Only Yesterday

Re-voiced 1991 Studio Ghibli classic gets a long-awaited North American release

“Isao Takahata's Only Yesterday is a gentle but poignant tale about a 27-year-old Tokyo office worker who embarks on a voyage of self-discovery while on holiday in the countryside. Flitting effortlessly between the protagonist's 1960s childhood and 1980s present, both the animation and the plot are a lot less fantastical than in the works of Takahata's Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, but are none the less enchanting.

“As in his masterful animated war film, Grave of the Fireflies, Takahata once again proves that animation is more than capable of treating serious subjects. Here he covers feminism, the effect of market reforms on agriculture and inevitable loss of tradition, as well as adolescent concerns like boys, periods and fashion. The film is flabbergastingly beautiful. Lingering, light-dappled pastoral shots give us plenty of time to take in the delicately-rendered Japanese landscapes, while intimate domestic scenes are captured with carefully-constructed.

“In a nutshell: Only Yesterday is a nostalgia-tinged, gloriously-detailed animation for adults and older children that doesn't shy away from real and universal issues like love, regret and the pains of growing up.” - Film4


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