Sentai Filmworks will release on Blu-ray Japanese director Isao Takahata's Hotaru no Haka a.k.a Grave of the Fireflies (1988). Exact technical specs and supplemental features to be included with this release are unknown at the moment, but the street date set by Sentai Filmworks is November 20th.
Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, this haunting Japanese anime tells the story of two children, 14-year-old Seita (Tsutomu Tatsumi) and his four-year-old sister Setsuko (Ayano Shiraishi), who are struggling to survive in 1940s war-torn Japan where bombings by American warplanes and napalm attacks are an almost daily occurrence. When their mother is killed in an air raid, and the fate of their Naval officer father remains unknown, the children are left to fend for themselves. After a brief and uncomfortable stay with a cold and distant aunt, who makes it clear that she doesn't want to be burdened with them, they run away and set up home in an abandoned bomb shelter. For a while they find some happiness living on their own with a field of almost magical fireflies to keep them company. But as the rationing of food grows more unbearable, Seita finds it an increasing struggle to keep himself and Setsuko alive.
one of the most heartbreaking and hauntingly beautiful films, and I dont mean just animation, I have ever experienced. ecstatic that it is finally getting a blu-ray release. Im with 'rollinwith26s' on this...Day 1 for sure!!!
I wish disney never got the rights to the Ghibli collection. They should of ALL went to an Anime studio that does NA releases so that not only would everything match, but we wouldn't have to wait years between releases!
Sentai Filmworks' remastered DVD is a great boost from the old CPM release of many years ago--but that said, is this Blu a native 1080p scan from film, or an upconvert from their 480p master?
As for 'Grave' not being part of the Disney NA catalog, it's because this film has a different Japanese licensor/distributor as all the rest. Someone better informed than me could be more specific, I'm sure.
@BDAcolyte you're right, Grave of the Fireflies was produced by Shinchosha while all the other Ghibli films are produced by Tokuma Shoten (Ghibli's parent company) so that's why Disney does not have the US rights for this film. That and of course the fact that is not appropriate for children.
I really really hope this turns out to be a rewarding and quality release and that eventually Mononoke-Hime and Spirited Away will their release too like aimforsilence said. Those are 2 of the best imo.
It is a great film and heart wrenching..... Watch it and felt depressed for weeks!!!
Will buy it as a collection and show to kids as anti-war education film..... But would never watch it again.
Cannot take the depression again especially I am now a parent with small children.
I already blind-preordered to import the UK version of Grave of the Fireflies to be released by Studio Canal, which I now consider the go-to studio for all things Studio Ghibli for the English-language market. I look forward to receiving it, though I'll pay attention to see what reviews and extras the Sentai Filmworks version has.
I look forward to seeing it, even though it may be utterly sobering. I'm no stranger to depressing films; many of the best films made happen to be rather depressing.