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Old 17-12-2004, 12:06 PM   #1   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Grave Of The Fireflies - Seita has no fortitude?

This topic comes from an interview with the director Isao Takahata - he described Seita as a boy who doesn't bear with hardships, such as when he runs away from his aunt rather than hear her disparaging concepts. He also said he wanted to depict Seita as a boy with attitudes from modern times.

Do you think Seita was courageous or not in his actions, and in what way?
What do you think Takahata was saying when he said Seita had the attitudes of a contemporary boy?
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Old 29-12-2004, 04:05 AM   #2   [permalink]
SamIam
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Originally Posted by John Faulkner
This topic comes from an interview with the director Isao Takahata - he described Seita as a boy who doesn't bear with hardships, such as when he runs away from his aunt rather than hear her disparaging concepts. He also said he wanted to depict Seita as a boy with attitudes from modern times.

Do you think Seita was courageous or not in his actions, and in what way?
What do you think Takahata was saying when he said Seita had the attitudes of a contemporary boy?

I think I understand what Takahata meant .... Seita in retrospect is acting out of a degree of selfishness ... granted his aunt was overbearing and mentally abusive ... but chances of survival would most likely have been better. The traditional attitude would tend to remove the self from the equation ... as in for the better of the whole by teamwork ... self sacrifice is almost a given.

Had Seita been alone ... I might think otherwise .. but the reality was that he became responsible for his baby sister ... and his decision ultimately lead to her death ... had he been thinking more along traditional lines, Seita would have "bitten the bullet" in order to safe guard his younger sister ... he would have willingly endured any harsh treatment for their survival. There is an old japanese saying which translates into "... for the sake of the children". Where Seita becomes the responsible figure for the sake of his baby sister ... unfair yes ... but reality for many past and present.

Yet, much like the mentality of a modern mindset ... Seita is more the individual and less the team player ... more ego and pride and less discipline/humility ...

Was Seita courageous? ... IMO perhaps foolhardy and proud ... and if there is a hidden message to this story then perhaps it is a cautionary message on how far Japanese morals and attitudes have fallen since the defeat in WWII.

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Old 29-12-2004, 08:08 PM   #3   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Maybe it was ironic that Seita, after he left his aunt, did bite the bullet and suffered a lot of hardship for his sister, much more so than if he had just stayed with his aunt---

I think he was foolhardy and proud too, but he was courageous in doing what he did for his sister after he ran away. Regarding Seita as an individual, rather than a teamplayer, he does seem to show little patience in trying to work with his aunt, rather than against her. There has been a trend towards individualism certainly in the US and Europe from the war onwards, maybe Japan too, a growing sense of attachment to one's own viewpoint. So Takahata is warning against this trend?---

So far, the blame has been put at Seita's doorstep. But what of the aunt? "...for the sake of the children," she hardly practised that either! Seita was also going through a traumatic time, especially the sight of her mother. Is his response of running away typical of a modern boy, or just typical of a normal human being---?
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Old 29-12-2004, 09:13 PM   #4   [permalink]
SamIam
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Originally Posted by John Faulkner
Maybe it was ironic that Seita, after he left his aunt, did bite the bullet and suffered a lot of hardship for his sister, much more so than if he had just stayed with his aunt---

I think he was foolhardy and proud too, but he was courageous in doing what he did for his sister after he ran away. Regarding Seita as an individual, rather than a teamplayer, he does seem to show little patience in trying to work with his aunt, rather than against her. There has been a trend towards individualism certainly in the US and Europe from the war onwards, maybe Japan too, a growing sense of attachment to one's own viewpoint. So Takahata is warning against this trend?---

So far, the blame has been put at Seita's doorstep. But what of the aunt? "...for the sake of the children," she hardly practised that either! Seita was also going through a traumatic time, especially the sight of her mother. Is his response of running away typical of a modern boy, or just typical of a normal human being---?
Good point ... I focused on Seita because he was the central character along with his sister ... actually his aunt in a real sense is more to blame on that note ... given the fact that she is an adult ... she definitely did not live up to the cultural and moral standards of the day. A young boy can be forgiven for acts of immaturity, but the adult has no such luxury.

As a side note, one thing that I found to be odd though is why did Seita wait so long before he withdrew money from the bank? I would have thought that even at his age, he would started sooner ... before resorting to what they were eating in the end ... now granted, you want to save something for emergencies ... but he waited way to long.

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Old 30-12-2004, 08:13 AM   #5   [permalink]
John Faulkner
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Originally Posted by SamIam
Good point ... I focused on Seita because he was the central character along with his sister ... actually his aunt in a real sense is more to blame on that note ... given the fact that she is an adult ... she definitely did not live up to the cultural and moral standards of the day. A young boy can be forgiven for acts of immaturity, but the adult has no such luxury.

As a side note, one thing that I found to be odd though is why did Seita wait so long before he withdrew money from the bank? I would have thought that even at his age, he would started sooner ... before resorting to what they were eating in the end ... now granted, you want to save something for emergencies ... but he waited way to long.

Sam
There is a tendency for me just to concentrate on the main characters in an anime, and disregard the side characters--but main characters do not act in a vacuum--

Maybe Seita was too proud to withdraw money and wanted to make it on his own. Was that money his or his parents (I forgot)? If it was his parents, maybe that's why he was reluctant to take it.--
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Old 15-01-2005, 06:11 AM   #6   [permalink]
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I think the money was technically his parents. I suspect he was keeping a bit in reserve for when his father returned.
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