Only Yesterday (Japanese: おもひでぽろぽろ, Hepburn: Omoide Poro Poro[n 1] , “Memories Come Tumbling Down” ) is a 1991 Japanese animated drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata, based on the 1982 manga of the same title by Hotaru Okamoto and Yuko Tone. It was animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network and Hakuhodo, and distributed by Toho. It was released on July 20, 1991. The ending theme song “Ai wa Hana, Kimi wa sono Tane” (愛は花、君はその種子, “Love is a flower, you are the seed”) is a Japanese translation of Amanda McBroom’s composition “The Rose”.
Only Yesterday explores a genre traditionally thought to be outside the realm of animated subjects: a realistic drama written for adults, particularly women. The film was a surprise box office success, attracting a large adult audience and becoming the highest-grossing Japanese film of 1991 in the country. It has also been well received by critics outside of Japan—it has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
To celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary, GKIDS released the film for the first time in an English-language format on February 26, 2016, featuring the voices of Daisy Ridley, Dev Patel, Alison Fernandez, Laura Bailey and Ashley Eckstein.
On August 31, 2020, it was announced a live-action special based on the manga would air on NHK’s subchannels BS Premium and BS4K in January 2021. The special would be about a 64-year-old Taeko and her daughter and granddaughter.