Happy anniversary, Grave of the Fireflies!

Happy anniversary, Grave of the Fireflies

There have been so many different types of Japanese animation series throughout the decades. However, every once in a while there is an anime that everyone watches that tugs at your soul and heart strings. One of those movies recently had an anniversary on April 16th, which was 29 years ago. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, the name of the movie is Grave of the Fireflies.

When I was younger, Japanese animation wasn’t as readily available as it is today. In fact, you’d have to go to special video stores that stocked their shelves with VHS tapes or Chinese DVDs that included poorly translated subtitles. Nowadays, you can’t turn a corner without seeing Pikachu’s chubby little face smooshed up against other Pokemon. Japanese animation is as much a part of pop culture as Brittney Spears is to music.

Grave of the Fireflies still has the same emotional pull even for today’s standards, even with the release year of 1988. It’s not your typical Shonen or Shoujo style animation where the characters will power up for 37 episodes to blow each other up or try to date each other. As enjoyable as those are, Grave of the Fireflies was more of a period piece. In fact, the anime would translate well into a live-action movie.

What makes Grave of the Fireflies important? The simplification of the story. It basically revolves around two orphan siblings during World War II in Japan. History teaches us that Japan was a bloodthirsty empire at the time bent on trying to conquer the eastern part of the world. It never taught us what it was like for the average everyday person in Japanese society. This is where Grave of the Fireflies comes into play.

Throughout the movie, these two orphaned siblings do everything that they possibly can to survive their war-torn country. From gathering food to finding shelter, it showed exactly what war is: hell. Children weren’t made to care for themselves, that’s why they have parents to guide them through the hardships of life. All these two siblings had were each other to turn to, and no one to properly protect them or guide them.

Without giving away anything from the movie, the storyline progresses with each scene only to display how unfair life really is. Especially for a toddler amidst a world that’s crumbling around them. The 1940s was a simpler time, but a harder time as well. What these two have to go through in order to wake up the next day really beats at your chest.

If you do decide to watch this classic Japanese animation, you will not be disappointed. I will give you fair warning though: don’t expect a happy ending with candy in the sky and fireworks. There is candy in the movie, but that candy will taste bitter and sour. Much like the tears you’ll shed once you watch this piece.

Happy anniversary, Grave of the Fireflies!

Source: Grave of the Fireflies

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