Grave of the Fireflies
Grave of the Fireflies is a drama, tragedy, anti-war 1988 anime film. It was written and directed by Isao Takahata, musically composed by Michio Mamiya, filmed by Nobuo Koyama, edited by Takeshi Seyama, produced by Toru Hara and Studo Ghibli, distributed by Toho, and starred Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Yoshiko Shinohara, and Akemi Yamaguchi. It's based on a novel of the same name by Akiyuki Nosaka.
A devastating meditation on the human cost of war, this animated tale follows Seita (Tsutomu Tatsumi), a teenager charged with the care of his younger sister, Setsuko (Ayano Shiraishi), after an American firebombing during World War II separates the two children from their parents. Their tale of survival is as heartbreaking as it is true to life. The siblings rely completely on each other and struggle against all odds to stay together and stay alive.
Why It Rocks
- Like all of Studio Ghibli's films before it, the animation is highly incredible, especially for its time.
- It has a dark and depressing anti-war story which is skilled at tugging on the viewer's heart strings, so much so that many people call it "the greatest movie you'll never want to see again."
- The visuals of the film have a dark color pallet, which only helps to emphasize the grim world.
- It possesses themes that you don't often see in animation, no matter where the animation is from. While there have been other animations that have been anti-war, none of them have been as gritty or realistic as Grave of the Fireflies.
- Excellent soundtrack. It's appropriately grim and dooming.
- The movie has a very emotional ending.
Grave of the Fireflies has been praised over the years as one of Studio Ghibli's absolute best and most emotional. The movie has a 97% critic rating and 95% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 4.3/5 on Letterboxd, and a 8.5/10 on the International Movie Database.