Grave of the Fireflies

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NOTE: Adult themes.

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9.93% of people buy Grave of the Fireflies and Princess Mononoke ~ DVD.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars Based on 34 Customer Ratings

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4 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

This story is truly moving and I recommend it to anyone who has interest in the war. I felt empathy towards the two main characters who endured extreme conditions and immense heartbreak. It realistically showed the lives of the Japanese and the ruined environment around them.

The ending brought tears to my eyes and was very memorable and haunting. I would highly recommend this but keep in mind it is a very sad tale you will need to watch something happier afterwards.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
"Great and very moving"
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

This was a blind-buy for me as I couldn't find it in any video stores to hire from, but I'm very glad I bought it. I found myself connecting to the well-drawn characters and the plight of Seita and his sister. The entire movie has a feeling of impending tragedy, and there are some scenes which are quite powerful. The animation is very good and the voice acting, while not as good as it could have been, does its job. Seita's voice actor is very likeable. Overall, a really great film I'm glad to have in my collection.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
"Impressive and very touching"
5 stars"

This is a extremely touching movie, this movie has gotten me very emotional. This is a must see movie if you are a anime fan! The little sister is very cute and it was very very sad to see what eventually happened. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
"Touching Classic ,God Material"
5 stars"

This is the first animated movie to show true depictions of humanities tragic actions this will leave you literally Breathtaken and on the verge of many many was an instant classic .very very touching…i cried for at least a minute it is so so so so so sad and very very tragic…but in my eyes it is a very very good movie well well well well worth the money!!

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.
"Beautiful and Memorable, bring tissues."
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Not many movies can bring me to tears, but this one hit me hard a number of times. Based on the period of time just before the end of World War II where Japan is under attack on its home soil, it tells the story of two children just trying to survive the horrors of wartime. That alone should tell you that this is not exactly a movie that will leave you smiling and laughing – it still does have a few moments of humour and light though. They have to survive seeing their Mother horribly burned, their country falling apart around them, rampant food shortages, bombs dropping on a regular basis, an extended family that don't really want them around, and people doing whatever they can to look after themselves at the expense of anyone else. What would a young kid do to keep his Sister alive-

Another well-crafted, brilliant, moving, and beautiful movie from Studio Ghibli – it has the emotional impact of a freight train, and it deserves every ounce of praise it has received. Bring tissues, turn off your phone, and experience the astonishing movie that is ‘Grave of the Fireflies’.

"Not an enjoyable watch"
3 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

This was my first Studio Ghibli movie so I didn't know what to expect. But sadly what I got was a very off method of storytelling, unclear flashbacks, convoluted story and sudden jarring time transitions. I new that it was a depressing story before going into it and it lived up to that, but seeing as the magnificent Totoro was released the same year, this just seems so poor. Not boring, just really not enjoyable. I'm NOT saying that just because it's a sad story.


Grave of the Fireflies (Hotaru no haka) is a 1988 Japanese anime war drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli.

A tale of the true tragedy of war and innocence lost..

In the aftermath of a World War II bombing, two orphaned children struggle to survive in the Japanese countryside. To Seita and his four-year-old sister, the helplessness and indifference of their countrymen is even more painful than the enemy raids. Through desperation, hunger and grief, these children's lives are as heartbreakingly fragile as their spirit and love is inspiring.

Includes both English dub and original Japanese (subtitled) versions. From the Studio Ghibli Collection.

Special Features

  • Bios and interviews with Director Isao Takahata and Author Akiyuki Nosaka
  • Interview with Film Critic Roger Ebert
  • Historical perspective with commentary
  • Video Restoration Documentary
  • Original Trailers
  • and more!

Grave of the Fireflies Reviews

“Very simply the gentlest and most touching war-related film I've ever seen.” Combustible Celluloid

“An emotional experience so powerful that it forces a rethinking of animation…Because it is animated and from Japan, “Grave of the Fireflies” has been little seen. When anime fans say how good the film is, nobody takes them seriously. Now that it’s available on DVD with a choice of subtitles or English dubbing, maybe it will find the attention it deserves. Yes, it’s a cartoon, and the kids have eyes like saucers, but it belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made.” Roger Ebert

“One of the most devastating anti-war films ever made, animated or otherwise.”

“This film is a necessity for any animation collection and highly recommended for its beauty and emotional impact…the film succeeds brilliantly on many levels” DVD Talk

“Great movies cannot depress me, no matter how sad they are. There are few that can penetrate my thick shield of cynical armour, those that help me become a better person. Kurosawa's mag­nificent Ikiru, a film about finding meaning in life gives me hope. Grave Of The Fireflies is another. It is one of the most shattering anti-war movies ever made, a masterpiece so deeply sad and unrelenting that some may find it hard to watch. It is film about the idea of loss, finding a reason to live…It is an intrinsically beautiful film, its hand-drawn animation among the finest I have ever seen, stretching the emotions to the purest of empathy. I say pure, since it wraps itself around the hearts of the audience without effort. Watch the minimalism, the way the children behave like children, the younger Setsuko dancing among the fireflies, reflecting light on to her, the slow rhythm of storytelling, the painted backdrops. It is a film that can be viewed as artistry, as well as a great narrative…Sprinkled throughout the film is a humanity, beating against the terror and the despair, teaching us not to think of war in terms of ideals, or politics, but in the knowledge that suffering strips away the veneer of "us versus them”."

“.. a beautiful lament and a moving tribute to the people we rarely consider when we think about World War 2: those Japanese who suffered for the crimes of their leaders.” Looking Closer

“The stylised images suit the simplicity and gravity of a grim story of love, sacrifice and survival in the face of adult indifference and cruelty.” Observer UK

“Writer-director Isao Takahata, a frequent collaborator of Miyazaki's at Studio Ghibli, adapted a partly autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, and his handling of the tragic story is masterfully understated.” Chicago Reader

“Ranks among the greatest of anime.” San Francisco Examiner

“..not only one of the greatest anime ever, but also an important (anti-) war film. A moving masterpiece.” Film 4

Re-released on
December 11th, 2014
Movie Format
  • DVD
DVD Region
  • Region 4
  • Standard Edition
Aspect Ratio
  • 1.33 : 1
English, Japanese
Length (Minutes)
Number of Discs
Country of Production
  • Japan
  • Animation
Box Dimensions (mm)
All-time sales rank
Top 5000
Product ID


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