ANIME TOP TEN (LIST #2) - #4: Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

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Director(s): Isao Takahata
Screenplay: Isao Takahata
Music: Masahiko Satoh, Michio Mamiya
Original Novel: Akiyuki Nosaka
 
Grave of the Fireflies isn't just a fantastic anime film. It's not even just one of my favorites. It actually seems to be something important, something one can't possibly ignore or miss out on. It's a vital, mandatory watch, not just for anime fans, not just for animation fans, and not just for movie buffs. It's a must see for everybody. The gravity of the film reaches across borders, that's how well-crafted and emotionally realized the film is. It's a harsh, heartbreaking movie about two children, an older brother and a younger sister, who suffer loss after loss during a difficult time in history. They suffer most of all from the older brother's pride, mind you, but this is no love note to war either. Whatever your stance on in history for what was done at that time, it's easy to reconcile with the pain of innocents caught in the middle of a horrible situation. In fact, the author of the original novel it's based on suffers from survivor's guilt, a fact which helps to further color this important movie. If you haven't seen this movie yet, you owe it to yourself to do so.