The Other Side takes a hard, HARD look at Grave of the Fireflies.

Episode Title: Grave of Ghibli’s Good Name
Episode Count: 
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Cody Baier, Max Vader, Andrew Erickson
Executive Producer: Sean Russell
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Often described by Cody in previous podcasts as a “soulless, joy-sucking experience,” Grave of the Fireflies is often the recipient of boundless praise. But can a 97% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes be wrong? Well when you’ve got critic after critic calling it an anti-war movie when the director clearly states it’s not, yeah, it’s a possibility. But in the process of reviewing the film for this podcast, the boys at The Other Side learned the truth behind the movie, and made a startling discovery; it’s not just a terrible movie, it’s outright despicable. Find out why this movie is so heinous the boys at The Other Side make it clear you’re just plain not allowed to like the movie once you know the truth!’





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About the author

The ever-controversial shock jock of Anime3000, and host of The Other Side (alongside Andrew Erickson and Max-Vader), and frequent guest on the A3K Podcast. Blunt, unfiltered, and politically incorrect, Cody's podcast appearances are not for the thin skinned. And be sure to check out his 90's cartoon throwback comic, Cloudscratcher!
  • Jarrett Beese

    I would submit that people who legitimately liked GotF are on some level masochistic along with just being dumb.
    I first saw this movie about four years ago after a person at the anime club at my high school recommended it to me and I fell asleep about a third of the way through and I barely made it through on my second attempt.
    Man you should have seen the butt-hurt him and about three others had when I criticized the I mean I wish in retrospect I could have made the Preparation H back then.

  • Jarrett Beese

    I would submit the anyone who liked this film is either masochistic along with just being dumb.

    I mean four years ago when one of people in my Anime cub suggested it I gave him the benefit of a doubt. Didn’t make it a third of the way through it the first time and when I tried again I swear to god I felt that if I rolled my eyes any harder they would pop right out of my skull.

    When I told him that oh boy the amount of butt-hurt that he and three other members of the club had when I told them that. I’m not joking when I feel that I can compare their reaction to Zac Bertschy on your Aku no Hana review except they had a bit more of an excuse as they actually were teenagers but still. Looking back at it now I really wish I could have made a Preparation H joke.

    In retrospect this clip from adaptation more or less sumerizes my feeling for GotF

  • Derek Johnson


  • Normality

    I never saw the movie, and from what I’ve read, it sounded pretty bad. But after listening to this podcast, I have never wanted to see a movie less than this one (besides maybe The Wind Rises). To anyone reading, anyone who has watched the movie, and liked it, need to seek help. A lot of help.

    As for Ebert, I will never forget the time when he got into a bitch fit over the first “Bayformers” sequel and wrote FOUR fucking “reviews” (since I can’t think of anything else to call them) about how the people who liked that movie were complete idiots. Which is not necessarily a lie, but it came from the same guy who gave the first one three stars. I think Angry Joe got into the fray at one point too.

    And let’s not forget Doug Walker’s obsession over the man.

    • DarthYan

      Ebert was….unusual. Some of his reviews were weird (he hated gladiator but gave speed ii a positive review).

      One thing I will give him credit for: unlike most film critics he made up his own mind and didn’t just praise something because other critics liked it (
      Same with Mark Kermode and Jonathan rosenbaum. In some ways those men were pretentious idiots, but they don’t just praise something because its popular.

      Also the troper who did brother sister incest was SvartiKotturinn

      • Normality

        “Ebert was….unusual. Some of his reviews were weird (he hated gladiator but gave speed ii a positive review).”

        And that’s why he shouldn’t be trusted. Ever.

        (Just a side thought, but why would you prefer Speed II Cruse Control over any other movie?)

        • DarthYan

          I didn’t. In general even skilled critics can occasionally like something that’s crap. By and large Ebert’s track record was pretty good for the most part. I also respect the fact that Ebert didn’t just praise something that everyone else did. If he praised something he believed the praise was warranted; if he condemned it he believed the same.

          Same thing with Mark Kermode and Jonathan Rosenbaum. While Kermode’s statement that twilight is better than star wars is stupid, i respect the fact that he honestly reports what he believes rather than bending to popular opinion.

          Rosenbaum also liked Dukes of Hazzard, which I incidentally think is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Given that he usually praised big arty films, and that he praised Dukes when virtually all else savaged it, I can respect the fact that he didn’t just say “it’s crap” because everyone else was.

          It’s that kind of integrity that makes Cody’s podcast stand above most others. They are not afraid to criticize something that’s popular if they think it’s shit.

  • DarthYan

    Also I can’t help but feel in some ways its gotten worse. The very first gundam series was basically a subtle way of criticizing imperial japan (the leaders are a bunch of psychopathic assholes who are clearly full of shit with their “we are liberating people and saving the world” as seen by the fact they are murdering people they claim to liberate and damage the world they claim to save.)

  • Ryumoau

    great episode! I do recall seeing this film being put on several critic’s top animated film lists or top ‘important films’ lists.

    I haven’t seen it myself, but hearing you guys talk about it makes it sound not only boring but incredibly irresponsible with its message.

  • I suppose I would be on ‘the other side’ if I said I had seen this movie one too many times to not be affected by it at this point. Sad to see what Takahata had to do otherwise to the guy’s novel to put his ‘spin’ on the matter as stated in the podcast. Of course not knowing that when I first saw the film, I wanted to think Seita was a complete dick the way he let things escalate the way they did, somehow the whole “Praise Imperial Nippon” never came to my head until years later. I also didn’t know there were two dubs at all. I only know of the CPM version myself with it’s dry, flat acting. Now I’m afraid to see what Sentai Filmworks had in mind themselves. The only Takahata film I could tolerate was “Only Yesterday”, and sadly the only one Disney didn’t do much with besides perhaps one or two festival screenings and an airing on TCM.

  • Bonglorio

    Studio Ghibli sure does like defending Fascism. First this then The Wind Rises.

    Even excluding those two films, the Fascist ideology creeps into their other work. Most of the conflict comes from when a Bad Thing, usually pollution or war invades the idyllic Japanese countryside. Evil is just something that creeps into the Ghibli hills through progress and foreign meddling and the heroes must save the day by preventing further progress( Pom Poko) or flat out exterminating the enemy race (Nausica, Princess Mononoke)

    It’s perfectly in line with what Umberto Eco called the Ur-Fascist.

  • ryan

    values dissonance refers to how a work might have been acceptable in the past but isn’t now (an example would be how in romance of the three kingdoms the hero is staying with a peasant. the peasant promises a good meal but when he can’t find anything he murders his wife and feeds her to hero. the hero weeps tears of gratitude at this “noble sacrifice”) It’s more nowadays a modern obvious would see the aunt as a bitch but back then we were supposed to sympathize with her.