It is Yokohama in 1963 and a high school’s dilapidated clubhouse stands at the centre of the latest animation from the Tokyo-based Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo).
Can the school be saved by students passionate about its cultural heritage - or will the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics, heralding a bright new economic age, bring about its end? Conversely, Japan’s heritage (the legacy of the Korean War) threatens a budding romance between two of the protagonists.
A wistful style and the occasional heart-rending moment - yet it’s all just a little bit too lightweight to truly gratify. Robert Epstein