Voices of (English Version) Daisy Ridley, Dev Patel, Alison Fernandez, Tara Strong, Grey Griffin
(7-Very Good Film)
Evocative. Contemplative. Beautiful.
Hirota: Rainy days, cloudy days, sunny days… which do you like?
Taeko: …cloudy days.
Hirota: Oh, then we’re alike.
Taeko (Ridley), a young woman from Tokyo, was raised to feel like an anomaly. We see her childhood in beautifully animated flashbacks where her adventurousness was called selfishness by her family and her older sisters were constantly calling her a brat. Now an adult in her late twenties, Taeko, takes a working trip to the countryside where she meets Toshio and thinks back on some of the small but significant moments of her youth. There are a number of interesting aspects to Only Yesterday making it unique, the most conspicuous being its alternating between two distinct animation styles to portray the change in time periods. Less prominent but still uncommon is having such a seemingly passive protagonist. Taeko, mostly because she spends the majority of the film as a child, has her decisions made for her, but we get the sense watching her adult form that she still hasn’t made many choices for herself. The ending, so simple, is a perfectly satisfying turning point.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-