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Tear Jerker: Grave of the Fireflies
Perhaps the king of all anime Tear Jerkers, Grave of the Fireflies is a film about two children losing their parents to war, then starving to death in the mid-1940s. It was originally shown in a double feature with the completely dissimilar My Neighbor Totoro.

Most of these examples were written when Grave of the Fireflies was its own genre of sad anime on the main Tear Jerker Anime page.

  • Believe it or not, AMV Hell 4 managed to make it worse. How? Snow Patrol’s ‘Chasing Cars’. ‘If I lay here... If I just lay here... Would you lie with me and just forget the world?’ If you’ve seen the movie, you can probably guess the visuals for this one.
    • Done.
    • Try watching the movie, followed by that AMV, and then hear the song several times throughout the day on Pandora Radio. You will feel very down for the entire day, but strangely unable to skip the song or turn it off.
  • Try watching the film, and then read about the real-life story that inspired it. Then find out that the author of the original book wrote it as an apology to his sister.
  • When the cleaner who finds Seita’s body finds the box with Setsuko’s ashes, he throws it away. After licking it.
  • The lines ‘Why do fireflies have to die so soon?’ and She never woke up strike many hard.
    • Especially the last line, never has four simple words kicked you so hard and made you cry so much, particularly the very blunt way Seita delivers it.
  • Hand-in-hand with the above is the Really Dead Montage that follows soon afterward, which had the added Mood Dissonance with the family returning to find all of their possessions intact, while the pair we’d been following throughout the movie had lost everything.
    • Especially with Amelita Galli-Curci’s Home Sweet Home playing in the background.
  • A Tearjerking and Heartwarming scene comes right near the end, when Seita asks Setsuko what she would like to eat, not long before his visit to the bank, prompting this exchange:
    Setsuko: Tempura... Sashimi... Sour Jelly...
    Seita: Anything more?
    Setsuko: Ice cream... And I want to eat drops again.
    Seita: Drops, huh? Alright! I’ll go withdraw all the savings. I’ll bring back all that you wanted to eat.
    Setsuko: (Clings to Seita) I don't want anything. Just stay here, big brother. Don’t go. Don’t go. Please don’t go.
  • Setsuko’s funeral. To see Seita sit there all night watching the fire with that music, sniff.
    • Said music? Here you go.
    • Try watching that scene as an older sibling. Imagine having to cremate your little brother or sister. Imagine feeling absolutely helpless. Imagine failing someone you hold so close to you, someone you have sworn to protect and nurture and being able to do nothing but sit and watch their body burn.
      • And possibly worse: holding your kid-sister’s corpse for an entire night.

Gokukoku No BrynhildrTearJerker/AnimeGuilty Crown

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