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It is the time shortly after the surrender of Japan at the end of WWII and in the city of Kobe a young man has just died in a train station. His name was Seita and he was 14. It is September 21, 1945.
Among Seita's few belongings is an old fruit drops tin. In the tin are some ashes, the only remains of his little four year old sister Setsuko.
A janitor, unsure what to do with the candy tin, tosses it out into the night. Amid some fireflies, a couple of ghostly figures appear, the forms of Setsuko and Seita.
Through flash backs we learn their story. We see their mother die in a fire bombing, and now, orphaned, how they must live in an abandoned bomb shelter in country. With a world that can no longer help them, they must fend for themselves in whatever way possible.
Grave of the Fireflies is not an easy movie to watch. It invokes emotions like few movies, of any form, can.