Grave Of The Fireflies (1988)

logoDirector: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata (Screenplay) Akiyuki Nosaka (Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Yoshiko Shinohara, Akemi Yarmaguchi


Plot: Seita and Setsuko are brother and sister during World War 2 Japan. After their mother dies during an air raid they are left with an Aunt, but after she starts pushing them away by not treating them the same as her own children they have to learn to look after each other during the hard times. They have to struggle through hoping that their father will return from war to save them.


Verdict: A beautiful tragedy

Story: Simply put wow, this has everything you would never expect to see in an animated film. The struggle both the characters face just to survive a horrendous situation with a tragic outcome that will test everyone’s emotional levels. I feel the story is very important as it shows how children have to deal with the loss of family during war without having a supporting family they will be left to look after themselves. (10/10)


Character Review: Seita – Big brother whose opening lines tell you just how much of a tragic story you are about to witness. He struggles to just put food in his little sister’s mouth during the hard times. (9/10)


Character Review: Setsuko – Little sister whose innocence is taken by the war where she is not quite old enough to truly understand the situation but gives enough to know her brother is giving everything to make sure she survives. (9/10)


Director Review: Isao TakahataThis piece of direction is absolutely stunning (10/10)


Drama: Showing the struggle perfectly. (10/10)

Animation: Brilliant animated film with some of the most tragic scenes in animated film history. (10/10)

Believability: These sorts of things would have been happening during world war two and that make this even more painful to watch. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: Most people will end up shedding a tear or two by the end of this film. (8/10)

Settings: War time Japan creates a very dark setting for this tragic story. (9/10)


Suggestion: This is one of the most important animated films I have ever seen that everyone should watch to understand and be grateful for where they are now in life. (Watch)


Best Part: Seita gives his sister some of the remaining fruit drops she loves and she realises that is all she will get, so she eats just the crumb parts and save the rest.

Worst Part: The Aunt

Action Scene of the Film: The air raid is action packed.

The War scene
The War scene

Trivia: This is the only Ghibili theatrical feature not be part of the Disney-Tokuma Deal.

Oscar Chances: Didn’t Get an nominations

Chances of Sequel: No


Overall: Masterpiece in tragic cinema story telling.


Rating 95

Leave a Reply