Omoide PoroPoro (1991)

Omoide PoroPoro

  • Only Yesterday
  • by Isao Takahata
  • Studio Ghibli


Taeko Okajima works as an office lady for a company located in Tokyo. One day she decided to travel to the country to take a break from the big city life. She makes a completely different experience. While spending her time with farmers, she realizes how hard the work of a farmer is. Many childhood memories come back such as her life as a tennager, her struggles with boys and issues in classes. One can say that her time at the countryside makes her thinking about her past life.

The movie has a very simple story: a young woman who works in a city, decides to work on a farm during her holiday. The flashbacks of her memories show different stages of her life. These memories are told very detailed and emotional which makes the plot also a bit slow. Nonetheless, the story represents life in the real world because it includes very realistic topics, seriousness and difficulties which you can compare to your own life.


The great contrast of a child and an adult life is fascinating. The differences in terms of thinking and acting are very well done. Also the difference between rural and city life is perfectly depicted. People from the countryside wants to live in the city whereas the citizens in the cities would love to live in a more rural area. This difference can especially be seen between Toshio (indeed he also likes his life as a farmer) and Taeko.

As mentioned before, seriousness is one of the main topics in the movie. It contains many important messages. A good example is that Taeko can not or does not know how to deal with her past. Her past or rather her memories chase her until the present. The fact that she had struggled a lot as a child, she has to live with the consequence nowadays. For instance, she was a victim of bullying at school: The new boy refuses to shake her hand (later it turns out that he might have been fallen in love with her). Even such a little action (refusing of the handshake) can harm people because they do not understand why this has happened. They might think that it might be their own fault or that they have done something wrong themselves. Taeko remembers this action because she couldn’t handle it and still can not deal with it nowadays. School is not the only problem she had, her relationship with her family is not good either. Her father was very strict as he did not want Taeko to act in theater. It was her dream and so her possible career as an actress might have been destroyed. Even her mother hits on her as she claims that her own daughter is different from other kids.


Besides family and school problems, Taeko also encounters many issues of growing up: her first love, the unfair treatment and fight between siblings, the teasing by classmates and so on. All these ‘little’ struggles chase her until now, because she could never really deal with them.

A further serious topic is the change or rather the development of the society. At school, Taeko is taught that girls are supposed to grow up and have babies. However, nowadays the position of women has changed. Taeko and some of her friends are working women and are not married.

‘Love’ is another main topic in the anime movie. One can say that the whole movie deals with love. As a child Taeko hasn’t received much love from her parents or siblings; they either neglected or didn’t mind her. She also experiences love in her elementary school years. A boy falls in love with her but all the other girls are mocking Taeko because of this. So she felt very embarrassed. Spoiler Alert: Even as a grown up meaning now with 27 years she starts to develop feelings for Toshio and in the end she falls in love with him. Moreover, ‘Omoide PoroPoro’ also contains many emotional elements. Dramatical scenes can especially be detected in her memories of the past. You can see how she has suffered as a child due to the mockings at school but also the neglection from her family.


Next, the characters are more or less great. Taeko has made a great development as she has changed a lot from the time as she was child to the present. Her perspective on life from a shy girl developed into a responsible young woman who starts to open up and talk about her problems.

The animation art is kept quite simple here, especially the characters and landscapes. However, the emotions of the characters are well done but also the setting on the farm is lovely. Many beautiful nature and environment scenes are included, so one can say that Japan’s countryside is astonishing drawn. Nothing special can be said regarding the music and melody. It was fine and fits good in the movie.


Nonetheless, we also have some negative critics. The duration of the movie (2 hours) is too long, it could have been fit into a much shorter time because many unnecessary scenes could have been dropped. There are scenes where characters are doing nothing at all and some scenes contain too many details. Last but not least, the ending was very kitschy.

All in all, the movie shows many interesting sides of life. The fact that many flashbacks were very detailed, the film kinda started to get boring. However, it shows realistic aspects such as the depiction of her memories and problems which everyone has maybe gone through in their childhood. It shows the truth of life. Indeed, we think that the movie could have been a bit more interesting because not many suspenses were included. The focus was on character development and therefore it might not be a movie for everyone.


MikaYuu Hyakuya

2 Kommentare zu „Omoide PoroPoro (1991)

  1. I watched the movie just after reading this post, and I LOVED IT! It is very calm and yes, slow, but it is also lovely in the way it portrays family life, growing up and finding love. All the connections people have in this movie feel very real and close. There is no over-klischee romance, but rather a slow development between two people you could witness from the start. We see how someone sorts out their life, what happened to them, and feels understood for probably the first time. Very atmospheric and calming, but also emotional. Go watch it! And thanks so much for the post.

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