Rent Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

4.2 of 5 from 262 ratings
1h 30min
Rent Grave of the Fireflies (aka Hotaru no haka) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Set in Japan during World War II, the film focuses on Seita and his little sister Setsuko. After their mother is killed in an air raid, and with their father serving in the navy, they are forced to fight for survival in the devastated Japanese countryside. Food and shelter are scarce, and even their own relatives are too concerned with their own survival. All they have is each other and their belief that life must carry on.
Toru Hara
Voiced By:
Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Akemi Yamaguchi, Yoshiko Shinohara, Shannon Conley, Crispin Freeman, Dan Green, Amy Jones, George Leaver, Corinne Orr, J. Robert Spencer, Nick Sullivan, Veronica Taylor
Akiyuki Nosaka, Isao Takahata
Hotaru no haka
Anime & Animation
Japan, Anime & Animation
Release Date:
Run Time:
90 minutes
English, Japanese
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
  • Full storyboards of feature
  • Interview with director Isao Takahata
  • Japanese release promo - Feature interview with director Isao Takahata and writer Akiyuki Nosaka
  • Isao Takahata biography
  • Akyuki Nosaka biography
  • Bonus storyboards
  • Dvnr featurette – Video restoration
  • Featurette
  • Art gallery
  • US trailer
  • Japanese trailer
  • Interview with film critic Roger Ebert
  • Historical perspective documentary
Disc 1:
This disc includes the main feature
Disc 2:
This disc includes the special features
Release Date:
Run Time:
90 minutes
English LPCM Stereo, Japanese LPCM Stereo
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Interview with Director Isao Takahata
  • Japanese Release Promo Featuring Interview with Director Isao Takahata and Writer Akiyuki Nosaka
  • Deleted Scenes Storyboards
  • Interview with Film Critic Roger Ebert
  • Historical Perspective Documentary
  • Trailers

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Reviews (4) of Grave of the Fireflies

Beautiful but tragic - Grave of the Fireflies review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert

I know someone who bought this film for their kids. Good thing he watched it on his own first as Grave of Fireflies, despite being animated, is not a film for the little ones. It tells the story of a young boy, caught up in World War II, struggling to save himself and his little sister from starving to death in a village that is too busy with the bigger picture to see what is going on under their noses. Saddest film ever made.

4 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Must-see but depressing Japanese animation set in wartime. - Grave of the Fireflies review by PV

Spoiler Alert

One reviewer says this is not a film for 'the little ones'. I absolutely disagree - hiding bad things from children is silly. War exists and kids could and should watch this film (force feeding them pink fluffy fantasies of the world is wrong IMHO).

Anyway, this is a very depressing movie - all about Japan towards the end of World War II. It works not because of wonderful animation (which looks basic in parts) but because the characters are so well-drawn. It is utterly believable.

One thing that impressed me was the was the writer of the story was prepared to show Japanese people in wartime being horrible and nasty, even to their own people and families. It destroys the myths promoted by both East and West.

It's a sad film but that does not mean adults or children should avoid it. Quite the reverse, actually - people of all ages need educating about things like this because so many are so ignorant.

If you want gormless dumb fantasy cartoons to rot your brain there are plenty to choose from. This movie makes you think. Brave for the story to develop as it does - no Hollywood studio would ever allow such a thing due to that old obsession with a happy ending and heroics!

Good too that it has both subtitles AND dubbing into English if you want - the film is from 1988; the English version from 1998.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Grave of the Fireflies - Grave of the Fireflies review by SP

Spoiler Alert

Marvellous animation spoilt by American dubbing. Is the subtitled version available in this country?

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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