tek's rating: ¾

Only Yesterday (PG)
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This was released in 1991, in Japan, but not until 2016 in the U.S., and I didn't see it until 2024. (It was the first movie I watched in my summer of Ghibli.)

In 1982, a 27-year-old woman named Taeko Okajima (voiced by Daisy Ridley in the English dub) lives in Tokyo, and takes a vacation to the countryside, to do some farming. She stays with some family she has there, and meets a farmer named Toshio (Dev Patel). Throughout the movie, Taeko reminisces about 1966, when she was ten years old and in fifth grade, so we see a lot of flashbacks, in which young Taeko interacts with her family and classmates. I don't really feel like spoiling any details of what happens in either the past or the present, but it's all fairly interesting (even if it all seemed fairly random, to me), and I like Taeko as a character at both ages. I guess Taeko had two sisters, Yaeko (Ashley Eckstein) and Nanako (Laura Bailey), and I think Nanako moved to the countryside because she married a farmer (Toshio's second cousin, Kazuo). And there was a girl there whose name I didn't catch, but I think was maybe she Taeko's niece. Or some other relation, I don't know. And there were a couple other characters, I guess.

On one level, I'd say the movie plays kind of like a Hallmark movie, in which a city girl goes to the country, meets a guy, and has to decide whether to stay in the country or return to her life in the city. However, this movie is more about Taeko falling in love with the farming lifestyle than with Toshio. And the childhood reflections make the story deeper. So... I like the movie, but it's not something I feel a strong need to ever watch again. And I don't know what else to say.


anime films index

films by Hayao Miyazaki and/or Studio Ghibli

The Castle of Cagliostro * Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind * Castle in the Sky * Grave of the Fireflies * My Neighbor Totoro * Kiki's Delivery Service *
Only Yesterday * Porco Rosso * Pom Poko * Whisper of the Heart * Princess Mononoke * My Neighbors the Yamadas * Spirited Away * The Cat Returns *
Howl's Moving Castle * Tales from Earthsea * Ponyo * The Secret World of Arrietty * From Up on Poppy Hill * The Wind Rises *
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya * When Marnie Was There * The Boy and the Heron

TV: Ocean Waves * Ronja, the Robber's Daughter * Earwig and the Witch