Thanks to Madman, we had the chance to continue dreaming with the magic of Studio Ghibli, as 1991’s ‘Only Yesterday’ gets re-released on Blu-Ray.
Directed by Isao Takahata and produced by Hayao Miyasaki, the film follows Tokyo girl Taeko (Miki Imai) who decides to travel to rural Yamagata to visit her sister’s family to help them during the annual safflower harvest.
During the trip, Taeko constantly daydreams about her younger self, her first romantic crush, her relationship with her family and the frustrations she experienced as a kid.
As her holiday and work at the farm progresses, her flashbacks became more vivid, causing her to rethink her city life based on what her inner child would have wanted, especially after her sister’s friend Toshio takes an interest in her.
Studio Ghibli proves that the simplest stories can be also be full of heart, as “Only Yesterday” reminds us all to reconnect with our inner child, and consider all past experiences, good and bad, as lessons of life.
The traditional-styled animation is simple enough to deliver the message of the film, helped by beautiful artworks that bring to life the Japanese rural countryside and lifestyle there.
The film is beautifully crafted, but viewers should be aware that ‘Only Yesterday’ is not a typical Ghibli story, as there is nothing supernatural, tear-jerking or events rooted in historical events featured. However, its magic relies on the simple plot based on a character who could be any one of us.
The Blu-Ray also includes storyboards, English voice cast interviews and a fantastic 45-minute behind-the-scenes of the film, showcasing a young Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata during the film’s production.