In celebration of the Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) film’s 25th anniversary it is getting its first North American release. The hand-drawn animated film is based on a graphic novel by Hotaru Okamoto. It is a tale of young woman reminiscing about her childhood growing up in Tokyo.
Your late 20s is an odd time. You are still young and yet you are expected to get on with your life, establish a career, get married and have children. It almost forces a person to look back on their lives and think about growing up as they are now on the precipice of becoming a “real” adult. This is exactly what Taeko (Daisy Ridley – Star Wars: The Force Awakens,) does while traveling to the countryside. Taeko is 27-years-old, single and has no children. Much to the dismay of her mother. She works in an office job. For her summer holiday she is traveling to the farm of a distant relative. While on the train ride she thinks about her younger self. So much so it is like 10-year-old Taeko (Youko Honna – Whisper of the Heart) is along for the ride with her.
Once she arrives at the farm she meets a young farmer named Toshio (Dev Patel – Slumdog Millionaire, Chappie). Talking with him makes her face the possibility that she is not living a life true to herself. Especially true to that 10-year-old who was full of dreams of the future.
Childhood and memory are tricky things. Past and present are used to tell the story of Taeko. Taeko has to balance what she wants out of life and what is expected of women in society. All she goes through makes the viewer think about their childhood and the decision they have made as an adult. At times, as a result of the connection you make, it becomes rather moving.
Director Takahata displays his keen eye for detail throughout the film. Nothing is done quickly or in an offhanded manner. While focusing on detail he is still able to make the film a very personal one. He does not allow it to get bogged down on the details (though they are there). Keeps it simple but expertly told.
-The Making of Only Yesterday
-Behind the Scenes with the Voice Cast
-Interview with English Dub Team
-Trailers and TV Spots