From Up on Poppy Hill

Hello, guys!
Today I want to talk about one of Studio Ghibli’s lesser-known productions, From Up On Poppy Hill. Let’s see whether it can keep up with the amazing films we’ve discussed so far!

The Plot (according to Rotten Tomatoes):

The setting is Yokohama in 1963, and the filmmakers lovingly bring to life the bustling seaside town, with its misty harbor, sun-drenched gardens, shops and markets, and some of the most mouthwatering Japanese home-cooking set to film. The story centers on an innocent romance beginning to bud between Umi and Shun, two high school kids caught up in the changing times. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics – and the mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past. While the children work together to save a dilapidated Meiji era club house from demolition, their tentative relationship begins to blossom. But – in an unexpected twist that parallels what the country itself is facing – a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart. 

The Rating:

While I usually try to keep my reviews spoiler-free, something about this film really rubbed me the wrong way and I can’t tackle that without giving away a little plot-twist. So, if you click the read more button below the next paragraph, consider yourself warned.

Generally speaking, this is another beautifully made Studio Ghibli film. The animation, and especially the colors, are mesmerizing. By the way, this movie is also directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son, Goro. In comparison with his first movie, Tales from Earthsea, he definitely stepped up his game.

While for a great part of the movie the story is a bit emotional but does manage to suck you in, there was a plot twist that kind of killed the thing for me. The film features two teenagers becoming friends and eventually tentatively falling in love. Then they find out that they are most likely brother and sister. The girl wasn’t particularly bothered by this – I, on the other hand, was.
I was rather startled and irritated by that and as much as I enjoyed the rest of the movie, I couldn’t really get over this.

If you are willing to ignore this, you will find From Up On Poppy Hill to be another touching and beautiful Studio Ghibli film. However, considering that there are many other (and better) movies from this studio, I’d say you can actually skip it.

Did you watch the film? Let me know in the comments!

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One thought on “From Up on Poppy Hill

  1. Pingback: Wrapping it up for April | The Punk Theory

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