*Sob Sob Sob* J….just a moment…. *Blows nose hard* Alright… I’m ready for this.
As you can see, this show is sad. I don’t mean boo hoo sad, I mean full blown cry your eyes out sad. We are talking about a movie that has two young children trying to live at a time where bombs would destroy your home quickly and fear was in everyone’s thoughts.
The film starts on Sept 21, 1945 in a train station. World War II had just about ended and our main protagonist, Seita, is sitting against a poll. A Janitor digs through his possessions because Seita is dead and finds a small candy tin with some ash in it. As he throws it away, the spirit of a young girl comes from it and Seita. It is here that our story really begins as we are taken through the life of these two little characters during the final months of World War II. The strange thing about this is that Seita and his sister Setsuko rarely speak at all. It’s as though we are watching it from both someone else’s eyes and through there own. It’s hard to explain except though the stereotypical life flashing through ones eyes when they die. We are placed in the part of the spiritual Seita and Setsuko watching our life go past our eyes.
The artwork is old fashioned and not as clean cut as normal Studio Ghibli films but I feel this one doesn’t have to be. This show is about the ugly truth of war, not a happy little fantasy world full of small magical creatures (I don’t count the fireflies). It’s the whole reality of the show that’s the big shocker. Colors are mostly diluted tones and only really kick up on the color scale slightly when the two share something happy. It helps us feel the emotions of the characters as they too watch.
There is rarely any talking but again, the show doesn’t have to be as it has one of the saddest musical scores I have heard for a show. The little bit of dialoged only feels slightly forced because of how close it is to the translation. You would have to wonder how anyone could write this story without crying their eyes out.
In the end, it’s a really good show and you should really watch it if you want to feel something sad.