- Here's a little shock and awe for you 10/12/2005 12:00:00 AM by juubei-2
If you haven't seen this film, make it a top priority to track it down.
Barefoot Gen, the animated version of the autobiographical manga by Keiji Nakazawa, is an unflinching first-hand look at the result of dropping an atomic bomb on a civilian target. Comparisons to Grave of the Fireflies will abound, but for me personally Barefoot Gen was the more moving of the two. Though it centers on the effects of the atom bomb, the fact is this could be about any war, and any people. It is a story for all of humanity.
Barefoot Gen is filled with its fair share of caricatured mannerisms, but calling it a dramedy is pushing it. There isn't much to laugh at and even when the characters act a little over-the-top, the overall effect hits its mark (strongly). What makes the story even more powerful is knowing it comes from a survivor of the attack, and the honesty with which the film doles out darker and darker shades of life in the aftermath of the bombing (including subtle things one might not think about).
I think this along with Grave of the Fireflies belongs in every collection, even if you will only watch it once or twice, if only to show it to future generations. Its one thing to see a big explosion relating to the a-bomb in almost every other anime, but its another thing entirely to see the reality of it, and its aftermath.
At the risk of sounding incredibly pretentious, it made me want to burn flags. Not just from one country, but from all countries... to put it another way, I wish we could be united by our common humanity.
- What really went down in Hiroshima 9/10/2008 12:00:00 AM by halohamish
Barefoot Gen is the autobiographical story of manga artist, Keiji Nakazawa and his experience during the times of the Hiroshima bombings in 1942. What ensues is something so unbelievable, so gritty, so real, it will change your life forever.
The film is adapted as an anime from Keiji's short manga series depicting all that he experienced just at the age of six when the bombings hit. His story truly is one of the most amazing things you will ever hear. Nothing else in film has ever captured the effects of the bombings in such a real and emotional way. It shows the viewers what really did happen and what we were never told. It shows us how real the bombings really were as we follow Gen through his struggle for survival during Japan's darkest hours.
If you haven't seen this film, you are missing out. While the film does not hold back on the gritty details, and what happens to the people of Japan throughout the whole of the film is very horrifying, you cannot miss this film due to these aspects. It's these things that make it so real and it would be a tragedy to ignore this film. It opened my eyes to what really went down in Hiroshima and I almost felt personally affected. During my whole time watching this film, I kept finding myself in disbelief that something like this actually occurred in our history, and recently at that. I mean, a whole society was rebuilt on the effects of the bombings and once again shows us how very, very wrong war is. One of the best films I have ever seen.
9.5/10 Hamish Kearvell A.K.A Screaming Japan Productions - www.myspace.com/screamingjapanproductions
- The horror of Hiroshima...Never so realistic 7/22/2005 12:00:00 AM by fabio-46
I have to admit it. I cried, I cried a lot while watching this masterpiece of animation. The horror of the war and the apocalypse of the atomic bomb, engulfed my eyes and my soul so deep inside. It always should be remembered: the first casualty of war is innocence. Hadashi no Gen is a masterpiece, a legacy for the whole humanity. I have read many stories and talked to some survivors from the atomic bombs and I have to say that this movie is the first one that get so poignantly close to what happened on that August, 1945. The only thing I wanted to say at the end of the movie was:"I am sorry, I am sorry that I am human and that I can be so limited...I am sorry..."
- Excellent animation from my childhood memories 5/4/2006 12:00:00 AM by AndreiPavlov
Seeing this one at 7 was something to remember. The picture, the sound, the message, the dialogues, the actions. The atomic bombing looked so frightening on a big screen: the people were burning, their flesh – melting, and finally only bones remained.
Some Russian people still recall memories of this cartoon, though, it still has not been officially released in good quality. It must mean something. The animation film was shown decades ago in our theatres and since then has been erased from any means of media - but we still remember it and respect it. "Finding Nemo" is good. "Spirited Away" is better. But this one is a masterpiece that has real history as a background.
Judging by the number of votes, not so many IMDb visitors are aware of this gem. Alas, before making atomic quarrels one should watch this film. You cannot watch it and pass by ignorant.
My mark is a definite 10. Thank you for attention.
- Excellent but too realistic for many viewers 4/28/1999 12:00:00 AM by cpto
The story is excellent, the animation effective, but the lack of in-between frames is intrusive in spots. For the full story, read the graphic novels. They provide an even more effective tale.
As with Nosaka's "Grave of the Fireflies," Gen deals with a Japanese youth in the waning days of WW II. The first 30 minutes shows him to be typical for his stage of life, swinging between a self-centered boy and an adult. He is suddenly thrust into the position of head of the family after the Hiroshima bomb kills his father, brother, and sister, and destroys the city. The remainder of the movie deals with his transformation into an adult, with adult sensibilities and adult responsibilities.
Gen is clearly a Japanese story - the author, Nakazawa, lived through the event as a child. But the story could have taken place in Dresden or London just as easily. Although the atomic bomb is the event the movie revolves around, the story is really about the people - the children - and the effect the event has on their lives.
It's too bad that so much of the books had to be sacrificed to the time limits of a film. The novels delve much more deeply into the cruel society that Japan was in the 1940s. For example, much more was made of the neighbor's Korean background in the book; in the movie, you wouldn't realize the ethnicity if you didn't think about the name.
As a conventional film, Gen would probably be too honest to find real appeal in the U.S. Worse, the animation format will probably dissuade those who would otherwise see and appreciate it. Like most Japanese anime, this is not a "cartoon." It is a serious film in an unconventional - for the U.S. - medium.
The DVD transfer is excellent and belongs in your collection. This is a movie that continues to educate and enlighten with each viewing.