Review of 'Only Yesterday (Omohide poro poro)'

only_yesterday.jpg A classic from the Studio Ghibli this is a rather pleasant tale about a young women coming of age to examine her life and what she wants to do with it. This analysis is helped by flashbacks she has to her life as a young girl. She takes a trip from her home in Tokyo to the countryside where she helps to harvest flowers used for cosmetics. It is here she meets a young farmer who has no such questions about his life.

Beautifully realised both in terms of the animation as well as the characterisation I found this movie very moving. A long movie Only Yesterday is not afraid to take it's time to dwell on the beauty of the scenery nor the feelings of the characters. I was a bit disappointed with the somewhat disappointing ending though I guess I should not have expected real “fireworks” or anything. Very much a traditional Japanese response to an individual's responsibilities in society.

As a side note: I can't imagine this film ever being part of a double bill with My Neighbour Totoro (which it was on release).

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2006-10-29

Directed by: Isao Takahata

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Year: 1991

Length: 119 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Isao Takahata: