[Update 12/18/2016: I going to try and redo this review completely "soon". So it might disappear and then reappear.]
Jiro Kitamura is a quite, well-behaved young man. He's very lonely (his entire family was killed in a earthquake) then one evening, Nov. 22, 2007, while buying himself a birthday present he sees a very beautiful young woman in a store and she's looking at him with that twinkle in her eyes. She follows him and when he goes to eat his traditional birthday dinner of spaghetti she sits down with him. They eat and have some fun small adventures around town. Later, while walking, she tells him to close his eyes cause she has to leave. As she's walking away she tells him she's from the future. He doesn't see her again for a year until his next birthday when she suddenly appears at the same restaurant. This time she stays.
That is the non-spoiler, simplified version of the story. The spoiler version is:
[SPOILERS!!!] a young man is shot and burned on his birthday by a madman. Paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair he spends the rest of his life creating a robot and perfecting time travel to send the robot back to save him. He's successful and she does go back and save him. She also saves other people that the old man remembers being killed. She also takes the young man back in time to see his hometown village as it was when he was a child (remember his village and family was destroyed by a earthquake). The people she saved don't change the future cause within a few months of the cyborg appearance there's a massive earthquake that destroys all of Tokyo and the cyborg dies saving the young man's life. As he clutches her corpse in the rubble a time-traveler from from the 22nd century appears. She looks exactly like the cyborg, because she is the inspiration for the cyborg. As a girl in the future she was in a museum and saw a display talking about the cyborg (built in 2070) and the old man so she purchases the original cyborg (complete with memory chip) and has the cyborg's memories added to hers. She travels back to 2007 to see the young man (and Tokyo) before he ever met the cyborg and before the earthquake, so she, not the cyborg, is the original girl who visits him. She falls in love with him instantly and gives him an evening of fond memories then she returns to the future knowing the cyborg will save him one year later from the gunman. After she returns, post-earthquake, she stays with him until her death and creates the cyborg that will save his life and therefore recreating his future and erasing his years of misery and replacing them with years of happiness.
I might have missed a thing or two, but I think my interpretation is correct. One thing I am curious about is who exactly brought his cat from his childhood to 2008 and since it disappeared right before the big earthquake does that mean he was just simple moved into the future?[END OF SPOILERS!!!]
Truly amazing movie. If you love time travel, especially the idea of sacrifice and time travel solely based on love, then this is the movie for you. This is the best time travel movie since the original BACK TO THE FUTURE. I cannot recommend it enough. I'm not sure how much it's going to slow me down with my MY SASSY GIRL obsession, but one thing's for sure: Jae-young Kwak is skyrocketing up my list of favorite directors and he's definitely near the top of my list of favorite current directors. This guy is fucking amazing! How much talent can one person have?!
I didn't include the trailer in this review because it gives away too much of the story. So beware.
Holy shit! It's that really hot girl from NORIKO'S DINNER TABLE!
This movie needed this song in it somewhere...