Ranked #65

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
Producers: None found, add some
Studios: Studio Ghibli
Source: Novel
Genres: Drama, Historical
Duration: 1 hr. 28 min.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


Score: 8.591 (scored by 88,623 users)
Ranked: #652
Popularity: #248
Members: 140,330
Favorites: 1,638
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.


World War II bombings are something that few willingly bring up in conversations. War, in general, is a topic that is most definitely tragic, but also somewhat larger than life, as is the fact that it is not something that can be explained in an essay or news article. You've got to see it to believe it.

Seita and his four-year-old sister Setsuko are collateral damage of World War II bombings in Japan. Their home, their mother, their bright future. All taken away from them in a swift enemy raid. Both too young to understand the severity of their situations, Seita and Setsuko fill their hearts with hope - the only thing that can mend the emotional trauma caused by their devastating situation. However, hope can only get you so far, as it turns out that war forces even good people to make hard decisions. How long will hope keep Seita and Setsuko moving forward? Is the light of a firefly bright enough to guide them to happiness once again?

Hotaru no Haka is a heartbreaking film that allows us to experience the harsh realities of a post-war environment through the delicate eyes of two young siblings.


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Promotional Videos

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

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
Dec 22, 2008
(I have a feeling most people reading this will hit the "Not Helpful" button as soon as they see my overall score, but for the few who actually care to read the review, there are several interesting points to consider)

(Partial re-write of a review posted about 5.5 years ago on another site. God my writing sucked so much worse back then!)

A well-renowned Studio Ghibli classic about 14 year-old Seita and his little sister struggling to survive after their home is destroyed by carpet bombing, their mother killed, and their father is away fighting with the Navy.

Except they don't really struggle. Not at read more
I found this review Helpful
Feb 23, 2008
Title: Grave of the Fireflies

Novel, Anime: Grave of the Fireflies was originally a semi-autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, written as an apology to his younger sister. The novel was written and won the Naoki Prize in 1967.

Grave of the Fireflies was animated by Studio Ghibli (famous for Spirited Away and their recent adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle) and directed by Isao Takahata (famous for his work on Pom Poko). The film was released on April 16th, 1988 in Japanese theatres, and came Stateside courtesy of Central Park Media in 2002 (oddly enough, this movie wasn't picked up by Disney when they licensed the read more
I found this review Helpful
Oct 29, 2013
I'm surprised there aren't many reviews of Hotaru no Haka (Grave of the Fireflies) that question all the praise its received. I'm also equally unsurprised due to the ability of people to gobble up a seemingly sad story, claim it gave them 'feels', and slap a high score on it. If you look at Grave of the Fireflies on a critical level, it's undeniable that you'll find deep themes and issues about morality; however, the way that the themes and messages are presented lack genuine feelings of pity or sorrow. The emotions I felt most were, surprisingly enough, irritation and frustration.

The story is basically 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: 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: 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: 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
159 replies by Siennyzhuang »»
9 hours ago
Poll: Did you cry after you watched this movie? (spoilers) ( 1 2 3 )
ss4gojetanks - Jul 8, 2011
102 replies by Darkshadow77 »»
Dec 16, 2015 1:27 PM

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