Taeko is supposed to be 27 years old, and her design is supposed to emphasize her status as Christmas Cake. Instead, she inexplicably looks forty-to-seventy years old in some shots, which is honestly bizarre. Is there a seperate underlying meaning to this, or is it simply an awkward visual happenstance?
The "making of" feature that accompanies the dvd release reveals that the design team paid special attention to the characters cheek muscles (something never really seen in anime prior to this film's release) in order to make Taeko and Toshio look to be believably in their late 20's. The above comment highlights how this was perhaps not entirely successful — something the lead animator worries will happen, in fact.