Grave of the Fireflies

Synopsis: 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.
Genre: Animation, Drama, War
Director(s): Isao Takahata
Production: Shinchosha Company
  3 wins.
Rotten Tomatoes:
89 min

September 21, 1945.

That was the night I died.

Damn tramps.

Watch it!


Is he dead?

The Americans'll be arriving

any day now.

It's disgraceful,

having these bums here!


What day is it?


Another one.

What is this stuff?

Never mind. Just dump it!

This one's a goner, too.

You can see it in their eyes.

Production Designer &

Executive Producer


Original Story by


Art Director


Character Design






Character Color Design


Director of Photography


Sound Design




Written & Directed by


Air raid!

Get to the shelters!

We're in for a big one!

The shelter behind the firehouse

should be safest!

It's hot!

Be a good girl.

Try to be patient.

I'd better get over to the shelter.

Be careful, and get over there

as soon as you can.

Setsuko, be a good girl

and mind your brother.

Never mind us!

Get to the shelter!

Yes, yes.

Mom, do you have your medicine?

Right here. Don't worry.

I hate the shelter!

Well, you'll be sorry

if you get blown up by a bomb!

Now get on.

My doll!

Air raid!


Get down!



Long live the Emperor!

We're safe here. Don't worry.

Where's Mama?

In the shelter.

The firehouse shelter can take

a hit from a 250-kilo bomb easy.

Don't worry about her.

She'll probably go to

Niponmatsu station to find us.

We'll meet her there.

Let's just catch our breath first.

Are you okay, Setsuko?

I lost one of my shoes.

I'll buy you better ones.

I have money.

Open this.

Wow, you're rich.

Black rain, from the bombing.

It's all gone!

Look, that was the civic hall.

We ate lunch there, once.

Is our house gone too?


What'll we do?

Dad'll make them pay for this!


Well, it's not like I was

the only one who lost his house.

We're all in the same boat.

At least we're still alive.

There were two direct hits.

The fires are impossible to put out!

When you try to smother them,

it just spreads the oil around.

It's not her.

She's not down here!

Seita, I have to pee.

All residents of

Ichirizuka and Kaminishi!

Please report to the elementary

school for first aid services!

What's wrong?

My eye hurts.

Don't rub it.

We'll get it washed out

at the school.

Where's Mama?

- She'll be at the school.

- School?

Uh-huh. Let's go.


Have you seen your mom?

She's hurt.

You'd better go.

I'll watch your sister.

Wasn't that scary, Setsuko?

Did you cry?

Seita has to go somewhere.

Why don't we wait for him?

Seita. I've been looking for you.

Are you okay?

- My mom...?

- This way.

This IS your mother's,

isn't it?

In here.

She's finally asleep.

She really should be

in a proper hospital.

I think Kaisei hospital

in Nishinomiya wasn't hit.

My mother has heart trouble.

Can she get her medicine?

I'll ask.

I'll be around

if you need me.


You saw her?

It's terrible.

I'm thirsty.

If there's anything I can do,

just ask.

Oh, did you get

your biscuit ration yet?

I'll get it for you!

Keep this ring in your purse.

Don't lose it.

Mom's hurt.

She'll get better, though.

Where is she?

In the hospital. In Nishinomiya.

We'll stay here

at the school tonight.

Then tomorrow we'll go to our

aunt's place in Nishinomiya.


We'll all be on the second floor.

Why don't you stop by later?

Thanks a lot. We will.

See you later, Setsuko.

Want some?

I want to see Mama.

Maybe tomorrow.

It's too late now.

Watch me,

I'm good at this!

We haven't unbandaged her.

You don't want to see the body.

With this heat we're having,

she'll have to go on the truck today.

Where's your sister?

In Nishinomiya.

We have a distant aunt there.

I think she'll take care of us.

I see. Lucky for you.

I'd better get back to work.

Good luck to you.


Where is she?

Is she still sick?

Yeah. Still sick.

Welcome back.

How's your mother?

Is she at Kaisei?

Lucky your dad's in the Navy.

You get to have a truck

help move you over here!

I've laid out futons and

mosquito netting in your room.


Doesn't Mama need her ring?

Did she give it to me?

Just be careful

you don't lose it.


When Mom's a little better,

I'll take you to see her.

Time for bed. Okay?

Dried bonito, herring,

dried potato, eggs,

and pickled plums.

And I do believe this is butter!

You can't get these

for ANYTHI NG nowadays.

Soldiers always get the best

at times like these.

Anyway, did you

stop by the hospital?

I'd like to tell your mother

what's been happening.

And I could take Setsuko along

to visit her.

That bad?!

Mom died while she was

still at the school.

What?! She's dead!

Then why didn't you tell me?

Why were you hiding it?!

I didn't want Setsuko to know.

Dead... How awful!

You'd best write your father

and tell him!



She bought me new shoes!

Good for you, Setsuko.

Hello there!

You poor dears.

Thanks, ma'am.

What's that?


Nothing to be scared of.


Try to catch it.

Whoops! Squashed it.

Ew! It smells!

You squeezed too hard.

There're millions of them!

Setsuko, close your eyes

and say "ah."


Just do it. "Ah."

Fruit drop!

Fruit drop! Fruit drop!

I almost swallowed it.

- We're home.

- Where were you?

Did you thank the lady?

Yes, ma'am.

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Akiyuki Nosaka

Akiyuki Nosaka (野坂 昭如, Nosaka Akiyuki, October 10, 1930 – December 9, 2015) was a Japanese novelist, singer, lyricist, and member of the House of Councillors. As a broadcasting writer he used the name Yukio Aki (阿木 由紀夫, Aki Yukio) and his alias as a chanson singer was Claude Nosaka (クロード 野坂, Kurōdo Nosaka). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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