Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
火垂るの墓 (Hotaru no Haka)


In the latter part of World War II, Seita and his sister Setsuko, orphaned when their mother is killed in the firebombing of Tokyo, are left to survive on their own in what remains of civilian life in Kobe, Japan. The unfortunate siblings do their best to survive in the Japanese countryside, battling hunger, prejudice, and pride in their own quiet, personal battle.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by


  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


Character design
Character development
World building





Grave of the Fireflies was written and directed by Isao Takahata, and animated by Studio Ghibli for the story’s publisher Shinchosha Publishing (making it the only Studio Ghibli film under Tokuma Shoten ownership that had no involvement from them).

Alternative title

– Căn hầm đom đóm
– Die letzten Glühwürmchen
– Eldflugornas Grav
– Grobowiec świetlików
– Jaanimardikate haud
– Jonvabalių kapas
– La Tumba de las Luciérnagas
– Le tombeau des lucioles
– O Túmulo dos Vaga-Lumes
– Tulikärpästen hauta
– Una tomba per le lucciole
– Могила светлячков
– קבר הגחליליות
– سيتا الحنون
– La Tumba de las Luciérnagas
– Mormântul Licuricilor
– O Túmulo dos Pirilampos
– Szentjánosbogarak sírja
– 再見螢火蟲
– 반딧불의 묘
– Ateş Böceklerinin Mezarı
– Das Grab der Leuchtkäfer
– Hrob světlušek
– Mộ đom đóm
– Tombstone for Fireflies
– Могила світлячків
– สุสานหิ่งห้อย
– 螢火蟲之墓

TL;DR Review

Grave of the Fireflies (火垂るの墓 Hotaru no Haka) is a 1988 Japanese animated war film based on the 1967 semi-autobiographical short story of the same name by Akiyuki Nosaka.

The animation is great, even in today standard. The colors are mostly muted to give it a more realistic feel, but in some parts, it can be quite vibrant.

The song Home Sweet Home was performed by coloratura soprano Amelita Galli-Curci.

The characters are extremely relatable, which is why their story is so heart-wrenching.

This movie hit you right in the gut starting out with the first scene. It shows you how brutal this world is and set us up for a tragic tale. This anime is considered one of the saddest anime ever, so have your tissues ready.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone with a heart. Grave of the Fireflies contains graphic violence and mature themes/dialogs. Intended for everyone, but parental guidance is advised.

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Closing Theme

– “Futari” by Mamiya Michio

Insert/Image Theme

– “Hanyuu no Yado” by Amelita Galli-Curuci
Play Video

Featured Video

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)

A collection of notable videos, ranging from a fan-created trailer, music video, opening, and ending clip.



All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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