all seem to be having a ball of a time (no pun intended). As a reflective conclusion to what has been a display of excellence, Makoto gazes to the heavens, no doubt wondering where that mysterious final charge came from, whether it’d be a freak of coincidence or a divine gift from sympathetic deities, our young heroine knows that Time is definitely is of the essence.
Fin. The crowd applauds the closing of a masterpiece.
It’s a Mad world
Great Graffiti idea for Clock shops.
People running around in circles everyday, it’s a very very…Mad world. The lyrics from Gary Jule’s song encompasses the theme very well. We live to rush, everywhere you look people rushing to their families, to their jobs, to their obligations and ironically, to their graves. Our world is one of efficiency, where a premium is paid for Time, and so the vestiges of Time, and the potential to manipulate it will forever captivate our kind in a kind of lusting rapture. I know that I myself continue to rush with assessments and projects, and I curse the quickness of the weekend and the seemingly endless working week. You question why is it that the hands on the clock mockingly inches slowly, numbering our days with twelve alphanumeric characters. Is it there to remind us of our frivolous ways? or will we eventually better the taunting nature of Time?
Follow the Shiny Lights!
I don’t pretend to comprehend fully the power of Time and harnessing the mechanics of the mythical element. What I do know is, power over time holds no quarter to preserving, creating and inciting new and exciting experiences. Makoto’s story, Doraemon’s story, Trunks story from DBZ, they are all the same. Don’t try to change the outcome of the future by altering the past. Realize that although what’s done is done, it’s what you do now that matters. Albeit we only get one shot at life, not only should we make it count, we should let time work in our favour, and not be slaves to it. Alas dear reader, I must be off once more for another engagement. Tempus Fugit.