We watched last night the live-action version of Grave of the Fireflies (2005), this was from the acclaimed 1988 greatest anime movies of all time.

Produced by the NTV in Japan, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. The movie aired on November 1, 2005. The live-action film is based on the same partially auto-biographical book that spawned Isao Takahata's movie. The live-action film was told from the point of view of Seita and Setsuko's aunt.

But unlike the animated version, it tells the story and deals with the issue of how the war-time environment could change a kind person to a cold-blooded demon.

Grave of the Fireflies (Anime) 1988
Starring: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi ...
Director: Isao Takahata
PG: Some scenes may be emotionally intense for young audiences
Named Best Animated Feature at the 1994 Chicago International Children's Film Festival

Grave of the Fireflies (Live-action version) 2005
Starring: Nanako Matsushima, Hoshi Ishida, Mao Sasaki
Genre: Drama / World War II
Language: Japanese with English subtitle

My Rating:
4.5/5 for Anime
4/5 for Live-action version
The actors of live-action are good but I like the anime version more. The movie is a waking reality of the negative consequences of war. The story never fails to make me cry especially the last part. Unforgettable and incredibly a heart wrenching film. This is one of my top favorites and I highly recommend this movie.

*Sakuma Drops or Morinaga Drops (the candy that Setsuko carries) are some of the common candies that you can get in Japan. They come in a small tin can exactly as seen in the movie. If you leave the can open for too long in Japan's humid climate, the drops will get sticky such that the only way to get them out would be to shake the can furiously to break the candies apart or to bang the can against something.

*At the end of film, a single B-29 Bomber, supposedly the Enola Gay that dropped the atomic bomb over Hiroshima is seen flying over the city. In reality the Enola Gay was part of a 3 plane squadron. Also, this scene occurs right after Seita hears that Japan surrendered; this scene was more likely intended to show Seita's realization that the war really is over as the bomber flies harmlessly overhead.

(sources: the anime cafe and wikipedia)

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