The Grave of the Fireflies tells us that victory is shallow comfort for what is lost during a war.
Seita and Setsuko survive an air raid. But without their mother, they’re forced to live with a selfish aunt. She lectures them for being freeloaders while taking advantage of the food they brought in. Her family turns a blind eye as she gives healthy portions for them and only rice for the siblings. Fed up, Seita decides to run away with his sister and live on their own.
The movie showed an unrestrained harrowing tale of a brother and sister as they cling to their orphaned lives. There is no happy ending here as the war takes everything away from them. There are a few light moments as the siblings find joy in their independence but ultimately the inevitable happens.
The movie has simple hand-drawn animation yet it heightens everything from war-torn scenes to the siblings’ deteriorating state.
In the end, even if you know that the characters are not going to survive, it hits you like death always does – inevitable, humbling, and sad. The film is a powerful message which shows how war fails its purpose – to protect the innocent.
The Grave of the Fireflies
The Grave of the Fireflies is a depressing powerful film that shows victory is shallow comfort for what's lost in war.