I noticed a motif of really tall clouds in "The girl who leapt through time" (時をかける少女, 2006).

I think the cloud is either a cumulonimbus calvus or a cumulus congestus. I read the latter breaks apart fairly quickly, which could make that cloud a motif for transience.

The fair amount of screen time and repetition of the cloud made me wondering why is it used so often? Is it used as a zeitgeber? Is there some philosophical or cultural meaning? So, what is the (intended) function of depicting those specific clouds?

15:20 First time leap.

First time leap

50:20 Kaho talking about how much her         1:24:20 Makato running to Chiaki.
      sick grandmother likes Kousuke

Kaho talk The girl who leapt through time 1:24:20

By the way are those skulls? Is it an element of transcience, as Makato is hurrying to talk with Chiaki?

1:32:50 End shot                              1:37:10 Title screen.

The girl who leapt through time 1:32:20 Girl who leapt through time 1:37:10

1 Answer 1


There's a glimpse of answer in Japanese cinematic tendencies called pillow shots, cultural backgrounds at Japan, emotional stimulus at clouds and cultural discourse of clouds animation in another journal. I'm currently having a thesis research for seeking meanings in animation focusing on background art specifically on cumulus congestus clouds and blue sky. I will gladly share my research result here since I have questions in the same film and another films with same tendencies.

  • I appreciate your suggestion about pillow shots. If you care to elaborate your answer I would be delighted. Also I recently noticed these cumulus congestus in a Japanese live-action drama. Perhaps the clouds that common that the Japanese audience can relate to them? And if so, in what way?
    – Boondoggle
    Apr 11, 2019 at 14:44

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