[[caption-width-right:320:Present & Past Taeko]]

It's 1982 and [[ChristmasCake 27-year old unmarried]] Taeko Okajima works as an {{office lady}} in Tokyo. She decides to spend her summer holiday at her sister-in-law's farm in the countryside to help out with the safflower harvest, since she liked going there the year before. She sees it as a great way to get a break from the city life for a while.

During her trip she gets overcome with memories of when she was 10 years old and in fifth grade. In a series of flashbacks, imaginatively interwoven with her current life, a picture forms of her youth, filled with math problems, friends, boys and the typical throes of a girl growing up. It results in her wondering whether she is being true to her own nature in life, since she wanted to be in the country as a little girl already.

''Only Yesterday'', Japanese title ''Omohide Poro Poro'', was released in 1991 and not only is it the first Ghibli film to be released after the UsefulNotes/ColdWar, but is also a typical Creator/StudioGhibli product-- minus the fantastic plot devices that permeate most of the studio's work. It was directed by Creator/IsaoTakahata and produced by Creator/HayaoMiyazaki. The result features [[SceneryPorn lots of lovely scenery]], intriguing, believable characters and wonderful, fluid animation.

After 25 years, an English dub of the film was finally released in 2016 by GKIDS, featuring the voices of Creator/DaisyRidley, Dev Patel and Ashley Eckstein.


* {{Adorkable}}: Toshio. Clumsy, [[TheIdiotFromOsaka not terribly intelligent]], a little too forward, and generally a bit of a hick, but very friendly and eager to put others at ease. He proudly declares himself a peasant and listens to strange Hungarian folk music.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: Taeko can be viewed this way in the eyes of one of her sisters.
* {{Arcadia}}: A major theme running through the movie is the characters' love for the countryside.
* ArtShift: When Taeko imagines herself on all the magazine covers, she's drawn with more pronounced eyes.
* AuthorTract: The movie is filled with monologues about the importance of Japanese farm life.
* BlandNameProduct:
** Young Taeko does her daily exercises listening to a "Suny" radio.
** Averted with Puma; the youthful desire for the same brand-name products that "everyone" has is a plot point, and Puma is the brand in question. The film even cuts to an image of Puma's logo that takes up the entire screen.
* CallToAgriculture
* CanNotSpitItOut: Both Taeko and Hirota have problems expressing themselves verbally when meeting in the street.
* CharacterTics: Toshio has the habit to start sentences with a sort of clicking noise (possibly either tongue clicking or him making a "Tsk").
* ChristmasCake: Taeko's mother is annoyed that she turned down a marriage proposal, saying "at 27, that's the best she's going to get".
* CityMouse: Taeko, obviously.
* ComingOfAgeStory: In a double dose--once when Taeko was a child, and another at a later age.
* CoolBigSis: Taeko to one of the younger girls on the farm.
* CueTheRain: It starts to pour down while Taeko is dealing with her biggest inner turmoil.
* DaddysGirl: Strangely, although the insufferable part of his strictness stands out to viewers, there are small hints that Taeko is this to him. For example, Taeko places her onions on her father's dish with no fear of scolding (her mother does that scolding) and she even pleads for something she wants by repeatedly banging on his back. He refuses her, but even his reprimand is gently stern and rather reasonable. The dubbing makes it clearer that despite all his stoicism, his interaction with Taeko gives him an affectionate edge.
* DeadpanSnarker: Taeko's grandma occasionally has something to say about the family matters.
* TheDeterminator:
** Little Taeko is determined to enjoy that sour pineapple she was so excited about by forcing herself to eat as much as she could.
** After getting scolded for trying to give her onions to her father, little Taeko shows a desire to be a better eater by begging her mother not to dispose of the onions.
* FamilyThemeNaming: Taeko and her older sister, Yaeko.
* FantasyForbiddingFather: Taeko's father [[JerkAss rudely cuts short Taeko's acting career]] by forbidding her to do it, saying "show-business people are no good" and offering no further elaboration.
* GhibliHills: You have to ask?
* IChooseToStay
* ImagineSpot: Loads as Young Taeko, a bit less as an adult.
* {{Iyashikei}}
* LeftHanging: A lot of storylines in Young Taeko's life just end, without much of a resolution (The problem she had with fractions as a young girl, for example). Justified as they are slices of her life from when she was ten-years old, and in real life such things rarely if ever have a specific beginning, middle and end. Also, the memories are from 17 years ago, of course she would only remember parts that sticked out the most.
* LoveEpiphany: While on the train back to Tokyo, Taeko starts seeing her ten-year old self and her classmates from back then everywhere, and she realizes her love for the countryside and possibly Toshio too is not just an escape. She decides to return and invokes IChooseToStay because of this.
* MagicRealism: The ending, where Taeko's ten-year old self and classmates seem to interact with real life: they stop the bus and make Toshio stumble.
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** Taeko's older sisters invoke this while marveling about the lovely baths at Atami to Taeko. They are luxurious bath, but they're praising it just to play along with Taeko when really they have no interest in the bathhouses themselves. Being a kid, Taeko is excited over lovely bathhouses.
** The family, especially little Taeko, makes a big deal out of having a pineapple in their household. Justified in the culture and time period where Japan was used to canned goods and imported fruit was ''very'' expensive.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Implied. Taeko's dad slaps Taeko because she accidentally ran outside with only her socks on [[ValuesDissonance (which was the equivalent of being in your undergarments)]]. Taeko's wails as he watches. Taeko questions why it was the first and only time it happened.
* MyNewGiftIsLame: Played with. Taeko really wants a specific bag that her sister doesn't use anymore, but said sister doesn't want to give it away. She finally gives in and gives her the bag...but Taeko has lost interest.
* NiceHat: Toshio sports a particularly nice baseball cap.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: Averted. Girls discuss their periods. Boys discuss the girls' periods. Girls chase boys with brooms.
* ParentsAsPeople
* ReactionShot: Of the family members tasting the pineapple. Most faces are expressing dislike.
* RealPlaceBackground: Eidan Marunouchi-sen subway, Ueno Station and the some of the countryside.
* RealSongThemeTune: The ending theme is a cover of Bett Midler's The Rose,
* SceneryPorn: As usual for a Ghibli movie, but this one delivers some lovely scenes involving safflower.
* ShoutOut:
** A visual one for ''Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial'''s E.T. Doesn't make sense in context.
** The dress Taeko wears as a little girl is very similar to the dress Satsuki wears in ''Anime/MyNeighborTotoro''.
** In one scene, Taeko watches and sings the theme song from ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMApzGKRPB8 Floating Gourd Island]]'', an actual Japanese children's puppet show from TheSixties.
* ShownTheirWork: Lots of details from 1960's culture (including Music/TheBeatles) and the Subaru R-2 subcompact car.
* SliceOfLife
* TheStoic: Taeko's dad and Taeko's grandma ([[WhenSheSmiles to a lesser extent]]).
* TohokuRegionalAccent: Most of the present day scenes take place in Tohoku's Yamagata prefecture, so it is to be expected. The old ladies have particularly strong ones.
* WrittenSoundEffect: The Japanese title, roughly ''Trickling-Rain Memories''. Taeko's memories of her childhood come trickling back to her in this fashion.