Ranked #62
Hotaru no Haka

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
Genres: Drama, Historical
Duration: 1 hr. 28 min.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company


Score: 8.601 (scored by 79954 users)
Ranked: #622
Popularity: #236
Members: 125,637
Favorites: 1,375
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)


No background information has been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding background information here.

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 7:14 PM
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 1:09 PM
(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 5:15 PM
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 2:11 PM
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: Giovanni no Shima
Extreme circumstances invokes the true human nature in our hearts. Let that be kindness, bitterness or perhaps any other emotions and the consequences that follows. In just the first few minutes of the films, they managed to show an already clear difference between them. Giovanni no Shima beginning on a clear, bright sky while Hotaru no Haka begins in darkly lit places filled with despair. Though both films does show how there is a brighter side to everything, Giovanni no Shima has a different sweetness that Hotaru no Haka lacks. The sweetness or perhaps bitterness to be able to face ethnic differences. Both films being  read more 
reportRecommended by FatefulLove

Recent News

UK Producer To Make a Live Action Movie of Grave of the Fireflies ( 1 2 )
dtshyk - Nov 23, 2012
69 replies by SamuriJim »»
Jul 27, 2013 5:08 PM

Recent Forum Discussion

Poll: Hotaru No Haka Episode 1 Discussion ( 1 2 3 )
yakyuu-addict - Nov 28, 2008
149 replies by Protaku94 »»
Aug 17, 9:54 PM
Poll: Did you cry after you watched this movie? (spoilers) ( 1 2 )
ss4gojetanks - Jul 8, 2011
98 replies by AniManiac0607 »»
Jul 23, 10:03 PM

Recent Featured Articles

20 Deaths We Can’t Forget from Naruto and Other Series

20 Deaths We Can’t Forget from Naruto and Other Series

They were with us all along. Whether they were good or evil, these characters left a strong impression on us, as did their deaths. These are the deaths which moved us the most, and with death scenes we will always remember. *Spoiler Warning*