9 Greaves, Amanda
–Still sick after months of medicine
Warm, wet rusty air
Plagues places with no bright light
Dark clouds make my home
After watching Grave of the Fireflies the main theme that resounded the most with me was the notion of nothingness / nihilism. Seita and Setsuko lose everything and cannot find a place for themselves in society. At one point of the picture, they use fireflies to illuminate their bomb shelter. The insects having short mature life spans died and they create a grave for them. This action causes them to ultimately ask. “Why do fireflies die so soon?” The lyricism of fireflies representing their own young demises, which is the same as fireflies as they reach maturity.
It is also worth noting that ,“along with the unconditional surrender that soon followed, the holocaust caused a disruption of the meta-narratives of modernization and Japan’s invincibility. This break with the transcendental order returned Japan to nothingness (Inouye, 146).” The return to nothingness is seen within the movie as the children have to survive on their own. It is interesting to see that after Seita and Setsuko are kicked out of society, they still follow its rules.
When they are left with their backs against the wall, they still depend on what they have learned from society and in returning to nothingness they are perhaps returning to their true selves.