Rail of the Star

JPEG image Type: movie
Genre: Historical war drama
Dub/Sub: Subtitled
Length: ~80 minutes
Copyright date: 1997
Animation quality: 6
Why: v, mt
General overall quality: 8
Distributed by:A.D. Vision

One of the many things Imperial Japan did during World War II was to invade, occupy and effectively annex Korea. Chitose Kobayashi is a young Japanese national who lives with her family in the northern part of Korea. Her father is the manager of a coal factory and they are fairly well off.

Chiko knows little of the war that her country is engaged in, and she understands little of the hate that some of the Koreans have towards the Japanese invaders.

However, she could not avoid the effects of the war, as she first can not get a red backpack for school, and later when she and her family are forced out of their home.

With the defeat of Japan, Korea is divided in two at the 38th Parallel. The northern part is to be controlled by China and Russia, the south part by the United States. The gates to South Korea are rapidly closing, however, and Chiko and her family make a run for the relative safety of U.S. zone.

The trip to South Korea is dangerous and some of their group are unable to make it when the fleeing Japanese are forced to walk a goodly portion of the way. The threat of getting shot and getting lost is great.

In the end, however, Chiko and her family does make it out of Korea.

While Rail of the Star is not a Grave of the Fireflies, it does show the effects of war on a particular young child.

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