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"Even on the level of pure visual craftsmanship, Grave of the Fireflies is a masterwork--the animation, though extremely subdued, is fluid and surprisingly realistic; just watching the everyday acts animated in this movie gave me a new appreciation of animation as an art form."
T.H.E.M. Anime Reviews
"You can almost taste the salt in the air at the seashore, smell the ash as the village burns down. Simple orchestral melodies sprinkled throughout enhance the viewing experience even further, resulting in an engrossing experience only rivaled by actually visiting these locales yourself."
"Occasionally, perhaps every ten years, you see a movie so powerful, so moving that it permanently etches images into your memory. "
"There's a lesson here: while it is proper for family to support you if necessary, you had damn well better shape up, live by their rules, help them out, and find a job, or else you are nothing but a disgusting leech who deserves whatever comes to them."
Anime News Network (Review of the new dub)
"If you've never seen Grave of the Fireflies, you're missing a true classic."
Anime News Network (Review of Special Edition DVD)
"I absolutely loved this movie upon seeing it for the first time, yet I had never, ever intended to watch it again. But this collector’s edition release makes revisiting this somber work of genius a melancholy joy."
"Grave of the Fireflies is an eye-opening look at the effects of WWII on innocent Japanese citizens. Set amidst air raids and bombings, the degree of realism is very high plot-wise and animation-wise."
"Japanese poets use "pillow words" that are halfway between pauses and punctuation, and the great director Yasujiro Ozu uses "pillow shots"--a detail from nature, say, to separate two scenes. "Grave of the Fireflies" uses them, too. Its visuals create a kind of poetry. There are moments of quick action, as when the bombs rain down and terrified people fill the streets, but this film doesn't exploit action; it meditates on its consequences."
"This film is about loss, and the will to carry on through loss, with a firefly
in the hand as the only source of hope. "
"They live on, though the world has forgotten them, and will continue to live on forever, reliving their story. They have not forgotten the past; they cannot. And neither should we."
"And so, this is what this movie is about. Keeping that tiny scrap of
dignity, no matter how bad things seem, and no matter if you know the odds
are against you. The beauty of life and the sense that life is always worth
living is what drove them to try and survive."