This post is more of a reaction than that of an analysis or a review (well, partly a review, I guess). Grave of the Fireflies has been out there in the open for decades and I’m pretty sure most of you guys have seen this movie twice, if not once. With that said, I’ll spare you the trouble of an in-depth and lengthy analysis as GotF‘s widespread popularity has inspired enough articles more than you can probably count. Why bother reading someone else’s reaction/review, then? No, I’m not posting this for others to read and get feedback from but rather I just feel that this is the most appropriate and easiest way for me to get over this hollowness.
All right. Let me light my 4th cig first before I start… Ha. That hits the spot.
I’m currently lost in thoughts right now, in fact, I’m still trying to gather pieces of my emotions — and hell does it prick harder — and doing a rerun to check for other noteworthy stuff is out of the question. The emotional grief was palpable from start to credits. I can’t possible name another anime that made me cry from the get-go other than Cross Game‘s unexpected tear-jerker in the first episode. Sure, we were already given a gist of Seita and Setsuko’s tragic fate from the prologue, but the flashbacks that came next was utterly haunting. There’s this tension pulled taut waiting to snap anytime even at the most lighthearted moments of the movie. What made it even more disturbing is the fact that GotF is a raw and realistic representation of the causality involved with war.
You may categorize the movie as an anti-war material, but I’d like to believe otherwise. The siblings both died not from the bombs, bullets, or anything, but rather due to the aftermath and effects of war on Japan’s society. In the face of death and famine, we’re transformed into something inhuman. Prioritizing ourselves when in danger is an intrinsic attribute we cannot control, and this turns us into animals incapable of sympathy and remorse — all born from the simple truth that we need to survive.
The brevity and fragility of our lives is presented as a metaphor through the fireflies. It’s even more heart-wrenching knowing that someone as innocent as Setsuko would have to endure such unfair reality. A montage of her laughing and basically just having fun is probably where I started to think ‘fuck-this-shit-who-cares-if-I-cry-for-the-fifth-time-in-an-hour’ and let loose. We do have to owe it to Ghibli as a whole though on bringing us something truly powerful. Grave of the Fireflies‘s take on war and its inane ugliness is a rare sight in studio’s long list of fantasy-themed produce but, nevertheless, their magical touch is most profound in this movie. Enjoying an anime is one thing, but learning from it is another.
Who the f left a bowl of onions here? Really, I’m only uploading the screencaps and I start to tear up everytime I look at it.