Barefoot Gen DVD (S)
Ken Albrecht - Feb 25 2010 email@example.com
Anime as historical narrative: not for the faint of heart.
There are 2 parts of Barefoot Gen. Before I watched both I looked up other points of reference to get some background about this story. I first went to Wikipedia. Here you will find good information about the plot line plus additional narratives about the author who lived/endured the horror as collateral damage when the atom bomb was introduced to Japan August, 1945. But read at your own risk as there are spoilers throughout those paragraphs. I am also reading a book titled "The Last Train from Hiroshima" by Charles Pellegrino. Much of his narrative story line is based on historical fact (both sides) and survivor interviews. I then referenced ANN's (Anime News Network)encyclopedia and review section. I highly recommend that you read Theron Martin's 2006 commentary re drawing animation quality, plot work, story cohesion. His essays are well constructed, informative and there isn't 1 thing I can add that would enhance the overall essence contained within this dvd beyond his wordage.
But I will say this much. The first part is not an anime to be watched by little kids. The destruction that is portrayed at ground zero in Hiroshima is very graphic, very realistic animation. What you will see happened to real people, not cartoons, fantasized demonic creatures, or 3-D wargame figurines. You will experience several very horrific unsettling minutes witnessing what unleashed atoms can do to structures and unsuspecting living beings. Watching this dvd may convert you over to an anti-nuclear war mentality.
Both sections of the dvd also reveal that the human spirit can prevail over great adversity. Whether biblical or historical re great loss we, as humans, are endowed with hope and resilience to begin anew.