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Only Yesterday (1991) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Miyazaki Hayao (Producer) | Takahata Isao (Director)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6.5 out of 10 (2)

YesAsia Editorial Description

In direct contrast with the fantastic adventures created by Studio Ghibli co-founder Miyazaki Hayao, director Takahata Isao uses the animation platform to tell more down-to-earth stories that challenged traditional animation conventions. 1991's Only Yesterday is one of these films. Partly based on the manga by Okamoto Hotaru and Tone Yuko, the drama chronicles an urban woman's literal journey to the countryside away from her troubles in the city, as well as her mental journey back to her carefree childhood days, when things were far simpler. To ensure the animation reflect the realistic style of the story, Only Yesterday was one of the first Japanese animated films to break tradition and have animators draw according to the actors' voice performances.

27-year-old Taeko has lived in Tokyo her whole life. After experiencing the daily grind as a company employee, she decides to go to Yamagata to visit her sister-in-laws to get away from city life. Along the way, Taeko begins to reflect on her life as child, when her biggest worry was being able to go on holidays like her classmates. While her time in Yamagata makes her rethink the priorities in her adult life, she also remembers other childhood events like first love and worrying about her grades. In the process, Taeko begins to wonder whether she had been on the right path all these years…

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Technical Information

Product Title: Only Yesterday (1991) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version) 歲月的童話 (1991) (Blu-ray) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 岁月的童话 (1991) (Blu-ray) (中英文字幕) (香港版) 歳月的童話 Only Yesterday (1991) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)
Director: Takahata Isao 高畑勳 高畑勋 高畑勲 Takahata Isao
Producer: Miyazaki Hayao 宮崎駿 宫崎骏 宮崎駿 Miyazaki Hayao
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2013-03-12
Language: Cantonese, Japanese
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Japanese
Place of Origin: Japan
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Sound Information: Dolby Digital 2.0, DTS-HD Master Audio
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Rating: IIA
Duration: 119 (mins)
Publisher: Intercontinental Video (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1032437282

Product Information

* Special Features: Storyboards

Taeko is a twenty-seven-year-old Tokyo "office lady" on a vacation trip to the contryside. On the way, she travels mentally back to her tenth year. In a series of flashbacks to her yunger schoolgirl life, Taeko recalls the events that shaped her life. At the same time, the present day Taeko longs for a change from her humdrum Tokyo existence. At her relatives' farm she finds herself attracted to an earnest young farmer....

  The film moves back and forth between the two time periods with a lot of nostalgia and beautiful country scenery as Taeko sorts out her memories and tries to make some tough decisions about her future.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

Other Versions of "Only Yesterday (1991) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Only Yesterday (1991) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

April 24, 2006

This professional review refers to Only Yesterday (VCD) (Hong Kong Version)
Childhood is a time of powerlessness. Children are dependent and beholden on their parents. Childhood is often governed by familial forces that seem brutally unfair. As we move into adulthood, we nostalgically long for those carefree days forgetting that rules by which we were governed were frequently confusing and inscrutable. Director Isao Takahata explored some of these themes in Grave of the Fireflies. He returns to these them in a gentler, though no less powerful way in Only Yesterday.

Okajima Taeko is an office worker who comes across as a little aloof from her co-workers. As she embarks on her holiday, Okasjima's story is intercut with memories of her childhood. These reminiscences reveal the young Okajima as far less academically inclined than her two older sisters. Okajima deals stoically with the air of disappointment that her family projects at her underachievement. This is one of the frustrations of childhood. The sense that we cannot do the right thing in our parent's eyes, yet are powerless to do anything about it.

Okajima's reminiscence is broken by her arrival at the farm. There, she embraces the hard, repetitive work of picking safflowers, flowers used for dyeing clothes that ironically, only the rich could afford, not the peasant girls who picked them.

Only Yesterday is full of these stories of life's small frustrations and disappointments and a child's seeming invulnerability: the young Okajima is the only one he remains in town while her friends go on holidays at the anticipation then the disappointment of eating a fresh not canned pineapple. These beautiful vignettes capture those almost forgotten feelings where small events take on huge significance in a child's life.

Only Yesterday marvellously captures the feeling of life in Japan both past and present. It shows us family dynamics and social rituals that are both familiar yet at the same time culturally different. There is something compelling to Okajima's joyful desire to work on a farm for holidays and her poignant childhood memories trigger one's own empathy gland. If this was all Only Yesterday did, it would be a fine film. However, it is a Studio Ghibli film and Okajima's childhood stories subtlety impact on her adult life, a life that has engendered her with unacknowledged feelings of dissatisfaction.

Only Yesterday is a deeply human film. It shows us things about ourselves and influences on our lives we have little time to acknowledge. Okajima's epiphany has far more power than Vin Diesel's whole back catalog and her change, although small, is profound in its understanding of people's need to belong and choose a life that is meaningful and productive.

If you have only been exposed to Myazaki's masterpieces, you are missing half of what Studio Ghibli is about. While Myazaki leans toward fantasy and epic, Studio Ghibli's smaller, more intimate and personal films show that there is no scale they cannot do.

10 windy days out of 10

by Andrew Symons -

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "Only Yesterday (1991) (Blu-ray) (English Subtitled) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6.5 out of 10 (2)

See all my reviews

July 20, 2006

This customer review refers to Only Yesterday (1991) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
A little boring Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6 out of 10
This anime is about a lady in her late twenties traving back to her hometown for a visit. During her travel, she sees things around her that reminds her of her childhood, bitter and sweet. She eventually reaches her hometown and meets her family and even other people. A romance developes later... It's a pretty cute story but a little boring because I was expecting something more exciting...
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)

March 11, 2005

This customer review refers to Only Yesterday (1991) (DVD) (2-Disc Edition) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Good story Customer Review Rated Bad 7 - 7 out of 10
This is a very good cartoon. The ending with the couple could be more clear and better! It could be better if there are conversations with happiness between the lovers instead of pure music without anyone talking!!
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
  • Region & Language: Hong Kong United States - English
  • *Reference Currency: No Reference Currency
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