This movie has all of the grace and beauty of Grave of the Fireflies, without the oppresive depression. Takahata has such an eye for detail and subtlety; the characters' observations about life and coming to terms with who you were and are when combined with the beauty of the animation and scenery are poetic and elgiec.
What could be a trite romantic tale instead blossoms into art due to the hyper-realism of Takahata's story-telling.
This movie requires some work to understand, but the effort is rewarded generously. Even though its been just a few minutes since I finished watching it, I can already tell that the images and characters will be playing in my head for a very long time.
This move is an absolute gem -- see it if at all possible!
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