Ranked #64

Hotaru no Haka

Alternative Titles

English: Grave of the Fireflies
Synonyms: Tombstone for Fireflies
Japanese: 火垂るの墓


Type: Movie
Episodes: 1
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 15, 1988
Source: Novel
Genres: Drama, Historical
Duration: 1 hr. 28 min.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company


Score: 8.601 (scored by 84,354 users)
Ranked: #642
Popularity: #244
Members: 132,989
Favorites: 1,500
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.


In the aftermath of a World War II bombing, two orphaned children struggle to survive in the Japanese countryside. To Seita and his four-year-old sister, the helplessness and indifference of their countrymen is even more painful than the enemy raids. Through desperation, hunger and grief, these children's lives are as heartbreakingly fragile as their spirit and love is inspiring.

(Source: Sentai Filmworks)


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Characters & Voice Actors

Shiraishi, Ayano
Shiraishi, Ayano
Tatsumi, Tsutomu
Tatsumi, Tsutomu


Takahata, Isao
Takahata, Isao
Director, Screenplay
Uragami, Yasuo
Uragami, Yasuo
Sound Director
Mamiya, Michio
Mamiya, Michio
Theme Song Composition, Theme Song Arrangement, Music
Anno, Hideaki
Anno, Hideaki
Key Animation

Opening Theme

"Setsuko and Seita" by Michio Mamiya

Ending Theme

"Futari" by Michio Mamiya

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Nov 19, 2015
It wasn't until I watched this movie that I realized just why so many people would say that, while it is amazing, you'll never again want to watch it in your life. Now, I wouldn't necessarily say that I would NEVER want to watch it again, but I would definitely need to be in a certain mood for it.

The setting is late World War II in Japan, about two children and their struggle to get by without their parents. Right off the bat, it's obvious that the story is not going to end on a traditional happy note. In fact, throughout the majority of the read more
I found this review Helpful
Jul 14, 2015

This isn't a story of heroism, meaning, or anything remotely related. Its about survival.

When two Japanese children lose their mother during an air-raid, they are forced to fend for themselves. Their father is off at war (and hasn't responded to any letters, go figure) so the two children venture to survive on their own. With only the clothes on their backs and the savings left over from their parents, they are truly all alone. The two have only each other to care for them.

Saito (teenage boy) and his younger sister Setsuko encounter various characters throughout the movie. Their aunt, who resents having to take care read more
I found this review Helpful
Aug 21, 2008
Few movies I've seen can bring me to the brink of tears, and only a handful of those can actually haunt me days after seeing them. Grave of the Fireflies is one of those rare movies I've seen that did this to me. Very few films have EVER made me feel as bad as this one did. Try to think of the saddest movie you've ever seen, Schindler's List (Widescreen Edition), Saving Private Ryan (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition), anything, and this movie blows it out of the water. This film has the power to devastate you, to move you, to bring you to the brink read more
I found this review Helpful
Mar 12, 2015
Currently, Grave of the Fireflies has reached "Akira status" in that it's a huge black mark on your credibility as an anime reviewer if you didn't watch it due to the influence it had in the 90's til today. Like Akira, by today's standards of storytelling in cinema/TV/anime, this 1988 film is a classic, but cannot in good conscience be considered perfect. But it left an impression in me, especially in the realism of the tragedy depicted.

In GOTF, Takahata explains WHY wars are problematic and WHY death of children matters in his perspective in a way that extends beyond the obvious.

The story is simple: read more
I found this review Helpful


Anime: Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Both are stories that deal catastrophes and it's effects in a realistic approach. Both have siblings as the main characters whom develop a strong bond through out. 
reportRecommended by MagEarwhig
Anime: Hadashi no Gen
A line from Apocalypse Now sums up Barefoot Gen, in particular: "The horror, the horror..."

Essentially the same film. Barefoot Gen has always, rather unfairly, existed in the shadow of Ghibli's own 'war through the eyes of innocent children' masterpiece. Both films are based on the true accounts of child survivors of the bombing of Japan during World War 2. And in both films children are suddenly thrust into the world of adults: having to find it within themselves to protect their loved ones as their world falls apart around them and chaos ensues. In Gen it's the lead's mother; in Fireflies it's  read more 
reportRecommended by AironicallyHuman
Anime: Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku
War is horrifying. But what amplifies the horror tenfold is when children are forced to confront human nature that even adults cannot cope with, as they struggle to survive in the midst of war. And this is a subject anime depicts more disturbingly than live-action ever could.

'Grave of the Fireflies' is a period piece set during World War 2, when Japan was being bombed and innocent civilian lives and families were destroyed. An older brother and his dependent younger sister are left with only uncaring relatives as food becomes scarce and starvation becomes a reality. Desperation and despair is the least spolierific  read more 
reportRecommended by AironicallyHuman
Anime: Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin
Grave of the fireflies had a similar kind of setting, hardship, death and sadness.
both animation are set in the period of after and before war.
unbreakable bond.  
reportRecommended by nero
Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
Both with with how tragic and devastating war is seen through the eyes of children. 0080 shows how war is not a game and only results in death and suffering while Fireflies depicts how hard it is for individuals to survive in a war torn country. 
reportRecommended by ZakuHead
Anime: Anne no Nikki
Both anime is about the second world war and the animation style is quite the same. If you liked Anne No Nikki, you will definitely like this one! 
reportRecommended by rudderbird

Recent News

UK Producer To Make a Live Action Movie of Grave of the Fireflies

According to Cinema Today, UK film producer Dresden Pictures has acquired the live action film rights of Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies). The filming will st...read more

Recent Forum Discussion

Poll: Hotaru No Haka Episode 1 Discussion ( 1 2 3 4 )
yakyuu-addict - Nov 28, 2008
156 replies by Monjoex »»
Nov 25, 4:14 AM
Poll: Did you cry after you watched this movie? (spoilers) ( 1 2 3 )
ss4gojetanks - Jul 8, 2011
101 replies by Duskfall »»
Nov 22, 12:55 PM

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