This is, so far, about the simplest title in the Ghibli series, in my humble opinion. There's really not much to it. We have a 27-year-old office worker who travels to the countryside to help with some harvesting, and the whole time she reminisces about when she was a child in fifth grade. That's about it. Meanwhile, in present day, you get the impression that there's at least a potential interest forming between our main character, Taeko (Miki Imai/Daisy Ridley) and a sort of organic farming nut named Toshio (Toshirō Yanagiba/Dev Patel). So, in fairness, not exactly up my alley for the most part. But that's not to say it's bad. It's just kinda forgettable to me.
What this movie does have going for it is a sort of nostalgia factor that has one sitting back and possibly reminiscing about events of their own childhood. Beyond that, as usual, the animation and overall scenery of the movies is just gorgeous. I was particularly a huge fan of the background scenery going on in this one among some other titles. But of course, it's never bad at all. There was just something about the way this one portrayed the overall peacefulness of the countryside, especially when it was taking place in present day. Add to that a rather touching ending overall, that just about any of us could relate to, and you've got a decent movie.
My only problem with it is that, at least until the end, the storytelling feels just so basic and, if I'm honest, pretty dull at times. It was really just a glimpse into her childhood, with which she seemed to have an understandably rough time between school and family. But when we see how happy she at least seems in present day, it almost feels pointless.
THAT SAID, and now that every Ghibli fan in the world may wish to murder me, it's probably just what it was supposed to be. There wasn't anything big going on here, it's just another one of Ghibli's "slice of life" films, and you do manage to get a little something out of the ending. At least I did. You just seemingly have to wade through a lot to get there.
Thus far, I'd have to say this is the most underwhelmed I've felt about a Ghibli film. Not surprisingly, this also seems to be one of the titles no one really talks about. At least no one I know of. It's a neat little story, but most of the movie's charm lies in its beautiful artwork. Not a whole hell of a lot more. Even the characters were kinda dull to me. And it pains me to say that 'cause it's likely that I just couldn't find a way to relate to any of them, really. I'm SURE that to many, they're perfectly relatable.
There's not much more to say about it. I seem to be a sort of 1-percenter here on my overall opinion, but to me it was a good 2 hours that easily could have been trimmed to an hour and a half at most. It just wasn't my favourite of the series so far, but it's not without a sort of charm, either. I dunno. It seems to be a title that I couldn't recommend to just anyone, but some may very well enjoy it, just for the simplicity alone. Again, not at all bad, just kinda underwhelming.
As anime is an all-around untapped resource for my viewing pleasure, I have decided to explore the Ghibli titles, one-by-one. It seemed good a place to start as any. I'll be focusing on these titles throughout the month of August.