Taeko Okajima lives a nondescript life in Tokyo performing office duties in the day and then coming home in the evening to listen to her mother’s remarks on the phone about her unmarried status. In a bid to escape the monotony, Taeko decides to visit the countryside she once loved as a child and spend time on a safflower farm run by relations of hers. But her journey awakens memories she thought she had long abandoned, and Taeko must once again decide the kind of person she truly wants to be.
Having been released from the same studio, the two animes not only have a similar animation technique but also have the same feel. Both are slow-paced, and the humane element is especially important. Also, both (plus, the Whisper of the Heart) are centered around children, which adds a softness and innocence to the story.
Taichi Keaton, a former British special forces operative, now works as an insurance investigator for the world-renowned insurance agency Lloyd's; but his true passion is history and archaeology, which he fulfills by teaching at universities and visiting various ruins. Make no mistake though, there is far more to Mr. Keaton's job than simply filing insurance forms and writing reports! His investigations take him around the world and into situations ranging from run-ins with the Russian mafia to solving murders and even foiling terrorist plots. There's never a dull moment, much to Keaton's dismay!
What does anime for adults look like? Not just older teens or twentysomethings, but mature, older crowd cartoons that are set in a largely realistic environment and take their darn time to smell the roses?
Well, these are two examples. Only Yesterday is a rather thoughtful romance while Master Keaton is a Matlock-esque show about a fellow of all trades, but if you're looking for such genuinely if not exactly exciting adult toons - you've found them.
Ocean Waves is a coming of age tale centered around Taku, an ordinary high school student, his best friend Matsuno, and Rukiko, a reserved outcast who has caught Matsuno's eye. While bounds of friendship are tested, unlikely relationships grow and flourish in this made for television movie.
Several years ago, Noriko married and moved to the United States from Japan along with her husband, giving birth to a child soon after. Now, she has returned to her hometown with her young son, Motoki, and must learn to become at peace with her past and present. Noriko fondly reminisces about the bittersweet memories of her teenaged years, her decisions, and how she will move forward in the future.
I liked Otona Joshi far more than Only Yesterday, but both will easily appeal to the same audiences. The plot is very similar - a woman visits her childhood town and remembers her past. Both are aimed at a more adult audience and are bittersweet, and the teenaged years animation of Otona definitely paid homage to Ghibli. Try one out if you liked the other.