English: Only Yesterday
Synonyms: Omohide Poro Poro, Omoide Poro-poro, Memories Like Falling Rain Drops, Memories Like Falling Teardrops, Memories of Teardrops, Memories of Yesterday
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 20, 1991
Duration: 1 hr. 58 min.
Rating: G - All AgesL represents licensing company
Score: 7.651 (scored by 9282 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsghibli romance slice of life
Aug 20, 2013
The reason why Only Yesterday might be the most realistic anime movie of all time is that, they did, care about the smallest things, the characters' movements, their eyes, their mouths, how the whole cast reacts to an action, how they gave everyone enough space to experience their opinions without being repetitive at all and at the same time they focused on our protagonist herself, how's that might be possible? I still don't know. Another important reason, if not the most important one, something you might find surprising and was barely done, is that, the audio was recorded before the animation itself which means the movements of the characters would fit their speeches perfectly. The script itself was, without any doubt written by someone who's a genius, to give such affliction to the replies, you might ask what are you talking about but I find it rather simple that scriptwriters these days are lackadaisical.
The movie defines the word "Seriousness" in a higher new level, there might be no movie that's as serious as Only Yesterday, no matter how they try to be, they'll never achieve its level because the most essential way to make a great movie is to never try to be what you want to be, in other words, Only Yesterday's story is so simple, a story about a young girl who travels to the countryside and recalls her memory while she's surrounded with people who love her. The concept is straightforward, but the idea is how to use every little thing you have to satisfy your congregation.
The nostalgic and heart-breaking movie knows how to draw the characters very well with a variety of lines, colors and shades, if you could take a second from your life to stare at one of the characters' faces, I think that would be great and even though the movie has received countless criticisms about how in some way or another the characters look very similar except for their hairstyles and colors, look no further, to how 'Us' look identical, and so I say that the movie has yet achieved another level of realism. Not to mention how the backgrounds look very artistic and hand-drawn. (I hope you've got what I'm trying to say).
Only Yesterday has never failed to draw a smile on my face the whole two hours thanks to Isao Takahata's great directing skills. The movie is very mature and was released when the word "Mature" had no meaning in such films, especially that it does not contain any nudity or violence and all of that stuff and without any doubt had its influence for other movies to be made with the same pace. This movie has realized that it's a butterfly and finally found its wings, but looking back now, maybe it was just flexing them pointlessly.
Only Yesterday, for the people who want to realize that the movies they're watching nowadays are utter shit.
For the fans of: Millennium Actress and Whisper of the Heart.
Your feedback is greatly appreciated. read more
Sep 27, 2007
First of all, Ghibli. I don't really believe in brand names as a rule, but if there's one name that I feel like I can safely and consistently associate with the highest standards and best quality, it's Studio Ghibli. In this case, the famous Hayao Miyazaki is producer rather than in charge, and Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) is director. In this combination, they are as good as one can expect, but not quite in the way one expects.
The resulting film isn't really as child-friendly as other Ghibli films, in that it's not full of the fun characters and exciting situations that kids will love as they do My Neighbour Totoro or Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds. A glance at the tags area will show you that "slice of life" is the most popular description of this film, and this is even more accurate than the label usually is; it's simply 27-year-old office worker Taeko's mixing of her working holiday on a farm with her reminiscence of her 10-year-old self, and the way this experience makes her question the direction her life is taking. It's also among the best implementations of such an approach I can think of; this slice of life is gripping, and pulls no punches, in its own domesticated but quietly gut-wrenching way. But it's a rare child that appreciates the drama of family relationships, and will stay glued to explorations of the niceties of urban versus rural ways of life and adult versus child ways of thinking. What I'm trying to say is, you may well bore your kids if you mistake this for typical Ghibli and stick them in front of it, but you yourself may be too wrapped up in it to notice.
For those who are striving to convince a sceptic that anime isn't just huge-eyed, twinkling Majikal Girls, spiky-haired swordsmen, giant robots, cutesy animal caricatures and the odd smattering of tentacled obscenity, this is a prime counter-example of "for grown-ups" anime. The acting is superb; Miki Imai as the adult Taeko, Toshiro Yanagiba as her friend Toshio, and Youko Honna as the young Taeko are all natural, believable and thoroughly excellent, and the rest of the cast all just about as talented. The script is possibly the best I've ever encountered in anime, one that's so good it makes scriptwriting look easy. It manages to use naturalistic dialogue to communicate a masterful grasp of the power and impact of memory, of the way tiny things stick in your mind like thorns years down the line, of the way things you learn now can change your personal history utterly at a stroke. This is very much a film that strikes a chord for me; I may be male, English and hate gardening, but as a 26-year-old, I see myself in Taeko, in that I too have memories of childhood that, for some reason, just won't go away sometimes - I think everyone with a little life experience does.
The visuals, too, are of a usual stellar Ghibli standard, with an interesting twist. As I watched, I was partly slightly bothered and partly wondering at the faces of the characters; there's something different, something out of the ordinary, just a bit odd about their depiction, and it wasn't until I watched the DVD's 'making of' extra that it fell into place. What Takahata and crew have done is concentrate on muscles; all the adult characters have realistically sculpted cheekbones and other facial contours that aren't usually present even in the most exactingly drawn anime. It manages to pick up tiny nuances of facial expression that give characters a much wider and finer emotional range than normal. The effect is one of hyperrealism; in this very rare instance, I found I was able to read faces as if I were watching live action, and I was forgetting this was hand-animated. Other details, such as the incredibly fine use of colour, are more like standard fare for Ghibli but none the less impressive for this. One standout scene is a sunrise over the field in which Taeko is working, which is both gorgeous and technically amazing. The slight but notable use of faded earthy colours and reds for scenes from Taeko's past and the bright, predominantly green-blue scenes of the present-day are very well executed; it's never unclear when we are seeing.
Music by Masaru Hoshi is, while not astounding, entirely pleasing, peaceful, and highly appropriate, but here to steal the scene from left field, please welcome the Hungarian folk choir! This odd, odd choice is...just right. It's haunting stuff, full of undertones implying the hidden, benign but huge power of nature (another often-encountered Studio Ghibli calling card) and even though it's not really relevant in any logical way, it simply works. The ending song by Harumi Miyako is a lovely bit of music, and for once, it really fits the film it's attached to.
You could conceivably criticise the film simply for being anime; even in 1991, making a live-action Only Yesterday would not be hard; there's no fantastic landscapes or technology, no gravity defying costumes or hair, nothing out of the ordinary in the film at all. But once again, part of the reason that this is impressive is because it's something of a risk that was taken and which paid off; because it would be easy to do as live-action doesn't necessarily make that a better stylistic choice, but that it works as animation by showcasing novel animation ideas mixed with great talent can do nothing but improve it. Also, the way anime creates its entire world gives an animation some advantages. Firstly, a story like this, all about details, draws attention to those details more effectively if you're watching with half an eye on the look out for art style, as many anime fans do - film a woman picking a flower and it's pretty, but animate one that truly compares, and it's stunning. Also, the way viewers suspend their disbelief constantly for animation allows the impossible to seamlessly integrate into the commonplace. This only happens once, at the end, but in practice it's so naturally and gracefully done, and so basically right, that instead of going "yeah, that was a nice idea", the impact of the scene and the emotional lift it gives you are much more pronounced.
If the film has any weaknesses, it would be pacing; for a film that's by it's nature leisurely and gradual, it is perhaps a touch too leisurely and gradual in places, and while almost all of Taeko's recollections are relevant, perhaps one or two are a bit spare and peripheral. While I'll admit I am sort of blown away by it, I also recognise that it's not perfect, hence a mark knocked off; and yes, you need to be in the right mood to get the most from this film. I've been waiting months since I got it for the right moment; this morning was finally it, and it delivered. Other than that, well, the only way you'll have any criticisms of the film is if, having read this, you decide it's not your sort of thing, then watch it anyway, expecting explosions, car chases or gritty hard-boiled action. That's not this film's brief. What Only Yesterday does is subtlety and maturity and real, proper grown-up drama in anime. read more
Apr 19, 2009
First, I have say that I simply love that kind of storyline. Not only that. The tempo of action is great (in my opinion). Main character (Taeko, if I'm not mistaken) starts her travel (which is actually a travel to reach and understad her real needs and feelings). She is in her 30s, probably. At that piont in life, one must recollect his/her hopes and choose his/her path in life. So, Taeko decided to have a break and go to country. All movie is filled with her remembrances from her childhood. Her younger self (which often appears in her mind, as the action goes on) is personification of her apprehensions and also her childhood dreams filled with innocent and simple thoughts about world, and herself. Story is going slowly but it's just like the way normal life is moving forward, so it's ok. The best thing about the plot is that it's peaceful (but not boring - don't get it wrong) and belivable at the same time.
Landscapes are qutie artistic. Move was aired in 1991, so don't expect graphics on Makoto Shinkai's level. Characters appearance is simple along with all visual aspects, but you can feel this Ghibli magic till the last minute of movie. All I can say, is that my eyes were satisfied.
I have to admit that I don't remember any of background music. So it must have been good (I think I would remember if it was awful). Voice acting is on above-average level. The same when it comes to the ending theme. It summarizes the whole fellings you get while watching this movie. (hint: remember to watch anime till the last chord of ending song !).
Characters are complex, but like everything in Only Yesterday, not too much. Just like they should be. Taeko motives are belivable and you can fell that you fully understand her childhood problems - first love, test results, and all this grwoing-up struggle while she is still a kid. Everyone had to go through those things. Other thing - nowadays we often deal with people who live till 8am to 8pm. Work absorbs all of our strength and youhtful passion. Taeko decided to take a break. What about you? Don't you feel the same way?
In the end, I have to say that we don't have so many animes that we can truly rely on. Only Yesterday shows us the simple matter, but beutifully executed. Daily life with it's problems and enjoyments. Only Yesterday impressed me with it simplicy and serenity. We have a romance motive in here, but it is not a heroic and "die-for" emotion (which we saw sooo many times already) but simple affection that is froming between two people in relationship. For me, it is the most artistic vision of our daily life. No guns, no swords, but remembrances and uncertainty about tomorrow. I enjoyed every minute spent with this magical production, and I reccomend it to everyone who look for some great piece of anime, which Only Tommorow undoubtedly is.
Feb 14, 2009
The story switches back and forth between the now grown up main character- Taeko Okajima – and her childhood self. Although many seem to dub the story unoriginal I beg to differ, the setting and style is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Yes I must agree that the underlying aspect of the story; did my life really turn out the way I want it to? - is rather weak. However I like to think that things like whether it’s weak or not can be changed dramatically by directing and art, which this story succeeds in, therefore supplying the whole story with quite a strong and actually rather beautiful tone to it. I think the story is emotional and quite enjoyable however some may find fault with its more cliché aspects (such as how Taeko’s childhood self deals with parents, puberty and boys) but in my personal opinion the fabulous directing of Isao Takahata moves these aspects away from nauseating and more into heart-touching.
Although the art may make some people back away (as Taeko is most definitely not a wide-eyed girl whom belongs in a shōjo anime), I think the artwork is actually pretty charming. I praise Studio Ghibli for never having any awkward movement or pauses; everything seems to flow as it would in real-life. Speaking of real-life, this anime definitely succeeds in that area. All the settings and character designs are very believable for the era! Personally I find the young Taeko very adorable and the adults are quite plain which is indeed a good representation of life. With this sort of not detailed yet at the same time detailed artwork you either love it or you hate it, though personally I loved it.
I think the music wasn’t bad however it certainly isn’t very mentionable. Quite frankly it reminded me of spa music (very relaxing) however towards the end it was more like elevator music (incredibly annoying). The same goes for the voice actors; they did an okay job but nothing came up that would particularly stand out. Although I would usually be bowing down to Youko Honna for her skills I was a little surprised that her voice sounded so droning, making it not all entirely pleasant to listen to. Never the less I’d say it was decent enough but hardly note-worthy.
I cannot praise the character’s personalities enough for Only Yesterday; they showed such a range of people with such intriguing words to say. I loved how nothing was vague about the character’s but more open about what sort of people they where, yet through all the character-faults I found an amazing explanation of why I was enjoying this movie so much and that was because I didn’t dislike a single one of the characters. They where all so life-like in their pro’s and con’s that I couldn’t help but feel myself get sucked in their world. It is something I would say you would have to experience for yourself; however the characters are most definitely deserving of a 10.
This was a beautiful anime movie that touched upon a disturbing truth that many of us think about day in and day out of our life’s; did my life turn out the way I wanted it to as a child? Was I true to my childhood dreams? I can admit that the whole topic reduced me to tears and was something you could really think about afterwards. I truly did enjoy Only Yesterday and I found it to be cliché yet completely unique. There was never a boring moment...or a dry-eyed moment for that matter. It made me smile afterwards which I am sure is a sign of success for any anime.
If you’re hesitant I encourage watching this, not only is it entertaining and romantic but also a real slice of life that will really get you thinking. It’s realistic and sad yet completely cheerful. A real subject that many of us cry over touched upon so gently in such a way only Studio Ghibli could do. If you’re a continuing Ghibli fan then you won’t be disappointed and if this is your first time...well...be prepared to get out the hanker-chiefs.
May 28, 2010
Memories depicted feels completely genuine, corners of the screen fades away into nothing during past. This film has some of the finest animation i've ever seen, as immaculate as the Hedgehog in the Fog, but 120 minutes in length, and with a much, much more elaborate narrative.
Above all, Only Yesterday is immensely heartwarming. I don't necessarily buy into sentimental stuff very easily, there has to be something to it, a rough edge to complete the bigger picture. Here we see a very unique approach to displaying the past and the relationship between past and present. You'll have to see for yourself to understand what i mean, the contrast is apparent. It also has one of the most brilliant endings ever.
The more i think about it the more i think this is truly one of the greatest films ever. Sure, it's naive, but completely sincere. i give it my warmest recommendations. read more
Nov 13, 2011
Only Yesterday is the epitome of good old-fashioned storytelling. It is a beautifully told story about a city girl (Taeko Okajima) who thrives for difference in her somewhat mundane life. In order to clear her mind, Taeko takes a break from her busy urban lifestyle in Tokyo and goes on holiday to countryside in order to try out a farmer's life for a short while, working on the fields and enjoying rustic pleasures such as eating fresh produce and taking in clean air.
As the movie progresses, we see that Taeko’s present day life is interspersed with memories of her past and as she reminisces about her youth, Taeko is soon torn between two world as she thinks about her life in fast-paced and crowded Tokyo, more so when she finds what seems to be the perfect guy for her on the farm. The question is, will she go back to her life in the city or stay and settle down in the country?
The juxtaposition of her as an adult combined with memories of her children are combined superbly. The only negative aspect is that very early on in the story there wasn’t a clear distinction made the older Taeko’s life and her memories as a child, at first I assumed they were 2 separate individuals however you should catch on fairly quickly.
Although this film lacks a solid plot (I know right, what is it with me and movies without a plot?), this movie hinges on 2 key features the characters' observations about life and coming to terms with who you were and are combined with the stunning animation and scenery. As can be expected of Studio Ghibli, Only Yesterday’s finely detailed art and animation are pleasing to the eye. Each scene looked as if it was meticulously hand painted. I actually felt refreshed just watching the exceptionally smooth visuals unfurl. Character designs are simple but pleasant. The soft and understated musical scoring also served to enhance the film perfectly.
I never felt bored while watching Only Yesterday. Taeko's past and present life experiences proved to be equally involving and entertaining, and the multiple transitions from then to now were incredibly smooth. Only Yesterday is an extraordinarily told story that many of us can relate to and derive something from. I wholeheartedly recommend it. read more
Aug 19, 2010
Jan 18, 2013
Story: - 10
Story is pretty simple and it's nice to follow because your hearing the story by narrator who is telling it for. Now why these story just drives in it's because you can easily relate to characters I am sure many of us has some or less school memories and other memories. Story is not boring at all it's starts with slow pacing but picks up pacing pretty fast. Why I like this story so much is that it's gives 2 viewpoints adult's and child. It's also describing very well daily japanese high school life and shows what kind of life experiences Taeko has to go through.
Animation / Art: - 10
It's no actually suprise why Takahata got so well known after movie got good reviews for people. It's because Takahata's art style is simple and he has this own called realism world where everything he creates turns into realistic and beautiful art. Everything in this movie is made really realistic expect characters. But all the backgrounds are like they were shown into nature. Which is really impressive. I think I now know why Miyazaki left for the first screening without saying word to Takahata. Because he was so pissed that Takahata did found this inner realism world. Animation is actually pretty unique it's reminds me like old cartoons. You will be blown away with art style Takahata is created into this movie.
Music: - 10
Music in Only Yesterday is actually peaceful there is heard many type music like wonderful piano tunes and Hungarian farm music. Also I noticed there was a bit of latino music mixed with Spanish and Japanese music. The main theme of the movie is actually opera tune which gives nice atmosphere for the movie. Overall ghibli did good job with music only this time they didn't use so many musical instruments or themes.
Characters: - 9
Characters in this movie are drawn really well considering this was all hand made. They actually had emotional feelings and expressions so they could act for with feelings. There is many side characters which didn't got so much to be in screen all the time. It would be cool if these characters would appear a little more. Because Taeko's father motive where never really told. And mother and all the sisters where just like decorations in the film. However film was really focused in Taeko's both side which was greatly done.
Enjoyment: - 10
I was really whole time watching this movie and focusing all the stuff that was going on in the screen. There really wasn't time that I would felt like movie was boring no it's actually pretty interesting to see when people starts remembering old and good times. If you like romantic, imagination and magical stories and you are big Studio Ghibli fan I am pretty sure you enjoy this a lot.
Voice acting: - 9
I really thought voice acting was also one of the reasons why movie delivered all the fans wanted it to deliver. Even there where young children voicing characters they did pretty good job with the script. I really have to say I liked Taeko's younger voice better than her old voice. Because it was just so cute when she talked in her younger voice. Also she really does sounded like spoiled brat which was hilarious.
Overall: - 10
Only Yesterday is animation masterpiece from the old animator Isao Takahata from himself. He really get's people to also starts remembering their old memories and he can surely made great experiences with his skills. Takahata surely focused this movie a lot and hard job paid in the end.
Apr 1, 2009
Feb 19, 2010
the movie itself is one of a woman who questions herself about her life more or less in a nutshell. the intro and some other music in this movie was calming and made portions of the movie seem serene which was a nice touch. the art work would have achieved a better score if it weren't for one thing and this is just my opinon, but did any one else notice how bizzar looking Okajima looked everytime she smiled? she did not look 27 at all when she did, but more older.
the story line did not appeal to me as i hoped it would and was bothered by the fact that her life in just the 5th grade was just downright awful and made me wonder and would bring that up a lot and the result of this i started to get bored.this and the the artwork is what resulted in the character's score and the boredom was more or less just left a thought of "why just fifth grade? could there perhaps been worse times after that?" the final thought at the end was that there was a resolve and she was finally able to figure out what was missing in her life like Shel Silversteins book "The Missing Piece". which saved itself from me giving it any lower then a three.
overall: less pity 5th grade. liked the 5th grade her and kids making her move at the end.she should smile less, it creeps me out. i would give it a 3.5 and it would be categorized as a meh. read more
May 2, 2009
And i was surprised to hear hungarian and rumanian national music on the soundtrack. ^^