8.5/10
209,600
647 user 119 critic

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Hotaru no haka (original title)
Not Rated | | Animation, Drama, War | 26 July 1989 (USA)
Trailer
1:47 | Trailer
A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.

Director:

Isao Takahata

Writers:

Akiyuki Nosaka (novel), Isao Takahata
Reviews
Popularity
1,475 ( 52)
Top Rated Movies #51 | 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
Your Name. (2016)
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Two strangers find themselves linked in a bizarre way. When a connection forms, will distance be the only thing to keep them apart?

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryô Narita
Animation | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Warrior and 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
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young man is ostracized by his classmates after he bullies a deaf girl to the point where she moves away. Years later, he sets off on a path for redemption.

Director: Naoko Yamada
Stars: Miyu Irino, Saori Hayami, Aoi Yûki
Porco Rosso (1992)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1930s Italy, a veteran World War I pilot is cursed to look like an anthropomorphic pig.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Shûichirô Moriyama, Tokiko Katô, Bunshi Katsura Vi
Akira (1988)
Animation | Action | Drama
    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 who can only be stopped by two teenagers and a group of psychics.

Director: Katsuhiro Ôtomo
Stars: Mitsuo Iwata, Nozomu Sasaki, Mami Koyama
Animation | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A 15-year-old boy and 27-year-old woman find an unlikely friendship one rainy day in the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.

Director: Makoto Shinkai
Stars: Miyu Irino, Kana Hanazawa, Fumi Hirano
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
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caregiver.

Directors: Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano
Stars: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A filmmaker recalls his childhood when falling in love with the pictures at the cinema of his home village and forms a deep friendship with the cinema's projectionist.

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore
Stars: Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili
Whiplash (2014)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student's potential.

Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist
Oldboy (2003)
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-Tae Yoo, Hye-jeong Kang
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Tatsumi Tsutomu Tatsumi ... Seita (voice)
Ayano Shiraishi Ayano Shiraishi ... Setsuko (voice)
Yoshiko Shinohara Yoshiko Shinohara ... Mother (voice)
Akemi Yamaguchi Akemi Yamaguchi ... Aunt (voice)
Tadashi Nakamura Tadashi Nakamura ... (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marcy Bannor Marcy Bannor ... Aunt (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Shelley Calene-Black ... Mother (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Luci Christian ... Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Shannon Conley ... Additional Voices (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Justin Doran Justin Doran ... Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Crispin Freeman ... Doctors / Old Man (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Adam Gibbs Adam Gibbs ... Seita (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Dan Green ... Additional Voices (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Amy Jones Amy Jones ... Aunt (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Susan O. Koozin 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

26 July 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Grave of the Fireflies See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$158,101, 12 August 2018

Gross USA:

$516,962

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$516,962
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Dolby (as Dolby Stereo) (theatrical print)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was released on 16 April 1988, over 20 years from the publication of the short story. 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 WatchMojo: Top 10 Movies from Japan (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Heartbreaking...
3 January 2006 | by Teebs2See all my reviews

This film proves without any doubt that animation isn't just suited to tales of fantasy, sci-fi or cartoon comedy and violence. This absolutely heartbreaking Japanese anime tells the story of a young boy, Seito and his younger sister, Setsuko, as they attempt to survive the American bombings on Japan in the last year of World War II.

The story itself, based on a true story, is powerful enough but the decision to animate the film truly elevates this film to a higher level. This would have been a powerful enough live action drama, along the lines of Spielberg's Empire of the Sun or even Schindler's List. However, the Studio Ghibli team, have brought an extraordinary amount of life to all the characters, but especially the young siblings. Now we're not talking realism as such here - the characters are in no way photo-realistic, they do have the usual characteristics of Japanese anime humans, large eyes and exaggerated expressions. What this achieves however is a heightened level of subtle nuances in expression which are arguably more powerful and provocative than anything a real-life actor may achieve. Some may claim this is overly manipulative or sentimental, but coupled with the characters movements and actions, it gives the characters such a strong, and very human, presence. You truly care for these kids, which is an astonishing achievement. The voice cast (original Japanese) contributes significantly here also.

It is the tiny moments which give this film so much power and emotional depth - from subtle expressions to brief scenes showing Seito playing with his sister at bath time, attempting, unsuccessfully, to cheer her up when she misses her mother. The painted backgrounds are works of art in themselves, just beautiful. And of course the scenes with the fireflies bring a touch of pure magic - a heightened innocent reality to contrast the horrific realities of the war.

The greatest achievement of this film is that, apart from a couple of obviously sentimental scenes, such as Setsuko's sobbing or illness, it doesn't force any false emotion on the viewer. It really comes from your involvement with the characters. It's completely honest to it's own story and even cuts off scenes abruptly, which could potentially have been milked for cheap sentiment. It often seems to say - This is what happened, you don't need to see anymore. Another of it's strengths is that it really doesn't comment on the politics of the war in any way, just the effects on innocent people.

This is an intensely moving film and a masterpiece of animation. If you aren't moved by these characters, you really need to check your pulse. 10/10


108 of 114 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 647 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed