Based on a semi-autobiographical novel written by Akiyuki Nosaka, “Grave of the Fireflies” comes to theaters in 2015.
The novel was first published in 1969. An animated feature came out in 1988 and a live action show appeared on Japan’s NTV in 2005.
Produced by Dresden Pictures, James Heath and Liam Garvo, “Grave of the Fireflies” opens the story on an evening in 1945, after Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II. In a train station, young Seita is left alone to die. The rest of the film tells the story, in a flashback, how events have led up to this moment in time.
Seita and Setsuko are two Japanese children, growing up in the days of World War II. Much to Seita’s pride, their father is in the Japanese navy and they live fairly well in Kobe, despite rationing of food and other privations of war. Their mother dies from burns she suffered during an American bombing raid and a distant aunt takes them in to raise them. Conflict eventually forces the children to try to survive on their own.
Seita and his little sister begin to enjoy their idyllic lives in the country but harsh reality eventually settles in as Seita begins to understand the difficulties of caring for a younger sibling when both food and compassion are scarce. (Emru Townsend, Rovi)
Isao Takahata directs “Grave of the Fireflies.” The cast listed for the voices for “Grave of the Fireflies” are Tsutomu Tatsumi as Seita and Ayano Shiraishi as Setsuko.
Watch for “Grave of the Fireflies” to appear in theaters in 2015 in the U.S.