8.1/10
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Hadashi no Gen (1983)

A powerful statement against war, Barefoot Gen is a disturbing story about the effect of the atomic bomb on a boy's life and the lives of the Japanese people.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Issei Miyazaki ...
Gen (voice)
Catherine Battistone ...
Gen (1995) (voice)
Yoshie Shimamura ...
Kimie (voice)
Iona Morris ...
Kimie (1995) (voice)
Masaki Kôda ...
Shinji / Ryuta (voice)
...
Shinji (1995) (voice) (as Brianne Siddal)
...
Ryuta (1995) (voice)
Takao Inoue ...
Daikichi (voice)
...
Daikichi (1995) (voice) (as Kurk Thornton)
Seiko Nakano ...
Eiko (voice)
...
Eiko (1995) (voice)
Takeshi Aono ...
Eizo (voice)
...
Eizo / Bully / Doctor / Easerly / Milk / Soup / Yama (1995) (voice) (as Amike McConnohie)
Katsuji Mori ...
Seiji (voice)
...
Seijo / Banzai / Bullied / Enola (1995) (voice)
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Storyline

Gen and his family are living in Hiroshima as Japan nears the end of World War II. Gen's father has come to believe that the war is unwinnable, thus earning the wrath of the town officials and, in turn, discrimination from the rest of their neighbors. Shunned by the local merchants and tradesmen, food becomes scarce for Gen and his family. All these concerns soon pale, however, as the American military begins its final assault on Japan with the unleashing of its terrible new weapon. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Bombing Of Hiroshima As Seen Through The Eyes Of A Boy.


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Details

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Release Date:

13 June 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barefoot Gen  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was part of a 1980s cycle of films about atomic bombs and nuclear warfare which had started in 1979 with The China Syndrome (1979). The films included Silkwood (1983), Testament (1983), Threads (1984), WarGames (1983), The Day After (1983), The Atomic Cafe (1982), The Manhattan Project (1986), Whoops Apocalypse (1982), Special Bulletin (1983), Ground Zero (1987), Barefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen (1983)), Rules of Engagement (1989), When the Wind Blows (1986), Letters from a Dead Man (Pisma myortvogo cheloveka (1986)), Memoirs of a Survivor (1981) and The Chain Reaction (1980). See more »

Goofs

When the boys are about to abandon Seiji, his hands are bare and his feet only partly bandaged. By the end of the scene, seconds later, his extremities are fully covered. See more »

Quotes

Gen Nakaoka: It's probably just another spy plane. They'll never bomb us, we're too boring.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hadashi no Gen 2 (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Grave of the Fireflies, with a Different Flavour
22 September 2000 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Many compare Grave of the Fireflies with Hadashi no Gen/Barefoot Gen. While there are certainly similarities, such as the timeline taking place near the end of the war with Japan, the main difference is that Grave deals mostly with the inhumanity of the Japanese people toward their own kind, while Gen revolves less on this than it does the overall horrors of the after-effects of the nuclear blast at Hiroshima. The hooks used in the respective animes are thus, quite different. While Grave makes one shake their head and wonder about how humanity is sacrificed on the altar of survival and self-centeredness, Gen rests heavily on the outright horror that the dropping of Fat Man unleashed on an entire population.

Animation styles are vastly different also. Grave was made in conjunction with Miyazaki of studio Ghibli (Totoro), and thus was very polished in appearance. Gen, on the other hand, has a mostly "old-fashioned" anime feeling, reminiscent of the "Golden Age of Anime" in the 80's, using devices that are very manga; overblown representations of runny noses and buckets of tears from characters, for example.

In the end, Hadashi no Gen should be on the shelf of every anime collector. When someone says to them that anime is "just for kids", pop this in the VCR and show them just how in-depth, heart wrenching and thought provoking simple pen and ink cells can become. You will have to watch it twice; it's hard to get all the nuances while wiping tears from your eyes.


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