It is unique in the Studio Ghibli catalogue as both the only television film, and also as the only film for the studio directed by Tomomi Mochizuki. In the latter respect Mr Mochizuki is not alone as it is not until 2011 that a director other than Isao Takahata or Hayao Miyazaki directs a second film for Studio Ghibli. Continue reading
The charming tale of a boy and his sister starving to death, as narrated by his ghost.
There really is no way to characterise Grave of the Fireflies except as unremittingly bleak. Whilst there are moments of beauty, even joy, as Seita and his sister Setsuko live the last of their lives in the dying days of World War II, there is always the reminder that this ends badly.
That many of the beautiful moments are bound up in the oh-so-ephemeral fireflies only drives the point home. Continue reading
The film opens with air pirates attacking a luxury airship liner to steal an amulet from a girl named Sheeta. Sheeta has previously been kidnapped by secret police and uses the confusion to try and escape, only to lose her grip and plummet from the sky.
Or does she? Cut to the credits with some fascinating imagery of a civilisation in the sky falling to earth in an unexplained disaster. Continue reading