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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Toki o kakeru shōjo) Part 5: The Parody

Impaled Professor: Collection of short stories containing Scenario: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

Impaled Professor: Collection of short stories containing Scenario: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

In June 1983, one month before the first screening of the movie adaptation TSUTSUI also returned to his story and published a parody of it called Scenario: Toki o kakeru shōjo in SF Adventure, a popular SF magazine of the time running stories of that genre. It was later collected in Kushizashi kyōju (Impaled Professor, 1985) and is only about 10 pages long.1 Pages 155-164. TSUTSUI assumes his readers already know the original story and only uses some key scenes to retell it. Instead he introduces new story elements taken from the contexts of contemporary society like school violence and let’s his characters comment on the upcoming movie version.

Scenario: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: The original script for the movie.

Scenario: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: The original script for the movie.

In the same month, KENMOCHI’s script for the movie was also published using the same title: Scenario: Toki o kakeru shōjo. The word scenario in the first instance refers to the screen play and TSUTSUI’s parody approaches the style in which such screen plays are usually written, describing what the camera shows and giving the lines of the characters. Yet it only loosely follows this format and there are some major differences. In the second instance scenario refers to a potential outcome, like the future envisioned in the original story with a highly advanced educational system. Which doesn’t seem so likely with a present that sees violent outbreaks of students against adult authorities and teachers in particular.

Style

Formatting – Movie scripts usually put the name of the character before each succession of lines they say and put frequent line breaks yet TSUTSUI’s parody is in blocktext and spoken lines are often given without indication who exactly is speaking. Each scene begins with a bullet point (a circle symbol). The formatting is least similar to that of a typical scenario.

Non-dialogue text – Same as novels, movie scripts give information about the characters and scenery yet the focus is more on how the actors should act their character and how the set should be built and the camera be used. Since these descriptions are meant for the producing staff and not usually seen by the eventual audience they are short and matter of factly, they don’t need to be elaborate stylistically or interesting to a reader.

TSUTSUI’s parody does imitate this style but instead of being a set of instructions existing before the movie the text is more of a transcript of the finished product, describing what the actors and the camera do and making guesses what the intentions of the director are. In this way, especially at the beginning, the narrative becomes a basic analysis of the style and methods movies use to tell their story. Yet the focus soon shifts to exaggerating and mocking certain aspects of the movie form.

Spoken text – The amount of spoken text is still relatively sparse but all the longer scenes feature mostly dialogue. Spoken text is the core of the story.

Self awareness – The parody story juxtaposes its main plot, based on the original story, with another plot in the background. The characters speak their text stiffly and monotonously, as if by rote. This highlights the fakeness and the fictionality of the main plot, as TSUTSUI the narrator himself comments. The background action shows violent students attacking adults and the results of their destructive behavior. It is said to feel more alive and real and clashes with the fake main plot. The story characters try to ignore what is happening around them but the background invades the foreground and obstructs the advancement of the fictional plot.

Scenes

Since the story is so short and very unlikely to ever be officially translated, I decided to translate it in full.

Scene 1 – 6.5 lines long. After school, in the science classroom. Something like a piano is not to be heard. Every once in a while the yells of people in the distance are heard, sounding like waves at the shore. The female protagonist is alone and has just finished cleaning. The viewer can tell by her putting a chair back down to the floor from a table. The window glass is almost completely gone and the frame broken in places. The camera zooms on to the window to clearly show the viewer the shards of the remaining window glass. The outside looks like a mixture of inner city and the country side.
Scene 2 – 6 lines long. Suddenly glass is heard breaking. She stays where she stands and looks towards the door to the lab room, indicating that the sound came from there. She calls: “Who’s there?” Her voice is lacking urge or fear. It simply is slightly loud. She approaches the door and opens it wide. Broken test tubes and little medicine bottles lie broken on the ground and the whole room has turned into a pile of rubbish.
Scene 3 – 5.5 lines long. Kazuo and Gorō wash their hands on the toilet. “YOSHIYAMA-kun is kind and sweet but too motherly, isn’t she?” says Gorō to Kazuo, as if reciting a text by rote. “She treats us like babies. ‘Go wash your hands!’ What did she say that for?” In the background the walls and doors of the toilet stalls seen to be completely broken away. It’s only rows of bare toilet bowls. Something is heard breaking in the distance: “Guoon”. Something metallic is hit repeatedly: “gangangan”.
Scene 4 – 5.25 lines long. She has collapsed on the lab room floor. Gorō and Kazuo enter the room. With blank faces they crouch beside her. In a monotone voice Gorō says: “YOSHIYAMA-kun. Oh. What’s up with her? Is she dead?” Kazuo replies with the same monotone voice: “Don’t be silly. There’s no way she could be dead.” Both touch her everywhere, as if it was a contest. “She’s alright.” “What are we gonna do?” “Let’s take her to the sick room.” Together they say: “Yes, that’s what we should do.”
Scene 5 – 6.5 lines long. Kazuo and Gorō hold her on both sides and walk her through the corridor. The camera follows them. Her legs dangle. The camera tries to get a peek under her skirt, eventually even to get under it itself. Kazuo and Gorō chase and avoid the camera but it is stubborn. Kazuo and Gorō have trouble fending off the camera that is filming them.
Scene 6 – 9.5 lines long. In the sick room. She has been lain on the bed. As she’s moaning it takes only little imagination to make it appear somewhat erotic. “What has happened to me?” She is surrounded by Kazuo, Gorō and FUKUSHIMA-sensei. In the background, a young female teacher is resisting a group of three violent middle school students who are grabbing her. Kazuo says to her: “You fainted in the lab room. You were anemic.” “That wasn’t anemia.” “I’m telling you, it wasn’t anemia.” “Someone was in the lab room.” In the background the students finally managed to push the teacher onto another bed and start undressing her. “On the floor there was white smoke.” She sharply turns towards FUKUSHIMA-sensei and continues: “When I smelled that smoke my body felt so light.” In the background the bodies of the teacher and the students are entangled and FUKUSHIMA tries hard to keep his composure and to ignore their moans: “Unn” “Ngg” “Hmm” and to listen to her instead.
Scene 7 – 4.5 lines long. She’s on her way home. She is walking towards the camera, on a street near a park. In the background a tramp is stumbling out of the park, chased by a group of violent students. From the off we hear her voice narrating: “Since that time I became a girl who leapt through time.” Almost 10 violent students circle the fallen tramp and start kicking him.
Scene 8 – 8.5 lines long. The next day, in the classroom. She has taken her seat and and talks to the girl next to her, Mariko. “Oh, didn’t we have that problem yesterday already?” “My, you know already the problems the teacher is going to use?” “No, that’s not what I meant. We had the same problem in yesterday’s class already.” In the background violent students are rioting. They break the window glass, strangle the teacher and throw tables upside down. The two girls continue as if nothing were happening: “Did you forget already?” “How could I forget something like that? We didn’t have that problem yesterday. I’m seeing it for the first time.” As if by rote they recite their lines, trying hard to be heard against the noise from the background. Compared to that the yells and actions of the violent students appear alive and real. One gets the impression that by contrast they want to highlight the fictionality of the foreground scene and assert their own reality.
Scene 9 – 24.25 lines long. Staff room. She, Kazuo and Gorō surround FUKUSHIMA-sensei, having just finished explaining what is happening with her. “FUKUSHIMA-sensei, do you believe us?” “Of course I believe you, you don’t have any reason to fool me with such an elaborate hoax.” In the background violent students are fighting teachers. Some students are swinging Japanese swords. A female teacher is screaming in desperation and is trying to make an escape to the side of the screen. An ink bottle is thrown, hitting FUKUSHIMA-sensei right on the head but he ignores it and stoicly continues: “When normal people are confronted with such strange incidents, which they cannot explain with the science they know” In the background of the screen a teacher is starting a counter offensive. He rams a fruit knife into the chest of a student. The student screams: “Gyah”, and with the knife in his chest staggers into the foreground, collapsing right at the desk next to FUKUSHIMA-sensei. As if he couldn’t get his mind of it, FUKUSHIMA-sensei keeps looking to the side but continues saying his lines: “But you know, it is up to science to bring clarity to the u-uncertain.” A teacher with disheveled hair runs up to the student, pulls out the knife and stabs him 2 or 3 more times. Blood is flying, reaching even to the side where FUKUSHIMA-sensei is. The camera seems indecisive what it should show and is swinging left and right. It seems to be fascinated by scenes of murder. FUKUSHIMA-sensei is confused, which is reflected in the way he recites his lines: “Therefore science, to make progress, you know. In short words, as a first step, no I mean, so as a first step, there needs to be uncertainty, there need to be strange phenomenon, I mean, you know, there need to be things like these. Well, you know, to be honest, I too have an interest in science and SF and the future, I mean I don’t talk or think about it, but well, I mean, in the real world too, there are many such examples, of, of such bothersome real life problems, for example here in school. There are many cases. Therefore we cannot, well, just do things like in an SF novel here in school. You get what I’m saying, don’t you. But well, that is neither here nor there, so to return to this incident, in short, well it is like this…”
Scene 10 – 18 lines long. She is the lead role. Therefore she must retain her resolution even in the face of whatever confusion may surround her. With big eyes she faces the front, in other words where the camera is, which is swinging side to side. Kazuo and Gorō on the other hand are supporting characters in this scene. They start whispering to each other. They probably had their doubts about this confusion all along: “Don’t you agree that all of this is a bit too much?” “But it is a parody after all. So it’s okay, right?” “But even a parody needs to respect the dignity of the source. What about the dignity of the source?” “But it is the original author. He is not plagiarizing.” “But the movie rights were sold. What about the dignity of the film version? The producer2 YAMADA Yorihiko. is gonna be pissed. He paid a lot for the movie rights.” “How much?” “1.5 million yen, or so I heard.” “But that producer understands what a parody is. He made one himself.3 He is probably talking about House, a 1977 horror comedy also directed by ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko. In that movie the famous tramp Tora-san from the Otoko wa tsurai series is spoofed, among other characters from popular movie series.” “Such a, I mean, such incidents, well, if more of these would occur, well, that would be nothing but a good thing.” While FUKUSHIMA-sensei was talking he was facing the camera, now he starts to address the audience directly: “Now listen, you kids, it’s summer vacation right now, I must be allowed to go to the cinema sometimes. You can’t take that from me. But here in school, you need to be more considerate about things. Don’t you think? I mean, there is nothing wrong with SF. Even Joe4 Crusher Joe, an SF anime that was screened in March of the same year, 1983. or Genma.5 Genma taisen, an SF anime that was screened in March of the same year, 1983. It is based on a novel serialized in the same magazine SF Adventures in which Scenario is published. But these things that are happening in school right now, if you realize what is happening right now, then we have to… Look, there are problems. In times like these, well, remember Hiroko-chan…”6 Footnote preview: YAKUSHIMARU Hiroko was a young singer and actress of the time and a peer of HARADA Tomoyo who played Kazuko’s role. In 1981 YAKUSHIMARU starred in another movie by director ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko called Nerawareta gakuen as a female student who used PSI powers to stop other PSI power enabled beings from building a fascist regime at her school. Although her PSI power is different from Kazuko̵...

Scene 11 – 7.5 lines long. Suddenly she stands up. The story had become stagnant. As if she couldn’t bear it anymore she is taking responsibility in her own hands and apparently decided to advance the story by force. With a loud, screaming voice she says: “That means my power is that of teleportation and time leap, is that right FUKUSHIMA-sensei?” FUKUSHIMA-sensei was flabbergasted, fell into a flutter but nodded finally. “Yes. Yes, that is right.” “And I have to use the power to go back to the lab room four days ago, to the place where it happened, is that what you say?” “Yes. Yes, that is right.” “Understood. Then I’ll do just that.” She nods determinedly. And the next moment she’s gone.
Scene 12 – 6.5 lines long. Back in the lab room. About 10 violent students have broken bottles, beakers, test tubes and medicine bottles and thrown over a medicine bottle rack. Each time they destroy something they laugh about it, vainly trying to get pleasure out of it. Among them is Kazuo, all alone and absent minded. She opens the door and enters. When she sees what state the room is in she gasps. She is afraid. But immediately she acts as if it were nothing and goes up to Kazuo. “So it was you who mixed that medicine and gave me this strange power.” They stand facing each other, looking the other deep in the eyes.
Scene 13 – 25 lines long. In the background one of the violent students who even while raging madly had watched the two is digging another one’s ribs with his elbow. “Hey, hey. It’s getting good now. Hey.” The two are guffawing vulgarly. “Hey, you two. Hey.” What is happening? The violent students from reality have finally come to meddle with the two in their fictional world. Kazuo is getting slightly pale. As if to shake off a bad feeling he recites his text: “In short terms, I’m from the future.” “Oho. He says he’s from the future.” Laughing, the two violent students go near Kazuo. The other students ask: “Hey. What’s going on?” “These guys, they’re playing SF. He said he’s from the future.” They all guffaw. Kazuo is pale with fear. As he’s surrounded by them he is shaking. But he must finish saying his lines. “If, you find my words hard to believe, I will accept that.” “Yeah, who is gonna believe that shit. Idiot.” One is digging at Kazuo’s head. “I get it, I get it. It’s SF.” Finally reality has completely invaded fiction. “You two, if you like each other you should do petting or sex over there.” “Yeah, that’s right.” “Come on, do it.” “We’re gonna watch you.” Kazuo has long started crying. “I-I-I cannot say m-m-ore. I h-h-hate lying.” “What a dipshit. All he says is lies.” “What a coward.” They rain abuse on him. Eventually one can’t stand the weakly construed fiction anymore and hits Kazuo with a baseball bat. Kazuo is sent flying into a corner of the room and loses consciousness. “Hey. I’m gonna take care of you.” “No, let me.” “I will do it.” They all start embracing her. “Undress her.” “Do her.” “Stop it. Leave me alone.” Writhing in agony she screams. “The story is not over yet, how am I going to end the story… Ah. I’m sorry. I’m currently being assaulted. Please wait as I’m being assaulted. Okay? What is this? As long as people like you exist, we cannot do our fiction here. We cannot do our SF. You understand? So please stop. I said stop. Ahh. You can’t do this. I hate you. I hate you all. I don’t want to be here anymore. Tomoyo7 HARADA Tomoyo is the name of the actress who plays Kazuko in the movie. is going to the future right now.”
(No screening without permission)

Characters

Kanojo (she) – The female protagonist. Appears in scenes 1-2, 4-13.

Referred to by Gorō by her surname as YOSHIYAMA-kun. Otherwise only referred to as “she”. This makes her an icon for females in general. Instead of being one individual, referred to by a distinct name, she is the very idea of the girl.

Kanojo can also mean girlfriend, making her an icon of the fictional girlfriend.

Kanojo begins with the syllable ‘ka’, same as the character’s actual name Kazuko, and her male mirror image Kazuo, and the word kagami (mirror), and the word kaa-san (mother).

Her power is the the result of a trauma. Fiction is an escape from the violent reality which reminds of the trauma.

At the end she refers to herself as Tomoyo, the name of the actress who plays Kazuko in the movie. This again highlights the fictionality of the character and reveals that there is a real person assuming the identity of “her”.

In scene 7 she speaks as the narrator, in chapter 13 she speaks to the audience and apologizes she can’t continue telling the story, as an actress playing the role of the girl who leapt through time.Compare with novel

Kazuo – Appears in scenes 3-6, 9-10,12-13. Absent minded (scene 12), mostly passive, reactive to actions of others.

Touches the female protagonist’s body when she is passed out (scene 4). Begins to stutter and to cry when the violent students suggest he should have sex with her (scene 13). Knocked out by one of the violent students because he felt fake (scene 13).Compare with novel

Gorō – Appears in scenes 3-6, 9-10. Dislikes YOSHIYAMA-kun’s overly motherly behavior. Usually the first to talk. Probably the one who has issues with the parody affecting the dignity of the source work (scene 10).

Touches the female protagonist’s body when she is passed out (scene 4).Compare with novel

FUKUSHIMA-sensei – Appears in scenes 6, 9-11. Struggles to keep his composure when talking to her in the sick room because of sexual tension occurring in the background scene (scene 6).

Instantly believes the story about her power (scene 9). Has an interest in SF, feels the need to justify himself for this interest when he addresses the audience in scene 10.

Thinks that phenomenon like the one occurring to her are needed to advance science. Is confused by real life problems, which he calls bothersome, begins to stutter. Comes to understands that wanting more SF phenomenon to occur is like asking for more traumatic violence like the one that caused her power.

Has an idealistic view of science and SF, is optimistic about the future. Compared to that the violent students seem only interested in the action of the SF anime shown in cinema. Is torn between his idealistic view of SF and education and the bleak reality.Compare with novel

Parody of Tora-san in ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko's debut movie House. Tora-san is the protagonist from the popular movie series Otoko wa tsurai.

Parody of Tora-san in ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko’s debut movie House. Tora-san is the protagonist from the popular movie series Otoko wa tsurai.

Tramp – Appears in scene 7. Alluded to be Tora-san, the iconic travelling merchant tramp from the long running Otoko wa tsurai movie series.

In each of the Otoko wa tsurai movies Tora-san meets a beautiful woman, the so called madonna of that movie, they get somewhat close but at the end there is some reason why they can’t get together. In that regard he is like Kazuo, who is also attracted to a motherly woman which he can’t be intimate with.

Tora-san was also a school drop out and never got a decent job, yet is the likable hero of his movies. He refers to himself as a yakuza, is part of that shady subculture. In that regard he is like the violent students which could be referred to a furyō shōnen (no good juvenile delinquents), the junior yakuza so to speak.

Is beat up by the violent students, who in a way attack their potential future self.

Teachers – Appear in scenes 6, 8-9. At war with the students. The female ones get sexually assaulted (scene 6 and 9), a male one strangled (scene 8). One retaliates with a knife attack (scene 9).Compare with novel

Mariko – Appears in scene 8. Hasn’t seen the math problem before. The protagonist insists that the problem came up in class before.

In the background the violent students strangle the teacher, as if to mute out what he is saying.Compare with novel

Violent students – Appear in scenes 6-9, 12-13.

Three of them rape a young female teacher while the female protagonist tells Kazuo, Gorō and FUKUSHIMA-sensei what happened to her in the lab room (scene 6).

Around ten of them hunt and kick a tramp (scene 7) when the female protagonist is on her way home from school.

They strangle a teacher when Mariko tells the female protagonist that she has never seen the problem before (scene 8).

They riot in the staff room and fight a group of teachers (scene 9). One of them gets stabbed in the chest with a fruit knife, just as FUKUSHIMA-sensei is lecturing about science, taking digs at “normal people” with limited understanding of science (in the original story this was mostly about Gorō and his reaction to Kazuko’s claims about knowing the future).

Around 10 of them broke the interior of the lab room (scene 12). They molest the female protagonist and Kazuo, knock out Kazuo and proceed to rape her (scene 13).Compare with novel

Tomoyo – Appears in scene 13. The female protagonist’s true identity, the actress playing the fictional role.

In the original story it was Kazuo who revealed his true identity and returned to the future. In the parody it is the female protagonist who reveals her true identity and escapes from her traumatic reality into the future.Compare with novel

Objects

Windows – Window glass is broken in scene 1 and 8. Windows can be seen through in their usual state already, the breaking of the glass can be seen as a metaphor for the exaggeration of the parody, making things that are already apparent even more obvious.

The frame of the window in scene 1 is also broken in places, this is a metaphor for the association of two images with each other. Usually each image is inside its own frame, by breaking these frames the images are enabled to become mixed.8 This was also a new stylistic method of manga for girls of the 1970ies, breaking up panel layout to arrange smaller panels inside larger ones and putting text outside of speech and thought bubbles to converge images and text and create a more literary style of comics.

So the windows in the story express the stylistic tools of exaggeration and association used in the parody.

Camera – Appears in scenes 1, 6, 9-10. It reveals things by drawing attention, even molests the characters. It has an appetite for sex and violence and brings unpleasantness to the characters.

It connects fiction and audience, is an avatar for the voyeristic audience. The female protagonist and FUKUSHIMA-sensei several times face the camera and in some scenes even talk to the audience.

Places and sceneries

After school – No piano playing which would indicate high brow culture. Instead there is noise from the violent students.Compare with novel

The outside world – In the first scene the outside of the school is seen through the broken window. It is a mixture of contradictory features, the inner city and the country side. This symbolizes the numerous examples of such contradictory mixtures in Japanese culture.

The lab room – Is filled with piles of garbage, the result of the destructive behavior of the violent students. Symbolizes the detrimental effects this trend in society has on science and education.Compare with novel

The toilet – The stall walls and doors are removed, making it completely devoid of privacy. The bare toilet bowls are rowed up, expressing how people using these toilets must feel.

Of course privacy is already impacted in functional public places of personal hygiene. Urinals aren’t separated and showers are often shared in school bathrooms. They thus become places of homosexual tension.

It is here where Gorō expresses his aversion towards the female protagonist’s overly motherly behavior to Kazuo.

Major plot points

hiroko-chan

Trailer for Nerawareta gakuen starring YAKUSHIMARU Hiroko.

The strange power – When FUKUSHIMA-sensei is supposed to explain the female protagonist’s power he starts to talk about the real world outside the fiction. He talks about watching SF at the cinema and mentions (Crusher) Joe and Genma (taisen), both being SF anime movies that feature characters with PSI powers. He further mentions Hiroko-chan (YAKUSHIMARU Hiroko),6 Footnote preview: YAKUSHIMARU Hiroko was a young singer and actress of the time and a peer of HARADA Tomoyo who played Kazuko’s role. In 1981 YAKUSHIMARU starred in another movie by director ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko called Nerawareta gakuen as a female student who used PSI powers to stop other PSI power enabled beings from building a fascist regime at her school. Although her PSI power is different from Kazuko̵... another young actress and singer of the time and peer of HARADA Tomoyo. At that moment he is interrupted and the scene changes, the female protagonist taking charge and advancing the dialogue to the lines FUKUSHIMA won’t get around to saying.

In this way Hiroko-chan and Tomoyo are compared with each other. Both actresses starred in movies by ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko. YAKUSHIMARU Hiroko’s role in Nerawareta gakuen was that of a female student who used PSI powers to bring back peace to her school. It is a power fantasy typical of literature for boys, including manga for boys. HARADA Tomoyo’s role in Toki o kakeru shōjo is that of a girl who travels in time to escape traumatic memories. It is maybe more realistic since the power doesn’t offer a simple solution and is akin to the stories in manga for girls.Compare with novel

Trailer for the 1977 movie House: 'The house invites you. Come to the country side and become a bride.'

Trailer for the 1977 movie House: The house invites you. Return to the country side and become a bride.

Parody and dignity – When Gorō and Kazuo become aware of their roles in the story and talk about the parody aspect of it, at first an accusation is made of the parody being an attack on the dignity of the source work. This sounds like a criticism of TSUTSUI the author because with this parody he compromises his work and thus the movie he sold the rights of. But it turns around by saying the movie makers did a parody before so it implies that they could possibly compromise TSUTSUI’s work with their version.

In the end both are entitled to their interpretations of the story as they have the rights to it. But the reason why TSUTSUI chose to write a parody in 1983 might not just be due to a mainstream popularity of that form. One cannot ignore that fans of manga and anime called otaku had been publishing fanzines (dōjinshi) with anime parody for several years by that time. Since they were using characters and worlds of authors not themselves they were effectively plagiarizing those authors’ works. So Kazuo and Gorō’s dialogue indirectly applies to otaku and their favorite mode of writing.

Yet ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko’s debut movie House which is mentioned by the boys also shared quite a few parallels with otaku culture, like borrowing/plagiarizing other work’s characters and utilizing styles from manga for girls and putting them in explicitly sexualized contexts. House also shares death as a metaphor for becoming a bride/first sex with with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.Compare with novel

Leading and supporting roles – In scene 10 the female protagonist is referred to as the lead role. Kazuo and Gorō are referred to as supporting roles. This is turning the usual gender binary upside down in which the man is the provider and out working and the woman at home supporting him. This might reflect the changes of gender identity thanks to feminism and emancipation.

Yet it also constitutes a perceived paradox. One cannot be the lead role and the supporting role at the same time. One cannot be a woman and a man at the same time. This perceived need for gender segregation is reflected in the strictly separate publishing categories of manga for boys and manga for girls. In the original story by TSUTSUI this kind of gender segregation is reflected in Kazuko’s house being seemingly only inhabited by females and the house itself being female gendered, whereas Kazuo’s house seems more male gendered.

In the early 1980ies some manga magazines appeared that weren’t distinguished by a certain gender target group. One example would be Duo,9 Schodt 1983: 105. another Manga Burikko.10 Ōtsuka 2004: 99. Real all gender manga publications were mostly short lived and are still rare today but readers were increasingly also buying publications advertised for the other gender and stylistic crossover has blurred the boundaries. This is largely the result of the success of female manga authors since the 1970ies which first claimed domination in manga for girls and then also competed with male authors in their home turf, manga for boys.

Otaku culture is based on these new manga for girls by female authors. They choose the sources for their parodies from anime, which anyone can easily watch on TV no matter what gender. Female otaku use the male homosexual romance pattern established in the popular manga for girls genre shōnen ai of the 1970ies in their yaoi parodies, male otaku use the female perspective and style of manga for girls for their lolicon parodies.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time can be seen as a precursor of this aspect of otaku culture as it was also published in an all gender publication and features a female protagonist in a story read by an audience including male readers. ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko’s body switch comedy Tenkōsei (Exchange students, 1982), in which the boy Kazuo and the girl Kazumi exchange bodies, can be seen as catering to the otaku taste, who choose protagonists of the opposite gender for their stories. Tenkōsei also became the reason why ŌBAYASHI picked Toki o kakeru shōjo as his next project because he felt it was similar in theme.Compare with novel

Violence – The violence of the students is supposed to represent reality invading the fiction. Between the publishing date of the original story and that of the parody the student movement occurred, sexual liberation, student riots, the red army activity. But the political dimension of this kind of rebellion against authority is missing. Instead it is depicted as excessive and sexually traumatic. It is both an obstacle to education and escapism, yet it is also the reason for it in the first place and further escapism.

The violent students are all male, their victims are of both genders. Yet when the victims retaliate it is a male teacher who does so. There seems to be a male monopoly on violence, which is often sexually motivated.

The result of the violent destruction is also sexually baring for males, as seen in the toilet scene. The male homosexual tension implied in that scene finds a parallel in the above mentioned shōnen ai and yaoi manga by female authors.Compare with novel

The rape – Sexual components to the events in the original story were hinted at, in the parody they become explicit. This echoes how first sexual encounters in manga for girls of the 1070ies to the early 80ies were often depicted as scary or even taking the form of rape11 Fujimoto 2001: 1. and how otaku parody manga retell this trope in more explicit and detailed imagery. In manga for girls rape becomes a metaphor for the traumatic process of growing up as a female, of being at the whim of male power. In otaku lolicon manga feelings of guilt over this male villain role resulted in the perpetrator of the rape not even being shown.12 Ōtsuka 2004: 93-94.

This concealment of the perpetrator is similar to how Kazuo and Gorō insist that nobody was there with her in the lab and that she was anemic. The female protagonist in the parody insists that she wasn’t anemic, repeats it several times, while in the background a young female teacher is sexually assaulted by violent students. In the last scene she herself is assaulted by the violent students who have knocked out Kazuo because he was unable to have sex with her.Compare with novel

Escape into fiction – In the original story Kazuo gave everyone fake memories about his person, which didn’t really exist, in the parody it is implied he (or someone else) gave them a scenario, a script by which they play the “fake memories”.

In manga for girls of the 1970ies, feminist thought and visions of emancipation were often displaced in Western settings, both of the past and present. Or they were displaced into the future, in SF settings. Or they were displaced in all male settings, with feminine male protagonists, who were sometimes raped by violent males just the same as the female protagonists.

A certain degree of emancipation was achieved or reflected in fictional escapist settings away from Japanese reality. In this context, Kazuo can be seen as the female protagonist’s male avatar, and Tomoyo as the reality of the female protagonist who escapes into the future, or manga for girls SF stories.Compare with novel

Comparison of fiction and reality – The end of the parody neither tells of an utopian future nor reveals truths about the past, either of which could be compared to the present. Instead throughout the story a fictional scenario is compared with a supposed reality. Both sides are mockingly exaggerated, as is the style of the parody.

Yet despite what the narrator comments, many of the scenes shown in the fictional part aren’t as unbelievable as is claimed, especially since most of the SF part of the narrative is skipped. And the events in the reality part, although possible to have happened, are a bit too excessive and too frequent to be fully believable. In this way the “reality” constructed by the narrative is a kind of near future negative utopia, which could become true in light of actual occurrences of such student violence.

Let’s take scene 8 as an example. Surely it is possible that students have attacked a teacher and strangled him, that they broke window glass and overturned tables. The fictional part has Mariko talking to the female protagonist during class and not knowing a math problem that according to the female protagonist is being reviewed. Both background and foreground show things that are possible. Yet students talking in class and missing curriculum content is extremely common, whereas violent outbreaks like the one portrayed are comparatively few.

So the fictional part of the scene contains a very real aspect too, just as real or even more so than the extreme example of the reality part, which is a hyper reality, illuminating the common with the exception.Compare with novel

A future that is predicted by the past – In the original story TSUTSUI describes a future of highly advanced education. Although this future creates new challenges and problems, his utopia can be seen as a wish for his readers to get a good education. The fact that he has a female protagonist who prevails in the face of danger and changes her fate to not become married at an early age, instead waiting for her ideal significant other shows he’s also embracing equal rights for women. Yet he does warn about waiting too long and predicts that equality will not be fully achieved because of unequal distribution of wealth.

TSUTSUI’s prediction of the future is of course based on a process that has started in the past and the effects of which were already evident in the 1965 present. Before Japan modernized itself during the Meiji restauration beginning in 1867, education was the privilege of the higher class, notably the samurai. The samurai privileges were abolished and compulsory education established, the length of which increased over the decades. This brought more equality but the political leaders of Meiji Japan and their successors didn’t do this for the sake of equality. They needed to compete with the Western nations which were colonizing parts of Asia and for that required a capable work force but also a strong army which wasn’t limited to soldiers from the samurai class, which formerly had the privilege of using weapons.

So taking away Kazuko’s memories of what Kazuo told her about the future and of the fact of coming wars that could distress her can be seen in the context that equal education also lead to the utilization of those educated as soldiers in a war. In the parody the traumatic display of violence that is war finds an equivalent in the violent students, which represent the negative aspects of the utopian future Kazuo would rather have Kazuko not know about. In the changed reality of 1983, TSUTSUI’s parody expresses his doubts about his prediction of the future as the momentum of the advancement of education standards is taking a turn for the worse.

Another aspect of predicting the future based on the past is that since from the time Japan modernized itself it did this by looking at examples from Western countries that were already more advanced in that regard. The Meiji leaders sent people like IWAKURA Tomomi on missions to study the Western states and modernize Japan based on the findings. Similarly in manga for girls of the 1970ies themes of emancipation are explored by looking at Western settings like the French revolution in IKEDA Riyoko’s Rose of Versailles (1972-73) and in the SF anime Mobile Suit Gundam (1979), which tells of the colonization of other planets, a common SF trope also part of the future described in TSUTSUI’s original story, the future appears like a repeat of the colonization of the American continent and the ensuing war of independence.Compare with novel

Timetable

Date Title Author(s) Notes Medium
07/30/1977 House KATSURA Chiho Director: ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko movie
07/11/1981 Nerawareta Gakuen HAMURA Shōko Director: ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko movie
04/17/1982 Tenkōsei KENMOCHI Wataru Director: ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko movie
03/12/1983 Genma Taisen (Harmagedon) MASAKI Mori, KATSURA Chiho, NAITŌ Makoto Director: RIN Tarō anime
03/12/1983 Crusher Joe YOSHIKAZU Yasuhiko, TAKACHIHO Haruka Directors: YOSHIKAZU Yasuhiko, TAKACHIHO Haruka anime
06/01/1983 Scenario: Toki o kakeru shōjo TSUTSUI Yasutaka In SF Adventure (was actually already available in stores on 4/25) short story
06/01/1983 Otaku no kenkyū (Otaku studies) NAKAMORI Akio In Manga Burikko. First time the preexisting visitors of the comiket were given the name otaku, that is still used today. column
06/25/1983 Scenario: Toki o kakeru shōjo KENMOCHI Wataru script
07/15/1983 Family Computer First video game console to be released by a Japanese company, namely Nintendo. Started a boom of video games in Japan. video game console
07/16/1983 Toki o kakeru shōjo KENMOCHI Wataru Director: ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko movie
  1. Pages 155-164. []
  2. YAMADA Yorihiko. []
  3. He is probably talking about House, a 1977 horror comedy also directed by ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko. In that movie the famous tramp Tora-san from the Otoko wa tsurai series is spoofed, among other characters from popular movie series. []
  4. Crusher Joe, an SF anime that was screened in March of the same year, 1983. []
  5. Genma taisen, an SF anime that was screened in March of the same year, 1983. It is based on a novel serialized in the same magazine SF Adventures in which Scenario is published. []
  6. YAKUSHIMARU Hiroko was a young singer and actress of the time and a peer of HARADA Tomoyo who played Kazuko’s role. In 1981 YAKUSHIMARU starred in another movie by director ŌBAYASHI Nobuhiko called Nerawareta gakuen as a female student who used PSI powers to stop other PSI power enabled beings from building a fascist regime at her school.

    Although her PSI power is different from Kazuko’s, psychokinesis instead of time leap/teleportation, in the first scene in which she uses her power she pulls back a child that was about to be run over by a car, so the first application of the power is featured in a similar scene and used to a similar effect. [] []

  7. HARADA Tomoyo is the name of the actress who plays Kazuko in the movie. []
  8. This was also a new stylistic method of manga for girls of the 1970ies, breaking up panel layout to arrange smaller panels inside larger ones and putting text outside of speech and thought bubbles to converge images and text and create a more literary style of comics. []
  9. Schodt 1983: 105. []
  10. Ōtsuka 2004: 99. []
  11. Fujimoto 2001: 1. []
  12. Ōtsuka 2004: 93-94. []
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