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Only Yesterday (film): Wikis


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Only Yesterday
Directed by Isao Takahata
Produced by Hayao Miyazaki
Yasuyoshi Tokuma (executive producer)
Yoshio Sasaki (executive producer)
Ritsuo Isobe (executive producer)
Written by Isao Takahata
Starring Miki Imai
Toshiro Yanagiba
Yoko Honna
Music by Masaru Hoshi
Studio Studio Ghibli
Distributed by Tokuma Shoten
Toho (theatrical in Japan)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment (VHS/DVD)
Release date(s) Japan
July 20, 1991
October 11, 2006
United Kingdom
September 4, 2006
Running time 118 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Only Yesterday (おもひでぽろぽろ Omohide Poro Poro ?, lit. "memories come tumbling down"[1]) is the sixth film by director Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) and produced by Studio Ghibli. It is based on the manga of the same title by Hotaru Okamoto and Yuko Tone.[2] It was released on July 20, 1991. The ending theme song is a Japanese translation "Ai wa Hana, Kimi wa sono Tane (愛は花、君はその種子 ?)" of Amanda McBroom's composition "The Rose."

Only Yesterday is significant among progressive anime films in that it explores a genre traditionally thought to be outside the realm of animated subjects, in this case a realistic drama written for adult, particularly female audiences. In spite of its subject matter, the film was a surprise box office success, attracting a large adult audience of both sexes.



In 1982, Taeko is 27, unmarried, has lived her whole life in Tokyo and now works at a company there. She decides to take another trip to visit her elder sister's in-laws in the rural countryside to help with the safflower harvest and get away from city life. While traveling at night on a train to Yamagata, she begins to recall memories of herself as a fifth-grade schoolgirl in 1966, and her intense desire to go on holiday like her classmates. During her stay in Yamagata, she finds herself increasingly nostalgic and wistful for her childhood self, while simultaneously wrestling with adult issues of career and love. The trip dredges up forgotten memories, the first stirrings of childish romance, puberty and growing up, the frustrations of math and boys. In lyrical switches between the present and the past, Taeko wonders if she has been true to the dreams of her childhood self.

Voice cast

  • Taeko Okajima (岡島 タエ子 Okajima Taeko ?) - Miki Imai
  • Toshio (トシオ ?) - Toshirō Yanagiba
  • Taeko (as 5th grade student) - Yōko Honna
  • Mother of Taeko - Michie Terada
  • Father of Taeko - Masahiro Itō
  • Grandmother of Taeko - Chie Kitagawa
  • Yaeko (ヤエ子 ?) - Yuki Minowa
  • Nanako (ナナ子 ?) - Yorie Yamashita

Film notes

The story takes place within the Takase district of Yamagata, Yamagata.[3] The Takase Station of the JNR Senzan Line is featured prominently; Though it has since been rebuilt, the scenery remains mostly unchanged. During the course of the film, characters visit prominent locales, including the resort destination of Mount Zao.

Unlike the typical anime style, the characters have more facial muscles and expressions. Because of this, dialogue was recorded first (usually this is done after the animation is completed) and the animators fit the dialogue to the characters, resulting in more believable and realistic lipsync and facial expressions. Only Taeko's childhood past (which has a more typical anime style) was animated before the voices were recorded.

Those scenes set in 1966 with the 10 year-old Taeko are taken from the source material. Takahata had difficulty adapting the episodic manga into a feature film, and he therefore invented the framing narrative wherein the adult Taeko journeys to the countryside and falls in love with Toshio.[2]

There is a repetitive Hungarian theme in the film, using pieces of music such as 'Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 7' in a scene where Taeko is eating lunch, and making references to Hungarian musicians when she is in the car with Toshio. The music of Márta Sebestyén with Muzsikás is used in several scenes as well.[4]

The TV character Machine Gun Dandy looks like Daisuke Jigen of Lupin III fame. The character is seen when Taeko recalls her favorite puppet show Hyokkori Hyotan Jima (ひょっこりひょうたん島 "Floating Gourd Island" ?) as a child.

Released dates

  • Germany - Released on June 6, 2006, under title of Tränen der Erinnerung (Tears of Memory) - Only Yesterday (Universum Film).[5]
  • Australia - Released on 11th of October (Madman Entertainment).[6]
  • United Kingdom - Released on the September 4, 2006 (Optimum Releasing).[7]
  • United States - The film remains the only theatrical Studio Ghibli feature that will not ever be released on home video in the United States by any company (including Central Park Media, which released Grave of the Fireflies), although it was released on Turner Classic Movies in January of 2006, as part of the channel's month-long salute to Miyazaki and Ghibli.


External links

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