I watched this movie with my guard down. I didn't have the slightest idea what this movie is all about. Hence, I'm sill sobbing hysterically while typing this entry. This is the saddest anime movie ever. And I'm not planning to watch it again, EVER!!!!
Grave of Fireflies (a.k.a Tombstone of Fireflies) or Hotaru no Haka is one movie that permanently engraves itself into your memory. In my humble opinion this is one of the most difficult movies of any genre to watch, nonetheless, it is also one of the best written. It is because this movie is actually based on the director's own life-story during WWII.
This movie does not glorify war, in fact, it intensifies the grotesque pictures of war. Somehow, this movie reminds me of my favorite poem Dulce Et Decorum Est by Owen by Wilfred Owen. This movie is emotionally draining and it is the ultimate tear-jerker to date.
It's about a harsh struggle of two orphan siblings, Seita and Setsuko, during WWII. They have to endure the suffering and pain regardless their tender ages (Seita was only 13 and Setsuko was 4). Even though Setsuko was practically a toddler she as considerably 'mature' in swallowing the whole bitter experiences. Even though she was young and dependent, she did not pose as a burden to her brother.
The movie exhibits the theme of personal growth, independence and most importantly brotherly love. Nonetheless, I simply detest the ending. The ending is not a stereotypical resolution which is common in most anime movies produced by Studio Ghibli. Until now, I can't shove away the scene of Seita cremating Setsuko's lifeless and frail body. Why must it end like this!!!!!
Grave of Fireflies is a movie that you don't want to watch when you're in the mood for anything carefree or light. Because it will definitely spoil your mood for the whole day. In fact, this is a movie that you would want to show if you want to clear the room with everyone in tears streaming down their cheeks.
I think I better stop here. I am ambivalent right now. I don't know whether to recommend it or not. Can't really decide with all tears still blurring my vision...
Perhaps every decade, there will be a movie so memorable, so moving and so compelling that it permanently embeds images into your memory. This movie is definitely the one.