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Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Hotaru no haka (original title)
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1:47 | Trailer

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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
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Popularity
2,134 ( 39)
Top Rated Movies #55 | 3 wins. See more awards »

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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)
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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 »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

16 April 1988 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Grave of the Fireflies See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,700,000 (estimated)
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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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 Siskel & Ebert: That's Not All, Folks! (1999) 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

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User Reviews

 
A magnificent piece of work and one of the most heartbreaking tales ever told
7 January 2005 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Animation is often seen as a childish medium, and for good reason as kid's films often are animated. However, every now and then an animated film comes along that extends it's boundaries and manages to deliver a very adult story, and Grave of the Fireflies is one of those films. Through it's well observed and very real characters, Grave of the Fireflies portrays a story of loss, heartbreak and the effect of war on civilians in a manner that is more effective and more firmly based in reality than many live action films about the same subject are. We follow Seita and Setsuko, a brother and sister that have lost their parents in the war and are now forced to fend for themselves in the war torn country. How the two go about doing that and the boy's development from a child to a (somewhat) responsible adult due to the change in the surroundings makes up the spine of the movie.

I'm not a big fan of animation, but there are some films that are so great that a person's personal preferences are irrelevant, and this is one of those films. The animation is beautiful and certain scenes, including the air raids and anything with the fireflies are amazing works of art. The way the music blends with the images on screen is haunting and beautiful, and helps add to the tragedy of the story. Because we are able to care for the characters, the tragedy is increased ten fold and the story on the whole is a sad one, but few movies have ever matched up to this film's ending in terms of pure despair. The conclusion is absolutely gut wrenching to an extent that few movies have ever matched, let alone animated pictures. The fact that it's so plain and blatant, with no attempt to console the audience takes the tragedy to a whole new level and I don't doubt that many audience members will be holding back tears upon the film's conclusion.

This film is a must see.


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