Based on Hisaichi ISHII's comic strip Tonari no Yamada-kun, this film is about the daily lives of the Yamada family: Takashi and Matsuko (the father and mother), Shige (Matsuko's mother), Noboru (the son), Nonoko (the daughter), and Pochi (the family dog). The comic is currently serialized in the Asahi Shinbun (see a sample of the comic), though it has been renamed Nono-chan. Takahata wanted Yamada-kun to have the art style of watercolor pictures (see above) rather than cel pictures. To achieve that, the traditional paint-on-cel techniques were replaced with digital technology, making Yamada-kun the first Ghibli movie to be painted and animated entirely on computers.
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