The story is very emotionally-driven, and it invests the audience effectively. The characters are well-developed and sympathetic, from the opening scenes of the film. The narrative structure isn't anything new, but it is interesting, and does serve to elicit an emotional reaction from the audience. The film is much darker than one would expect, but it works. The only thing that I had wrong with the writing was that there were a few anticlimactic moments, one of which is a huge moment in the film (I won't spoil it) that doesn't have as much payoff as it could.
The animation of the film is very good. One might think that the Japanese animation style may not be the best fit for a war film, but it works very well. The animators are able to brilliantly capture the emotion of the characters, the beauty of nature, and the horrors of war.
Overall, I think that "Grave of the Fireflies" is a very good film that has a few inconsistent moments. It is of the quality that one can expect of Studio Ghibli.
Grave of the Fireflies
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: DVD/Blu-Ray in a class.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.