Database for Animation Studies


Representation of Locations in Grave of the Fireflies

This paper examines the representation of specific locations in Isao Takahata’s animated film Grave of the Fireflies and discusses the significance of visits to important places in the movie. Grave of the Fireflies evokes strong emotions. One example in this context is the school sequence where the mother of the two main characters, a brother and a sister, dies. If the scene content is compared with the real geographic location, the railroad overpass that should have been there does not appear. This absence emphasizes the sense of isolation that envelops the siblings. Further, when we consider visits to important locations in this movie, it is more like dark tourism than anime pilgrimage; that is, these are places where real events have happened, such as old battle sites. The important locations in a fictional work do not necessarily correspond to reality, and we cannot ignore the emotions aroused by the work. These aspects require further consideration.

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