I purchased Grave of the Fireflies on Amazon over the weekend. It’s a 1988 Japanese war drama film, animated by Studio Ghibli, that takes place right after WWII ended. As you could imagine, it’s kind of intense and not for the faint of heart. It’s emotionally crushing and can be difficult to watch, but it’s one of the best films I’ve seen.
I saw a few 1-star ratings on the product, so I decided to check those out. The first one I read, “not for children.” Yeah, no shit. Second one, “I thought this would be something I could watch with the grand-kids, but it wasn’t.” Third one, “My kids cried throughout the entire film. This isn’t for kids.” Fourth, “I ordered this, assuming it to be innocent because of Studio Ghibli. I was wrong. This isn’t for kids.” Okay, let me stop you there.
This is the same garbage I saw when Deadpool came out. There was a slew of parents complaining that it wasn’t appropriate for their kids. It isn’t. Worse were the ones vocal enough to express confusion related to why no one warned them about it. I know how you feel, parents. If only mass media had to go through review boards that assign an easy-to-follow rating system so that you could know what content was contained within said media before you expose something inappropriate to your children. Oh wait… that’s already a thing.
Yeah! Believe it or not, that neat little letter assigned to every form of media you intake actually means something! It isn’t just there for show. It’s there so that you can easily determine whether the content contained within the media is appropriate for you or your kids. If you’re not using it, then it’s your problem for being a shitty parent; not the media’s. It’s not Fox’s fault that your kid has several inappropriate questions related to Deadpool because you either had a “meh” reaction to the R-Rating, or you outright ignored it altogether.
Back to Grave of the Fireflies– I understand that it’s from the same studio that brought you all those Miyazaki films. I understand that it’s animated too. Here’s a pro-tip for future reference: Easterners don’t have the same pre-conceived notions toward animation that Westerners have. Animation isn’t stigmatized into a category where it’s only suitable for children, like it is here. It’s meant to appeal to a wide audience, and everything you run across isn’t going to be suitable for kids.
Maybe you didn’t know that. Fair enough. Luckily, there’s this thing called “the internet.” Contained within it is an infinite array of knowledge that’s easily accessible to anyone. I know that you’re capable of using it; you’re here, aren’t you? You’re fully capable of writing a scathing Amazon review or sharing that racist post you saw on Facebook.
I also know that Grave of the Fireflies doesn’t have a rating, which is why I ask you to do your research before diving in. It’s not difficult to do either. Go ahead, pull up Google in a separate window and search Grave of the Fireflies. Did a vast wealth of knowledge seemingly pour out at you about the film? It did. I know it did. How long did that take you, maybe 5 minutes? That’s because it takes the most minimal effort to do this.
Here’s an idea– how about taking a break from sending me your Facebook game invites while you’re on the toilet, and instead, put forth the minimal effort to research something before purchasing it or exposing your kids to it so that I don’t have to listen to your stupid counter-reactions. Look into Call of Duty: More Dogs before standing in line at GameStop with your kid to purchase it, and then bitching about how it’s inappropriate for your 12 year old.
I’m not preaching that your kid shouldn’t watch R-rated movies or play the M-rated game. If you think your 12 year old is mature enough to understand that what they experience in a movie or game is fictional, then by all means, go for it. All I ask is that you take the minimal time necessary to quickly research the product before deciding to expose your child to it, rather than reacting after the fact because you were a lazy shit that couldn’t be bothered.