From up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka Kara) is the 2011 offering from Studio Ghibli and I am looking forward to this movie even more than to The Borrower Arrietty. I looks like it will be more like a Whisper of the Heart type movie than a Princess Mononoke. I liked Ghibli’s Mononoke-type movies too, but they don’t compare to ones like Whisper of the Heart.
The movie, based on a shojo manga of the same name by Sayama Tetsuo and Takahashi Chizuru, is about a teenage girl in Yokohama in the 1960s. As she waits for her father to return home, she meets a classmate and together they try to preserve an old building in danger of being torn down. She becomes drawn to this boy, but they might be siblings…
That last detail is a little too makjang k-drama, so I really hope that they don’t go there. I mean, I love k-dramas, but not those incest storylines which have tainted many an otherwise fine drama (Glory Jane, anyone? Anyone?). And the director is Goro Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki’s son, which isn’t that much of a draw considering how his first film, Tales from Earthsea, was one of the worst Ghibli films ever. And I’ve seen Pom Poko.
Still, the nostalgic tone seems promising, and I always love a good romantic coming-of-age story. So long as the romance isn’t between siblings. And the soundtrack seems pretty interesting already, mostly the 1961 song “I Shall Walk Looking Up” by Sakamoto Kyu. This song was actually released in the US as “Sukiyaki” which is kind of offensive, but whatever. Here’s a picture of the CD cover art.
I don’t know when US release date is, but judging by how long it’s taken the previous Ghibli films to get here I’d say I have some time to wait. Oh well. I can always watch Whisper of the Heart in the meantime.