Studio Ghibli is one of the greatest animation film studios and has delivered some wonderful movies over the years. However, no Studio Ghibli film has been more powerful or packed a greater emotional punch than Grave of the Fireflies.

Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies was written and directed by Isao Takahata and was based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Akiyuki Nosaka.

Set in Japan during World War II, Grave Of The Fireflies focuses on Seita and his little sister Setsuko. After their mother is killed in an air raid and with their father serving in the navy, they are forced to fight for survival in the devastated Japanese countryside.

Food and shelter are scarce, and even their own relatives are too concerned with their own survival. All they have is each other and their belief that life must carry on.

While Studio Ghibli is no stranger to tackling the theme of war in their movies, no Ghibli movie has tackled this issue with the graphic and emotional depth seen in Grave of the Fireflies, which looked at the negative consequences of war on society like never before.

But what is so interesting about this movie, is you never actually see a battle or an army, despite the war being the enemy of the film. Instead, the film focuses on the effects on the countryside, which is far removed from the front line, showing the impact the war has on the ordinary person and the struggles that they faced on a daily basis.

While many of the Studio Ghibli movies, although regularly depicting war, do contain a strong element of fantasy to them however this isn't present in Grave of the Fireflies as it tries to bring home the very strong message of the horrors of war.

At times, Grave of the Fireflies is very hard to watch as these two children suffer and desperately try to survive. It's amazing that even back in 1988, before the technological advancement in animation, that a movie in this genre was able to evoke such a powerful emotion from its audience.

It's a moving tribute to those people that movies often never depict... the Japanese people who suffered because of the actions and crimes of their leaders. This is possibly the most human cartoon you will ever see and it will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.

It's powerful message and imagery has elevated this movie from being a mere cartoon, to a film that is now considered one of the best anti-war pictures and best war movies ever made.

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