Hotaru no Haka
(Grave of the Fireflies)
|Synopsis - Chapter Twelve: The Funeral|
On a hill in an opening in the forest, Seita prepares his sister for the cremation. He sets her inside a wicker coffin, along with her hood, purse, dolly, and the candy tin. But Seita has second thoughts about the tin. He takes it back out and puts it in his pocket. He picks up the lid and stares at his sister a little longer before covering her up at last. He strikes a match, sets fire to a starter stick, then tosses the starter into the leaves and charcoal underneath the coffin. The fire reflects in Seita's eyes as it reaches up and consumes the coffin. The smoke rises straight up into the sky as Seita kneels before it, watching, waiting until it finally burns out late that night, when the fireflies start to fly. What's left continues to smolder throughout the night.
Seita watches the fireflies for a while, then has a rice ball, which he eats slowly. The next morning, as the spirit of Seita explains, he puts some ashes into the candy tin, climbs down the hill and back into the town, never returning to the shelter.
The spirit Setsuko calls, and the spirit Seita appears again over the living Seita while he's still eating. Instead of a rice ball, he's holding the candy tin. Setsuko runs up and sits down on the bench with him. He hands her the candy tin, and he tells her it's time for bed. She lays her head in his lap as he holds her. He looks up, at the camera, then out at the city, rebuilt with giant skyscrapers. The fireflies dance around Seita and Sestsuko.