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Title: My Neighbors the Yamadas (ホーホケキョとなりの山田くん)
Released: 1999

Director: Isao Takahata
Class Superlative: Most Ordinary

In a Land of Pure Imagination Everyday Situations

The daily lives of the Yamadas are presented in a series of relatable and humourous vignettes (with the occasional fantasy sequence). Like getting lost in a department store.

Nonoko: “My father and mother and grandma and brother all got lost.”

And tackling schoolwork.

And gaining remote control supremacy. 

Adorable Child Alert

Nonoko, who knows her way around a cake LIKE A BOSS.

Lovable Anthropomorphic Sidekick

I just seem to love snarky pets, like Pochi, the family dog.

Wait, WTF?

Whom exactly does the ‘my’ refer to in the title? Although I’d have to take it up with the source material that this movie is based on. 

And a fond farewell to the last of Isao Takahata’s films to be featured in these posts, since it’s pretty clear that I love the stories he tells*. My Neighbors the Yamadas was his most recent film, until this year’s (for Japan) The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. There’s actually a shout-out to the folktale that Kaguya is based on in Yamadas!

*In other words, I like the cut of his Ghibli. (I’M SORRY, I HAD TO.)

Famous Voices

Class Superlative: Most Ordinary

That description isn’t meant to be a bad thing; it’s just the truth. The Yamadas live in the real world, and they don’t have any special powers. There’s no big over-arching story, aside from a charming family, with little quirks and eccentricities, that really loves each other. 

And bonus points for a cameo from the Moonlight Knight!

Exploring the Studio Ghibli Vault

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Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.