Title: Grave of the Fireflies / Hotaru no Haka / 火垂るの墓
Released: Apr 15, 1988
Produced by: Studio Ghibli
Duration: 1 hr. 28 min.
I was in for the biggest movie revelation / surprise / emotional roller coaster that I would experience while watching Grave of the Fireflies.
You follow Seita (14) and Setsuko (4) during the last part of World War 2 and after, when Japan lost to the Allies.
The movie is a flashback from the 21st of september 1945, where Seita is lying against a pillar in Sannomiya Station, he’s in ragged clothes and starving to death. He’s clutching a tin can for sweets and a janitor finds it, it’s only holding ashes and a few bones, so he throws it out. When it lands a group of fireflies fly away from it and the spirits of Seita and his sister Setsuko fly with them. Seita’s spirit narrates the story by going back to the beginning of the end.
Their dad is part of the Imperial Navy of Japan and is away fighting in the war. Their mother is the only one they have left. Their mother is suffering from a heart condition and is too weak to get away from a firebombing of their city and they lose her.
Below you can see some scenes from the movie:
The reason this post is so short:
I don’t want to get into too much detail about the story or what happens, but this is the first and only movie I’ve ever watched, where I was really crying during the movie. The movie is based on the story of a brother who lost his sister during the war and the story was his apology to her, many years after the war ended. Studio Ghibli then turned his story into a true masterpiece of the cinematic media. Everything just kept me enraptured.
I implore you to watch this incredible work of, I daresay art, it is simply an astounding production and even though it’s 24 years old, it is a timeless classic that is undeniably powerful. Even if you don’t like Japanese animation I still believe you should give this movie a try, if you get into the movie I promise you won’t let it go again. it’s that good!