TV series is latest adaptation of classic Japanese science fiction novel.
As its title implies, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a story about a teen who gains time-travel abilities. It’s a doubly fitting name, as although it’s best known to many Westerners as a 2006 anime film from Boy and the Beast director Mamoru Hosoda, The Girl who Leapt Through Time has been periodically popping up in the Japanese media landscape for roughly half a century now.
Originally a 1967 novel from award-winning author Yasutaka Tsutsui, the story was the basis for a television series that aired in 1972. Each decade since has seen at least one Girl Who Leapt Through Time adaptation, with the most recent being a live-action film in 2010. This summer, though, the franchise is coming back to TV, with a weekly Girl Who Leapt Through Time drama set to premier this summer.
For this new production, the protagonist baton is being passed from Riisa Naka (who both voiced the main character in the 2006 anime and played the lead in the 2010 film) to 19-year-old Yuina Kuroshima. Playing opposite Naka will be Fuma Kikuchi, a member of multi-vocalist boy band Sexy Zone, as Ken Sogoru, a stranded time traveler from the far-off future.
Different adaptations of The Girl who Leapt Through Time have had differently named protagonists, one of many measures to keep each one feeling unique and mentally preparing preexisting fans for it to do its own thing with the property. However, the lead character of the new drama, Mihane Yoshiyama, shares a last name with the principal figure in Tsutsui’s original novel, Kazuko Yoshiyama. Meanwhile, Kikuchi’s Ken Sogoru has the exact same name as his book counterpart. The as-yet-released plot description for the drama also alludes to Ken using a special medication in order to travel through time, another element present in the novel.
This suggests that the new TV series will be looking to Tsutsui’s book as its guiding compass. The producers have also said, though, that, unlike in other Girl Who Leapt Through Time adaptations, they’re planning to give considerable screen time to not just the heroine’s take on the mysterious events taking place around her, but also how Ken reacts to life in an era long before he was born.
The Girl who Leapt Through Time is scheduled to air Saturdays at 9 p.m. on broadcaster Nippon TV, starting in July.
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