I am a big fan of Studio Ghibli works and do occasionally enjoy rewatching them. HOWEVER there is one film I actually struggle to get through and that is Grave of the Fireflies – a 1988 animated war tragedy which is based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Akiyuki Nosaka who sadly lost his sisters during the second World War. It is a powerfully emotional film which I think every fan of anime should consider watching at least once – and yes I do tear up while watching it.
But moving on… in March this year Sentai Filmworks released Grave of the Fireflies: Remastered Edition which features the entire film which has been digitally remastered and restored. At this years Otakon, the company announced that they would go one better and are intending on releasing the series on Blu-ray from the 12th November 2012.
As the Empire of the Sun crumbles upon itself and a rain of firebombs falls upon Japan, the final death march of a nation is echoed in millions of smaller tragedies. This is the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, two children born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, and now cast adrift in a world that lacks not the care to shelter them, but simply the resources.
Forced to fend for themselves in the aftermath of fires that swept entire cities from the face of the earth, their doomed struggle is both a tribute to the human spirit and the stuff of nightmares.