From Up on Poppy Hill

Alt title: Kokuriko-Zaka Kara

Movie (1 ep x 91 min)
4.066 out of 5 from 8,640 votes
Rank #640

Yokohama, 1963. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the Olympics. The mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past. Against this backdrop of hope and change, a friendship begins to blossom between high school students Umi  and Shun – but a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart.

Source: Cinedigm

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This is a spoiler-free review. Overall: 8.25/10 - A simple and heartwarming tale, with excellent animation. Breakdown: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Story: 7.25/10-Good General Plot 2/4 - The plot is predictable and not very complex, but still interesting.. Pacing 1.5/2 - It moves at a nice, easy pace. Not too slow or too fast. Emotional impact: 3/3 - Very emotional. Conclusion .75/1 - The conclusion is decent, but could maybe be a little bit better. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Animation: 9.4/10-Outstanding Artwork 3/3 - Excellent. They did a great job with the setting and it is very accurate to the time period. Character Designs 2.5/3 - Characters have outfits like the time period and an older anime style is used. Action Animation NA/2 -  Other Animation 2/2 - The animation is very good. ------------------------------ ------------------------------ ------------------------------ ------------------------ Characters: 8.25/10-Great Personality 2.75/3 - Character personalities are interesting and well developed. Development 2/3 - There is some development, but not a whole lot.  Uniqueness 3.5/4 - Characters do not really fit stereotypes. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sound: 9.2/10-Outstanding Voice Acting 4.5/5 - The voice acting is very good, but sometimes the translation is a bit too direct which can make it sound slightly awkward. Music (intro/outro): NA/1 -  Music (soundtrack): 2.75/3 - Orchestral background and anthems are good. Sound Effects 1/1 - Excellent.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BONUS POINTS: Creativity/uniqueness bonus points +.5: The time period is unique. Humour bonus points +1: Some moments can be very funny. Annoying/mindset-breaking negative points: None.


This is a tale of growing up, and of the generation after the Korean War finding a way for the past to co-exist with their future. Umi Matsuzaki is a high school student who lives in a boarding house, her father having died in the war, and her mother away in America. Every day, she raises the flags, and it is Shun Kazama, a member of the school's newspaper club, who notices them and her. He draws her into his world, where he is depeserately trying to save the school's clubhouse from being demolished. Along the way, Umi and Shun uncover some secrets as to their past, which very well could destroy the future they were just starting to dream of. This was a very beautiful movie, with a very simple, but heartfelt story. There are no big battles, no fate of the country or world at stake. Instead, this is a story a boy and a girl and the lives they live in Japan in the 1960s. The animation was gorgeous, especially with the scenery and the way the city and nature were one. I loved the music as well. It was very beautiful, and really added to the movie. Umi and Shun were fun characters, and I can't imagine being in the situation they were in. It about had me in tears. I think they and their situation were handled very well, and it just added to the beauty of this movie. The ending was kind of... I'm not sure how I feel about it, actually. It was beautiful, and happy, but also kind of sad. I felt like there should have been something a little more, because when the credits started to role, I was surprised. I knew the ending was close, but I didn't feel as if the movie had actually ended. This movie isn't one I would normally watch and enjoy, but there's something about it that touched me. Maybe just the way the characters felt so real, and the beauty their story offered.

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