I'm Rewatching Grave of the Fireflies...(SPOILERS)
Posted 2/23/16
and it is clear to me that, unlike the traditional coming of age story, Seita inadvertently caused him and his sister's death because he never did go back to his aunts house to apologize. This REALLY bothers me. In a way, Seita's pride, a certain degree of selfishness, and naivete causes his sisters death. Yet this antagonistic move is never really explored in depth by most viewers, who were saddened because "2 children starved to death". It seems rather exploitative in a way, offering us barely any food for thought to think about, at least for me, because the tragedy of war orphans could have been just as impactful if they lived through the ordeal. Really, this just feels like poorly veiled oscar bait.

And we have to examine why Seita and his sister left. Truth be told, its because Seita and his sister don't do anything around the house. It seems startingly justified in a way, because Seita is 13? I myself worked in the garden at that age.

So what are your thoughts on Grave of The Fireflies?
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Posted 2/23/16
First anime to make me shed a tear PV and it normally takes a lot for that to happen only other anime i can even think of that has also made me cry is Fruits Basket. GoTF is one of my favourite stand alone animes and i rate it up there with Spirited Away
Posted 2/23/16 , edited 2/23/16
My opinion is that your opinion of the movie isn't' as good as my opinion...and I haven't even seen the movie
Posted 2/23/16 , edited 2/23/16

potentsativa wrote:

My opinion is that your opinion of the movie isn't' as good as my opinion...and I haven't even seen the movie


Posted 2/23/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:


potentsativa wrote:

My opinion is that your opinion of the movie isn't' as good as my opinion...and I haven't even seen the movie




But I'm not a Pikachu
Posted 2/23/16 , edited 2/23/16

potentsativa wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:


potentsativa wrote:

My opinion is that your opinion of the movie isn't' as good as my opinion...and I haven't even seen the movie




But I'm not a Pikachu


You evolved post mortem.
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Posted 2/23/16 , edited 2/23/16
Another thing is that this is based off of the writers life. This really happened to him, minus the death of the main character. At the very least that's what I've been told.
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Posted 2/23/16 , edited 2/23/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

You evolved post mortem.


Did you just knock an evolution out of someone? How does that even happen?
Also, I watched Graveyard of the Fireflies once. I had six shots of Jack Daniels in me, think that was the minimum amount of buzzed I need to be to deal with something so grim.
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Posted 2/23/16 , edited 2/23/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:
Seita inadvertently caused him and his sister's death because he never did go back to his aunts house to apologize. This REALLY bothers me. In a way, Seita's pride, a certain degree of selfishness, and naivete causes his sisters death. Yet this antagonistic move is never really explored in depth by most viewers, who were saddened because "2 children starved to death". It seems rather exploitative in a way, offering us barely any food for thought to think about, at least for me, because the tragedy of war orphans could have been just as impactful if they lived through the ordeal. Really, this just feels like poorly veiled oscar bait.
And we have to examine why Seita and his sister left. Truth be told, its because Seita and his sister don't do anything around the house. It seems startingly justified in a way, because Seita is 13? I myself worked in the garden at that age.
So what are your thoughts on Grave of The Fireflies?


It got a lot of Evangelion Syndrome--"It's, like, so cool and different because it's DARK, not like stupid American cartoons; this is what you have to watch first, because this is what anime is ALL ABOUT!"--in the early days, back when it was the first Ghibli (okay, technically it counts as Ghibli even if it was a dreary old Takahata film) on video from CPM, back in the days when Disney wasn't releasing the "real" Ghiblis yet. It was, quite literally, All We Had apart from fansub bootlegs of the Miyazakis.
You can draw a chalk age line on the floor for a particular generation that says their "favorite" Ghibli is Fireflies, just like you draw one for those who say that Howl's Moving Castle is their favorite.

As for it being a "tragedy", I'm missing the point somewhat, and I suspect the Japanese do too--
"Tragedy" in the Western sense suggests that the hero's own ambition or faults sympathetically plays some part in his downfall from everyman to villain, like Macbeth or Oedipus. To the Japanese, whose mantra is "Mind your own business", "Tragedy" is more the sense that well, bad things happened during the War, that's history.
If there was some more sympathetic reason why our hero was a lazy bum who whined about no jobs in the war, and ran away to spite his parents--like if he became more conscious of the hole he'd dug for himself, or tried harder to climb out of it at the end to save his sister--then we could be sympathetic enough to mourn his downfall, but there isn't, and we don't. He ends up being a snotty bum who died in the gutter, but that's what wartime was like, eh, you young kids probably don't remember it.

Of the two reasons, it's more the first fan-related reason that we're still talking about it, otherwise it would have sunk into the same obscurity that Pon Poko did after it didn't get that Oscar nomination.
Oh, or the devoted fans still mentioning it in the same sentence with Totoro, just because it originally played a double feature when it opened. Apparently, audiences were initially hesitant about the idea of Totoro having a happy Postwar setting, so Fireflies had to restore their confidence.
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Posted 2/23/16 , edited 2/23/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

and it is clear to me that, unlike the traditional coming of age story, Seita inadvertently caused him and his sister's death because he never did go back to his aunts house to apologize. This REALLY bothers me. In a way, Seita's pride, a certain degree of selfishness, and naivete causes his sisters death. Yet this antagonistic move is never really explored in depth by most viewers, who were saddened because "2 children starved to death". It seems rather exploitative in a way, offering us barely any food for thought to think about, at least for me, because the tragedy of war orphans could have been just as impactful if they lived through the ordeal. Really, this just feels like poorly veiled oscar bait.

And we have to examine why Seita and his sister left. Truth be told, its because Seita and his sister don't do anything around the house. It seems startingly justified in a way, because Seita is 13? I myself worked in the garden at that age.

So what are your thoughts on Grave of The Fireflies?


I recently just watched this not too long ago.
I went in expecting the feels but really it did not come off too sad for me (and im a sucker for the feels).
Of course it was sad that the kids slowly died but I was too pissed off at the main character.

Yes it was a bad situation for young kids to be in but as you mentioned the main character basically caused the end result.
He could have apologized or actually just done something (worked/helped) to help the situation.
In the timeline of the setting, kids his age were actually working or doing something useful so it was not some crazy idea that wouldn't occur (compared to now and days).
He was even technically in the military wasn't he?? and yet that never seemed to come into play.

On that note I still thought it was just as amazing as most people would say it is.
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Posted 2/23/16
Perhaps a kid as young as Seita could have found work at an apprentice shop, when the state of the country was in better shape, but I doubt that right after Japan lost the war that there were any jobs available. Their entire economy was laid to waste, and there was a lot of uncertainty as to what to do while the American troops began their occupation.

This idea that Seita could go find work in the mist of an entire country's collapse is not realistic. About the only job I could see Seita getting, would be some unwholesome Yakuza stuff, I highly doubt there was legit work available.
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Posted 2/23/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

and it is clear to me that, unlike the traditional coming of age story, Seita inadvertently caused him and his sister's death because he never did go back to his aunts house to apologize. This REALLY bothers me. In a way, Seita's pride, a certain degree of selfishness, and naivete causes his sisters death.

This is why although a lot of people list this as a movie that made them sad and/or cry, it actually made me more angry than sad.

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Posted 2/23/16

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

and it is clear to me that, unlike the traditional coming of age story, Seita inadvertently caused him and his sister's death because he never did go back to his aunts house to apologize. This REALLY bothers me. In a way, Seita's pride, a certain degree of selfishness, and naivete causes his sisters death. Yet this antagonistic move is never really explored in depth by most viewers, who were saddened because "2 children starved to death". It seems rather exploitative in a way, offering us barely any food for thought to think about, at least for me, because the tragedy of war orphans could have been just as impactful if they lived through the ordeal. Really, this just feels like poorly veiled oscar bait.

And we have to examine why Seita and his sister left. Truth be told, its because Seita and his sister don't do anything around the house. It seems startingly justified in a way, because Seita is 13? I myself worked in the garden at that age.

So what are your thoughts on Grave of The Fireflies?


It is a mixed bag. of how this could have played out. One thing that Jesuotaku pointed out and that further research and interviews confirmed was this was not meant to be a coming of age story but a warning to the post baby boomer children. The Director made this to call them out for not respecting what the previous generation had to go through during and after the war. He was essentially calling them spoiled brats and was warning them what many Japanese Economists were at the time, and that was the Financial Bubble period they were in during the eighties was about to pop. The economy is great now, but wait for it because you're safety net is about to break and you will know some of the hardships that your ancestors knew your not going to fair nearly as well because of how entitled you believe yourselves to be. At the same time he was coming down on those babyboomer and post war parents for being so demanding. The case in point being Seita did provide something to his aunt and that was the military rations. He did not have to share those at all. That was his contributions to the household. While at his age working in a factory, or as an alarm runner, a common job for young males during World War II in Japan, could have helped to contribute more, her treatment of her niece is horrible. She had no right to hold her with any accountability at all at her age and should have given her certain allowances. Still in the end Seita's pride was simultaneously the reason for his sisters death as the unfair treatment, and to an extent it was unfair, that he felt both he and his sister received. If nothing else he should have begged her to take his sister back in. It is a very real point. It is very odd to look at the balance of how these sad events come to unfold in the film I understand and relate to how Seita feels when he leaves. He provided rations, his mothers kimonos, and the prestige (that was a huge thing in the culture of the time) of being part of a Naval Officers family. At the same time factory work and alarm runner and other jobs for the war effort were available for someone of his age and it would have given the family that much more of an edge. It is an unfortunate look of the harsh reality of the time and what seemed to have been right call to a child at the time.
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