From Up On Poppy Hill Anime Movie Review
*Be aware of minor spoilers*
I knew that From Up On Poppy Hill was produced and directed by Studio Ghibli so my expectations were high for this film. The plot of the story was simple yet new. The ships, flags and the school life in Japan in the trailer made me hooked. I am a sucker for romance and I heard this a wonderful film that suits the genre.
Plot of From Up On Poppy Hill
Umi Matsuzaki is a 16 year old, who each morning, raises a set of signal flags with the message "I pray for safe voyages”. One day, a poem about the flags being raised is published in the school newspaper. Shun Kazama, the poem's author and a member of the journalism club, witnesses the flags from sea as he rides a tugboat to school every day. After a daring stunt for the “Latin Quartier”, Umi gets a negative reaction but later helps him after he hurt his hand in the stunt. As they worked together after school, they became close enough to where Umi invites him over to her home, which is also a board house. The day he comes over Shun discovers that they are much closer than both of them think. To make sure she doesn’t find out the truth, he avoids her. To make matters worse, the clubhouse that the paper was published in will be torn down! How will the relationships between family and friends solve these unforeseen events?
— Just as side note, this film takes place around 1963, the year before the Olympics. It is hard to grasp some actions that take place but when you watch this film, keep this in mind. Also, as a reminder to some individuals that are new to the culture of Japan, they are very uptight and are considerate, unlike in the United States. So if you think “ Why is Umi bowing down to her Grandmother?”, that is why. Its mature behavior that is common in Japan and uncommon here in the United States. —
Characters of From Up On Poppy Hill
Umi Matsuzaki is a 16 year old student at Isogo High School. She lives in a home overlooking the Port of Yokohama in Japan, which is also a board house. Since her mother, Ryoko, is a medical professor studying abroad in the United States Umi runs the house and looks after her younger siblings Sora and Riku and her grandmother, Hana. She helps get the clubhouse clean to avoid it getting torn down. She is strong willed and caring.
Shun Kazama is a 17 year old student at Isogo High School. He publishes articles in the newspaper called “Latin Quartier” at the clubhouse. He is good friends with the Student Government President, Shiro Mizunuma. He is adopted by the Kazama family with little knowledge on his biological parents. Shun learns the hidden secret when visiting Umi’s home. Shun decides that he needs to avoid her to ignore the feeling that came with being with her. He is outgoing, passionate and cares for Umi.
Shiro MIzunuma is the student Government President. He is often seen with Shun as they work on the Latin Quartier together. Shiro is often there for support and is a good leader for the school. He fights to make sure the clubhouse doesn’t get torn down. His name in Japanese means white which reflects his personality in the film- no evil.
After thoughts of From Up On Poppy Hill
At first, I was shocked to even have the presence of a possible forbidden love, but after that misunderstanding was clear I liked the story better. It had many roller coasters that were faced and I loved how it was directed. While watching I learn history that facts that I found later are accurate. One of the main historical points are about signal flags. These flags are used to communicate to other ships passing if there was no electricity for phone usage. It is uncommon today, but this made me want to learn more about the history behind what each flag meant. This easily became one of my favorite anime movies, because of the simple and innocent love.
Rate (9/10); No blood or sexual ideas; family friendly.