12 Days of Anime: Studio Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill

poppy hill

This is one of Studio Ghibli’s films I probably saw but I really couldn’t remember what this movie was about so this challenge really let me rewatch this and I had a few head-turning moments for this one. This was a great romance film but wooo! those twists had me for a minute. There is a chance I’ve never seen this film but only know about it through passing and maybe I’ve told myself I’ve seen this film. That’s a funny thing to admit but this film has always been a popular film and mentioned so often I’m surprised I don’t remember anything from this film.

Spoilers Ahead!

From Up on Poppy Hill Trailer

I’m not going to go too deep into the plot because this film is just like every other Shoujo, romantic animated film and I don’t want to go over the status quo of how these stories go. This is basically your run of the mill school romance film where two students Umi and Shun who have known each other for years because of going to the same school and now they are developing feelings for each other.

One twist in the story that made me gasp was when Shun went to a party thrown at Umi’s home and they started talking about her father and she showed him a picture and Shun immediately said his name before Umi could. I was shocked like no please don’t be siblings and low and behold at this moment the idea of them being siblings is thrown in there.

Shun is acting strange towards Umi instead of telling her he believes they are siblings he just avoids her for a good 15 minutes of the movie. Umi finally confronts him and he tells her and this sends Umi into a bit of a spiral. I mean I get it the boy you like, likes you back and he could be your sibling mind-blowing. Umi’s mother comes back from her trip to America and Umi asks her about Shun and it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

I was so happy when her mother explained that Shun’s parents passed. His mother passed due to complications after giving birth and his father died at sea since he was a sailor. In the scene, it doesn’t go into my details about his parents because I’m assuming Umi’s mother doesn’t really know much since Umi’s father has also died at sea.

We learn that Umi’s father is impulsive and when he learned his friend’s wife died after her complications he went and adopted baby Shun because he didn’t want him to go into an orphanage. Umi’s father then gave baby Shun to another couple whom he’s friends with that just lost their child. In the end, it worked out.

In the end, Shun’s adopted father calls him to go see someone one a ship before he leaves to learn more about his real parents and it was such a relief to when they found out they weren’t related. I was so happy for them as a couple that they can be together, I also loved the way a situation like this was handled throughout the film. These are teenagers with vast resources and meh communication skills so the ups and downs that they had to go through make sense for their ages.

This is a good film to watch especially if you haven’t. There’s nothing like a good plot twist to keep you on your toes. I really enjoyed the film and will watch it again later down the line. I’ll definitely remember seeing this film because this was a good twist to a rather generic plotline we usually see with romance films.

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