One evening, when we were walking home from some live music event which did not impress Timur much, he asked me what is my favourite Studio Ghibli film. A difficult choice to make! I like most of the movies directed by Miyazaki, especially Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Howl’s Moving Castle. The thing with Miyazaki’s films, though, is that they are more or less the same style. Which you cannot say about work by Takahata. I said that of his films, my favourite is Only Yesterday, and Timur noted that he doesn’t remember much of it. And so, last Sunday evening, we sat down to watch it.
Yes, now I can confirm it: it is my favourite. The scenes with ten-year-old Taeko set in 1966 (50 years ago! Only yesterday, indeed...) are among the most touching and funny in all of Ghibli films I’ve seen.
Interestingly, or maybe not, Only Yesterday was not released in the US until this year. I am pretty sure it is because the English dub was not available. In any case, I encourage you to watch it in Japanese.