This is the anime that inspired Grave of fireflies (at least according to Wikipedia) though unlike Grave of fireflies, this movie ends on an optimistic note. This movie is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
The movie is loosely based on author Nakazawa’s memoirs of the war. Nakazawa is a Hiroshima bombing survivor and was in the elementary school first grade when Hiroshima was bombed. He expresses his experience of the war through the main character of the movie, Gen.
In the movie, Gen survives the Hiroshima bombing and is left to deal with the aftermath. Gen struggles to survive and keep his spirit uncrushed while he is surrounded by the harrowing reality of war. After watching the gruesome movies of recent times with fountains of blood spurting from freshly cut jugulars and ruthless mind numbing violence this movie manages to crumble you with a child’s despaired cry.
The movie conveys the tragedy of the bombings in a profound manner. I was moved to tears. I let the pain I felt pickle in my mind instead of running away from it. I wonder if the warmongers would support violence so vehemently if they could have a first person experience of the aftermath.
I highly recommend this genius of a movie.
Also read an interview with Nakazawa