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Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

Hotaru no haka (original title)
Unrated | | Animation, Drama, War | 16 April 1988 (Japan)
A young boy and his little sister struggle to survive in Japan during World War II.



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Top Rated Movies #60 | 3 wins. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Tsutomu Tatsumi ...
Seita (voice)
Ayano Shiraishi ...
Setsuko (voice)
Yoshiko Shinohara ...
Mother (voice)
Akemi Yamaguchi ...
Aunt (voice)
Tadashi Nakamura ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marcy Bannor ...
Aunt (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Mother (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Luci Christian ...
Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Shannon Conley ...
Additional Voices (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Justin Doran ...
Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)
Doctors / Old Man (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Adam Gibbs ...
Dan Green ...
Additional Voices (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Amy Jones ...
Aunt (Central Park Media dub) (voice)
Susan Koozin ...
Additional Voices (Sentai Filmworks dub) (voice)


The story of Seita and Satsuko, two young Japanese siblings, living in the declining days of World War II. When an American firebombing separates the two children from their parents, the two siblings must rely completely on one another while they struggle to fight for their survival. Written by Kyle Perez

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Animation | Drama | War


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 April 1988 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Grave of the Fireflies  »

Box Office


$3,700,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (as Dolby Stereo) (theatrical print)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Most of the illustration outlines in the film are in brown, instead of the customary black. Whenever black was used, it was only used when it was absolutely necessary. Color coordinator Michiyo Yasuda said this was done to give the film a softer feel. Yasuda said that until that point it had never been used in an anime before, "and it was done on a challenge." Yasuda explained that brown is more difficult to use than black because it does not contrast as well as black. See more »


Right at the beginning, someone places what looks like a rice ball loosely wrapped in some tree bark as a protective cover next to the boy known as Seita. The scene cuts to Seita's face and soon after he collapses, the wrapped rice ball is nowhere to be seen. See more »


[first lines]
Seita: September 21, 1945... that was the night I died.
See more »


Referenced in Saving Private Ryan (1998) See more »


Home Sweet Home
Written by H.R. Bishop (uncredited)
Performed by Amelita Galli-Curci
Courtesy of RCA Victor Red Seal, a division of BMG Classics
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

More moving than you could ever expect
3 February 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This film is utterly emotionally draining whilst being rewarding at the same time.

The animation is both realistic and stylized but that's not the point, the main focus of this film is the character development of the brother and sister protagonists. Their relationship is nothing short of beautiful and touching.

And without spoiling anything I have to say that this film touched me in a way no other film has ever touched me in my adult life. One or two films have upset me and reduced me to watery eyes but Grave of the Fireflies had me in fits of sobbing despair. I was a mess! I'm talking total emotional breakdown. Couldn't talk without sobbing! One of the best films I have EVER seen, animated or not.

350 of 375 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
one thing i never got about the story Bustr-1
Seita was not stupid nor selfish jenn4394
How many minutes did you cry? veeshman
Did anyone else feel this way days after watching it? thebedtimestory
Should I watch the English dubbed one billchat12
For those saying that Seita should've done this etc... feedererer-1
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