Having only seen Tales from Earthsea from Goro Miyazaki earlier, I didn't get my hopes up much for this film to hold the nostalgia and love that has become Studio Ghiblis trademark. Boy was I wrong. I didn't like Spirited Away too much since it involved supernatural phenomena which gave the writers a lot of "creative freedom", and Princess Mononoke was just too violent. With Hayao doing the script and Goro directing this time, father and son have made movie history together.
Being a member of my hometown's constructional board myself, I can relate to how Tokyo's counterpart must have been in a hurry to clean up the city from old buildings before the 1964 olympics, and how student opinion tends to lean towards preserving what has been at their school since they started. Characters are very believable and follow some patterns that make us think "ah, I know someone just like that!". Animation is beautiful of course. Not the lush greenery of Arietty, but everything feels like a very realistic depiction of what 1964 Tokyo suburbs must have looked like. I'm going all in and give this movie a 10 out of 10, because it's the best animated movie I have seen in a lot of years.
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