Barefoot Gen 2 (1986)

  • Year: 1986
  • Released: 14 Jun 1986
  • Country: Japan
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  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: Japanese
  • MPA Rating: TV-PG
  • Genre: Animation, Biography, Drama
  • Runtime: 85 min
  • Writer: Keiji Nakazawa, Hideo Takayashiki
  • Director: Toshio Hirata
  • Cast: Issei Miyazaki, Masaki Kôda, Kei Nakamura
  • Keywords: hibakusha, school days,
66% – Critics
66% – Audience

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Barefoot Gen 2 Movie Reviews


Yes, Barefoot Gen 1 is a fantastic movie, no doubts allowed;-). As far as I can remember, there’s only one Sequel to any movie I saw that was better than its predecessor: Babe: Pig in the City. Okay, and now there are two. I watched both parts of Barefoot Gen in a row. Of course part 1 stands as one, if not the strongest anti-war movie that ever was created, but there’s more: the tragedy afterwards. Those who died more or less immediately after the detonation were the lucky ones, while those who suffered had the real hell on earth. I watched ‘Grave of the Fireflys’ before ‘Barefoot Gen 1 & 2’, and after watching ‘Grave…’ I checked Wiki on Hiroshima, the damage, the aftermath, how it looked like and so on, and there was the story of a girl, 12-year old Sadako Sasaki, who survived the bomb, but died from leukemia in 1955. Need I say more?

Just in case you forget

After watching Keiji’s masterpiece, Barefoot Gen, I was amazed, shocked and touched. The first film truly was incredible and hit harder than any film I can remember seeing. So, naturally, when I went on to watch the second part I was both excited and skeptic. Is it better than the first? Certainly not, and I think we can all agree on that. But, does this film still deliver? Absolutely.

Many believe that Barefoot Gen should have been left as it was, and so do I to a certain extent. But at the same time, the second film offers something the first didn’t or couldn’t – the aftermath. It shows us how Hiroshima was effected long-term by just one decision. It makes sure you don’t ever forget what happened that fateful day. While it’s all nice to tie loose ends and act like Gen went on continuing to live a happy life at the end of the first part, the fact was and is, he didn’t. Keiji wanted you to know how long lasting these effects were, on not only him, but the whole of Hiroshima. Japan didn’t just get over this tragedy. Hiroshima had to continue rebuilding its society in its barren and desolate state.

With all this said, there are definitely reason why this film didn’t live up to its successor. All the intense emotion and horror captured in the first film just didn’t seem to be there this time around. Things seem a little toned down and by the end of the film, your pretty tired of it all, as you feel you got the idea, the message, Keiji was trying to get across long ago. Regardless, I still very much enjoyed this sequel and it’s one of the much better ones you will see.

Hamish Kearvell A.K.A Screaming Japan Productions –

Worthy A-bomb sequel

This sequel to the powerful “Barefoot Gen” picks up about 3 years after the events recounted in the first movie. In that film, young Gen and his mother survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in WWII, but lost the rest of their family in the process, and were forced to endure the horrific after-effects of one of mankind’s most shameful atrocities. Despite pulling no punches, and detailing the horrors of the bombing in painful detail, the film ended on a positive note, with Gen gaining an honorary little brother, and looking forward to the future with at least a tad of hope.

In the sequel, an older Gen and his feisty sidekick struggle to keep afloat in the lean years after the war. His mother is suffering from radiation poisoning, food and medicine are hard to come by, American troops are strolling around and resented by many, and gangs of orphans roam the streets and shelter in the ruins of buildings. Gen ends up becoming involved with one of the street groups, and the film charts his joys and sorrows.

While it doesn’t hit the emotional heights of the first film, this is much better than I was expecting, and is definitely worth a look. The pair make for a fine double-feature.