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Compare And Contrast Howl's Moving Castle And Grave Of The Fireflies

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Key Plot Details and Influences
In ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ and ‘Grave of the fireflies’, both films have correlating themes of conflict. However, through different interactions from characters towards their setting of conflict have affected their characterization in different ways to portray different themes and messages.

Grave of the Fireflies In a critic review by David Conrad, “the most substantial distinctions between Fireflies and the rest of the Ghibli canon are its pessimistic message and its morally-compromised characters…” (2015). Grave of the Fireflies, although revered as an astounding work of war literature and revered ‘anti-war’ film , it is heavily argued through students, critics and the director himself of the meaning of one
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The power in this scene is the immediate presentation of the tone of the film to the audience through displaying the already-determined or even fated destination of the film where Seita is slowly pulled to his death(Figure 1). Here, the film already presents a sentiment instantly deserving of pity through the zoomed-in, physical state of Seita’s nearly-rotting corpse.

Remarks made by the cleaners and bystanders within the scene ”These bums are a disgrace.”-“Disgusting.” presents the shallowness and pessimism capable of human beings which connects strongly to the main theme Takahata tries to convey being the effect of the backdrop of war on the people and the diminishing virtue of humanity.

In a film review, Wael Khairy further argues this point as he states the inaccuracy of the intent of the film being a motivational anti-war film but how war temporarily changes human beings into those regarded as ‘cruel selfish beasts, unsympathetic to the desperate needs of others’(2014).
This opening is powerful due to already presenting the full impact of the setting and the usage of the character’s death to portray and present the message of inevitability and the drawn out of effect of the war on
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From Setsuko’s last words of ‘thank you’ to Seita, Wael Khairy states ‘Even in her last moments, she shows the kindness, innocence, and gratitude absent in adults during those hard times (2014)
Through the created storyline of Grave of the Fireflies based on Japanese author, Akiyuki Nosaka (1967), the characterization and the changes from the impact of the setting towards Seita is phenomenal. Seita goes from a family son to an war orphaned caretaker of his sister where although his physical state and ethical conditions swing from positive, his true intentions and desires stem from the kind and pure relationship and deep care for Setsuko. Isao Takahata sends the message of the film through the change in Seita’s character presenting the physical and psychological torment and the brutality of war as a physical impairment to Seita’s struggle to survive. In Modern Tokyo Tims, Walker talks about Grave of the Fireflies’ heavy focus on the coldness and the dark side of human nature (2014). The film highlights Seita’s unwavering innocence as an innate quality of his character but provide the tragic backdrop of an adult world to stimulate his change from an innocent civilian to a forgivable, pitied
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