Friday, May 07, 2004

Angelo once asked me if I had any anime recommendations for him for starters, since he didn't watch a lot of the stuff. I was tempted to get him into Urutsokidoji (The Overfiend), but I suppose sex and tentacles wouldn't be suitable orientation. So I told him about the magical Oscar-winning Spirited Away. A few nights ago, I saw the first part of Isao Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies, and despite my not seeing the whole of it yet, it gets boosted into the 'highly recommended' list.

If you haven't heard of Grave of the Fireflies(though I'm sure most of you regular blog readers have), noted film critic Roger Ebert said that it "belongs on any list of the greatest war films ever made." Another critic, Ernest Rister, said that it's comparable to Spielberg's Schindler's List. Released in Japan in 1988 but only recently gaining attention through DVD sales, this anime classic tells of two siblings, one 14 and one 4 years old, who try to survive the hardships that beset Japan during World War II. Their mother dies after being severely injured during an air raid, and they find themselves wrestling with the reality that resources are few and options are even fewer.

Based on Akiyuki Nosaka's autobiographical novel, it's one of the most powerful and depressing films I've ever seen even if I'm not yet done with the thing.

I'm actually reluctant to finish it. I remember bawling my eyes out as a kid after watching the Voltes 5 episode where the mother of the Armstrong brothers gets killed. I think I'm going to do the same with Grave of the Fireflies. So, Angelo, if you haven't seen this and would want to, make sure you have the hunski along.

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