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
1,299 ( 33)
Top Rated Movies #46 | 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tsutomu Tatsumi Tsutomu Tatsumi ... Seita (voice)
Ayano Shiraishi Ayano Shiraishi ... Setsuko (voice)
Yoshiko Shinohara Yoshiko Shinohara ... Mother (voice)
Akemi Yamaguchi Akemi Yamaguchi ... Aunt (voice)
Kôzô Hashida Kôzô Hashida ... Obayashi Chairman (voice)
Masayo Sakai Masayo Sakai ... Woman who takes care of Setsuko (voice)
Kazumi Nozaki Kazumi Nozaki ... Cousin (voice)
Yoshio Matsuoka Yoshio Matsuoka ... Gosaku (voice)
Masahiro Kanetake Masahiro Kanetake ... Aunt's house guest (voice)
Kiyoshi Yanagawa Kiyoshi Yanagawa ... Patrolman (voice)
Hajime Maki Hajime Maki ... Man who arrests Seita (voice)
Atsuo Omote Atsuo Omote ... Person in bank (voice)
Teruhisa Harita Teruhisa Harita ... Station worker (voice)
Hiroshi Tanaka Hiroshi Tanaka ... Person in bank (voice)
Michio Denpô Michio Denpô ... Station worker / Doctor (voice)
Edit

Storyline

The story of Seita and Setsuko, 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

Did You Know?

Trivia

The main character Seita looks directly into the audience twice; at the beginning and at the end, before shifting his sight. This implies that he can in fact see us and is retelling his 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 Animated Movies for Adults (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
The best movie you'll never want to see again
26 August 2001 | by NogamiSee 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.


967 of 1,002 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 805 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

Japan | USA

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:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed