Hotaru no haka


Grave of the Fireflies (1988) is a Japanese anime drama written and directed by Isao Takahata, animated by the World-acclaimed Studio Ghibli. I was drawn to this film via the Ghibli brand as well as a fascination with Japanese war-oriented films. 

Red. A young Japanese boy in uniform, depicted in a blood shade of red. A ghost; his voice opens with “September 21 1945, that was the night I died”. I feel uneasy. I know I’m in for it.

He stares at the emaciated body of his past life, lying in a train station in Kobe. Travellers voice their disgust at the “bums” of the train stations. Hollow, rasping breaths. A fly rests on his face, exhaustion cripples his ability to swat it away. A janitor pokes him with a mop…”another one…this ones a gonner…you can see it in their eyes”.  Fireflies dance around a tin thrown away by…

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