Writer: David Freedman, Isao Takahata (Screenplay) Hotaru Okamoto, Yuuke Tone (Manga)
Starring: (Voice Talents) Miki Imai, Toshiro Yanagiba, Yoko Honna, Mayumi Izuka, Mei Oshitani
Plot: A twenty-seven-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tokyo.
Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Not Ghibli’s Strongest
Story: Only Yesterday starts as Taeko an office worker looks to return to the countryside for her vacation, this brings back her memories of when she was younger growing up with school and her love for the countryside.
As Taeko’s memories continue to flood back she remembers her first embarrassing moments at school, when she gets her first period and learns from fellow student it is natural, while the boys are making fun of her. We jump back to the adult Taeko who is back for the farming and she meets Toshio a young farmer that see the world the same as her, which offers her a romantic interest in her life.
Thoughts on Only Yesterday
Characters – Taeko is our leading character we look at two moments of her life, we have her childhood struggles and her returning adult self to the peace of the countryside. This character shows us the difficulties that growing up offers and adult life can be when you look back on where you could have gone. Toshio is a local farmer that shows Taeko around, keeping her company while offering a potential love and path back to the life she once loved.
Story – The story tackles growing up and returning home after time away, following the life you love compared to the one you need to live. The ideas in the story focus on real events and don’t bring any fantasy elements into the story telling which can either interest you or put you off because when you watch a Ghibli movie you are expecting moments of fantasy at times. The real feel both takes away from the story and adds to the personal touch needed to be told.
Romance – The romance starts off soft because it mostly focuses on the idea that home could bring a love you want over the city the love you can have.
Settings – The settings show the two different lives that Taeko has lived, the one in the small farming village, the other from the big city, this shows which one he wants to be part of more.
Animation – The animation works for the time because Ghibli has a different style to Disney to make it stand out.
Final Thoughts – This was a good watch, but isn’t going to making it to the top of many of the re-watching of Ghibli movies for me.
Overall: Solid addition to the Ghibli world.