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From Up on Poppy Hill 2011
PG

  • Goro Miyazaki
  • November 16, 2012
  • 91 mins
  • Japanese
  • Animation, Drama
I look up as I walk...
The story is set in 1963 in Yokohama. Kokuriko Manor sits on a hill overlooking the harbour. A 16 year-old girl, Umi, lives in that house. Every morning she raises a signal flag facing the sea. The flag means “I pray for safe voyages”. A 17 year-old boy, Shun, always sees this flag from the sea as he rides a tugboat to school. Gradually the pair are drawn to each other but they are faced with a sudden trial. Even so, they keep going without running from facing the hardships of reality.

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"I kept raising the flags, hoping they might help him find me."

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This was a very well done romance movie and clearly shows that Goro Miyazaki is making strides as a director himself (Tales from Earthsea was just so convoluted). The characters are very nice (though nothing too deep) and the story goes at a nice (although at times slow) pace. The art and music are spectacular as one would expect from a Ghibli film. The only big thing that I'd like to add is to definitely watch this with the English dub. I actually found that it added a lot more to the experience with many extra added lines (there are seriously quite a few monologues/lines that are not in the Japanese version), a better translation and much more natural dialogue versus the Japanese subs (at least the retail Japanese ones that I think that I saw it with). This reminded me a lot of Whisper of Heart although not quite as developed as that classic. Anyway, this is a definite watch for any Ghibli or romance movie fan.

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A marvelous romantic story by Ghibli, being the first time I ever watch a non-fantasy romance in their movies and, altho the story is not the most original, it's so charismatic and done with all the qualities of the studio that it's impossible not to like

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