The man behind GHIBLI that doesn't get enough respect

The man behind GHIBLI that doesn't get enough respect

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Now a lot of ways esau Takahata is the opposite to miyazaki, he'd walk into work seconds from being late with a piece of bread in his mouth and tap, water in hand the, kind of guy who wanders, off into his own world if you didn't keep an eye on him he, later finding him taking, a nap clasping. Half-open, pack of cigarettes that's, not to discredit ezel, his, films hit a level of pristine that only comes from breaking all your deadlines which. Is funny considering Takahata fell into the animation business he, was a graduate, of French, literature, granted. Through his degree he was introduced, to mr. wander bird the film that instilled with him a fascination, towards animation. Leading. To his application. At Towey where taça heart became an assistant director gained, the respect of his peers as, time would pass including. One in particular that, he met through his joint involvement at the labor union Miyazaki. Who would soon become his partner in crime yes. Ouch suka had given esau a shot, of making a name for himself as a director, with big aspirations Takahata. And his team plan, to change animation. At Toa what, they delivered, was a critically, acclaimed classic. By even I've sang the praises of on more, than one occasion. Reflecting. On the student rebellion, mentality, of the 60s, socialist. Themes of collectivism, as well. As one of the most complex female characters, we'd seen from that era Hilda, so. With. This film we the one that brought ease out of prominence winning, him the respect of the whole industry. Not. A chance, Horace, printed the son went, through production hell exceeded, its budget and bombed tower. Ostracize, Takahata selling him all the way back to assistant, directing until he decided to leave the company altogether as, tensions. Would rise Miyazaki. Ford in. 1971. There, was an opportunity in, Stockholm, the boys. Were. In talks at a productions, to adapt famous, Swedish tale PP longstockings, takahata's. Described, PP as a bomb free, children's, minds, to be just as they were this. Was a dream job for the both of them Miyazaki. Even traveled to Europe to delegate the terms doing. Research on the way they. Had a team back in Japan with Yoshi Kota Bay and yeah saw Otsuka working. On the pre-production creating. Character the science lay out some concept art this, would be takahata's, redemption, project, if it. Were ever greenlit buyers the. Author refused, a proposal all, the work was for nothing. Until. Takahata's. Pitched they reused, the concepts, for a new project that preyed, on the Panda boom of Japan at the time they. Take the failure, of pipi Longstocking z' and turn it into its own short, film go, panda go deeming, children's entertainment, too loud and flashy Takahata.

And The gang wanted to make something slower. And more, intimate, this, began ease as flirtation with the slice of life genre while. Serene panda could also be, wacky with it's nonsensical, premise, a panda. Dad and son, becoming meme echoes surrogate. Family this, only gets more extreme by the second Shore the, shorts themselves, were well put together but might be more interesting, in retrospect, for what they would. Inspire, further down the line as concepts. From go panda go were expanded, upon and revisited, like in takahata's next, project, Heidi, girl, of the Alps which, was based on the Swiss novel of the same name, he's, also hide his life as the perfect, childhood in comparison, to his own making. The story summit he'd be happy to indulge in, as it takes ideas from panda but more grounded. Focus on the intricate, movements of, these characters, bring. Them to life with, takahata's, objective. Realism, philosophy. Inspired. By italian. Neorealists. French, new-wave and a zoo while, the list goes on all that focus on reality you, know and interpersonal, relationships, ease, out characters aren't vessels, for the audience they're pulled back and perfect. Sometimes, traveled people Takahata. Compares, this process, to making a documentary, trying, not to uncertainly, scenes that would make the movie feel fake lb, does this by creating a rhythm to the characters everyday schedule, so when the occasional tense moment, or human drama breaks out it, draws you in for, seventies. Anime, working, within the limitations, of TV it, not only pushed the medium further we, gave a satisfying, adaption, of the, source material now. This must be ease out retribution for. His team's dedication, of course. Not the only reward the team got was apathy, as the production tanked, leading. To their complete, restructure, despite, this Heidi. Is considered, a classic in Japan with. Hiyo calling, it his favorite show of takahata's, work Heidi, may not have been a financial success at, the time but, the ratings were good enough to spawn a new movement in anime world, masterpiece, theater so, Carter would continue working on these shows for the rest of the 70s. Working. Next on 3,000 lease and search for mother which became more dour series in comparison, to Heidi then, the power would move between shows until, Miyazaki. And takahata's team effort would lessen as hiyo, goes, off to prove himself as an individual, director, starting. With future. Boy Conan. Although, ezel would come in onto the show to, help with the storyboards, and directing, of a few episodes even. If he wasn't much of a part of the creative process you. Can tell where, his prior work inspired. The show as Conan incorporates, story beats from Horace, as well, as entire sequences, this split between them would go on to define the stars of content they'd create for the rest of their careers, Miyazaki's. More fantastical, worlds where, ezel was, keeping it small and personal like an Anne of Green Gables the last, world masterpiece, theater price, that he that would work on I had a refined visual flair thanks to the talents of Kondo, who worked on the animation and character designs.

For. Easels next, project, eat, approach link worlds, apart based. In Japan Osaka to be exact, known, as shade, the brat but in the West it's, called downtown story, this, is one of the few times I prefer the English title the, film focuses on cheese malfunctioning, family life however, as it goes the focus becomes less about her and more about a wider, friends, and family, how their relationships, change over time and the day to day experiences. It's. A story of the town which, is what drew Takahata in its earnestness, in its betrayal of the Osaka, lifestyle, so, he does a great job of capturing these characters, with. Their unpredictable, natures as you, watch the story unfold it takes turns you wouldn't expect as. A comedy it's cruder than takahata's, previous, work slapstick. And silly which, is refreshing to see after what came before I, call. It highlight for him all, that isn't talked about as much even. If it does have a mild. Obsession. With animal, testicles, but will it will see some more fana later, on. Ghosh. The cellist, this project speaks to ease out passions, taking six years to make he, develops his skills in building lucid, world's seen in this world masterpiece, fear to output or even as early as Horace it's. A new level and gosh it, can be surreal letting the emotions of the scene take over this visual style musical. Aspect flowing, with its animation using. Mickey mouse ting a technique where the characters movements, follow the audio while, keeping true to the characters minut routine it, tells you a lot about them of I haven't to say a word, while gosh was, well-received. It wasn't making waves with the public I can't, even buy an English copy online there. Is this nice region a lot bluer everyone, it pretty pricey though the, mid 80s were a point of transition for ezel he had developed an unfinished, version of, Little Nemo but. We can talk about that another day at, some point in the mid 80s, he would join Ghibli, which is where he resides, to this day at, Ghibli, his first project was not grave of the fireflies as, much might think but in fact a documentary the. Story of yon Ogawa is canals, he's, I went out to get research, for an title ghibli project burnstead became so invested. In the history of the town and the canals he, ended up making a three-hour documentary about it it was funded by the profits of Nausicaa you, get a feel for he's. Our wandering personality. As well as his passion for his own country's history every, film he would make it Ghibli after. This would be distinctly, Japanese and unique it's. Perhaps too long indulgent. And specific. For a wide audience, although. I don't think this is something that ezel. Worries, about then. This mentality Toccata seemed relieved as if to say I don't need to worry about making my films as commercial. Because, we have Miyazaki it seems to give him the freedom to mess, around which. Is evident in his career at Ghibli or, even the fact that he would a Galvez way to make. A non animated, film that so far out this comfort zone just for the hell of it, now. This one is the exception, to the rule grave of the fireflies did, well overseas, and has gained a reputation as one of the best animated films ever, made in. Japan. Has played on the TV every year at the celebration of the end of the war as well as in schools where, students, study it despite. Its impact this is one of toccata films where I'd wager it needs re-examining. Spoilers. First. Off credit to Takahata this is his. Most polished film at this point the. Animation is always on point it's fluent, and it's naturalistic, movements, and the, direction is solid as well but. The problem seep in is towards. The characters. And writing is a step down from what came before I'm. Sure as a post-war, kid who, experienced, bombing firsthand the story of Grover the fireflies, must, have resonated with Takahata so. When the best scenes in the film, are at the start where the town is in cinder a bombed something, that happened to takahata's, own town however. The stilted character interactions, afterwards, ko offers Oscar, bait like, Satan. Never gets frustrated, with his sister, and rarely lets down his facade even, as his mother dies in the Bleak moments afterwards he's trying to do tricks to calm down his sister will, flips and the, violins, just they swell up Hulsing, films, constructed.

To Be emotional. The, ward nominations, rising, with the orchestra, most. Of the sibling scenes paint, this picture, of wondrous. Youth. Naivete. To. Build a sadder conclusion, in the end yet, when compared to other war films like barefoot gen grapes childhood, scenes Phil they feel inauthentic. In his defense I will say, Setsuko his portrayal is much. Better than only the other characters, in the Japanese dub they were able to get a real, four-year-old girl to play the role and her actions performance, ring true to the whole film without, this performance, the basis of the film would crumble but I'll get back to that a little later well. The ant is OneNote my, biggest problem with the film is the, character, of seitan. There's, no introspection. In his decisions, as they become more extreme, despite. The fact that he's living a stone's throw away from his aunt he, never reconsiders. Going back and asking forgiveness, is, even, brought within, the narrative by, the farmer, how he's willing to steal when, he still has money in the bank never. Attempts to find a real job and after the doctor tells him that his sister is very ill and malnourished, he still wouldn't apologize, to his art it, all left me frustrated, with the character, but, Steven you say it's, based on a true story so, this must, be intentional. Well, I hate to burst your bubble but grave of the fireflies is a lie it's, a romanticism. Of events, that were not as poetic where, the author ate, and her sister starved, he had to live with that guilt for the rest of his life they, call it pay folks profiting. Off your own tragedy, and turning. It into a double suicide play. A bit, tasteless, in my eyes in. His defense the creator did say that. The book was supposed to be in honor of sister's, memory but. Some of his other comments, he's made. Make. Me question that. Yeah. Yeah. There. Are some readings of the film that would argue that sizes actions, are a criticism, to, Japan, to blind patriotism, yet. Several instance during the film contradict, this so itit does talk about his, admiration, to his father and how he was going to shoot down the bad people although as a character, he is presented, as unpatriotic, and, lazy by his art and others for not doing them his part to help along, with his willingness to steal from his countrymen during bombings his, distancing. Himself from, reality. And living in a fantasy to, the point where he doesn't even know the war is over this all brings me to conclude that the film's topic has more to do with youth, when, it does patriotism. Slightest. Actions, were cited, by Takahata, as making. A movie where, a kid of today suddenly, was sent back in time so. I didn't intend to be retrospective, or nostalgic. This. Is where I start to take umbrage with some of these quotes it, leaves a bad taste in my mouth the.

Business, And it's sentiment towards the next generation, site. It is unlikable, to a fault and if, he's supposed to represent, children. Of now to. Guilt them for, being born in a period of economic growth, that's. A damning statement to. Tell them that their parents and grandparents, were victims and that they, would not survive with, their mentality, without, going into the depths of the situation, I mean. After all it was not the younger generation, that let their pride get the best of them while, causing a lot of suffering because, they were unwilling to back down this. Narrative about Japan's, past I've become, an unfortunate, staple of Japanese war films in, the same way Japanese. Culture encourages silence, on difficult, topics instead of addressing them to, make it clear I don't think Takata, intended, to be malicious in his directorial decisions. But. It was using it more to push a political agenda, quotation. Marks Takata may not think that, grave of the fireflies is, an anti-war, film though. I do believe the image you presented, was, used to create a negative connotation with. The youth of today that would keep something like article, 9 in the, consciousness, of adolescents, as they grow up using. The character of Setsuko as a lynchpin, in this grave. Of the fireflies at, core is about victims, of war the, siblings, hair are taken from them that idealic, life is taken from them their innocence, is taken from them then, circumstances, outside of Setzer coast control leapt to her slow painful, death instead of framing us as an issue of war itself Toccata wants to make it to make it emotionally relevant to, his audience adolescents, by, using Setsuko, as an angelic, figure, the ultimate, innocent martyr not, too young to be unable to communicate but. Not old enough to be independent even the animation versions ending, shows, this key difference and, how it frames itself, by. Focusing on the death of Setsuko giving a montage to her day to day I fell had a setup to make the audience more. The, death of innocence, when, they themselves teenagers.

Are Going through a similar change it, seems further and how they frame, these two, ghosts, looking, at current day Japan, overall. This technique is borderline manipulative. Regardless. I understand the reasons it was reused although, I don't see the appeal in watching a sibling starfish, younger sister to death but, that's the nature of taste. Only. Yesterday, handles. Itself a lot better even if I do have some problems with its content, I'll get into that later it's, a distinct and personal, tale of reflecting, on one's life the, flashbacks, are presented, in a warm fuzzy, simplified. Manner to give contrast. To the rest of the animations, grounded. And lavished world it's, relatable in painful ways reminiscing. On the mundane moments, all, that time you did something 10, years ago that was so embarrassing it made you shudder just by thinking about it it's about growing up and thinking of how your life could have been different. A life, could have gone if it were not for this so that feeling. Unsatisfied, now, longing, for a change of routine which. Is what the main character does when, she takes a vacation in the countryside although, it might be too good to be true as the major conflict of the film rests on her next, decision this, is the part I take fault with to, a degree it glorifies his peaceful farming. Life that's the simpler, life as the best way to live. Instead, the nasty, city life. Yeah yeah, it. Seems a bit of a naive outlook, to, take on my for a 28, year old woman, granted. The, film does address. This towards, the end when. Tyco realizes. She's, been playing dress-up, on vacation, and making a life-changing, decision of, a, 10-day break would. Be silly, without Elise thinking about it our decision in the end might be a little more sentimental, than my, taste but overall I think, it's a great, film one. Of Ezell's, best a lot of that has to do with the quality of its intimate storytelling, how it tackles some of them what-have-you subjects, around growing, up pom. Poko is, most, divisive, film one, of the few films by Takahata which is not, an adaption it, seems to be thought, better of in the east with, places, like China and Japan calling. It essential, viewing and, you know what so it should be it's a wild ride full of assert humor I mean we're actually gonna see these these tanuki testicles, just flaming, at you firing. Down. Taken. On man it's, so. Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So it's a film that's direct with its environmental, message without becoming Captain, Planet it has a less idyllic, tone throughout, and, pushes the idea of coexisting, and preserving, what we have encouraging, kids but it's something worth doing you know focusing on humanizing, the animal to make the play easier for them to understand pom, Poko is, weird and Japanese. To the bone I'm surprised they put such a budget behind something. That would not do well outside of Japan let alone get a full, of release but that's, easy in a nutshell he doesn't care and he'll make what he makes and it's. Hard not to respect that. Kondo. Was a key animator on many of the previous projects Tok hot had worked on he, was a good friend to the studio being, the first director outside of the original pair who would make a Ghibli. Feature film his. Sudden death in 1998, left a hole in the studio that, almost left, nozaki, to retire did. Condos passing, lead to such a distinct, change in art direction, on takahata's next project it seemed, like cel animation had lost its luster for, the director who'd become more interested in new techniques it was going for a very small scale in comparison, to the prior film left, field choice to adapt a manga, known as, no no Chan which became the film my neighbor Yamada the, film's visual style has a level of dreamlike, abstraction. At its heart it's a light, comedy, around, family, made, of small vignettes, that tie it all together based, on little, relatable, quirky, moments, you might have you, can see where Tucker's direction, from only yesterday's of nostalgic.

Flashbacks. Has, influenced, this abstract, visual language where, you only see what's necessary, Phil may not look like anything special at first but, it shows how variates. To do things with, a simplified art that wouldn't be possible otherwise. Making. Yamada a necessary, stepping stone of otaku hotter the production sent Ghibli into chaos as they had no set way to schedule it leading to higher costs, and will its distinct, ante Ghibli, look picture, did not do well at the box office, Takahashi, was content, to stop there after, Yamada, that was until producer Nishimura spent, 18, months of takahata's, day, today trying. To convince him to make one last film and easie, was like okay okay you. Got me other. Princess. Kaguya based. On the oldest, tale known from Japanese history he's, ours last film is, most beautiful taking full advantage of, your modest visual language next, to something we've seen him tackle earlier, like, in his short from winter, days which, was a small limited traditional. Japanese so my painting, inspired piece, to. Do this they, had to create backgrounds that took on a minimalist, design using, watercolours. Toning. It back a bit and defining, what the visual style should look like instead. Of cleaning up the animation they were trying to capture the raw qualities, in the storyboards. Emotions. Rule this aesthetic, when. Ditional techniques, were used to place the whole process together, there was no fixed color palette it was decided on the fly like an absolute, madman, lots, of little decisions like this made, the production last eight years which, does show in its expressive, animation, showcase but, this put a great strain on the team the storyboard wasn't even finished until the last year of development, it doesn't help it's also ease out longest, animated, film as a final film for matically, it's, fitting, the, only side of the film who seems reminiscent to Heidi of, other bits echoing, graves more. Tragic, tale some. Parts feel akin to only yesterday's, growing up sequences, there, even part to remind me of the rhythm seen in the cellist, making. This last outing resonate, to everything he's done beforehand, even. If it could have been a bit more to the point at times however. Despite, gaining he's Al's highest, box-office gross a long production, cycle and all the problems that came with it meant this film did not break even, almost, almost like poetry it rhymes. So. That's it for though his. Career was mired by flat notes with commercial, audiences, however. His work speaks for itself it's, both wider and topic and genre. Than Miyazaki, and yet, in some ways just as tightly knit his, work brought a needed, variety, to jubblies output which without the company might not have had such a glowing, response, as Bernal seeped in he's a master craftsman and if you're looking for a place to start Jesus on my favorites, and here's. A chart I made there's a link for that in the description so. Next time you, want to watch the same Ghibli film for the 50th time if my man tuck a heart or go instead. Whoa. Whoa, no, sweating in here so. Yeah that's the video guys I hope you like it and I hope I can actually edit it I'm, gonna try and do more videos like this in the future but I might experiment. With a format because this was really long and time-consuming so, I capture then cheers, I love. You.

2018-02-25 21:30

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Comments:

Just a quick clarification , Heidi was a commercial success in Japan a fine one at that which competed number wise with Space Battleship Yamato , I was more talking about how the production didn't respect the dedication of the team as they restructured into Nippon Animation.

Oh wow that's amazing, for a show as quaint as Heidi it a lot more engaging that you'd expect. I'm kind of disappointed I never got to see it when I was young

In Germany pretty much everyone knows Heidi, most people from this Anime. I think every German above the age of 20 can sing the opening song to you.

Yeah seems its was huge everywhere but the US and the UK

It was also a big success all over the world. Germany made a CGI remake. It's definitely not just a readaptation.

I also don't believe we ever got a commercial release for Heidi in the west but if you're willing to search you can find even on this site.

I really like your vid and made me want to watch "tale of kaguya"

I relate to him a lot as well just in the way he approaches things

It also made me admire the isao takahata of how spontaneous he is, like how He made a documentary of his own village because he just wants to. makes him really relatable to me

Thank you , i'm glad you enjoyed it

I KNEW IT

Fantastic, I even learnt a few things namely why miyazaki is my favourite of the pair. You do a marvelous job putting these together

No I get you , I was just curious. Miyazaki's work tends to speak to people more so. I'd say overall Miyazaki has realised two of my favourite anime films , which may outweigh how much I enjoy Takahata's although I do appreciate what his films strive to do more. They're both great in their own way

Stevem I've watched and researched All ghibli stuff on many many occasions but less so which of the 2 of them were in charge of what. so having the exact movies defined into the takahara group and then analysed as such made me realise most of the movies I really love or that I would put in my top 5 are that of miyazakis. I would even go ad far as to say as an aspiring artist I would appreciate the fluidity and added detail to each scene that seems to come more with the miyazaki side of the pond, again that's not to say I don't love takaharas works also.

Thank you, it takes a lot of time to sort and I'm still learning as I go. I'm curious in what ways you discovered Miyazaki to be your favourite, in regards to this video

I only know realise that Captain Dola is basically an old Pippi. Takahata is great, I really enjoy his work. Some more (Kaguya!!) and some less (Horus). I think you need to work on your ductus and pronounciation.

Some of the audio was lost before I'd have the chance to polish up all of it Im afraid, I'm gonna work on it as much as I can. My voice was failing a bit on this project because it ended up being a 2 hour recording session as I went through the script twice.

Great video. Nice to see some love for Gauche the Cellist.

The music is banging in that and animation compliments it to the max

The bit on Hotaru no haka was crazy interesting

The author comments on the story are a bit troubling, though I don't know how much of that intent was put in the anime outside of that hug scene

After I rewatched Hotaru no haka, I thought of it more as a "personal drama in the after-war setting", rather than a "war movie". Hadashi no gen certainly is a movie about war, and much more so its aftermath. I enjoyed both in their own way, although I don't think I can see Hotaru no haka the same way after knowing what I know now.

I'm glad you think so, considering its so popular I was a bit worried there would be some backlash, but I was willing to take it because the conversation around the film is so one dimensional " It's emotional , I cried and war is bad ." I think Bare foot Gen tackled the topics much better even came out before. Although from what I've heard the manga is better and goes far more into the subtext of being in an anti-war family in a War torn community.

No joke, this video is amazing, you should be proud. Also 21:27 now I know what I will be watching next week

I'm glad the response is so positive it was a bit of an epic to make, I've never written or edited something so intricate . Everything Takahata's has made is worth a look, I'm hoping people can find at least one which they fall in love with.

A great video! I’ll share this on Ghibli Blog right away.

Awww, Thank you very much! it took a long time to sort out hahahaha I'm hoping it was worth it :)

Amazing video, really learned a lot here.

Thank you ! I always enjoy knowing people found the topic engaging and informative

Excellent video!

Un gran video. Perdon por no escribir en inglés. Tratare de ser simple para que si utilices traductor se entienda. Mucha gente infravalora a Takahata, dejando a un lado la "tumba de las lucinernagas" el siempre ha sacado peliculas que no son tan convencionales en la filmografia de Ghibli.

Thank you for the kind words, I hope I was clear enough to understand ahah Takahata doesn't get enough credit despite how versatile he is

dude just finished this and this is your first video that I'm watching you deserve more views :)

My numbers are going so here's hope they stay up

first.

Hi Stevem, will you ever do a video about Richard Williams?

Fantastic

YES , I do have one planned. He doesn't live that far from me I was thinking of asking if he'd like to get a coffee, see what he's working on now.

fantastic work

I feel like you missed one of the most important themes in Grave of the Fireflies: self-destructive pride. It's the reason Seita never apologized to their aunt and instead tried to fix everything himself. This was an especially relevant theme in Japan, as they had refused to surrender in a war they'd been losing for years; they didn't win a single major offensive after mid-1943 and even resorted to kamikaze strikes by 1944.

When I was talking about Blind patriotism it was in response to the idea of Self Destructive Pride in that, that’s not what I think the films about.Framing Seita as dead at the beginning puts him as victim, his destiny is set regardless of what he does. You could also argue story is framed as sympathetic to his plight.  In the ending they change a couple things from the book, in the book Seita dies after death of his sister. It's a blunt ending almost like punishment for what he did.   However the film brings back his sister again, so he gets to join her as they look out at the city. Not sure he deserves to be put in that situation, it’s almost a reward for his suffering.When the author and Takahata comment on Seita, framing him as the next generation, it takes away from that reading as criticism of the old guard.  While fetishising the older generation as stoic and invincible, thats what I take fault with. Now one could bring in the death of author to say that isn’t important, but my video is a lens on Takahata’s career as a director and artist. I don't think they bring anything to the table when it comes to reflecting on self destructive pride, hence why I criticised them.  Comparing their attitude with the way Japan hides away from its Atrocities of the war. There’s a section in Japan that now frame the War, as they were both Victims of The Emperors decision and the bombing. Which is disingenuous to say the least , the Liberal Democrats in Japan have even denied the events that happened in Nanking.  The way I read the authors intent was, The characters either represent Childhood or Adulthood. Sieta is in limbo between these two positions. The adults are unappealing and treat Seita bad, they want him to fight and contribute to the war. Thus he runs aways into a land of childhood. The land of childhood has no rules and thats it's undoing leading to both of their deaths. In Seita's death he is left in the land of childhood, he looks out into reality of modern day, because his mindset has been changed and can no longer go back to naivety of youth (like Frodo at the end of the Lord of the Rings).  One might be able to make a similar reading for self destructive pride maybeee, but Thats why in the end I said, I don’t see the appeal in watching these horrific events unfold as I don’t see what insight they give to the War(especially with how much fabrication is in the source material). That it was perhaps more about personal taste in that regard.

My Neighbors the Yamadas is possible my favourite Takahata film; Tale of Kaguya is amazing but so far I've only watched it twice, while Yamadas I've seen over ten times, possibly closer to twenty... Its those movies I can see contless of times and still enjoy it.

You know what, there is something so charming about Yamadas, I think about it in passing a lot. I should watch it more the english dub was great, which just made the experience all the more comfy.

what a lovely video! i'm always looking to broaden my aspects (as i definitely have been watching the same ghibli films for the longest time now lmao) and this definitely gave me some more movies to add to my watch list.

Fantastic video, mate. You should make a video on Yonebayashi's work. Haven't seen Mary and the Witch's Flower yet tho.

I'm planning a video on Goro right now, Pedantic Romantic did a long form video on Yonebayashi so I don't know if I have anything to add to the conversation, but when he next releases his next film I might do

Grave of the Fireflies, the entire movie is a one big metaphor.  seita is leaders of japan, setuko is people of japan. seita's actions can be projected to leaders of japan during WW2. young and culeless but full of pride and confidence of seita got his sister into her death.

Amazing video, you should have at least 1 million subs

I'm new to the channel, but an AWESOME video, man. Keep it up, you're doing a great job!!

Thank you kindly, hoping to release a new vid later today!

its not a political film, if thats what you mean. i think what they wanted to avoid is to become propaganda like film. japan was bad for killing other people or US was bad for bombing civilians, or NAZI was bad etc... you know, those kind of films. for atrocities... Seita did steal kimono to feed setuko while bombing was going on. kind of represents Japanese invading Asian colonies of European powers and US. for example invasion of Philippines, japan "liberated" Philippines from its colonizer ( please refer to Philippine -american war). but just to steal resources, just like any other colonizer. so, the bombing is colonial rule of US, stealing is the invasion, kimonos are the resources.

It also totallllly doesn't account for the atrocities they committed on other nations and paints into that narrative I was talking about around Japan as Victim.

While one could read the film like this , although when I'm talking about blind patriotism, I say I'm not a fan of this reading. I'm not sure it was intended sInce both the author and director were clear that the project was not an "anti war" piece but more about those characters experiences.

grave of the fireflies is based on a real story by the way and the reason why the boy dies in the novel is because of the guilt the author (the "real" boy) felt for the death of his sister

I know it's based on a real story, I bring this up in the video

Interesting video. There was plenty here I didn't know. You say the director doesn't get enough respect, but then you go on to say that he's manipulative and gunning for an Oscar.

He does deserve more respect ,but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be critical of him. Grave is a film that gets TONS of acclaim in the West and East and I felt there was a conversation still to be had about it. Now when I said the thing about the oscar I was joking in 1988 it was impossible for an anime film to get that kind of award. That being said I do believe I mentioned you should check out all his films and make up your own mind, most people seem to love Grave so I guess I'm in the minority, but everything else he's done I stand by. Which is worth more than my differing opinions on just one film in a career going for 60 years.

I totally understand you feel that way. i just happen to think that the movie was not about who was wrong. or who was nasty or cruel or whatever. its just Not that kind of movie. there is not single shot or scene depicting bombing as evil or inhumane. No resentment towed to civil bombing in the movie. and i dont agree with because they were nasty towered who were against the war , they deserved what they got, kind of logic. i know where "not telling kids fact" came form. i definitely remember learning " Nanjing massacre" in history class. I totally believed it. so let me ask, did you learned about american - Philippine war in school? and its atrocities? killing native population? 1.4 million out of 9 million total population was killed by US democide . did you learned that?

Romano Coombs Its a very in depth topic , this video is about Isao Takahata's perspective so at times I'm taking things at face value but I also talk about where I believe his beliefs were used to bring the audience to his perspective. "All art is propaganda" I suppose it could be looked at like that I was always of the camp of "All art has an agenda/is political" which I suppose is cut from the same cloth. Hitler was lying though and we have evidence to the contrary, with Isao I have my interpretations of the film ,but I couldn't bring up any hardcore evidence that gives out his "true" agenda.

tomato totato Well what I'm saying is I'm more not a fan of that reading of the film because I don't think it represents the events truthfully. Setsuko in the film is an innocent Martyr when in reality the people of Japan were downright nasty to those who were against the war and at least at the time were not as naive as they'd like you to think. Well I brought up Bare foot gen because it also depicts how it was to live in Japan at the time. Also it handle the atomic bomb by showing it. I would rather tell kids the truth you don't need to show all the details but the sentient can be there.If you don't, it makes it harder for them to take the truth at face value later on, many Japanese still deny that any of those atrocities happened.

Stevem thanks for clarifying that. I was questioning that, lol because I grew up watching heidi. was on tv in the early mid 90’s in Mexico and is a classic where I came from :)

how would you depict Nanking Massacre in the film without becoming propaganda like film? how would you depict two atomic bombs? how about genocide of native Indians? its a cartoon. thats why its a metaphor. i have no idea what Bare Foot Gen had to with anything. but at least, they didn't put him into concentration camp, like Japanese - Americans were.

Also, it's dangerous to take the artist's word on the intent of a piece when the piece promotes an agenda of it's own. And all films promote agendas. I subscribe to the "All art is propaganda" concept. It's consistent. IE: If Hitler said that Nazi/anti-Jewish propaganda was NOT intended to cause social harm to them, that would be entirely false. That is it's purpose, and the material would reflect that. If you embrace the author's interpretation without social context, you open yourself to propaganda. AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS SITUATION. You just have to judge the piece by it's repeated themes. If the author disagrees, they can easily describe content that undermines your theory, but they too have to use their own original material. Not Directors Cuts or deleted scenes. If they wanted to correct the interpretation, they might even have to make another distinct piece to reinforce their intended narrative. That's why all this stuff is so fascinating when you can see the trend across the entire portfolio. You can actually see where and when Hitler backs off the unintentional Jew-bashing![Social context will ultimately tell you why] Kudos on another great video! #DystopiaNow #TurnTheShip

I just left a rant about the undertones of Imperialism in Ghibli films on your other video, an hour ago. I see now, that you were already detecting this uncomfortable vibe. I still like Isao's films more than Miyazaki. They are less Escapism. Especially Pompom Poko! That ending is haunting. Can't wait until you cover Hideaki Anno or Mamuro Oshii. They have much to say about the "Sengo" Era.[did not know it had a name!!!]

That's true I doubt they wanted the film to look at like propaganda. However considering the severity of their attack in the Nanking Massacre or their Concentration Camps and just a variety of other nasty stuff. In comparison stealing food to feed your baby sister or even grabbing a bunch of cheap kimonos they were unable to sell is minor. Those events were things that the author did do as well not things added into the story for thematic resonance. Also if Setsuko is the people of Japan that's not a fair comparison. In the Manga of Bare Foot Gen the creator talks about how his family were tortured by the other towns people for his fathers Anti War views. They didn't just attack him either it was his whole family including his daughter who was once stripped search at school to humiliate her. The people of Japan were overwhelmingly on the side of the War effort.

They did keep in one scene that alludes to it, I'm not sure it would of come as anything, but fetishistic if there was more than subtext. Harder to sell the film. However it could of brought more dimension to Seita's mindset.

I found it refreshing that the author was honest. He did not have to share those stories of starving his sister, or lusting for her either... I find it odd that Takakhata backed off those themes. Didn't expect him to be the one to pull punches at Ghibli... If Fireflies had been filmed with those aspects, it would be closer to the Shinji Masturbation scene in End of Evangelion...or all of NGE. Was there so much studio pressure from Ghibli to censor that aspect?[to protect national dignity/sales] Or was Isao uncomfortable with portraying a depressed confused teen, and instead chose a Romantic vision of seppuku?[Japanese traditionalism is big on seppuku after defeat...] Intriguing stuff!

actually, contrary to your belive, the emperor always stayed away from making decision. only political decision he ever made in his life time are 2-26 incident & ending the WW2. just these two. its called "theory of the Emperor as an organ of government". the theory says emperor has to stayed away form making political decision. If he insisted, he could ended the war much earlier. but as I said he was not in position to make political decision, even if he was the one had the ultimate power.

In UK, schools dont teach about British empire? opium wars and boxer rebellion are so much emphasized in chinese schools. they teach 3 three things, 1 how communist party won the civil war, 2 japanese invasion, 3 western atrocities. did you know British empire killed 13 million Asians during empire expansion? do you think this kind of education is healthy? i happened to think its not good. education should be objective. education should give students resources , not conclusion.

Oh and I don't think they deserve what they got more that they were not naive victims. If the suffering could of been avoided I would of preferred that. Also the Emperors a dick , they tell you they're going to rain down ultimate destruction , you think it's a bluff. They do and you still don't give up, geeez.

That's a fair assessment. I'm from England so our history classes don't focus on American atrocities(of which there are many) we did do the early development of the United States around Native Americans and such. Some of the nasty stuff around that. However in England most of the graded history lessons were all on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. The only stuff you get about the East is a day or two on the atomic bombs ,which is a shame because a lot of that stuff seems to be swept under the rug.

Wonderful video. I'm really enjoying your video essays, especially the most recent few regarding Ghibli. I was really interested in seeing your take on Grave of the Fireflies because despite its high acclaim, it has become divisive in recent years with many becoming outright dismissive of it due to forthcoming revelations from Takahata and the original author before he died. Funnily enough, I think I had a pretty mixed (though overall positive) response to this film when I watched it. I came into the film expecting to tear up as it has that sort reputation for causing tears, but I left without shedding a single tear. In fact, I felt more hollow and reflective than sad when I watched the film for the first time. I think the biggest problem with this film which keeps it emotionally distant is that fact that it's voice is a bit lost in the text as it's a relatively accurate (from what I can piece together as the novella Hotaru no Haka has no English translations) to the original author Akiyuki Nosaka's text, however the meaning behind the film has shifted from focusing on the relationship Seita (and Nosaka) had for his sister and has instead turned into a piece about the aging populace of Japan reflecting on their cynical outlook of Japanese youth. In many ways, the film relates to pieces like Akira which were then modern reflective works on the rising crime amongst the youth and the state of bubble economy that were prevalent in Japan during the 1980s and early 1990s. I'm not sure if the film would have been necessarily been better if the relationship between Seita and Setsuko had been explored further; granted I didn't even know about Nosaka's reportedly conflicting feelings for his sister before this video, but it certainly would've been a much more personal film whereas the film as it is feels like it's trying to make a much larger statement about Japan as a whole and the characters in the film serve to enhance that statement. Despite all this, I still enjoy the film though. I like to take the death of the author approach when I interpret the meaning I get from film and I think the film as a standalone piece functions as story about the depths of pride, tragedy, and self-destruction that a person and society can be driven to in dire straights like war for instance. I think Seita's character being prideful, lazy, and patriotic works in the narrative because (whether entertaining or not) it's very real state of mind that often rises about in order to cope with situations like wars. The rest of the characters in the film certainly aren't much better off in comparison to Seita and many often display a similar amount of misplaced pride and hypocrisy that he does. His aunt may have had valid points about Seita's laziness, but she certainly didn't treat those two well especially Setsuko who couldn't help anything that was happening to her and yet still recieved just as much admonishment as Setsuko.

Oh one other thing, I'm not much of fan of while the film trying to depict this story of self destruction. A chunk of this film is the very intentional spirit of youth and innocence montages where you see aren't they the best of siblings, no fighting isn't his sister the ideal 4 year girl, she even cooks for him and stop winging about half way through.

That's a fair assessment, this essay is more auteur theory/ Isao's lens. That's why I spent the most time on Grave since even if I'm not a fan, there's plenty of qualities to Grave. Also it's a film which seems to tell us a lot about the author thoughts and feelings from the changes he made. There is an english translation floating about I have a pdf of it. I looked through it before making the video. My first viewing was the one where I knew the least and in the end watching a brother do all the wrong things while his sister dies and then the movie is gunning for me to be sad (the montage) or cry and I was like "no fuck you movie". Then when the brother dies he's back with her "am I suppose to be happy for him, he doesn't deserve that". After the research I don't feel much better. I feel if Seita was to survive like in real life that would of been the slow burn punch in the gut kind of ending. In the 60s in an office life goes on, like nothing had ever happened and yet these events never leave him. I'm not much of a fan of the double suicide narrative to be honest. I know the Aunt is kind of mean to them but in a very passive aggressive way , which is somewhat understandable in the situation. The dub makes her inflection much more bitchy than the Japanese where it's a subdued kind of bitterness.

haven't watch your video yet, but i saw the miyazaki one and i'm happy you give Mr. Takahata same treatment... his films are such beautiful masterpieces

It's true, like the title says he deserves more respect. I also plan to do one on Goro just because I feel bad for the guy he's obviously talented, just been dealt a bad hand. Must be tough to lived up to your father when he's that big.

Yeah, well maybe what i'm saying is a little unfair on him perhaps it should of been one step down towards Admiral Soemu Toyoda. Although at the same time after the bombing so horrific to continue does seem like the wrong thing to do if you could stop it, but this in hindsight so what could I say if I were in such a position.

There's a lot of British History when we are much younger, Kings and Queens and all that. I think at some point the British Empire is brought up around slavery, but the Opium wars is not covered. Or if it were it was, it's too long ago for me to remember being taught it . I honestly don't doubt the British Empire did this, but as they say history is written to favour your own(the victors or whatever). This might of changed since I've went to school it's a lot easier to get this kind of information than when I was there. I do believe they attempted to keep my lessons a bit more objective, you had to right essays with points for and against certain statements using the evidence you have learnt. Of course there's a limit of what they are willing to teach you via the text book, again now might be a bit different.

Seita is not meant to be seen as a hero in this Grave of the Fireflies nor is he intended to be particularly likable. He is rather painted as a flawed human being whose naive child like pride, stubbornness and inability to face his own demons slowly kills first his beloved sister and then ultimately costs him his own life. Many describe Grave of the Fireflies as an anti-war film, but it's not really that either. It's more like a detached character study on human nature in all it's beauty and ugliness. The film looks at Seita and his struggles through a distant sort of detached lens. He is neither portrayed as the villain or as a tragic hero. He is rather just a human being making terrible mistakes that he himself isn't even capable of recognizing for what they are. We as human being rarely see our own folly until after the fact and Seita's lack of self reflection is hardly uncommon, particularly for one his age who has suffered tragedy. The only point in the movie where Seita really seems reflective is at the very end after he has died. In life it was his inability to self reflect and face his demons that led to his tragic downfall. The ability and desire to look away from pain and suffering in forced indifference is one of the most prevalent and ugly of all human traits and it is the cardinal sin of almost all the characters portrayed in Grave of the Fireflies. People will rather continue down their comfortable little routine and turn their heads the other way than engage with someone or something painful or frightening. We even commit this sin towards our own selves, looking away from the darkness and pain within our own hearts, driving it away into the dark corners of our minds and pretending its not there until it finally swallows us whole. I think that is the real message and story of Grave of the Fireflies. It is a story not of triumph of the human spirit, but of its failure in all it's tragic beauty and ugliness.

I understand that reading of Grave though I can't say it does much for me , though that's a matter of taste. Most of my problems more come from the adaption or a lot of the context around it. Also that the suffering in itself comes from avoidable circumstances, which reminds me of something the Buddha said about suffering without purpose being meaningless. I suppose most would say that's the point, but like I said in the video I'm not interested in watching a brother starve his baby sister. It's not that I expect him to be a hero or anything I get that Takahata likes his objective realism lens. it's just from my perspective I feel the direction the narrative goes in and it's ending don't compliment the message. In a lot of ways the real story behind the books cuts me a lot harder. Though considering the Film/Books popularity that seems to put me in the minority.

One of the greats.

Wonderful video. I'm really enjoying your video essays, especially the most recent few regarding Ghibli. I was really interested in seeing your take on Grave of the Fireflies because despite its high acclaim, it has become divisive in recent years with many becoming outright dismissive of it due to forthcoming revelations from Takahata and the original author before he died. Funnily enough, I think I had a pretty mixed (though overall positive) response to this film when I watched it. I came into the film expecting to tear up as it has that sort reputation for causing tears, but I left without shedding a single tear. In fact, I felt more hollow and reflective than sad when I watched the film for the first time. I think the biggest problem with this film which keeps it emotionally distant is that fact that it's voice is a bit lost in the text as it's a relatively accurate (from what I can piece together as the novella Hotaru no Haka has no English translations) to the original author Akiyuki Nosaka's text, however the meaning behind the film has shifted from focusing on the relationship Seita (and Nosaka) had for his sister and has instead turned into a piece about the aging populace of Japan reflecting on their cynical outlook of Japanese youth. In many ways, the film relates to pieces like Akira which were then modern reflective works on the rising crime amongst the youth and the state of bubble economy that were prevalent in Japan during the 1980s and early 1990s. I'm not sure if the film would have been necessarily been better if the relationship between Seita and Setsuko had been explored further; granted I didn't even know about Nosaka's reportedly conflicting feelings for his sister before this video, but it certainly would've been a much more personal film whereas the film as it is feels like it's trying to make a much larger statement about Japan as a whole and the characters in the film serve to enhance that statement. Despite all this, I still enjoy the film though. I like to take the death of the author approach when I interpret the meaning I get from film and I think the film as a standalone piece functions as story about the depths of pride, tragedy, and self-destruction that a person and society can be driven to in dire straights like war for instance. I think Seita's character being prideful, lazy, and patriotic works in the narrative because (whether entertaining or not) it's very real state of mind that often rises about in order to cope with situations like wars. The rest of the characters in the film certainly aren't much better off in comparison to Seita and many often display a similar amount of misplaced pride and hypocrisy that he does. His aunt may have had valid points about Seita's laziness, but she certainly didn't treat those two well especially Setsuko who couldn't help anything that was happening to her and yet still recieved just as much admonishment as Seita.

These are great however I feel like these are 2 separate videos. 1 Specifically about The Grave of the Fireflies and the other the more general narrative about Takahata :) Either way great work and thorough research!

In retrospect you might be right. The Grave part sort of expanded out too much. I felt a bit damned if I do/damned if don't. As my opinion was critical of the film so I wanted to try and explain myself as much as possible. Also its his biggest film so I knew that would be the topic people would like to hear about. With a lot of it's development telling us interesting stuff about Takahata as a person.

Hi there! Thank you for the video. I am a little unclear on what you were trying to express at 13.34-13.39. Why would people have less empathy for "many contemporary Japanese for victims of imperial wartime aggression," if they were moved by the film? I guess I first have to ask, what is the difference between "non-combatants" and "victims of imperial wartime aggression"? Then what is it that Japanese culture is encouraging to silence here? Are you trying to point out that the romanticism in the film you have aforementioned is blotting out the truth of the war context? Thanks!

Unfortunately Youtube annotations don't exist anymore, I could add my explanation to the pinned comment though

Ah okay that's much clearer. I wouldn't have been able to catch that just from what you had in the video though, and it's a pretty big point. Perhaps it would help to add an info overlay on that part of the video or something, so your point doesn't get lost for other people as well? Thanks!

It maybe that I was trying to express several points at once so it ended up not being as clear as I liked. So the articles point was that Japanese Filmmakers would focus on the suffering of their people in the films they made. Which is the eye of the greater culture paints Japan as a victim of War, which is a position some of the older generation seem to take now. These films would lessen or not talk about Imperial Wartime aggressions that were perpetrated by Japan. (this could be seen as similar to 50s America War films). Which relates to the culture of silence in that these Nasty events of War are brushed under the rug in a form of "moku" as in not talking about it will make it go away. In comparison Germany has been very open about it's failures as a Country and have used them to create Museums to keep that history alive, as to learn from it. Now I'm not saying Grave is a nasty film for not mentioning the worse events of War, but that by default it does feed into the narrative of Japan as victim while targeting a young impressionable audience, this might colour their perception of the War. So I think what your saying about Romanticism of the film blotting the truth is correct to an extent. Although like I say in the video I don't think Takahata had malicious intent, maybe it's taboo to present these things on Japanese film, in a similar way as American Filmmakers did in the late 70s with Vietnam?

Excellent. keep up the good work on talking (about films and their makers, or anything else you want to talk about). You are really good at this. ^.` '.^ = * =

I'd recommend the Ghibli's little Nemo vid I did a couple of days ago if your interested in those two. I briefly mention it here, but I thought it deserved its own vid. I'll do my best to continue, it's two part for me because not only do I want to continue to learn more about Japanese music (and animation) but also to help other people to celebrate it. A lot of full albums or Japanese mixes are getting popular on Youtube, although nobody knows much about the context or artists behind them. In the west at least.

Only seen: "The Miyazaki "Problem" that brought me to this one. You make it really interesting the way you talk about this subject matter and the research and thinking you have done. As long as you put this much dedication into it I think you could talk about anything. Saying that, loads of people talk about music, but not many talk about Japanese music. As you seem interested and know a few things about Japanese culture I think it would be a good Idea to continue along that line. Also bringing in western culture into your arguments like when you mentioned Disney was interesting and good.

I'm hoping at some point to do videos on Japanese Music(or music in general), but the way I want to do it will take a bit of time to sort and maybe I'll need a better computer first, but until then probs going to be more stuff on animated films.

Really enjoy your videos as a whole and glad I discovered this channel - although your critique for 'Grave of..' is surprisingly harsh, cold and to be honest comes off a little bratish. It's fine to take issue with some of the political aspirations of the creators but your projecting a very modern, white culture perspective onto a very difficult and complicated subject matter, in a way that oversimplifies it all as 'bad'. It's the kind of thing a published film critic would get pulled up on straight away and undermines your professionalism. There are of course ways to raise your issues but I think taking a mocking tone that feels edited almost for laughs, attacking someone who (regardless of your views on how they chose to deal with it) did still suffer the kind of horrors most of us thankfully couldn't imagine - is childish and detracts from what is otherwise a very fine video.

Well that's fair if you feel that way although like I say in the video I don't believe Takahata was ever trying to be malicious in what he was doing. To me it's worth criticising an artist you respect, especially if you disagree. In the Online Journals I've submitted for it's called a counter pointing and they don't tend to like it, if you write an essay that is only looking from one side. Perhaps it is too blunt for some and that's okay your never going to appeal to everyone. I don't plan to be that blunt in most pieces I make unless it's something that I stand by.

I don't really want to get into a discourse, youtube comments back and for aren't really that constructive but I just thought you should know that regardless of your intentions, that section does comes off as strangely abrasive, almost nasty and derails the overall message of the video - to the extent I wouldn't recommend it to people wanting to know more about Takahata's work. Which I assume is the reason you made the video in the first place, however like I said I enjoyed the rest of your videos, so best of luck to you.

"published film critic would get pulled up on straight away and undermines your professionalism". I never intended to be a professional film critic I do believe the power of Youtube is that you can express media in a way that represents you, meaning less quotas to hit as someone who would be representing a brand or website. I wouldn't even argue that this video is about the "critic" aspect as it is a look through his career and life of Isao Takahata. Through analysis you can start see patterns in his work and of course there's some of my perspective in there because I feel it's good for the audience to know where I'm coming from. Even if it's only to see which films I recommend. Now I may have been blunt with Grave, but in that it has opened up many discussions(including this one) on the film, which I think was worth doing. No one has commented in any in depth way on the other films brought up in this video which there are many. Most likely because they agree with the sentiment or don't feel strongly either way.

Well I'm glad you enjoyed the video though I can't say I intended it to be taken in such a way. Here's the thing with Grave everybody has already praised it to death. You're welcome to disagree with me and people have and I've had some discourse with them that's all fine. I'm not a fan of the film but I'm not even arguing that it's bad, but that I don't care for the way it delivers its content. Now you might need to expand your points a bit because never do I ever express the point this is "bad" (also could you expand on a white culture perspective). More that I am being critical of the content and in ways that I have sourced, a lot of these arguments are well established. Neither do I make fun of the author, I do bring up one of his comments of the incest in a more so light hearted way ,but it's up to the audience to take it however they may. The quote is in itself a very awkward conversation between Takahata and Author, where the author is pressuring him to bring attention to the incest themes he was not allowed to put in his original story clearly. I felt it would be better to leave it up in the air opposed treat those quotes in a critical manner. I do not agree either that going through tragedy's means that your art is above criticism. Because with the amount of changes made to his real life story it in itself becomes a bit of a fantasy. Never do I criticise the actual author for letting his sister starve, that's not for me to judge. However I am critical of him turning this into what he calls a double suicide love play because I myself have had struggles with suicide and like I said in the video feel that this is a tasteless move, that does not honour the memory of his sister. However if that's what he needed to do as a coping mechanism then fair enough. My other criticisms are coming from an 80s Japan perspective and how it viewed the youth of that period, which the point of was more not you are horrible for the events you've committed , but don't throw stones in glass houses.

Just a quick clarification , Heidi was a commercial success in Japan a fine one at that which competed number wise with Space Battleship Yamato , I was more talking about how the production didn't respect the dedication of the team as they restructured into Nippon Animation. EDIT 1: Just to clarify my points from around 13.34-13.39. "So the articles point was that Japanese Filmmakers would focus on the suffering of their people in the films they made. Which in the eye of the greater culture paints Japan as a victim of War. A position some of the older generation seem to take now. These films would lessen or not talk about Imperial Wartime aggressions that were perpetrated by Japan. (this could be seen as similar to 50s America War films). Which relates to the culture of silence in that these Nasty events of War are brushed under the rug in a form of "moku" as in not talking about it will make it go away. In comparison Germany has been very open about it's failures as a Country and have used them to create Museums to keep that history alive, as to learn from it (not to say they're perfect but just as a comparison). Now I'm not saying Grave is a nasty film for not mentioning the worse events of War, but that by default it does feed into the narrative of Japan as victim while targeting a young impressionable audience, this might colour their perception of the War. So I think what your saying about Romanticism of the film blotting the truth is correct to an extent. Although like I say in the video I don't think Takahata had malicious intent, maybe it's taboo to present these things on Japanese film, in a similar way as American Filmmakers did in the late 70s with Vietnam?"

There's a lot of British History when we are much younger, Kings and Queens and all that. I think at some point the British Empire is brought up around slavery, but the Opium wars is not covered. Or if it were it was, it's too long ago for me to remember being taught it . I honestly don't doubt the British Empire did this, but as they say history is written to favour your own(the victors or whatever). This might of changed since I've went to school it's a lot easier to get this kind of information than when I was there. I do believe they attempted to keep my lessons a bit more objective, you had to write essays with points for and against certain statements using the evidence you have learnt. Of course there's a limit of what they are willing to teach you via the text book, again now might be a bit different.

10:55 I see you agree with me on Seita's stubbornness in this film. A lot of us joke on how none of this later stuff with them living alone wouldn't have happened had he stayed at the aunt's place and tried to look for a meaningful job of sorts, not say a word and try to remain humble against all odds. But no. Some people still can't watch this film, but I can.

Yeah it bothers me in that he is living under a mile away from her, but in that there's no conclusion to that arch. The farmer tells him to do it , but setsuko never asked him should we do it, they don't think about it or argue, or visit to find it destroyed etc. Without that subplot you already know everything else that's going to happen. Since we are told they die in the beginning. I do believe in the interviews they mention that attitude is suppose to be intentional to reflect children of the 80s which I thought was a bit mean spirited. The more I think about it , maybe there quotes were taken out of context, since I know how much of a fan Takahata was of ‎Astrid Lindgren and her book messages were always about how the young should form there own path. Although maybe he was just getting old on us, who knows. That being said if it doesn't take away from peoples experiences of watch the film, then that's fair enough.

Yes, Van Gough and others in the 1800's. I Wrote 1900's but it obviously started earlier. The word "oriented" means looking to the east. No there where no communication between the old Scandinavians and the Japanese or any others in the far east. What they foremost had in common with the Japanese was scarcity and climatic similarities. I believe the natural habitat made them to what they where and maybe one could also compare the relation to violence and or their war cultures. What I remember from the video about Japanese music was that they had several different scales, different to ours, but closer than say Indian music. That's probably why Japanese music is so recognizable. Japanese music was later adapting western scales but changing them a bit. That's maybe why much modern Japanese music sounds a bit funny in our ears, as it's so familiar, yet different.

Oh cool hello from England! I remember seeing a Sideways video on Japanese scales or something to that effect, quite interesting stuff. I'm maybe not as knowledgable about the theory so I'd keep that side to minimum unless it's important to the point. Was their ever a time that Scandianavian's and Japanese were trading ? Or do you think it's a coincidence in terms of music? I imagine the art must of made it's way their eventually when it was hitting the rest of Europe. Wasn't it also Van Gough who was famously inspired by Japanese art as well.

I'll watch that : ) I saw a video here on youtube about Japanese musical scales. Wherry interesting. To me I see, or hear some similarities with Swedish folk music. Something about melancholy I think, and maybe scales? Also in Scandinavian folk art I see similarities: simplicity, focus on small things, and their relation to nature. The western visual arts in general has in periods been heavily influenced by Chinese and Japanese art, particularity in the early 1900's. The Swedish Carl Larson was heavily influenced directly or indirectly by Japanese watercolor techniques, but is now probably most admired in Japan. I'm Norwegian by the way.

I don't simply mean to be critical, but you have a fundamental misunderstanding of how to understand film.

I don't believe there's one way to understand film so we can agree to disagree.

Intentional or not it is hard to watch the film without putting yourself in that mental position of "how would I of dealt with this" or "man thats such a distant cry from the way I live."

Stevem That's true. Perhaps in some way, it was a lesson to 80's kids of how too cushy they have it versus their elders.

Pom poko has something to do with japan new left student movement

Do you know any details? That sounds fascinating

I appreciate your analysis of Grave of the Fireflies. I've never cared for it and I always found it very emotionally manipulative and I found my anger with Saita's stupid decisions distracted heavily from the sadness I was supposed to feel with Setsuko's death.

Yeah, I feel like it wouldn't of taken much to make it work a bit better. Even if it was just add a bit more to Aunt subplot or to end it a bit more reflective focusing on Seita opposed a montage that only exists to make you cry.

Yeah just similar bubble type cultures. I will say after World War II I think the scales they use in Japan are the Western ones, at least in pop music

Bubble, Lol : ) Yes western scales, but slightly adapted. Like they subtracted a note or replaced another. But maybe now they are totally the same.

can you please add "SPOILER ALERT" in your description? or Titles? Thank you.

the only film I spoil is Grave and I say spoiler alert before I talk about it in the video

both Miyazaki and takahata are greatest gift to moviegoers.

Personally, I respect the work that went into his films, but I just don't like them. I also had the same criticisms of Grave of the Fireflies and it was for those reasons that I was *not* emotionally attached to the ending of that film. If something doesn't make logical sense, like a main character not even struggling with the consideration of going to his abusive relatives for help, then it takes me out of the movie entirely.

If you tried all his films and it's not your style, then fair enough at least you gave it a shot. Yeah to me Grave comes off a suffering without purpose and I know the original authors context was different as he ran away after he was left with his severely burned Aunt.

I know that miyazaki is all time favourite of most of the ppl. But many ppl dont know studio ghibli won't even exists if it wasn't isao takahata. I have huge respect for both of them and for studio ghibli as whole. I would say though isao takahata is true legend, i find his movies much impactful then miyazaki. My all time favourite is grave of fireflies and only yesterday.

Yeah if Takahata didn't take Miyazaki in, who knows if Miyazaki would of even kept in the profession.

I have to admit, I've never seen a negative review of "Grave of the Fireflies", so your take on it was really impressive and eyeopening for me. I really respect that you came at it with a different perspective and put aspects pg the film that others tend to overlook under a critical gaze (yeah I saw that brother/sister incest interview too and it freaked me out) . It'll still one of my favorites, but I'll definitely be rewatching it with a new outlook.

Yeah, I wanted to open up a lot of context around the film, I might not of got to all of it, there may be more Japanese Context I'm not aware of. Although this all comes down to personal taste, I can respect Grave for what it was trying to do. Even though I don't much care for it as a movie.

I agree with tomato totato that Grave of the Fireflies isn't trying to pick a side or influence us on who to sympathize with. If anything, I think they brought home the idea that war is a horrible thing that affects everyone, and that the Japanese government was wrong to ever start one. Dismissing this movie as a failure to address Japanese war atrocities disables you from appreciating for what it did manage to do. I read it as a tragedy, the clash of childhood innocense and war. But I do enjoy the thought of it being a metaphor, as tomato totato mentioned, it fits perfectly.

Some nice insights and wonderful clips, but I think you should work on your elocution... and slow down your delivery a bit. (Though maybe you think we Yanks don't listen fast enough.)

A little of column A and a little of column B. I just recorded my next script and the plan was to be clearer and slower, but in a more conversational way.

You're alright. Keep it coming.

New video at the end of the week

Does disagreement with content, sometimes be a conflict of cultures? Perception of a viewer, like an individual, also has to do with his or her conditioning. I related to graves of fireflies in context to domestic violence. Home but not the homeland. Maybe this is the reason, that the film seems more personal to me. I have recently discovered your channel, and like your work. Thank you for posting, and looking forward to seeing more :)

This can be true the lens of our experience will change how we perceive the media we in take. I never saw the Aunt as straight up abusive I think she could be rude and mean to the children, but within the stressful context I understand where she is coming from. Seita also was not making it easy for her, in his reluctance to help with the community effort. Her family do tell her she's being a bit rough on the pair and I think she might agree although she's just too stressed out to reflect on it at the time. In the end of the day the children even if it would of been a more stern time would of been better off with the Aunt in the long run, but that's not the story being told.

I'd agree ,you're not going to be on the best of terms with these people ,especially in this sort of situation. There's saying that Beggars can't be choosers, in those kind of positions it's true, better to have some kind of support than none, although could also depend on the situation. I know the author of Grave, situation was much different in that his Mother was dead and his Aunt was severely burned and he chose to run away with his baby sister as a preemptive.

I agree. It is a natural notion for people to stick together in war. But when we do so, we land in each other's personal space, and often see ugly, dark corners of each other. It is a very crucial moment to make or break things apart. If we judge or not, decide everything.

Miyazaki movie: Everyone can understand and enjoy it. Takahata movie: .....what's an international market? Isn't everyone from the Japanese countryside?

Haha, yeah I admire that about Takahata, although it can also be one of his biggest weaknesses.

Rest in peace, you taught me how to be true to my feelings and understand everyone else's...

I like Only Yesterday, a lot. Still might be in my top 3 for him, though on the subject of the sentimental, that's down to taste, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Oh by the way, great video man! I loved learning all this about how Princess Kaguya was made. Though you said Only yesterday was a bit too sentimental, I found it perfect :) Can't wait to binge on all of your videos once I wipe the tears away.

I always hoped they would both live to be in their hundreds and I know I'm not the only one who dreaded this day. What a talented and extraordinary human.

R.I.P.

お疲れ様です ありがとうございました さようなら

You missed one small thing - Miyazaki and Takahata worked on the second part of the 1971 green jacket Lupin series and kind of set the tone for the kinder gentler image he'd have versus the earlier part of the series and the original manga.

Neil Clingerman yeah I mention part of that in my Miyazaki video and didn't want to talk about to much as from what I know takahatas work on the show was more on the layout side but it's true the shows became a lot closer to Miyazakis film version while they were on it

awesome video review. I respect that you were critical of his films instead of just saying everything he did was great. RIP Takahata.

DMA Jeromy Shald thank you I have nothing but respect for his work and that's why I wanted to be honest on all my feeling about it

Rest in Peace, we’ve lost a true master of his craft.

RIP

I will remember this Takahata forever. RIP

Deadass clicked on this after reading about his passing. R.I.P Takahata. You challenge animation and gave no fucks on your way.

RIP! And thank you for making this video and shedding more light onto his works.

I'm fucking heartbroken.

Wait just heard it was lung cancer , which would make sense considering he was a life long smoker

He was one in a million, I'm glad he was able to have such a long running and impressive career before his heart issues took prominence

Well Rip.

R.I.P, master Takahata :(

He will be missed, one of the best talents in the anime field

Rip

:( I only just found out I have nothing but respect for his legacy.

The Buddha probably did not say that, and you'd have to reject tragedy as an art form all together if you feel that way. Tragedy involves the protagonist having a tragic flaw. I feel like it's pointlessly contrarian and kind of off putting to make a retrospective on Takahata's work and put down his most well regarded work.

RIP Isao Takahata regardless of any harsher points in this video I have nothing, but the utmost respect for his art. I wish his family and friends my condolences. Just a quick clarification , Heidi was a commercial success in Japan a fine one at that which competed number wise with Space Battleship Yamato , I was more talking about how the production didn't respect the dedication of the team as they restructured into Nippon Animation. EDIT 1: Just to clarify my points from around 13.34-13.39. "So the articles point was that Japanese Filmmakers would focus on the suffering of their people in the films they made. Which in the eye of the greater culture paints Japan as a victim of War. A position some of the older generation seem to take now. These films would lessen or not talk about Imperial Wartime aggressions that were perpetrated by Japan. (this could be seen as similar to 50s America War films). Which relates to the culture of silence in that these Nasty events of War are brushed under the rug in a form of "moku" as in not talking about it will make it go away. In comparison Germany has been very open about it's failures as a Country and have used them to create Museums to keep that history alive, as to learn from it (not to say they're perfect but just as a comparison). Now I'm not saying Grave is a nasty film for not mentioning the worse events of War, but that by default it does feed into the narrative of Japan as victim while targeting a young impressionable audience, this might colour their perception of the War. So I think what your saying about Romanticism of the film blotting the truth is correct to an extent. Although like I say in the video I don't think Takahata had malicious intent, maybe it's taboo to present these things on Japanese film, in a similar way as American Filmmakers did in the late 70s with Vietnam?"

djhero0071 I just updated it to include the rip message I thought it would be best that's what people saw first , although this video was made a month and half before the official announcement

It took me a while to realize the R.I.P was from today and the actual comment was from a month ago.

He produced one of my favourite movies, "Castle in the Sky". He made me laugh and smile so much with the Yamada family. He directed one of the most brutal, disturbing, beautiful, and heartbreaking war films committed to animation. He changed my life with the complete human sincerity of "Only Yesterday". He took my breath away using a single little child from the moon. What a mind, what a heart. Also, what a great and fair analysis of his work. Thank you so much. May he be at peace and at home with his kami and ancestors.

Your videos are always crazy well-researched. Thank you. I didn't think much of Takahata's movies when I did a Ghibli marathon a few years ago, but now I feel like it's the right time to revisit them. And seeing the movies from a more critical viewpoint makes me appreciate them more for what they are.

Takahata doesn't make films for everyone, but he does make unique films I'll give him that.

I can't watch whole the movie of Grave of the fireflies because my body resists to watch it knowing that my tears will not stop to flow. He is one of the modern wizards who is capable of moving people's mind. Anne of Green Gables is my favorite.

I am currently going through a lot of these video essays about him because i am just in disbelief. Takahata's contributions to the studio showed such care and humanity and in all his directional works and brought me such joy in very hard times and i am just having a difficult time processing his passing

they've been together since the 60s that's such a long time.

It really hits home when thinking back on kingdom of dreams and madness. In that documentary whenever Miyazaki talked about Takahata it was an odd sort of affectionate complaining. The type you get from a lifelong friend.

I feel sorry for Miyazaki , as much as I know Takahata's work and respect it, I'll never know him like Hayao did I hope he's doing okay. All I can say for Takahata is he had a long fulfilling life as a director beforehand.

Thank you for this youtube video in the time of remembering Takahata san's works at Studio Ghibli. I completely agree with you regarding some aspects of victimization and culture of silence in Japanese films as a citizen born much after the war and still not be taught on wartime aggressions towards own citizens and neighbor countries, and state school curriculum in current Ministry of Education still does not dig this 'reality' hence the film industry like animation for the children could have contributed a lot, but still not reached that level yet.

I hope one day it can, so everyone can be more honest about our histories and the baggage they sometimes hold, to learn from it.

Rest in peace Isao Takahata, your works will live forever, may the fireflies light up your grave... thank you Sensei.

RIP to the legend! thanks for making this!

I think that's fair, and you are right the second half of 71 Lupin III is way more Miyazaki in tone. Nice job overall, enjoyed the video and appreciate the research put into it :)

R.I.P, maestro Takahata. You were often overshadowed by your friend Hayao Miyazaki, but for me you'll be forever the true genius of the Studio Ghibli. Grave of the fireflies crushed my heart like no other movie ever did. But the film that really touched my soul was Omoide poro poro/Only yesterday. A great Artist and a great Man has just left us. Words fail me to express my sorrow and my gratitude... 安らかに眠れ

Well its part of his core teachings considering suffering is one of the four noble truths. When the Buddha leaves his royal life he thinks he'll find meaning from living like the poor ,but finds no solace in suffering without purpose. I feel Seita's journey is similar to that. I'm not rejecting Tragedy its part of life I just don't care for how its presented in Grave. Not everyone that doesn't like the same things as you, is trying to be contrarian, it's okay to like different things. All of Takahata's work is well regarded and I spoke well of most of it, Grave is his most popular work in the West, but that is in part because of Roger Eberts early glowing review of it while it was being played at film festivals.

I have never said that Westerners have rejected their imperial past. There's bad blood all around us, especially here in England.. I would also say a state apology doesn't just make that past go away, a lot of the countries that been given them, feel as if they were a bit insincere, for example Korea. Where they have been reports of young Nationalistic members coming to Japan to burn shrines because of the tensions still felt. It's a big topic, not something that will be fixed overnight if ever ,but a culture a silence will not help for sure.

Stevem Again with the myth that Japan didn't reject it's imperial past whereas enlightened westerners have...Japan has apologized to many Asian nations, have the British ever done as much for their slavery and colonization? Hypocrisy is so ingrained in western culture that I wager you had never considered that.

You sound like someone to complain that your favorite ice cream was not served in your favorite ice cream bowl.

Hiram Rios I don't eat ice cream or care that much about bowls

oh is that right? I heard it was heart problems. It's always tough to get the true story these days

You're changing your point now. You initially said that it was because the suffering came from avoidable circumstances, and now you're saying the film isn't a character study. His character is fleshed out through out the film by his actions. It just isn't verbally spelled out which is what you seem to need. But Sage made a lot of the same points you made, and I thought the video did a good job of refuting them which is why I linked to it. Also, you don't seem to understand that "avoidable circumstances" are pretty much Aristotle's definition of tragedy.

Well I tried to explain where I'm coming from to you and your response is to tell me I am wrong for the way I feel about the film and that I should watch another persons criticism of another persons points. I'll watch if you like, but I thought it was you who is I was having a discourse with you.

This is almost the exact same points that another internet reviewer named Sage made, and they're all bad criticism. There actually was video criticizing the criticism that I thought was good. /watch?v=eIGCFHQ7Xws

Well that is the gist of that story it's about not self martyring yourself as far as I understand " he took on several teachers and tried severe renunciation in the forest until the point of near-starvation. Finally, realizing that this too was only adding more suffering" https://asiasociety.org/education/origins-buddhism I mean if you want to give me a lecture about what you think Buddhism is actually about than be my guest ,but that's not what we're talking about. You're straw-manning my argument, Grave isn't a Western tragedy there's more than one way to tell a tragedy.  What I'm saying is suffering without a distinct narrative purpose isn't my thing ( that includes character motive so Othello is fine). For example when a dog is killed in a movie with the only reason behind to make the audience sad. With Grave we know the ending at the start and despite having the option to go back and being told to go back Seita just doesn't think about it or we never go into the inner thinking behind his methods so there isn't a character study element or introspection to watch. Now for me that means this section is slowly watching what I know will happen for 40 minutes with no other plot points going on. Some may find that tragedy, but I find it frustrating. If we are to believe this is an intentional character flaw and that Seita is an asshole then why is he rewarded at the end with his sister, he doesn't deserve it. He doesn't get that in the original short story. I also know the original events of the Author are so cutting in comparison, His mother who was his aunt died in the bombings his real mothers takes him in but then gets horribly burnt. He runs away with his two year old sister and eats more than she does , doesn't always treat her the best and she starves to death. He lives the rest of his life defined by that choice and that guilt. It's some serious Pathos which I don't feel when watching Grave because for a double suicide to work there has to be a level of the contrived.       If it was to compare it to any Western Tragedy it would be Romeo and Juliet because both of them are as described by the author "double suicide plays". I've heard some people say that Romeo and Juliet is a story of specific coincidences that lead to tragedy. There is an argument that they should of just run away in the middle of the night, most notably brought up in the song Exit Music for a Film by Radiohead. However doing that would kill the melodrama. I don't hate Romeo and Juliet neither do I hate Grave although I do find the way they way they structure their narratives to be contrived. With Grave trying to guilt there audience too which I'm not a fan of or having scenes which soul purpose is to manipulate you into tears (the Setsuko montage at the end).

I think you're really misunderstanding Buddhism, but that's not really the main point. Tragic plays involve the main character having a tragic flaw and that flaw leading to his downfall. By your standards the entire tradition of western tragedy is "meaningless suffering". Othello is a bad play because he didn't have to kill his wife. It's meaningless.

Hi, excellent video! could you please tell me the name of the song that starts at 19:06?

Thank you! It's song from Princess Kaguya called Life

RIP Master

Me too , but later reports have said it was lung cancer (although he might of been in the hospital because of heart trouble), he was a life long smoker so it would make sense

Heidi and Marco were very important in my childhood and Tomb of the Fireflies is the movie that made me cry the most, I duidnt knew the same author made the three of them until his death. Definetly he is very unapreciatted

Isao Takahata will be missed.

This is an area where Chojin’s factually wrong.1 hour 19 mins  Seita picks up Charcoal 1 hour 20 mins Rich girls come back and put on the Phonograph 1 hour 20 mins 55 seconds Between these two points we have followed the camera to the Shelter. At 55 seconds past the GHOST of Setsuko appears this is made apparent because the Shelter has the rotting melon on the floor from the scene prior, this moment is not a memory, nor is Seita at the camp site to remember it. The intent of the scene is then laid out at setsuko says “come back soon” the camera is placed behind her and she look towards someone signalling Seita is not behind her and that this sequence is the events of Setsuko as her brother went off on the day to day. This is a point also my by Roger Ebert, but Chojin withholds this detail. This may have to do with Japanese shinto culture as when people die in Japan they are supposed to return as “Kami”. Which is a word with many meanings, but in this situation it’s a spirit these can be tied to nature of place.  They are mobile, visiting their places of worship, of which their can be several, but never staying forever.  This is the reason Seita has to burn her body at the shrine I believe its like giving tribute to the soul. Which might be the reason they are both on hill again although as an outsider it’s hard for me to be sure. Now back to the scene she cooks and cleans the shelter if she was playing a traditional house wife while her husband (Seita) is out stealing and looking for food, this goes in tandem with how the author describe their relationship. The whole scene is her doing things that she would have done alone. There are some scenes that look as though they could have been in Seita’s memories but the whole process of Seita taking the body up the hill is in neither the short or the film. Nor is there anything besides head cannon that could connect these two processes in the text. The closest thing is a mere sentence of climbing a mountain to get the charcoal.  If all this is the case it doesn’t discredit that scene is made for people to feel the weight of the hard imagery which you could argue is done via manipulation for a scene that isn’t part of the source material, it has the sad music, the death of innocence and is just before the cremation of a child that we just spent an hour and twenty minutes getting to know. Even brings attention to the causality of war concept which is another point Chojin makes.    Aristotle’s Definition of Tragedy. “A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in appropriate and pleasurable language;... in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, where with to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions.”  With everything in life it's a case by case basis( I think that's also a point Chojin made). I don’t see how what I said about suffering couldn’t fit into his definition, if anything one mans tragedy is another mans comedy and all this is semantics, something Chojins argues is irrelevant.    I tried to explain my point more so than in one off hand comment, about my personal feelings to another person. My question to you is what’s your endgame here , is it that you disagree with my opinion on the film or is it that the definition of tragedy is important (You brought up Tragedy in the first place not me). You are welcome to your opinion on Grave if you like it or otherwise, but I don’t see much point in continuing this or it's only going around in circles, I have another video I should be making.  So agree to disagree.

I haven't changed my stance I just tried to expand it, This all came from this quote “-I can't say it does much for me , though that's a matter of taste…Also that the suffering in itself comes from avoidable circumstances." I just feel you aren't refuting my points, as much as just making derogatory statements towards me.  Okay now I understand I watched the video,  you are "parroting" this persons points about sage at me. It's a 35 minute video, Sage and I hold maybe have 3 or 4 points the same which come from us both reading the same interview and I guess the others are about our personal taste.  Now I find this video insincere and to have a level of conformation bias. The person starts by explaining how he thinks Sage is hack and that he doesn't respect his content saying he can't criticise anything. This colour his perception throughout the video. He's constantly attacking Sage's character opposed to his arguments(as well as faking anger at things Sage said), now in the past I have seen Sage videos although this is going back maybe 8 years and after I while I found them boring and they were not for me. Although he's been doing this for long time of a regular basis and I hear he just lost a ton of weight so good for him.  For example Sage says something about the films reputation is of a sad film and so Chojin says "so what, since when is a depressing film supposed to leave you feeling positive.”  Which isnt Sage's point its that Grave is a film defined by its sad parts. It made me cry thus it's a good film is a point made common about the film, even famous critic Roger Ebert gave this exact message in his review. This video was made years after this Sage's video and it wouldn't have hurt him to do some research on Sage, even if its just to watch some of his other videos/vlogs. I remember back in the day Sage made a top 5 movies list( might have been the last vid I saw) and the top picks were sad ass films (Wolf Brigade) and one which you could consider a dark character study (A Scanner Darkly) so his point isn't that the film is sad thus bad. Now I won't defend all Sage's points I feel he's an elitist 80s anime snob. He is factually wrong about stuff in the this video, but so is Chojin.     The point about this being a character study, I don't agree 100% Like I bring up in the video Takahata strives for Objective Realism so his position in the narrative is pulled backed away from the one character story, this isn't the type of story Takahata tells. It could be considered a period study or maybe multi character study.That's not to say there are not things to study about Seita he's a flawed person, but not one I find compelling to watch myself. That might be my problem, which is about taste , I don’t feel compelled by Seita and find watching him frustrates me. If you have a flawed character study you have to feel an investment in their story, which in my case I don’t.     If this were a character study Takahata wouldn't have added parts to the story that change the context and themes of Grave mainly the ending (and a little in the beginning).  Chojin even brings up how the book gives you much more insight into the characters(Sieta's) perspective and I have read the short. It would be considered a short format character study in has a much closer look at how Seita thinks and how he lives. The film removes a lot of the context and inner thoughts of Seita inline with what I said about Takahata and Objective realism. Chojin argues that characters can be defined by there actions which is true, but that isn't the only thing that can define a character there's performance , reflection, how other interact with them , also past events etc. For example Chojin says that characters who do the same things can get the same results(from the audience), which just isn't true. Say for example how the performance in the sub for Setsuko is much better because it comes from a real 4 year old when the dub uses a standard voice actress, a ton of the impact is lost, context matters. Or the Rocky example , Rocky does the same actions in each film but some of those films, Rocky is more relatable and the movie is regarded much better (rocky 1 , rocky balboa and creed). On the topic of Seita’s choice being a defining action not to go back to his Aunt. That’s a fine point you can look it that way however if his defining moment happens an hour in with another half an hour to go. The rest of the film is just him repeating this point expecting different results (insanity) while not exploring it why is he so dead set to do this. If I was to listen to the author and director it’s because he represents 80s Japanese kids, I don’t find that a satisfying response and I don’t enjoy watching him starving his sister, it just isn’t for me. As I said in my first statement I know I’m in the minority though and if you like the film I have no ill will towards you.    Both Sage and I seem to think the original events are more tragic which is a fine, that's an opinion on tragedy. Then in the video Chojin tries to argue that is an adaption of the book not the real events which, at least for me isn't the point. The point is that there is something that strikes a cord in me more in how the real events are presented because the relationship between his sister was more temperamental and less romanticised. He brings up nuisances to his life which are not touched on in the film in any meaningful way that a part of him was relieved when she died ,the guilt that came later, that he wanted there to be more of an element of romance( although it's hard to pin if he's talking about real life or just in the narrative).  In the film version and to a smaller degree, the romanticism of youth between Sieta and Setsuko is upped to 11 they never fight and it's rarely difficult. She even cooks and cleans for him making her as the creators would put it the "perfect 4 year old". At one point Chojin makes the point that all 4 years old are an archetype of a 4 year. I have some nephews and nieces and my friends have little siblings I don't agree with the statement the way they interact with people or talk or the present themselves is distinct, they are tiny people. The reason Setsuko is a perfect 4 year old is because when she is dies, she then becomes the perfect martyr. Which makes Takahata’s point about War, Chojin says it to Takahata is part of group whose soul purpose it to keep article 9 and in my video I bring up that the film which is taught at school and targeted at kids is trying to give them a negative connotation with war and the suffering around it.  While also shaming his audience that they have it easy in comparison to his generation. I’m not a fan of the parable, but Chojin’s only defence for it well it's a war film it they can be preachy or that his generation went through a lot so its earned those are points. That’s not an argument, the argument is the message is a bit mean spirited and that it's throwing stones in a glass house.       I also want to bring up something about his point around adaptation in that most of Takahata’s film are adaptation but that doesn’t mean they are one to one conversions. The nature of adapting a short story into a film changes a lot. In the past Takahata has added whole new sequence to the stories he’s adaption (see Only Yesterday where the Adult sections are not in the book.) Because this is a featured film opposed to a short it would not be unreasonable to say Takahata could have added or changed this element or another(the story is already a fantasy version of real events anyway). Bio pics do this all the time. Chojin’s also likes to ignore that there are a couple areas that were changed in the film version, in the short Setsuko’s death is not telegraphed. In the film it is, the scene is made more stereotypical with the character dying slowly in front Seita has he gives her one final meal . The death of Setsuko is blunt and instant in the short (we were not told she would die prior to this either). The montage of Setsuko is a film only inclusion as well.

Rip, Isao Takahata... Thank you for Making my childhood amazing.

Stevem you just sound like you do

In terms of the "end game" it's that I often see internet reviewers dismiss films for very shallow points. They'll use standards that they think are smart, but would fail an art film but pass any schlocky action film. I don't really need an entire essay to state that.

You and I had the exact issues with Grave of Fireflies. However I didn't view them as flaws within the film, I saw them as stuff I personally would take offense too. His character was obviously one of a stubborn child, so stubborn he let his sister died. It made me angry and I'm still trying to find out why Takahata went this route with the character. But that's his personality and it's one of the few anime films I've rated a perfect 10.

I mean it's all up to personal tastes even if I criticise the film, I have no problem with other people liking it. He said it one of his interviews that he views Seita's decisions as representational of the Japan's 80s kids, which is a sentiment I was not much of fan of.

Can you make a full list with links of all of Takahata's influences?

There's some links in the Description, which influences are we talking about just in general ?

Stevem completely agree. I didnt watch that far into the video when i made the comment. It makes me suspicious of Takahata for all the reasons you listed and more. In simpler terms, old people are poop and screwing things up and blaming the younger generation. A cycle that never ends.

any and all. i like seeing how styles evolve via inspiration.

Honsetly My Neighbours the Yamadas is absloutly my fav Ghibli (including Miyazaki's work) film!

The more I think about it, It might be one of mine too, there's something about it that stays with me.

Also lots of literature like the work of Astrid Lindgren

King and the Mocking Bird Hedgehog in the Fog Canadian Animator, Frédéric Back Yasujirō Ozu French New Wave Italian Neo Realism Yasuji Mori's Animation work, as he was his mentor, and the output of Toei Doga in the 60s

"I don't think they bring anything to the table when it comes to reflecting on self destructive pride, hence why I criticised them." I think that's where we disagree. Just because a character is too naive and unaware of himself to reflect on a part of him, it doesn't mean we, the audience, can't watch the film and think about those aspects of the character or ourselves. It could be that I'm just rebellious and cowardly enough that I could understand and empathise with Seita. I never felt the frurtation with the character or story like you seem to. I mean, "unlikable to a fault"? I don't think I'd ever describe him as that. Maybe Takahata was right about kids these days... at least some of us.

thanks, great videos!

ええ いないペアcエ 高畑 さん

Just wanted to add that Heidi was an enourmous success in Spain, and we still get re-releases and special edditions for younger generations, just like other shows from that time like Maya the bee

That's amazing I wish they released something like that over here in the UK, I've heard it was a big success all over the place so far.

R.I.P, maestro Takahata. You were often overshadowed by your friend Hayao Miyazaki, but for me you'll be forever the true genius of Studio Ghibli. Grave of the fireflies crushed my heart like no other movie ever did. But the film that really touched my soul was Omoide poro poro/Only yesterday. A great Artist and a great Man have just left us. Words fail me to express my sorrow and my gratitude... 安らかに眠れ

Honsetly My Neighbours the Yamadas is absolutely my fav Ghibli (including Miyazaki's work) film!

Nuku rauhassa.

Stevem   Your views are completely off in the sense that Japanese civilians were not informed at all about atrocities outside of Japan. You make it sound like everyone inside in Japan knew that Chinese and Koreans were being savagery killed, and people were totally fine about it, which is completely false. You can look at old Japanese propaganda movies and news, and its clear that the government wanted civilians to view the Japanese as a "hero" that is saving Asia from savage Western army (I mean the Western countries were savage, which some people tend to disagree lol. The fact that all these Western countries came to Asia after the fall of Imperial japan speaks for itself). Same with Americans in earlier Vietnam War, when they portrayed Americans as "heroes" that saved Vietnamese from communists, and Islam related films. This movie is about JAPAN. I understand your point if its about Machuria, or Korea during IJA rule, but this movie is not. It was years (or decades) after the war that people in Japan were told about the atrocities, which is different from germany. By than, Japan was in post-war economic miracle, and already had a higher GDP than Imperial Japan's peak, and people cared about living their own lives, not about things that happened years and decades ago. Japan does tend to right WW2 stories as a "victim", which I have noticed and I will agree to it, but that is because "Japanese Civilians" WERE victims caused by imcompetent war leaders who used the "divine (lol)" emperor as a doll to spread their plans. Germany has been open about it, because they completely seperated Nazi from the government and the civilians, at a very early stage in post ww2. Which is why German movies tend to portray Bundeswehr (or something like that) as a "good guy" in ww2 films. They were still soldiers for Germans in ww2. Japan has made MANY films similar to that, making IJA high officers as a "bad guy" and a recruited civilian soldiers as a "good guy (maybe not a good guy, but a protagonist of the drama/movie).

Let me clarify some points, people would have known by the time this film came out in 1988 it what I would have been referring to. My point is more nuanced than this is black or this is white. Japans people were victims of War this is true, though my point is they are not 100% innocent. I’m not saying the average people back in Japan would have known, but the people of Japan also included their army. Those in Asia would have known and those higher up would have known.    "I now realize that we have unknowingly wrought a most grievous effect on this city. When I think of the feelings and sentiments of many of my Chinese friends who have fled from Nanking and of the future of the two countries, I cannot but feel depressed. I am very lonely and can never get in a mood to rejoice about this victory ... I personally feel sorry for the tragedies to the people, but the Army must continue unless China repents. Now, in the winter, the season gives time to reflect. I offer my sympathy, with deep emotion, to a million innocent people.” December 18, 1937, General Iwane Matsui    I would assume the people of Japan knew that their army was invading North East China in 1931 and working their way through Asia, as far as I know this was an unprovoked attack, a seize for power. Before World War II begun there was a large scale invasion of China and then Asia. Now when it comes back to the civilians of Japan their have been documented cases of those who were against the War being ostracised and tortured by the average people of Japan. I’ve heard at the time the idea of giving up was worse than a straight up defeat so their was a double down mentality.  Some have described the events of this period as the Asian Holocaust (New York Times). Its hard to say they were not told until many years later, because many Japanese people admitted to doing these things or saw it first hand, other countries did not forget and lets not forget the Tokyo War trials of 1946(and the several other trials that took place around this time). Japan’s Government issued public apologies not 10 years as well.  Moreover some people from that generation have tried to hide or throw doubt on the accusations . https://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/file/kasahara.pdf Now going back to what my original points was, War is nuanced and Japan’s representation of the War tends to paint them as the victim. The examples you bring up also paint Japans people as the victim against the higher military. The type of films I was comparing it to would be Apocalypse Now , Full Metal Jacket and Rambo , etc. These films don’t just criticise the military complex but also America’s actions. My question to you would be, are their any commercial Japanese War films that are about Japanese Imperialism and the events that happened in Asia from the early 30s to the late 40s that paint Japan in a negative light? (but yes Western countries were just as savage in other ways, Especially my own. There’s barely a country in the world we haven’t invaded, but this video isn’t about Britain.)  Many of my original points about this were in comparison to said older Japanese generation looking at the young generation with contempt without first looking at themselves(don’t throw stones in glass houses). Or with this film in particular (Grave) and how someone was implying  Setsuko the innocent martyr represented the Japanese People (which I feel is disingenuous to the history of its events, if this film is even about the War in the first place.)

I probably oughn't to wade into this discussion, but I can't help myself! From my experiences, Japan does have a culture of, if not ‘silence’ then certainly ‘hushing up’ when it comes to their role in WW2. I’ve lived in Japan and certainly a lot of young Japanese people (18-25 years old) that I met are not that aware of the atrocities committed by the Empire of Japan. Even the textbooks many schools use refer to the ‘Nanking Massacre’ as the ‘Nanking Incident’ and it is not a big topic of study as say compared to the holocaust in Germany (though the two are quite different in nature). There is certainly a valid comparison to be made to Germany and how it better handles its education about the Nazi’s. Granted, young Japanese people (talking in only a generalisation of course) still know that it wasn’t exactly a rosy picture in WWII for their country, as both aggressor and victim, but truth be told, it isn’t a big topic of discussion or interest. Life has, for better or worse, moved on. However, I also think it is unfair and perhaps even hypocritical to judge Japan so harshly when other countries like the UK and the US (I do not know so much about other Western country’s education curriculum’s) aren’t exactly all that different and don’t detail or dwell on all the grisly and horrific atrocities committed by them in their own histories either. Certainly from what I remember at school here in the UK, we were taught about the slave trade and that was about it. Barely anything on the British Empire beyond that which has a deluge of blood on its hands, and yet in some sections of our society (probably more so than in Japan’s to be honest from what I saw) the British Empire is almost 'remembered' and even romanticised with fondness! Furthermore, considering how much more conflict the UK and the US and other western powers have been involved in since WWII, compared to Japan which has no official standing army (just the SDF), it again feels like the pot calling the kettle black. As for the Grave of the Fireflies, whilst it is inevitable it would become the centre of a political discussion over Japan’s tendency to focus on their own suffering during the war as opposed to the suffering they inflicted on others, I personally feel this does the film a great disservice. It is wrong to think of it in such binary terms in any final analysis – yes, this is a film set in Japan at a critical and dark period in its history, and it is directly informed by Takahata’s own first-hand experiences of war (he went through those fire-bombings), and all that feeds into the backdrop and feeling of the film. However, at its core, this is a tale about two orphan children, struggling to survive in a war neither truly understands, and could be a tale set anywhere about any children suffering in war. It isn’t anti-war, it isn’t pro-war – such stances are political, and I really don’t think this film is trying to make a ‘political statement’, even if you personally want to draw one from it as is valid for any art. Rather, it shows war simply for what it is from one particular perspective, and leaves its viewer to decide for themselves without any authorial dictum telling you what to think, such as influencing you by portraying either Japan or America as 'the heroes' or 'the villains' or both. The only "agenda" this film has is to realise this tragedy of a story with full clarity and honesty, not of the full social, political, historical picture, but of these two children struggling to survive. To argue that it should represent all these different perspectives about the war as part of some greater social purpose misses the point, and is a case of wanting the film to be something it isn't, as if that's how art should work! The Wind Rises got a similar rap in plenty of 'socially aware' places, where art is judged solely on its relevance to a larger social or political ideal. Neither Takahata nor Miyazaki’s films are all that political at all – they cover more universal themes, set in particular times and places, whether real or imaginary, but always resonating due to their unassuming sincerity and relatable characters. Every work of art, inevitably, becomes politicised in one way or another due to arts interpretative nature, but not every work of art necessarily suits it.

Stevem I think you brought up some valid points in the bigger issue of how Japan frames itself in World War 2. Even if he didn't intend it, it's reasonable that people could see Seita and Setsuko as representative of the Japanese as a whole which meant that the Japanese could see themselves as victims. And I get that there are plenty elements of it that people consider manipulative, which combined with the assumption that it intended to sort of "talk down" to younger generations is sort of propagandist. That's unfortunate and may turn off people who know the atrocities done by Japan at the time. But I think what Takahata goes for with Grave is, like most of his films, purely and essentially the idea of the suffering we go through in life, and the melancholy and regrets we have about it. It did choose to depict kids whose government initiated the war. But the focus was purely on their life struggle; not their belief of the war, not on whether they support it, or if their adoration for their father who was a naval officer meant that they supported the military. In fact all of Seita's moments of patriotism in the film is clearly shown as his way of manifesting his love for his father and family by extension, not for the country or military themselves. I also get that Seita can be unlikeable to some, but I interpret that since the story was framed from his point of view in the afterlife, I actually thought all of his flaws—pride, arrogance, selfishness, etc—are more pronounced because it was his own regret in looking back on his life. But the viewer is given a chance to regard his mistakes in full context and nuance, and decide for our own whether should empathize. I'm from Indonesia and we often say the death destruction and rape that the Dutch did over 300 years of colonizing the Japanese tried to match in three years of occupation. But to me Grave really managed to hit that balance of depicting victims who are specifically Japanese but are universally just the same as any war victims, who suffer the same starvation and bombing. It didn't matter who they were, Japanese, American, or Dutch (note that after the Dutch was out of Nazi rule, they went straight back to reoccupy Indonesia. Doesn't negate the fact that the Dutch citizens suffered under Nazi occupation). I take that what Nosaka and Takahata meant in that animage interview was not to put a character similar to 1980s kids in the time of war, but simply that Seita is a weirdly sensitive and self centered kid for his time. They may sound harsh but not in the context of an Asian culture that really prioritizes the community over the individual. I feel it's something that get lost in the cultural divide, where in the West individualism is so prevalent and art is more about its message and statements. Still I think you've done a great job with this video, and really admire your unique take but also open attitude to discussion. Best wishes and keep it up man.

Stevem actually yes, there are. I’m not sure of the English title but there are several dramas (or a movie) which portrays the IJA officers as savage or dirty guys. Of course the main character is usually a civilian which was recruited by the army, but the point is that they go through hell mostly caused by IJA (one of them is “I want to be a shell”, I can’t remember the title of another one but there is a scene where IJA commander orders all sorts of savage killings towards Chinese (or Asian...not sure if its Chinese but a non-Japanese asian), and operates some kind of suicide attack, but he himself runs away and at the end of the movie he is seen to be “alive”, while the rest of his soldiers died, which were all recruited soldiers). As a Japanese, I do get your point. I always wondered why they only show the “victimized” part of Japan, and not the other way around. But there are definitely movie/drama/anime here and there that portrays IJA as the generic “bad guys” (if that’s what you’re looking for). But the point is that, most of these rumors about “Japan not teaching war atrocities in schools” is a laughable anti-Japanese propaganda created by nationalist Chinese/Korean and the West loves to buy into it since they are proud of WW2 results (and views themselves as “heroes” in general). I learned about Nanking Massacre, Bataan death march, ...etc. It is a small section (like 1/4-1/2 of a page), but they do write about it. And in history textbooks in Japan, there aren’t a lot of “modern history” in general, so that is also a problem (we tend to focus a lot on pre-19th century). I don’t see why you have a problem with Setsuko being a symbolism for Japanese civilians. It’s not like majority of the Japanese actually knew what the hell was going on outside of Imperial Japan, which is pretty obvious from their propaganda and just plain lies about winning battles. Hell, some soldiers thought they were winning the fight because their officers told so. Setsuko is a symbolism of “ignorant and naive” Japanese civilians during IJA era that has no clue what is going on, and is just following blindly to IJA (in this case I see her brother as a symbolism of IJA). Her brother is a symbolism of “ignorant and naive” IJA that has extremely high pride, but lacks the brain to acknowledge the reality that is going on around him. In the end, he “killed” his sister, and he himself dies like a “trash”, but in the actual novel, the author survives and regrets about his action which caused his sisters death. The irony is pretty interesting when you think about it. I can’t take anyone seriously when they are saying “Japan teaches false history in textbook, which doesn’t imply anything about IJA atrocities towards Asians”. There are no bloody pictures, but is that what you want to show it to 13 years old? I think a writing that implies about the IJA atrocities is enough. Some of these nationalist Chinese/Koreans talk as if they want 5-10 pages that is dedicated towards IJA atrocities with pictures of savage killing and rape. Hell, there are no pictures of A-bombed Hiroshima residents as far as I’m concerned. It’s just not something you make teens view. I grew up in Japan, and grew up learning from Japanese textbooks, but I didn’t need pictures of dead heads and raped woman to understand IJA atrocities. I think they should cover up more (like maybe half a page or a page), but I don’t think the “length” is such an issue if you cover the points.

Everyone who loves Isao takahata's movies,if possible,please watch the Akage no Anne(Anne of GreenGables) of the TV series. You can see a wonderful side different from his movie。

This Video feels Linke a explanation of an abstrakt Peace of Art....more Words and whisdhom as Objekts in there. A lot of blablabla The movie is easy and beautifully sad. Brother 15, loves sister 5. And He lives only for and through this love. If somebody knows the hart of the true artist, IT Works like this. The creation of art takes Place Not within the artist but only through him alone.

Honestly his work can be kind of condescending. I didn't enjoy Grave of the Fireflies because I was expecting an anti-war film. What I got was an old man shaking his fist at Japan's youth, "you lazy whippersnappers would never have lasted in the Empire!" I felt the same way about The Wind Rises, but given Japanese media's track record for AVOIDING the WW2, I wasn't surprised how they overlooked how the Zero plane was converted into Kamikazi units.

Grave of the Fireflies absolutely destroyed me

Well the guy died .I was hoping you’d make a video about his death and history .Two months on April

Rest in Peace, we’ve lost a true master of the craft.

did anyone else spot kiki at 17:44?

His aunt didn't throw them out because of any slight, real or imagined. She threw them out because she could barely afford to feed and house her own family. An apology wasn't going to change that.

Seita is still only a child himself. The tragedy of the film is that he is put in a position that should never have been allowed, due to the decisions, negligence and inability of adults.

Heidi was HUGE in latinamerica. 80's kids grew up with Heidi, at least in Argentina it was the Biggest anime and I think still continues to be run in Argentina to this day..

This is really excellent! I'm happy to have stumbled across your channel, and I look forward to more of your work!

Panda Go Panda, not Go Panda Go

Good Lord! What a waste of time!

In germany nearly everyone knows Heidi.

So true that all same what I felt after finishing the movie. First I felt sieto did the right thing by leaving her aunt but it resulted him with her sisters death . But both of them showed braveness especially setsukechan I really cried for her and sieto

I just saw Pom Poko yesterday, and it was wonderful (along with Grave of the Fireflies), Takahata truly was one of the greatest filmmakers and artists of all time. I've been thinking of doing a tribute picture that shows the scene with Seita and Setsuko's spirits on that train, but it would show Takahata's spirit too, smiling at them.

Just a fun fact, but there is an Afrikaans dub of Heidi. It played in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s and was massively popular.

Damn I never realized that I watched so many of his featured films. I even used to own a VHS of his Heidi as a child. Edit: I loved Nemo as a child.

Love princess Kaguya

you didnt understand grave of the fireflies at all

Takahata is my favorite of the two main Ghibli directors, for his ability to draw raw human emotion into his works in a way that Miyazaki never really could. I find that the the understated human drama in Takahata's films leave impressions that last far longer than any other animated director, in Japan or otherwise. While I found your points on GOTF interesting, it would have been nice to see you spend a little more time analysing his other films than blasting that one (especially Tale of Princess Kaguya, which is utterly sublime). Either way, nice video.

Its pretty hard to be objective when talking about your own perception lol I would say the contrary; most people who analyze film have no idea how to write about their own perception and they would rather talk about what the creators were trying to achieve, rather than its affect on their/your own perception.

This movie is so fucking sad. I cried watching it, which is weird because I'm..

Where can I watch Downtown Story?? That and Tale of the White Snake, it's really hard to find classics online. Any hints??

My mom told me she used to watch Heidi when she was little, it was very popular in Mexico

That's perverse but what can you say about people who went through war? Have you ever been so hungry that you thought you might starve? And then to have to live a life of suffering of your choices? Of course he's going to be at least neurotic.

So there is implied incest in Grave Of The Fireflies???

Once again, I love your videos, the way you speak about anime is admirable and my goal

I saw this series and Heidi back in the early Eighties when they aired on Philippine television.

I concur with Howlgough's stated opinion that your diatribe about Grave of the Fireflies felt out of place and rang a sour note in what is an otherwise very thoughtful tribute to Takahata.

I really wanted this video he is my fav from ghibli

Nice video, dictation could be smoother but enjoyed your discourse on both of Ghibli's main directors. Will you be doing one on Yoshifumi Kondo as well?

Sorry Steven, I have to question your understanding of Japanese culture and the values that pressured them at that time. Disclaimer: I've lived here for 30 years.

On reflection, I find your analysis of Japanese things from the point of view of a British observer who does not live here, does not speak the language, pronounces everything wrongly. Quite frankly inaccurate. If you really want to commentate accurately I suggest you try to move and live here for at least 10 years. Your opinions are like a potato farmer commenting on rice.

Fantastic video

Rest in Peace Takahata Isao-sama

I highly recommend looking into the recent statements by Suzuki. Granted, most of it could’ve been known due to statements by others on both Takahata and Miyazaki, but it’s still an unfortunate thing to have been confirmed.

Wouldn’t go as far to say Takahata was manipulative nor condescending of younger generations I think he was just being blunt and brutally honest. Most people of today couldn’t go through something like what his generation did in the war and survive. I think you have very strong opinions on grave of the fireflies but sometimes you negate the art and steer towards your own projections of how you feel about something that’s a part of the story.

Grave of the fireflies is the best anime movie ever you scrub

I can't help but disagree on a lot of the point of Grave of the Fireflies here, to me Seita is not a likeable character. He is not one that naturally baits tear jerking tragedies, that is often more reserved to the Setsukos of the film industry, therefore his inclusion means something different. By specifically stating his death in the first sequence of the film far more explicitly than Setsuko's, it gives him a different play out. His death is not intended to be as sad as Setsuko's and you are not meant to harbour the same emotion towards both instances. As you said, Setsuko represents the ultimate victim, and the loss of innocence, she was caught up in, and fell victim to something out of her control, both in the war, and in Seita's feud with the aunt. She represents the public in wars, who carry out their routines regardless of political standings, much like Setsuko continues to be child, and after death she was shown as a ghost, living her life as usual. This could again be representing the public, in the way they carry on after so many have died, and daily life never really changes for a lot of people. She is given the tear jerking end because she in most people, she is the unassuming civilian who wasn't responsible for atrocities such as Nanking, she is blissfully ignorant to the pain in the way many people are, nobody deserves a life like her, so they play on that to show that point, that the Setsukos of the world are remembered, through their daily routine and the every small pond of people they touched. Seita however, is a different character- meant for different things. He is not meant to be an unassuming victim or abused child, treated wrongly by his aunt. He is a flawed human being who, means no harm but causes pain and death. Nobody wants to see a war film from that perspective, but in the case of this Japan, it is wholly necessary. First off, I think it is important to mention that, when they said that modern children would not survive the war, they are not glorifying the older generation who caused pain, as literally the entire main family dies. They don't survive it. So sure those two men did but the story they are discussing- the main character didn't survive. He failed. So don't act like they are preaching for more people to be like Seita, because he is dead. While Setsuko represents the blissfully ignorant civilians, Seita represents more of the opposite. He represents the reason for the ignorance. He holds a higher power that is often accidentally abused. The Japan of the time had very strong ideals, the strong pride that stopped them from admitting mistakes, and the strong pride that stopped Seita apologising to his aunt. He also represents the idealism that led Japan from not realising how much of a losing battle they were facing, even after an atomic bomb. In Seita's case this means literally not realising the battle is lost, and you could say that just as Japan took two atomic bombs to it's heart to admit defeat- Seita took the death of the two people closest to him to realise he had no chance alone. The way Seita hides the death of their mother away from Setsuko is similar to the way the public was withheld the stunning losses of their country, and the horrific crimes they were committing. What is done to Seita, the lies about what his father is really doing, is them passes on to Setsuko, in the form of the future shape of the family. I think this is why it ends with them together looking across at new Japan, the vicious cycle that returns in all forms, the abused abusing, the wrong wronging. and the dig at modern Japan could stem from the belief that this will happen again, due to human nature. How though Seita represents a more accidentally dangerous character, he has been wronged by being in danger in the first place, how he morphs into what has kept him from living a normal life. we are not meant to like Seita, as Seita is what we would hope never happens in life, yet continues on and on as a by-product of cruel leadership and propaganda. Furthermore I believe that this is why it is essential for him to be a 14 year old boy. At he age of 14 you are not young enough to have the blissful ignorance of a child, yet not the experience of an adult to act upon such knowledge, by using a character in the height of adolescence captures the ultimate sense of doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. Takahata too is also often seen to blame humankind or capitalise on their mistakes. I feel like this is done here, to once again explain how humans will keep creating this situation forever as it is just what we do, and that it is so wrong but, we will never learn. He does give tribute to Seita as though he has done wrong, he never intended for harm, and he was just waste left behind from the toxic society he loved in. that we do no find particular sadness in his death, but how perhaps that is the saddest thing of them all, that we have become able to dismiss such awful creations of characters like Seita. Thank you a lot if you have read this, I'd like to know your opinions on this perspective and I enjoy your videos a lot.

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