Friday, August 26, 2011

Grave of the Fireflies - review

Grave of the Fireflies is the most moving film I've ever seen.  Throughout my 29 years on this earth, I've come across a handful of films that really touched me.  They were the cream of the crop, the movies that managed to stir something up in my soul and forever change thew way I feel about certain topics.  After watching Grave of the Fireflies, I've been changed in a big way.  I've never gotten this deep of a feeling from a film.  It's absolutely, without a doubt, one of the best films ever created.

Grave of the Fireflies transcends the anime genre, and the film genre for that matter.  It doesn't matter whether you call it a film or an anime.  Labeling it with just that one term would be a huge insult.  Grave of the Fireflies manages to reach out and grab the viewer, and it takes you on a journey you are not going to want to be a part of.  The film makes you uncomfortable and sad, moreso than any other movie I've seen.  It's for those reasons that you'll never, ever forget the message that Grave of the Fireflies sends.

What is that message?  That's up to each viewer to decide.  With that said, I don't see how anyone in this world could watch this anime and not come away with some sort of strong feelings.  You'll most likely think about war or humanity in some very different ways.  Grave of the Fireflies forces us to see the dark corners of the world...the kind of stuff that people want to forget about.  You are going to see people do terrible're going to see terrible things happen to good people.  This film shows you just how sick the world can be, but the thing that really makes it stand out is that everything you see is believable.

There's no giant monster to fight here.  There's no villain that the heroes have to take down.  This is a tale of the world we live in right now.  You'll see how everyday people can be pushed to their limits, which ends up changing their way of life.  Honest, hard-working folks can be scared into becoming cold, bitter shells of their former selves.  You'll see how people will turn their backs on one another when it comes down to protecting themselves and their families.  The true monster in this film is realizing that the wonderful world we live in could be shattered in just a few minutes, leaving you with no where to go and without the basic necessities you need to live.

I've never cried so hard at a film before in my life.  There have been plenty of movies that made me tear up, but Grave of the Fireflies really pulled out the emotion within me from deep down.  It's a slow build as the movie rolls on, and you're just hit so hard one right after the other with bad situations that it's near impossible not to let loose with some of that emotion.  I could easily imagine some viewers crying throughout the entire movie.  It's definitely a tough film to watch, which goes to show just how amazing it is.  Never have I seen a film convey emotions like this, and in some ways torture the viewer.  It's an amazing triumph for cinema, and it comes from an animation, no less.

Grave of the Fireflies is going to be a very tough film for many of you to watch.  Please know what you're getting into before you view.  It's not going to be a happy film to watch.  With that said, I believe it to be a film that everyone should see, especially those that appreciate cinema, anime and human interest stories.  I can't tell you how deeply I appreciate Grave of the Fireflies.  Everything it does exemplifies the best that cinema has to offer.  To see an anime provide this kind of experience is quite a sight to behold.  I know it's a rather cliche line, but I truly believe that Grave of the Fireflies is a movie that absolutely must be seen.  You cannot go through life without experiencing this.


  1. Hmm, I like the review but I think there are some mistakes. First of all, I don't really like the "
    What is that message? That's up to each viewer to decide." It depends. There are surely some things that are up to the viewer, but there are also precise messages from the author. In the case of this movie, I'd go with Takahata's words: "Today, the bonds among family members and the sense of community among neighbors have been weakened. Instead, we are protected by the several layers of social protection/control. We put mutual noninterference as the basis of our relationships, and try to find our own tenderness in playful but inessential consideration towards others. It doesn't have to be a war. If a big disaster hits us and the social restraints are destroyed, without an idea that makes people help each other or cooperate, it would be inevitable that people will become wolves towards others in such raw human relationships. It shadders me to think that I can be on either side. Even if one tries to escape from human relationships and tries to live alone with his sister, how many boys, or people, can keep sustaining their sisters as long as Seita did?"
    So yes, when you said
    "You'll see how people will turn their backs on one another when it comes down to protecting themselves and their families." That is correct. But at the same time, Takahata shows what would happen to a (contemporary) boy that in a difficult time escapes from the stress of the social relationships and tries to save the situation alone. It is indeed a great movie, anyway.

  2. You make it sound like a good movie, but I don't want to see a movie that just makes you cry the whole time for nothing. There has to be a resolution or something that makes it worth it to cry so much. I hope there is at the end.

  3. the message of the movie I infer is we are living in a world where somebody at the power center, whose aim is to rule the whole human race are indeed making a mockery of simple and happy lives of many common people who are just happy with what they have and a their families , the kids lost their father in war ,war for whose sake should this kids father has to fight its not at least for his family, their mother is killed in air raids again what did people do, and why raids on innocents,its just to display the vulgar supremacy of intelligence to other , to destroy common people life, ... we are just living in a world wherein we are tuned to obey the decisions of few damn damn bloody fools who think they are born with a purpose and create havoc with human race....its high time common people should question why war before going and if war is not justified the person who got the idea of war should be killed so that may kids and families live in peace.... no govt has the right to take way the life of others just in the name of national pride.... no war, hell with war ...... don't take pride in using strength against anybody without a purpose , japan was wrong for initiating war, us was wrong for bombing common people who are no way related to war and the world is wrong for celebrating victory .....after all we killed innocents on all side either solders or their families but no one killed the one who were responsible for war

  4. its a wonderful heart touching movie , and i really wanted to see the kids come to life again......