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Quick-Thoughts: Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Stupid f******g movie almost made me cry in just the first 5 minutes of its opening. Studio Ghibli movies are boss battles for making you a tear-river, I’m tellin’ ya. 

Never could I have ever imagined a primarily children’s animation company like Studio Ghibli being able to sketch out war imagery in such an imposingly grotesque way—but then again, when do they not surprise us with their persuasively relevant and poignant motion pictures. Isao Takahata’s first Studio Ghibli production artfully utilizes past and future to infiltrate how the victims of World War II were largely forgotten as time had increased. Jeez, this movie was depressing. 

The first half of Grave of the Fireflies was marginally rocky. All the characters occasionally seemed emotionally incompliant to and detached from the horrific events occurring on-screen—although, it is difficult to capture genuine reactions through classic animation. The film furthermore, periodically suffers from vaguely glossing over certain events rather than progressively allowing you to sink into them. And you know, one can only handle so much whining from a child…

Yet, once you get to that second half...ugh, my HEART, my SOUL. We have it so good people. Grave of the Fireflies personally tugs at our important yet ignored aims to be more thankful for what we mercifully have and more mournful for what others never could have. And, the whining was, come hell or high water, justified. I apologize. 

Verdict: B+ 

“Grave of Fireflies” is now available to stream on Vudu, iTunes, and Hulu. 

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