Must Be Tuesday
Chatter from A to Z with a special place for Buffy, Angel and Apolo Anton Ohno.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Don't just cry, be shattered and broken

I just got really deep into Anime last year or so, and I'm very, very picky because I'm not into the pixies and fantasy that is so popular, I like drama, shooting and deep, moving story lines. Yes, they exist volumionously in the world of Anime, in case you were wondering.

But I looked at one last night that stayed with me all day, and even prompted me to tell a couple people about it. It's Tsutomu Tatsumi's Grave of the Fireflies. This movie follows two young children, Seita, (14?) and Setsuko, (4?), and their cold struggle with survival.

It's nearing the end of WWII, their mother died in the bombing, their father is away at war, and Seita and Setsuko are ultimatly left on their own. They survive a while with a greedy aunt, who lets her depleting resources, the burden of two extra hungry mouths to feed, and her country in choas and ruin get the best of her. Soon, Seita decides their welcome was well worn out.

We follow Seita and Setsuko on their homeless journey, sleeping anywhere they find suitable, and eat with money their mother had in the bank -- which doesn't last long. What is truely heartbreaking, and at the same time wonderful about this film is the overwhealming realness it exhudes. The animation did nothing to hide or cover the raw agony and struggles these two children faced.

Adults did nothing to help -- one beating Seita and dragging him to jail for stealing potatoes. I will never forget Setsuko, and her beautiful childish innocent, playing in the dirt with a stick, running around with a sheet over her head for a cape, laughing, joking, smiling, hugging her brother and simply being a 4-year-old, who may not have understood just how hopeless her situation was.

That's what was so heartbreaking. She took simple pleasure in eating out her container of 'fruit drops' her favorite, and even that became extinct very soon, suddenly making it real for Setsuko the situation they were in. They starve, fear the unknown and cling to each other as their only source of salvation, while all we can do is watch.

The voice work, as well as the animation, are perfect, not to mention such small details, like Setsuko's expressions and actions, as well as stabbing scenes such as Seita's anguish when he takes his starving, sick, diarrhea inflicted sister to the doctor and the doctor simply directs her to eat. "Where am I supposed to get food?!" an overwhealmed, angry and frustrated Seita screams. I'll never forget it. The doctor could care less.

The landscapes of the beaches, streets, and a bombed out Japan were also excellent, and, unfortunetly, so were the adults in the movie, from soldiers, to the childrens actual family members to the strangers on the street, who only thought about themselves, and saw the starving kids as an inconvience and bad for the scenary.

Honestly, I have never seen a more sad, depressing, heartbreaking, unforgettable, moving, brutally real and flawlessly directed Anime such as this one. And yet, it is well worth seeing.

It is also a movie ("Hotaru no Haka") and based on a semi-autobiographical book by Akiyuki Nosaka.

The images and events of this movie are still swimming in my head. I, of course, rented it at Netflix, since I'm obsessed with that site. So, if you get a chance to check it out, again, I highly reccomend it.

Astonishing.
Gunngirl believed The Truth is still Out There at 8:29 PM  
2 commentst:
  • At 8:11 PM, Blogger Underachiever said…

    Dear Scoldy McScold:

    I have never seen an anime movie. I will now. Thanks.

    Undr(scolded)

    PS still scolded.

     
  • At 8:40 AM, Blogger exMI said…

    I have thought about renting that several times but never have. I hate being depressed after a movie.
    I watch alot of Anime and notice some of my favorites in some of your lists.

     
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