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‘Only Yesterday’ Is Studio Ghibli’s Secret Masterpiece

August 11, 2015

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With Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli’s increasingly prominent seeping into Western culture (e.g. a Ghibli-infused sequence in The Simpsons; a Totoro toy in Toy Story 3), it seems odd to declare any of the studio’s back catalogue as, in any way, “hidden.” But then, there does seem to be distinct criteria to those that gain Western pop culture praise.

First of all: be directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Following the crossover success of Princess Mononokeand, in particular, Spirited Away, Miyazaki’s output is basically all Ghibli is to many people. More than any other Ghibli filmmaker, it’s his creations (My Neighbour Totoro, Porco Rosso) or those he has adapted for the film medium (Howl’s Moving Castle) that get the merchandise the casual otaku buy in droves. You’re not so likely to find hats and iPhone 6 cases modeled on the characters of From Up on Poppy Hill

Full piece for Vague Visages

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