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Parents Guide

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Sex & Nudity

  • A teenage brother and his little sister take a bath together naked. Nothing sexual.
  • A little girl runs around with a blanket naked.
  • In one scene, the older brother is wearing minimal clothing meaning you can see his behind this only happens once
  • A four-year-old girl is urinating and her buttocks can be seen very briefly.

Violence & Gore

  • A teenager is shown dying of starvation.
  • An intense scene involves a Japanese town being bombed by Americans during World War II. The aftermath is emotionally resonant, with lots of destruction, smoke, and dead bodies piled up along the roadside.
  • At a later point in the movie a pile of dead bodies are seen being burned to dispose of the rotted and decomposing bodies.
  • A four-year-old girl sees a dead body covered with a blanket; she asks her brother if he is sleeping and he tells her not to look at it.
  • There is one very sudden fly-by shooting.
  • A man throws a teenage boy to the ground and treats him very roughly after he catches him stealing his food. The teenage boy is later seen covered with bruises, scratches and cuts. A police officer threatens to charge the man with assault.


  • Some mild profanity (i.e. god damn, jerk, hell). In the english dub, harsher language such as "shit" and "piss" are used.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • A man smokes from a pipe.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • A girl becomes hungry waiting for her brother to come back and starts eating dirt and rock. She has obviously become delusional due to hunger. The brother find his sister lying on the ground, extremely weak. He reaches into her mouth and pulls out a pebble. He questions her why it is in her mouth.
  • Not Rated, but would be rated PG-13 for thematic war elements including disturbing images and some language.
  • This film is very depressing, due to its premise of the impact of war.
  • While this is a cartoon, it isn't funny AT ALL. It's premise is actually very serious and is best left for mature teens and adults.
  • Even though this is an animated feature, do not think that it is light hearted and fun viewing. Many of the "real world circumstances" of WWII wartime Japan are addresses here in as serious a way as any movie of this genre. Hunger, starvation, death, loss of family members and so on are seen here.
  • Dead and rotting bodies are seen throughout the film.
  • A boy is seen dying in a train station.
  • One scene of a few characters walking through a makeshift hospital (an elementary school), where the patients are seen wrapped in bandages, some screaming out in pain.
  • The main characters mother sustains extremely graphic burns, her body is wrapped in white bandages and blood can be seen seeping through most of the bandages.
  • Two funerals, where the bodies are burned over fires in caskets.
  • The film is very emotionally intense, especially the ending, which is very upsetting. It is often considered to be one of the saddest and most emotionally devastating films ever made. Very hard to watch and almost impossible to rewatch.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Violence & Gore

  • The protagonist's mother dies due to the bombing and is seen twice covered with bandages and with bloody eyes, mouth and bloody bandages from head to toe. The second time she (her dead body) is seen with maggots nearby from her terribly untreated injuries.
  • A four-year-old girl dies of malnutrition after being seen by a doctor. Food, is all he says she needs to regain her health. Food is no where to be found. Upon her death her body is cremated by her older brother. This is neither violent, nor gory, it is however profoundly sad and heart rending. It may be difficult for most viewers to watch, young or old.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • At the beginning you see two characters taking a train somewhere. In the end it turns out that they are ghosts taking a train back to their hometown, which has now become modern day Japan. It shows that the ghosts of the dead continue to roam the land, watching the world change. You should never forget the blood, sweat, and tears that make up human history.

See also

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