Grave of the Fireflies opens on an evening in 1945, after Japan's surrender at the end of World War II; and in a train station, the young Seita dies alone. The rest of the movie tells us, in flashback, how things have come to this. Seita and Setsuko are two young Japanese children growing up in the waning days of World War II. Much to Seita's pride, their father is in the Japanese navy, and they live fairly content lives in Kobe despite rationing and the other privations of war. When their mother dies from burns suffered during an American fire-bombing raid, a distant aunt takes them in -- and conflict eventually forces the children to try to survive on their own. At first, Seita and his little sister enjoy their idyllic lives in the country, but harsh reality eventually settles in as Seita begins to understand the difficulties of taking care of a young child when both food and compassion are scarce.~Emru Townsend
Isao Takahata is my favorite director of Studio Ghibli's and an integral part of why they are the best animated movie company in the world. He is responsible for masterpieces such as Princess Kaguya and Only Yesterday, but Grave of the Fireflies might just be his best and most profound movie. It is one of my personal Ghibli favorites, up there with When Marnie Was There. It might be a little slow for the younger kids but middle school and high school age could appreciate it as well as adults. You know what's going to happen but there is a beauty in the way it is told that allows you to be completely transported to this situation and captivated throughout the entirety of its run time. Give it a watch and be blown away by the beauty in its simplicity.
Grave of the Fireflies is soul wrenching, I can only imagine how much harder it is to watch if you are a parent. It's an important film, and the one that's of Studio Ghibli's turnout, the hardest to watch.
One of the best films yet. It’s an emotional roller coaster, from start to finish. A touching heart warming yet again Tearjerker! You will cry and be moved by this film I guarantee!!! The impact it will have on you. I’ve watched the movie 3 times and it still pulls at my heart. It definitely captures the life of Japanese during WWII and the impact on the children. A truly must see film.