Japanese Title: Hotaru no Haka
Also Known As: GotF, GotFF, Graveyard of the Fireflies, Grave
Genre: Drama
Format: 1 Movie
Allegiance: Studio Ghibli
Director: Takahata Isao
Vintage: 1988
Intelligence Agency Report by: Munky
Near the end of World War II, American air-raids on Japan threatened many lives. After losing their mother, 14 year old Seita and his baby sister Setsuko are forced to live on their own. The harsh war times make it difficult to find food, or get help from neighbours and family. Finding it hard to get nutrition, toiletries, and other needed services, death and starvation seems to be the only way out.

Field Agent Report by: Munky
Plot
Characters
Impact
Visual
Audio
9.00
9.25
9.75
8.25
7.50
Overall 9.25

This anime, based on Nosaka Akiyuki’s semi-autobiographical novel Hotaru no Haka, at first, had me little skeptical of getting it because I don’t like war films at all. Though this anime takes place in war times, it is not all about fighting. This anime is about the harsh reality of what everyday citizens face during a war crisis. The epic story is indeed a sad one that will have anybody crying like a baby. The art may seem a little low quality and grainy because it’s a 15 year old movie, but the animation is amazing, especially for its time.

I watched this anime for the second time with some friends of mine. We were watching it, cracking jokes about random things during the movie, but towards the end, one of my friends looked up and said, “I’d make a joke, but it’s just so sad!”. And he was right. The movie had gotten to the point to where if you joked about the situation, then you were seriously sick minded. During the parts when Setsuko was whining about different things, she was just a little girl, it seemed real. Even though it made me want to slap her, and tell her to be quiet, it was still very well done. I felt every emotion. And I loved every minute of it.

This anime will make you cry, make you laugh, and everything in between. It is definitely a great title and worth a checking out. The artwork may not be much by today’s standards, but it still looks beautiful and is worth appreciating. I urge you to run to the store and buy the Collector’s Edition immediately.