My friend Jude has a habit of dropping by the 24-hour neighborhood Mercury Drug at odd hours. During one of his nightly visits, he spotted a poor-looking woman hiding some groceries under her dress.
Jude had a few moments to decide whether he should report her or not, but after making eye contact with her, he decided to let it go.
“Did I do the right thing?” Jude asked. “She just looked so kawawa.”
“I dunno Jude, I may have done the same thing. Or I would’ve paid for her groceries, but I wasn’t there.”
Everyone hates a thief, but sometimes you don’t know why they do it. I just remembered because last night Markus wanted to watch anime and asked for Grave of the Fireflies, which is part of my anime collection.
“Markus, it’s the saddest thing on earth,” I warned him as I fed the DVD into the player. But he insisted. We watched together while lying on the bed, Markus asking lots of questions about the war. I could only guess the answers based on what my Lola and Dad had told me.
True enough, the movie brought back the same sad emotions I had when I viewed it the first and second time.
Grave of the Fireflies is about a brother and sister (Seita is 14, Setsuko is 4) who struggle to survive during the World War II fire bombings in Kobe, Japan.
The son of a naval officer, Seita vows to take care of his sister, especially after their mom dies during an attack.
Their home completely destroyed, they are forced to stay with an aunt who becomes mean when her own husband dies in the war.
When things get worse at the aunt’s house, the two decide to live in an air raid shelter and fend for themselves with whatever food they can get by fishing, eating frogs and snails, bartering goods, and using what little cash they have left. When almost all their resources are gone, the boy turns to stealing.
The story is based on the semi-autobiographic novel by Akiyuki Nosaka who lost his sister due to malnutrition in 1945 wartime Japan. He blamed himself for her death and wrote the story to make amends to her and help him accept the tragedy. (Wiki)
While Googling last night, I was amazed to find out how high-tech YouTube has become. You can now view the anime in its entirety here.
Movie critic Roger Ebert considers Grave of the Fireflies to be one of the most powerful war movies ever made and has included it on his Great Movies list. (Wiki)
If you have a soft spot for children, watch it. (Note: it is 90 minutes long.)
If you have kids, love them even more. If you have older children, watch with them. Aside from crying your eyes out, you will also savor every bowl of rice you will have from this day forward.