8.5/10
134,361
501 user 156 critic

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
Reviews
Popularity
1,759 ( 186)

On Disc

at Amazon

Top Rated Movies #60 | 3 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami's curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Yôji Matsuda, Yuriko Ishida, Yûko Tanaka
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Sumi Shimamoto, Mahito Tsujimura, Hisako Kyôda
Porco Rosso (1992)
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The adventures of "Porco Rosso", a veteran WW1 pilot in 1930s Italy, who has been cursed to look like an anthropomorphic pig.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Shûichirô Moriyama, Tokiko Katô, Bunshi Katsura Vi
Animation | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Hideaki Anno, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Miori Takimoto
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her - but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

Director: Isao Takahata
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A high-school girl named Makoto acquires the power to travel back in time, and decides to use it for her own personal benefits. Little does she know that she is affecting the lives of others just as much as she is her own.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Riisa Naka, Takuya Ishida, Mitsutaka Itakura
Akira (1988)
Animation | Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two kids and a group of psychics can stop.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Stars: Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama, Mitsuo Iwata
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Told in three interconnected segments, we follow a young man named Takaki through his life as cruel winters, cold technology, and finally, adult obligations and responsibility converge to test the delicate petals of love.

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Kenji Mizuhashi, Yoshimi Kondou, Satomi Hanamura
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In a mythical land, a man and a young boy investigate a series of unusual occurrences.

Director: Gorô Miyazaki
Stars: Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Mariska Hargitay
Pom Poko (1994)
Animation | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A community of magical shape shifting raccoon dogs desperately struggle to prevent their forest home from being destroyed by urban development.

Director: Isao Takahata
Stars: Shinchô Kokontei, Makoto Nonomura, Yuriko Ishida
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A 27-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tôkyô.

Director: Isao Takahata
Stars: Miki Imai, Toshirô Yanagiba, Youko Honna
Rashomon (1950)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Director: Akira Kurosawa
Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Tatsumi ...
Seita (voice)
Ayano Shiraishi ...
Setsuko (voice)
Yoshiko Shinohara ...
Mother (voice)
Akemi Yamaguchi ...
Aunt (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Shannon Conley ...
Additional Voices (voice)
...
Doctors / Old Man (voice)
Dan Green ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Amy Jones ...
Aunt (voice)
George Leaver ...
Additional Voices (voice)
...
Setsuko (voice) (as Rhoda Chrosite)
J. Robert Spencer ...
Seita (voice)
...
Additional Voices (voice)
Veronica Taylor ...
Mother (voice)
Edit

Storyline

Setsuko and Seita are brother and sister living in wartime Japan. After their mother is killed in an air raid they find a temporary home with relatives. Having quarreled with their aunt they leave the city and make their home in an abandoned shelter. While their soldier father's destiny is unknown, the two must depend on each other to somehow keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. When everything is in short supply, they gradually succumb to hunger and their only entertainment is the light of the fireflies. Written by Corrected by Liron

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

japan | shelter | food | boy | hunger | See All (253) »

Genres:

Animation | Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 April 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Grave of the Fireflies  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,700,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (as Dolby Stereo) (theatrical print)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was originally intended as a sort-of double feature with another Ghibli movie, My Neighbor Totoro (1988). Ghibli's parent company reasoned that Totoro's tie-in with a movie with more educational merit would guarantee its inclusion in the list of summer's recommended movies for school children. 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 AMV Hell (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

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

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
More moving than you could ever expect
3 February 2005 | by (Australia) – 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.


340 of 365 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Seita was not stupid nor selfish jenn4394
To me this movie is aweful merelientje
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
How much of this was real? no_doubt_rocks
Discuss Grave of the Fireflies (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?