Grave of the Fireflies Movie Review

Grave of the Fireflies is a Japanese animated film set in Kobe. The plot revolves around the aftermath of a bombing, which is thought to be a metaphor for what occurred in Japan during World War I. The first scene in this film is of Seita dead in a subway station, which sets the tone for the rest of the film. This film exposes the truth of how war can change people. War robs us of our humanity by turning us greedy and inhuman. When Setsuko and Seita are in desperate circumstances and have no one to look after them, this is obvious
The film’s title is derived from a scene in which the two catch fireflies so as to use them to light the cave they were living. The following morning, Seita wakes up to find Setsuko burying the fireflies carefully. This grave of fireflies is a symbol of how she thought their mother was laid to rest. The harsh conditions of life wear their desire to live.

Seita plays a significant role in this film acting as the responsible yang boy. He gives hope to his sister and creates happy moments from the least expected situations. For instance, at some point, he grabs an air bubble with a rag and releases it to Setsuko. The delight on her face triggers emotions. This movie depicts Seita as a caring brother that brings, therefore, to the understanding that Setsuko was in good hands. The fact that their relatives were not willing to accommodate them shows that the two had endured a lot of suffering yet they were still able to find delight in each other’s company. As the film starts by showing Seita dead, it only leaves the audience guessing Setsuko’s fate because their survival relied on Seita’s ingenuity.

Work Cited

“Grave of the Fireflies”, Isao Takahata. Studio Ghibli Shinchosha, 1988.

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