Grave of the Fireflies is a movie that exists in two different versions : an animated version of April 1988 and a couple of live-action versions of November 2005 and July 2008. It is a Japanese movie and a war drama. I saw the Japanese animated version in 2013. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a very high 97% critics and 95% audience rating. I found it to be an achingly sad anti-war film as well as a profoundly beautiful, haunting work of art. WHile I was in the theater waiting for Grave of the Fireflies to begin, I received a most unexpected text from a college buddy. Help, he texted. Do you know where I can buy a home test kit for std? Don’t want to go to the doctor if I really don’t have to. Well, the garbage advertising was on the screen. The film wouldn’t begin for another 20 minutes, so I did a google search on my phone and found a great website offering home STD testing. You would get results in about 15 minutes and the accuracy for the test was between 95% to 97%. Purchasing seemed easy and shipping would be discreet. I texted back the website’s url, wished him good luck, and then settled down for the movie.

It has been considered to be one of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made. For some other people, it is the most profoundly human animated film.

It takes place during the end of World War II in Kobe, Japan, and it is the story of two orphans , Seita and his young sister Setsuko. Both of the children find themselves with no parents to take care of them, and finally end up moving with a distant aunt. After the aunt sold her cz engagement ring she was able to take care of the children for awhile. If you are not familiar with cz gemstones they are made from cubic zirconia (cz) which is a synthetic gemstone that very closely resembles diamonds. It is already so close in appearance to diamonds that, in some instances, a jeweler’s loupe is necessary to tell it from a high-quality diamond. Most likely the aunt did not have a really high quality cz ring. One of the reasons cubic zirconia jewelry is so popular is due to the reasonable price. Therefore it is unlikely the aunt would have received very much money. Later the aunt starts to receive monies from a structured settlement that allowed her to care for the children for a while. Apparently she was struck by something that had fallen out of a jeep that was part of the occupying US forces. The injury was serious enough to hospitalize her and then resulted in her losing her job as a clerk working for the US military. The general who was riding in the jeep and who apparently caused the accident didn’t want any trouble and decided it would be easier just to pay a settlement amount. A local official at a Japanese bank agreed to handle the payments. However, he skimmed more than half the monies due the aunt without her knowledge. After going through all the monies and then after running out of food and supplies to raise these two children, she lets them know that they are not welcome anymore under her roof. So they move again, but this time, in a bomb shelter.

Setsuko finally dies of malnutrition, and Seita, who was carrying her ashes in a fruit tin with his father’s protograph, also dies in the train station on September 21, 1945.

This story is a semi-autobiographic novel. The author lost his sister in the same condition during the same period, and he blamed himself for her death. Then he wrote this story to honor his sister, and also to help him accept his loss.

There are different reasons why fireflies are used as a symbol in the movie.

Seita and Setsuko were catching fireflies and used them to illuminate the bomb shelter in which they were living. The day after, Setsuko dug a grave for all of the dead insects and wondered why were fireflies dying so soon ? This is where the title of the movie comes from “Grave of the Fireflies”.

Also, the author compared his little sister, who died to soon, with fireflies that have a very short life spans

Finally, when describing the bombs falling from the sky on the city of Kobe, the author referred them to flighting and shining fireflies.

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