In 1982, Taeko Okajima is 27 years old, unmarried, has lived her whole life in Tokyo and now works at a company there. She decides to take another trip to visit the family of the elder brother of her brother-in-law in the rural countryside to help with the safflower harvest and get away from city life. While traveling at night on a sleeper train to Yamagata, she begins to recall memories of herself as a schoolgirl in 1966, and her intense desire to go on holiday like her classmates, all of whom have family outside of the big city.
At the arrival train station, she is surprised to find out that her brother in law's second cousin Toshio, whom she barely knows, is the one who came to pick her up. During her stay in Yamagata, she finds herself increasingly nostalgic and wistful for her childhood self, while simultaneously wrestling with adult issues of career and love. The trip dredges up forgotten memories (not all of them good ones) — the first stirrings of childish romance, puberty and growing up, the frustrations of math and boys. In lyrical switches between the present and the past, Taeko wonders if she has been true to the dreams of her childhood self. In doing so, she begins to realize that Toshio has helped her along the way. Finally, Taeko faces her own true self, how she views the world and the people around her. Taeko chooses to stay in the countryside instead of returning to Tokyo. It is implied that she and Toshio begin a relationship.
Only Yesterday explores a genre traditionally thought to be outside the realm of animated subjects: a realistic drama written for adults, particularly women. The film was a surprise box office success, attracting a large adult audience of all genders and becoming the highest-grossing Japanese film of the year in the country. It was also well received by critics, with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
– Memórias de Ontem
– Omohide Poro Poro
– Pioggia di ricordi
– Powrót do marzeń
– Recuerdos del ayer
– Tränen der Erinnerung
– Ещё вчера
– Only Yesterday
– Alles eile
– Dün Gibi
– Eilisen kuiskaus
– רק אתמול
– Souvenirs, goutte à goutte
– Yesterday – Vissza a gyerekkorba
– Ταξιδιώτες στο Παρελθόν
– Единствено Вчера
– Memories Like Falling Rain Drops
– Memories Like Falling Teardrops
– Memories of Teardrops
– Memories of Yesterday
– Omoide Poro Poro
– Сочащиеся воспоминания
– Спогади наче краплі дощу
– Ще учора
Only Yesterday (Japanese: おもひでぽろぽろ Hepburn: Omoide Poro Poro, “Memories Come Tumbling Down) is a 1991 Japanese animated drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata, based on the 1982 manga of the same title by Hotaru Okamoto and Yuko Tone.
The art style is very clean and almost minimalist. The lines are sharp while the colors and shadings are very matted. Some scenes are so bleached, it feels like watching a watercolor painting. Though I do like the art style, one thing that constantly creeps me out is the animation for people smiling. Something about it in this anime is a little off-putting.
The ending theme song “Ai wa Hana, Kimi wa sono Tane” (愛は花、君はその種子, “Love is a flower, you are the seed”) is a Japanese translation of Amanda McBroom’s composition “The Rose”. Once the ending theme starts playing, I start to tear up. You’re not crying, I am.
The story time jump between the past and present. It was confusing at first. The anime does a wonderful job of conveying all the nostalgic feelings.
This movie may be slow, but it is packed full of charms. You slowly bond with Taeko as you see and relate more to her life as the film progress. Our past shapes us, which includes both the goods and the bads.
Despite the movie aim at the older crowds, I would still recommend it to everyone that has a nostalgic feeling about their younger years. Only Yesterday is appropriate for everyone.
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A collection of notable music and song from this series.
- “Ai wa Hana, Kimi wa Sono Tane” (愛は花、君はその種子; “Love Is a Flower, You Are the Seed) by Harumi Miyako
- “Suki ni Natta Hito” by Miyako Harumi
A collection of notable videos, ranging from a fan-created trailer, music video, opening, and ending clip.
All images are copyright to their respective owners.
Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.