I finally got around to watching Grave of the Fireflies last night. We have a box set of Studio Ghibli anime films, mainly Miyazaki films like My Neighbour Totoro, Nausicaa and Princess Mononoke etc, but there are other directors involved with the studio. Fireflies was directed by Isao Takahata and is based on a semi-autobiographical novel by Nosaka Akiyuki. It was originally released in 1988 at the same time as Totoro.

It's definitely an anti-war film, sad and quiet with flashes of horror. It tells the story of a young boy who tries to look after his little sister during the period when Japan was being firebombed in 1945. Unlike the Miyazaki films, which I love, this one is realistic anime but it, too, has a focus on the natural world and the story of young people caught up in great upheavals. The animation isn't spectacular but the overall feel - the complexity of emotions and the detail and quiet movement of many of the scenes - is what makes this film. I'm told that the drawing was done with brown ink rather than black and there are references to Japanese wood block prints in the detail. The final scene, using a version of the song 'Home Sweet Home', is almost too much to bear. Although it's presumably a kids' film, I would think it's not at all suitable for young kiddies as it would be very distressing. Heck, I was distressed. The fireflies are very beautiful, however. Worth tracking down on DVD if you can.


Andrew Burke said…
Hey, Jill, nicely informative post ... I don't know much about that area so I'm pleased to have guidance. Although the days are too short and I'm already fighting the clock for more hours in the day ...

But I was gunna really post a comment to say they (blog readers) don't post many comments do they! It's a bit silent over my way ... The 'anonymous' button may be the answer with some of them as you suggested earlier.

Hope the patient is behaving :-) Unconditional love is a stretch, ain't it!

Jill Jones said…
As a rule there's not huge amounts of comment on most blogs, unless you've said things people want to argue with. Doesn't worry me. It's there if people want to add something or respond to something. Perhaps the dialogue builds slowly.

Patient is now asleep, I think. I will have to go back to work tomorrow but luckily the long weekend approaches.

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