It might be difficult for some to believe, but I would wager that you would be hard-pressed to find a more definitive portrayal of war-time Japan than the one shown in Studio Ghibli's Grave of the Fireflies. It is at times a hard watch, but it is never anything less than a masterpiece, and it shows just how animated cinema can be used to address difficult topics such as death or war.
The shining example set by Grave of the Fireflies is the number one reason that I am looking forward to In This Corner Of The World. Although made by a different studio (the recently formed MAPPA), the film seems likely to provide the same level of depth that Studio Ghibli has injected into all of its creations.
Set before, during and after the war, the film follows teenager Suzu as she resiliently struggles through ravaged 1940's Japan. The film does not shy away from the unimaginable horrors, with a harrowing depiction of Hiroshima proving central to the story. Despite the bleak nature of the content, watch out for small, minutely observed moments of beauty; given the format, there are bound to be many.
In This Corner Of The World has had plenty of love in its home country, even beating out the popular Your Name for the Japanese Academy Award for Best Animated Film. Reviews are sure to be similarly glowing in the UK.
On at FACT for one night only, make sure you head down this Wednesday to catch a future anime classic. Book your ticket here.