Top critical review
Barefoot Gen on DVD - A Very Tough One to Watch
on February 17, 2000
If you found Grave of the Fireflies difficult to watch, Barefoot Gen will be even more difficult. Although it shares similar WWII themes, Gen lacks the sensitivity that you see in Grave. The imagery in Gen is simply horrific -- the most disturbing that I have ever seen in an animation. But since it is about the Hiroshima bombing, I guess it would be considered accurate and is therefore effectively disturbing. It should be noted that the quality of the animation is not even close to Grave of the Fireflies. So I would not recommend this to those searching for something in league with Grave. It is definitely not for young children. Although older children *might* watch this under adult supervision in some sort of educational environment. In terms of content, this film is more in league with Saving Private Ryan or Shindler's List.
DVD anime fans should be aware that the subtitles in the film are very difficult to read. They are *bright purple* with blue outlines, but there is transparent space in between the purple and the blue. This makes it especially hard to read on brighter backgrounds. There is no option to turn the subtitles off unless you watch it in English. Therefore I would only recommend this DVD to those looking for an English dubbed version.