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Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Hotaru no haka (original title)
Not Rated | | Animation, Drama, War | 16 April 1988 (Japan)
A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
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Top Rated Movies #58 | 3 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Tatsumi ...
Seita (voice)
Ayano Shiraishi ...
Setsuko (voice)
Yoshiko Shinohara ...
Mother (voice)
Akemi Yamaguchi ...
Aunt (voice)
Tadashi Nakamura ...
(voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marcy Bannor ...
Aunt (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
...
Mother (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
...
Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
...
Additional Voices (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
...
Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
...
Doctors / Old Man (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Adam Gibbs ...
Seita (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
...
Additional Voices (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Amy Jones ...
Aunt (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Susan O. Koozin ...
Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice) (as Susan Koozin)
Edit

Storyline

The story of Seita and Satsuko, two young Japanese siblings, living in the declining days of World War II. When an American firebombing separates the two children from their parents, the two siblings must rely completely on one another while they struggle to fight for their survival. Written by Kyle Perez

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 April 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Grave of the Fireflies  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (as Dolby Stereo) (theatrical print)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

From the start of production, director Isao Takahata wanted to cast appropriately aged children in the roles of Seita and Setsuko. Because the film takes place in Kobe, the search was limited to the Kansai region of Japan in order to find children who spoke the proper dialect. He was introduced to Ayano Shiraishi through a regional children's acting company, and he decided to cast her as Setsuko after only hearing two sentences: "My name is Ayano Shriraishi. I am five years old." He was later told by one of the company's leaders that they expected that Ayano was too young for the role, and so those were the only lines she had been instructed to recite in the audition. See more »

Goofs

Right at the beginning, someone places what looks like a rice ball loosely wrapped in some tree bark as a protective cover next to the boy known as Seita. The scene cuts to Seita's face and soon after he collapses, the wrapped rice ball is nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Seita: September 21, 1945... that was the night I died.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Scrolls to Screen: A Brief History of Anime (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Gunkan kôshinkyoku
(Warship March)
Written by Tôkichi Setoguchi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
More moving than you could ever expect
3 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

This film is utterly emotionally draining whilst being rewarding at the same time.

The animation is both realistic and stylized but that's not the point, the main focus of this film is the character development of the brother and sister protagonists. Their relationship is nothing short of beautiful and touching.

And without spoiling anything I have to say that this film touched me in a way no other film has ever touched me in my adult life. One or two films have upset me and reduced me to watery eyes but Grave of the Fireflies had me in fits of sobbing despair. I was a mess! I'm talking total emotional breakdown. Couldn't talk without sobbing! One of the best films I have EVER seen, animated or not.


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