Movie: From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)

Posted 23 October, 2013 by Lianne in Entertainment / 0 Comments

A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school’s clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.


I am slowly going through Hayao Miyazaki’s filmography, lol, which started with Howl’s Moving Castle (review). I saw the trailer to this movie and it looked wonderful so I decided to check this movie out. Contains some spoilers ahead!

I love the nostalgic feel that this movie had: Japan in 1963–Tokyo looked so different!–with the vintage cars and the old stalls to the music (“Ue o Muite Arukou” apparently was a popular song during this time). Even the school setting felt a bit different compared to modern-day school settings in anime shows and movies and their discussions of the modern and the past felt in keeping with where Japan was at the time. It was lovely and it added to the overall atmosphere of the movie.

I enjoyed the story. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect really–I knew there was going to be a love story but I didn’t know what the other plot was going to be about. The story about the clubhouse was pretty straightforward but I enjoyed it, it was a chance to get to know the characters more and their colleagues and classmates and the way that the school operated. A lot of the humour came from these scenes (ugh, the clubhouse was such a mess! I was cringing at the amount of dust they were sweeping away) but their productivity and the way the transformed the Latin Quartier was really impressive–the only thing I was against was the red-and-green colour scheme for the exterior; looked a bit like Christmas, but anyways.

The love story between Umi and Shun was really sweet and quiet and in keeping with the pacing of the story. The revelation halfway through the movie concerning Shun’s connection to Umi’s father did leave me going “No way! Well, there goes my ship!” but I knew there was something more to it =P I did however chuckled at the comment Shun made that the complication felt like “some cheap melodrama.” Nonetheless i really enjoyed watching their story unfold, they’re just so cute together xD

From Up on Poppy Hill is a lovely movie, very nostalgic, quiet but sweet. I wish we learned a bit more about Shun and his life as a son of a sailor but I thought the story featured Umi’s life at home quite nicely and the sort of responsibilities she had to deal with. The animation is fantastic as always and yeah, another fantastic movie from Studio Ghibli! 🙂

Rating: ★★★★☆

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