My rating: 5 of 5
From her home on a hill overlooking the sea, Umi still raises naval signal flags every day as a message to her father . . . even though his ship went down years ago during the Korean War. Around her, Yokohama is bustling in preparation for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. When she meets Shun, a member of the high-school newspaper club (who rather resembles her father in his younger days), Umi finds herself deeply attracted–a feeling that is mutual. When progress steps in and threatens to destroy the old high-school clubhouse, Umi joins many of her fellow students, male and female, in their campaign to save the old clubhouse. Never could she have dreamed that her growing relationship with Shun might unearth a past that might just change their relationship forever.
I absolutely loved From Up On Poppy Hill. The story is sweet and innocent, and the characters, in the bloom of hesitant first love, are charming. The juxtaposition of their quiet romance against the bustle–both of the country in preparation for the Olympics, and of the students in their quest to transform the clubhouse–is excellently done and brings out both sides beautifully. Speaking of beautiful, the art is classic Studio Ghibli gorgeous. The music is a really great fit too–lots of jazz, lots of movement. This movie took me through a wide range of emotions and left me feeling satisfied at the end. I would definitely recommend From Up On Poppy Hill to just about anyone.
Screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki & Keiko Niwa/Produced by Toshio Suzuki/Directed by Goro Miyazaki/Original Manga by Chizuru Takahashi & Tetsuro Sayama/Music by Satoshi Takebe