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Isao Takahata's powerful antiwar film has been praised by critics wherever it has been screened around the world. When their mother is killed in the firebombing of Tokyo near the end of World War II, teenage Seita and his little sister Setsuko are left on their own: their father is away, serving in the Imperial Navy. The two children initially stay with an aunt, but she has little affection for them and resents the time and money they require. The two children set up housekeeping in a cave by a stream, but their meager resources are quickly exhausted, and Seita is reduced to stealing to feed his sister. Despite his efforts, she succumbs to malnutrition. Seita painfully makes his way back to the devastated city where he quietly dies in a crowded railway station.

The strength of the film lies in Takahata's evenhanded portrayal of the characters. A sympathetic doctor, the greedy aunt, the disinterested cousins all know there is little they can do for Seita and Setsuko. Their resources, like their country's, are already overtaxed: anything they spare endangers their own survival. As in the Barefoot Gen films, no mention is made of Japan's role in the war as an aggressor; but the depiction of the needless suffering endured by its victims transcends national and ideological boundaries. --Charles Solomon

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CastTsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara, Rhoda Chrosite
DirectorIsao Takahata
Screen WriterIsao Takahata, Akiyuki Nosaka
DVD Release Date:  October 8, 2002
Runtime:  89 minutes
Studio:  Central Park Media Corporation (I) (II)
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review by . December 02, 2008
posted in ASIANatomy
Grave of the Fireflies is an adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel written by Akiyuki Nosaka. The novel and film are set near the end of World War II in Japan. The bulk of the story is told through flashbacks, and it is a story about two children trying to survive after the bombing of Kobe.    On the first disc of this set, you can watch a storyboard version of the film, in addition to the regular version. The second disc includes: an interview with Roger Ebert, interview …
review by . June 04, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
This is one of the most depressing and magnificent movies I have ever seen. The movie is about a boy and his sister around the time of the WWII Japan. Seita, a teenager, must take care of himself and his 4 year old sister, Setsuko. The must deal with bombings, hunger, taking care of themselves and surviving. The storytelling in this anime is emotionally charged, interesting and ....there are no words to describe how good it is. Although it is very sad, and had me in tears, this is a very good anime. …
Grave of the Fireflies (2-Disc Collector's
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