Last week I had a chance to rent one of the very few animes movies at my local Blockbuster. One of them happen to be the subject of this blog, and its one of the best anime movies I ever seen (look at a bunch). The name of the movie is Grave of The Fireflies:
This movie was originally made in the late 1980's, but was released to DVDs by A.D.V films this year. This movie doesn't have any top notch animation, but doesn't even require it. What drives this movie is the relationship between Seita (male above) and his little sister Setsuko. The movie takes place during the WWII era, and their lives are greatly effected by the war.
Scene at the beginning where they flee bombing planes
As the movie progresses the two start to become more dependent on each other.They windup living with relatives, but they soon leave due the lack of compassion from their aunt. The end up living in a bomb shelter were they promised to look after each other. Despite the tragedies going on around them Seita does wonderful job trying to be a good brother. While their parents are gone its Seita who has to fill in both roles as parents. The more hopeless the situation gets, the more determined he got to protect his sister from reality.
Some of the good times the two spent together.
Though Seita was a great support to his sister, the effects of the war continued to loom over them throughout the movie. Many food supplies were rationed, and the value of money plummeted.The hearts ofthe nations people also become cold, and indifferent to the duo's situation. Still Seita foundways to get around their hopeless situation ( by stealing).
A river they lived by in the later parts of the movie.
As the story progressed their living conditions become more unbearable, and forces Seita to risk his life to get their next meal. With everything thing going on Setsuko slowly loses hope, and clings desperately to her brother.
Setsuka waiting for her brother to return with food.
The movie was real eye opener to the effects that war has on it people. The bombing wasn't ultimately the primary threat the two faced, but crushed spirits of their countryman (and women). As the war progresses they recived less help from those around them and eventually they had to look after themselves. With no one to support they led solitary lives that eventually overcame them. I highly recommend that this movie be viewed with Kleenex's because of the many powerful scenes in this movie. Many of them were difficult to watch but came together beautifully in the end. Whether your touched by the story or not the struggles of these kids are unique and very tragic.
The fireflies play a significant role in the movie, and ironically symbolizes the two perfectly.
To those still reading I have a treat for ya. If you want to watch the move here a linkto a streamed version of the movie. Non-subscriber's to megavideo can only watch 45 minutes of the video, so keep that in mind (half now and half later). Anyway I'm tackling the move Voices of a Distant Star this week. It promises to be another emotionally charge move, so wish me luck.