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Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓 Hotaru no Haka) is a 1988 Japanese animated drama film written and directed by Isao Takahata and animated by Studio Ghibli. It is based on the 1967 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Akiyuki Nosaka. It is commonly considered an anti-war film, but this interpretation has been challenged by some critics and by the director.

Grave of the Fireflies received positive reviews from film critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times considered it to be one of the best and most powerful war films and, in 2000, included it on his "Great Movies" list. Two live-action remakes of Grave of the Fireflies were made, one in 2005 and one in 2008.

Synopsis

On the final days of World War II, 14-year-old Seita and his four-year-old sister Setsuko are orphaned after their mother is killed during an air raid by American forces in Kobe, Japan. After having a falling out with their aunt, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no surviving relatives and their emergency funds and rations depleted, Seita and Setsuko must struggle to survive their hardships as well as those of their country, which is on the losing end of the war


Dubbing History

Grave of the Fireflies is the only theatrical Studio Ghibli feature film prior to From Up on Poppy Hill which Disney never had North American distribution rights, since it was not produced by Ghibli for parent company Tokuma Shoten but for Shinchosha, the publisher of the original short story.

The film was first dubbed by Skypilot Entertainment for Central Park Media and released on VHS and DVD on October 7, 1998. They later released a two-disc DVD set which included the uncut film in both an English dub and the original Japanese with English subtitles as well as the film's storyboards. The second disc contains a retrospective on the author of the original book, an interview with the director, and an interview with critic Roger Ebert, who has expressed his admiration for the film on several occasions, and ranked the film as one of the greatest of all time.

Following the May 2009 bankruptcy and liquidation of Central Park Media, ADV Films acquired the rights and re-released it on DVD on 7 July 2009. Following the 1 September 2009 shutdown and re-branding of ADV, their successor, Sentai Filmworks, rescued the film and released a remastered DVD on 6 March 2012. A Blu-ray edition was released on 20 November 2012, featuring an all-new English dub produced by Seraphim Digital. The new dub was produced due to the original sound elements for the original dub being lost and impossible to remix into 5.1 surround. The original dub was still included as a bonus feature for its historical significance, and the UK and Australian Blu-rays contain only the original dub.

Cast

Image Character Seiyū Central Park Media Dub Sentai Dub
Seita.png Seita Tsutomu Tatsumi J. Robert Spencer Adam Gibbs
Setsuko.png Setsuko Ayano Shiraishi Corinne Orr Emily Neves
Mom GOTF.png Mother Yoshiko Shinohara Veronica Taylor Shelley Calene-Black
Aunt GOTF.png Aunt Akemi Yamaguchi Amy Jones Marcy Bannor
Doctor GOTF.png Doctor Hiroshi Kawaguchi Crispin Freeman ¿?

Additional Voices

Central Park Media Dub

Sentai Dub

Video Releases

Distributor Year Format Dub Region Country
Central Park Media 1998 VHS.jpg Central Park Media NTSC United States United States
DVD.jpg 1
NTSC
2002
Optimum Releasing 2004 2
PAL
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Central Park Media 1
NTSC
United States United States
Optimum Releasing 2007 2
PAL
United Kingdom United Kingdom
ADV Films 2009 1
NTSC
United States United States
Sentai Filmworks 2012
BD Both A
DVB-T
Optimum Releasing 2013 Central Park Media B
DVB-T
United Kingdom United Kingdom

See Also

  • Barefoot Gen: A similarly themed anime also set in World War 2

External Links

vdeStudio Ghibli logo.png
Films

Nausicaä of the Valley of the WindCastle in the SkyGrave of the FirefliesMy Neighbor TotoroKiki's Delivery ServiceOnly YesterdayPorco RossoPom PokoWhisper of the HeartPrincess MononokeMy Neighbors the YamadasSpirited AwayThe Cat ReturnsHowl's Moving CastleTales from EarthseaPonyoThe Secret World of ArriettyFrom Up on Poppy HillThe Wind RisesThe Tale of the Princess KaguyaWhen Marnie Was ThereEarwig and the Witch

Series

Ronja, the Robber's Daughter

External Links
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