“What would you do if you had the power to stop time?” Those are the first words uttered by one of our leading ladies, Moritani. Let us find out her answer as we take a look at the anime movie adaptation of Fragtime.
Genres: Drama, Romance, Science-Fiction, Yuri
Themes: Time, Time Manipulation, School
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Plot Summary: Moritani has the power to stop time for three minutes which she primarily uses to distance herself from others or to observe their activities. One day while running away from someone she noticed the popular girl, Murakami, reading. Curious she peeked at her panties but was surprised when Murakami talked back. Murakami was unaffected by her power?
This is a story about coming out of one’s shell, trying your best to face your fears, discovering feelings you thought you never had or only became aware of recently, trying to better understand one another and of course, embrace the gay. Murakami is beautiful, charismatic, popular, incredibly capable and for whatever reason, interested in Moritani. However, she is also an enigma, something which Moritani learned very quickly. Her mysteriousness added to her appeal but would Moritani be okay with how things were at that point in time or would she want more? Seeing her face the outside world and herself to find the answer is one of many reasons why this movie is so good. That along with the enigmatic beauty that is Murakami and their intriguing relationship.
The only reason I am bringing up the Fragtime manga is because the movie was made by the same studio that worked on the Kase-San Movie/OVA. While it too was wonderful it is inevitable to point out several moments were missing despite the more important ones remaining intact. The reason being the first Kase-San manga series was long. While the Fratime Movie/OVA also did not animate every moment in the manga it is not as much of an issue here as the source is shorter than Kase-San. They got in most of the key moments this time around. Not only that but they turned a solid story into a great one. It is the same tale but like with the Citrus anime I wholeheartedly feel the movie breathed more life into it.
Take one of my favorite moments, the classroom scene. It was already really good in the manga. In the movie they kicked it up a notch. The actions, the camera, THE MUSIC. It all blew me away. By the gods…So much awesome in a few minutes.
The rest of the movie is like this. The presentation is similar to the Kase-San movie but thankfully a little less “bright”. The soundtrack was vintage serene yuri goodness. I have said this thousands of times but Yuri and Classical Music go hand in hand.
The story is at its core a simple one. A girl who uses her powers to run away from people, even if they may not mean any harm, but when entranced by an enigmatic beauty is forced to confront aspects of herself and life she might never have before then. Whether she finds the answers she seeks and likes what she finds I leave newcomers to find out for themselves. Manga readers may be surprised to see how much more life animation adds to key moments.
There is not much else to add overall. The Fragtime Movie/OVA took a solid manga and turned it to an excellent film. It took all the key moments and greatly enhanced them with motion. Moritani remains an adorable shy girl going on an interesting personal journey, Murakami is still a beautiful enigma, a certain side-girl does a nice job as the “Harumin” of the story and the sexy scenes are sexy. The story being shorter than Kase-San meant it was easier to present it in an hour long film. Whether viewers or manga readers enjoy the adaptation or not depends on how they feel about the story and how picky they are about a few moments being referenced but not explored in their entirety.
PS: The Blu-Ray will be made available very soon as of the writing of this review so the wait will not be long. But readers who cannot wait I have a feeling can use their internet savvy to watch it earlier.