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Set in Hiroshima during World War II, an eighteen-year-old girl gets married and now has to prepare food for her family despite the rationing and lack of supplies. As she struggles with the daily loss of life's amenities she still has to maintain the will to live. Written by
A coming of age story that celebrates the virtues of innocence and being ordinary
A coming of age story set during WWII depicting the story of Suzu a girl forced to marry away from her home. Viewers may find parallels to 'Grave of the fireflies' another animated Japanese film depicting war time struggles of the ordinary people. In fact the struggles of the everyman(woman) is heavily featured in this story of a young girl in a fish out of water situation while maintaining her inherent innocence in spite of the horrors of war.
It is very interesting how through this character and the gentle animated artstyle a story of war depicting horrible imageries from bombings, to explosions, to death can all seem innocent and calm. A particular scene of explosions in the air transitions perfectly to colourful splatters of colours in the sky in the eyes of our protagonist. Her innocence and naivete is challenged throughout the film yet through the many challenges she faces yet it is maintained constantly.
What's great about this film is that because of such a characterisation her struggles to daily life often seems even on par to that of the horrors of war, focusing on the everyman's struggle is a new and innovative way of viewing war, struggles from finding her way and managing rations. Such a character seems almost the opposite of war and bloodshed as she sets the tone for this film which seems unlike one that focuses on war setting In this corner of the world apart from the bunch. Yet we still witness the character mature and grow throughout even though she doesn't lose her sense of imagination and innocence, it's a tough notion to balance and goes against traditional ideas in a coming of age tale where a main protagonist must understand the 'true colours' of society, the world, humanity in order to come to fruition. By doing so solidifying itself as a staple supporting that of peace and the good in being ordinary.
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