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Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Hotaru no haka (original title)
Unrated | | Animation, Drama, War | 16 April 1988 (Japan)
A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.



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Top Rated Movies #60 | 3 wins. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Tatsumi ...
Seita (voice)
Ayano Shiraishi ...
Setsuko (voice)
Yoshiko Shinohara ...
Mother (voice)
Akemi Yamaguchi ...
Aunt (voice)
Tadashi Nakamura ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marcy Bannor ...
Aunt (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Mother (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Luci Christian ...
Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Shannon Conley ...
Additional Voices (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Justin Doran ...
Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Doctors / Old Man (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Adam Gibbs ...
Dan Green ...
Additional Voices (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Amy Jones ...
Aunt (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Susan Koozin ...
Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)


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


Animation | Drama | War


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 April 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Grave of the Fireflies  »

Box Office


$3,700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (as Dolby Stereo) (theatrical print)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times considered it to be one of the best and most powerful war films and, in 2000, included it on his "Great Movies" list. See more »


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 »


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


Home Sweet Home
Written by H.R. Bishop (uncredited)
Performed by Amelita Galli-Curci
Courtesy of RCA Victor Red Seal, a division of BMG Classics
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The best movie you'll never want to see again
26 August 2001 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I had the fortune of being able to see Hotaru no Haka on the big-screen in Seattle a couple of years ago. It was truly the high-point of my film festival excursions. At the end of the movie, there was silence, absolute and total silence in the theater - and then, only an occasional sniffle until the end credits had finished rolling and the house lights came up. It would've seemed almost disrespectful to profane the silence with words.

Seeing a movie like this really changes attitudes about war - about who really suffers, and that the honor and glory is shallow comfort when you contemplate what has been lost in the struggle.

I've made the comment to my friends that if you ever see someone who isn't moved (usually to tears) by this movie, you've found someone without a soul. As difficult as it is to watch, turn off the phone, dim the lights, and immerse yourself in the film with ones you love - you will be a better person for it in the end.

There are many other reviews of this movie, and most of them are probably far more comprehensive than my own - I'll conclude by saying that this movie should required viewing at some point (as should the peace museums at Hiroshima and Nagasaki) for everyone.

When you see war and conflict in the news or read about it in the paper, think back to this movie - your perspective will probably be broadened, and your eyes opened a bit more.

I've only watched this movie about 4 times - it usually takes a year or so to "decompress" after watching it. To see it too often would lessen the impact, and that would be the worst possible thing to do to this movie.

529 of 550 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
one thing i never got about the story Bustr-1
Seita was not stupid nor selfish jenn4394
How many minutes did you cry? veeshman
Did anyone else feel this way days after watching it? thebedtimestory
Should I watch the English dubbed one billchat12
For those saying that Seita should've done this etc... feedererer-1
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