Review of 'From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka kara)'

from_up_on_poppy_hill.jpg Umi (Masami Nagasawa) is a young woman who, while still attending school, helps maintain her family's house as a boarding house. Her father, a sailor, was killed by a mine in the Korean war but she continues to raise nautical flags every morning as her father taught her - Though this effort is not unnoticed. When getting involved with saving her school's club house she meets an attractive young man Shun (Junichi Okada) but, to her confusion, is told that Shun is her brother. She cannot deny her feelings…

Goro here certainly vindicates the lack-luster Tales from Earthsea with a full and well-developed story as well as the wonderful colourful and intricate visuals we come to expect from Ghibli. The music throughout is warm and wonderful - Full of joy - as is the story itself. The boys that inhabit the clubhouse add a lot to the excitement and fun of the movie as they have their “debating” (lots of screaming at each other though breaking into song when a teacher comes in) and regular club meetings (mostly seeming to involve trying to get new members).

If anything, I can only possibly criticise the slow pacing and sometimes seemingly illogical story developments. In the end it all comes together - Perhaps I just need to sit back more and enjoy the ride?

A great return to form for Ghibli and here's hoping that this continues. If Goro continues like this then he very well may serve as a brilliant successor to his father - But those are very big shoes to fill indeed.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2012-06-09

Directed by: Goro Miyazaki

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Year: 2011

Length: 91 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Goro Miyazaki: