Unlike most Studio Ghibli works, this film is grounded in reality. It’s mainly about a love story between two young students, both children of sailors who had died because of the war. The animation is very detailed, capturing a lifelike picture of the ’60s in Yokohama, Japan. Everything here has enough period detail to make most people nostalgic.
There’s nothing else in the film apart from its straightforward narrative. It’s endearing but the story is predictable. Unlike in the “Whisper of the Heart” that mixes fantasy with reality, From Up on Poppy Hill doesn’t veer away from the confines of its generic love story.
The attempt to save the clubhouse is a theme of the movie that could have been further explored – changes that shape the present, and its impact on idealists who hold on to the sentimental past. Japan was going through significant changes during that time, but all you get is a glimpse of a developing Tokyo.
Still, From Up on Poppy Hill is an enjoyable film. It made me wonder what Yokohama looks like now, and about idyllic neighborhoods in old Japan.
From Up on Poppy Hill
From Up on Poppy Hill is a predictable melodramatic story set in the '60s, but the detailed animation makes an enjoyable and nostalgic film.