However, a small group of wise-beyond-their-years teenagers believe that preserving the areas rich cultural heritage is more important than constructing a aesthetically pleasing veneer for this upcoming global celebration of sport. The pair soon become closer when Umi begins assisting at the school’s newspaper, however a shocking revelation puts their blossoming romance on hold indefinitely.
Whilst lacking any of the mystical charm or aesthetic spectacle of the studio's more recognisable films, From Up on Poppy Hill remains a thoroughly enjoyable tale of heightened adolescent confusion and teenage romance wrapped in a contemporary frame narrative of youthful Japanese political activism. That said, there is the feeling that something is missing from this high school illustration of civil awakening and diplomatic empowerment - perhaps something which could have more effectively tapped into the country’s current state of political disenfranchisement after the devastation of the 3/11 tsunami.
Whilst undeniably forgettable, From Up on Poppy Hill remains a perfectly enjoyable and serviceable slice of childhood melodrama that will sit in comfortably amongst Ghibli's extensive back catalogue. Now it just remains to be seen if Goro Miyazaki's learning curve will continue to ascend towards the acceptable level demanded by Ghibli's passionate and loyal enthusiasts - including the now-retired Miyazaki Sr.