Grave of the Fire Flies is a bit slow-moving through the first act, but becomes a very engaging, moving film by its end. It's an interesting mix of material and method, of story and genre that is a little disarming at first, but ultimately works extremely well. You'll find yourself realizing that this film would never be made in America. The animation here is above average in most respects, and the backgrounds and scenery are fantastic, but all in all it's nothing incredible of groundbreaking. It's the story that really shines. This is a survival story about sacrifice, hope, despair, and the power of family. But the tone is sad, sad, sad more than heartwarming...though there are some of these moments at well. Don't watch this if you need cheering up. But do watch it when you're ready for something new, different, and more than you bargained for. Grave of the Fireflies gets my strong recommendation.
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