Grave of the Fireflies (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, February 16, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, October 06, 1998
Seeing this film is not an easy experience. This film has such power to invoke emotion in you that I cannot find words that would describe it and give it justice.
For the technical aspects, the Audio is decent Dolby Stereo, with no glaring flaws, while the Video definitely has some problems. On my PC there were very bad rainbow effects, and I want to reiterate that I have never seen this effect happen on a progressive-scan disc, and since this was a theatrical release I wish the authors had indeed made this disc in non-interlaced format. The movie is also in 4:3 format, instead of 16:9 as all widescreen titles should be.
The Packaging is very similar to all the older CPM releases with the Anime DVD banner on the side of the cover. It can catch someone's eye, and it does contain a nice plot quickie on the back. The Menus are rather bland in terms of flair, but they do contain some helpful information and they are fully functional.
The actual story of the film is truly touching, detailing the lives of Seita and Setsuko, two children who've been orphaned after the incendiary bombings of Japan in 1945. The mood of all the citizens is grim: they all expect the Americans to invade "any day now" but continue to believe in the might of the great Japanese empire.
I have never seen a film about World War 2 before that is from the perspective of the Japanese people. It is truly sad the horrors that the US put them through (however I in no way want to start a debate on this issue, as they certainly did bad things to us) and this movie shows how the horrors of war can affect everyone down to the lowly peasant. Watching the sad story of the demise of Seita and Seksuko unfold is a very depressing experience, but it is one that needs to be told. It truly is a great work of art, and while it may be difficult to watch at times due to the sheer sadness of the film, it is an experience that everyone should endure, as it is truly enlightening to the viewer.
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A
Video Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Central Park Media
Running time: 88
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Grave of the Fireflies