In the new issue of Otaku USA, one of our features by Daryl Surat dives into the latest anime movie from Studio Ghibli, From Up on Poppy Hill. Though the film is directed by Goro Miyazaki—son of beloved Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki (My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke)—it’s interesting to see just how conservatively his style sticks to the established, and hugely successful, Ghibli standard.
From Up on Poppy Hill premiered in Japan in summer 2011, but its New York International Children’s Festival premiere marks the first time distributor Gkids has landed a first-run Ghibli film. Its appearance in New York City wasn’t one that was just restricted to the festival screening, thankfully, because tickets to that sold out fast. Poppy Hill also nabbed a handful of screens throughout the rest of its premiere weekend. Those who prefer to watch dubbed anime would appreciate the fact that the english audio was included, which Daryl tackles in a sidebar connected to the feature.
As Daryl points out, even setting the film in 1963 carries with it some of the weight of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s past. Though From Up on Poppy Hill doesn’t feature another mainstay of Ghibli’s classics—namely, composer Joe Hisaishi—it nonetheless presents a nostalgic picture viewed through the lens of a director not directly connected to the era.