Grave of the Fireflies: Why Do They Die So Fast?

GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES

GENRE: Drama

DIRECTOR: Isao Takahata

WRITER: Isao Takahata

YEAR:  1988

COUNTRY: Japan

Alright everybody, Anime club is back on. I finally was able to catch up on my anime list, and I decided to start with a classic. Grave of the Fireflies is one of the anime films that has been on top of many peoples’ top ten lists. I finally decided to give it a viewing, it took me all day as I kept getting interrupted but I was very satisfied.

Grave of the Fireflies is a 1988 Japanese animated drama film directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli. The film is set post World War II Japan and follows teenager Seita and his younger sister Setsuko. After the United States bombs the city of Kobe, Seita and Setsuko’s mother dies amid the chaos. Seita and Setsuko are essentially orphaned, since their father is serving in the Imperial navy. After temporarily staying with a distant Aunt, they are thrown out due to shortening rations. They take shelter in an abandoned bomb shelter, and the film follows their final days before dying of starvation.

Grave of the Fireflies is one of the saddest films that I have ever viewed, and probably the saddest film I have reviewed on this site. There have been very few films that have made me feel such sadness and sympathy for these characters. Not since Adrien Brody’s The Jacket have I felt such films. Besides the absolute pathos shown in this film, I have to remark that the voice acting is spectacular, especially in the English dub. The film is also very beautiful and the ambiance is remarkable.

Honestly, this last paragraph is going to be incredibly short. There isn’t really anything I didn’t like about Grave of the Fireflies. Except, I hated the Aunt. I felt that she was justified, but I hated her still.

PROS:

  • Sympathy, Emotions, and Pathos
  • Beautiful atmosphere, ambiance
  • Dramatic Tone
  • Overwhelming Sadness

CONS:

  • Fuck their Aunt!

SCORES: 10 / 10

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