Set in Yokohama, From Up On Poppy Hill is a high school love story that take place in the year before the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. As the country begins to pick itself up from the devastation of the Second World War, the new generation struggles to move towards a prosperous future whilst trying not to lose the essence of their past.
I rarely show any degree of brand loyalty when it comes to movie studios, but Studio Ghibli is one of those few studios that can attract me to a movie based on their name alone (Pixar is another). From Up on Poppy Hill looks like a very beautiful love story/melodrama, however unlike most Ghibli pictures, it doesn’t have anything fantastic or supernatural. In fact, were it not a Ghibli movie, I’d probably dismiss it outright, but I know that if a Miyazaki (Hayao’s son Goro is directing) thinks it’s a story worth telling, then it must be.
From Up on Poppy Hill has been playing at festivals and in Japan, but it doesn’t have a North American release date yet.