Film Review: From Up On Poppy Hill

“I was expecting more talking cats” was what one of the people I went to see From Up On Poppy Hill came out of the film saying. Studio Ghibli have become famous in the west for surreal fantasy Anime like Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. What a lot of westerners don’t seem to know is that they are also famous for making emotionally charged films that are set in the real world.

There are no talking cats in this film, no sentient fires, no giant forest spirits just people. And that’s not a bad thing.

From Up On Poppy Hill is based on a Japanese serialized comic by Chizuru Takahashi  and is the story of a high school kid in 1960’s Japan, the Olympics are just around the corner and the school club house is being threatened with demolition. Also she’s fallen for a boy with whom circumstances arise that make her feelings a little awkward.

It’s a whimsical tale, heart warming at parts and laugh out loud fun at others, the incidental characters make this film as much as the leads, I think I could watch an entire movie starring the head of the philosophy club, or the bespectacled artist sister of the main character.

If you come into this film expecting talking cats, you are going to be disappointed, the only magic in this film is in the interaction between the characters. If you come into the film expecting character growth, good story telling and an insight into what it was like to be a kid in 1960’s Japan, then I don’t think you will be walking away from it in the slightest bit disappointed.

A Gigantic Totoro Sleeping Bag Bed

Totoro Bed

Words cannot describe how much I wish I had $280 to throw at E-Bay to buy one of these…. Looking at the photo’s on Laughing Squid there are several variants of this the one in the video on Laughing squid is a much smaller version with slightly rubbish looking feet and the one below seems to have stuffed feed and tummy things (What are those things meant to be on Totoro’s tummy?)

Double

 

If you are crazy enough to buy a Totoro sleeping bag/bed then you are probably crazy enough to want these Soot Sprite (Susuwatari) slippers too!

pixelated-poptart: “Soot sprite slippers? Yes please.”

I can’t find anywhere that seems to sell them but You can get them Can’t get them becuse they are sold out but PopAsia may stock them again at some point? for  €25.42 I have found an unboxing video of someone receiving a pair as a gift.

I’ve also found an odd Item on E-Bay, these Susuwatari leggings (also available in blue) allow you to dress up as a Soot Sprite…

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