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Fireflies: River of Light (2003)

Hotaru no hoshi (original title)
This is a story that shows the potential dreams and teaches kids to never give up


Hiroshi Sugawara


Hiroshi Sugawara, Osamu Sôda (original story)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Yukiyoshi Ozawa ... Hajime Miwa
Risako Sugaya Risako Sugaya ... Hikari Hoshi
Kôji Yakusho ... Mr. Takiguchi
Mirai Yamamoto Mirai Yamamoto ... Ms. Nanami
Nobuo Yana Nobuo Yana ... Tanaka-san
Kirin Kiki ... Headmistress
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Takuya Asada Takuya Asada
Moeko Ezawa Moeko Ezawa
Toshiyuki Kitami Toshiyuki Kitami
Yukimi Koyanagi Yukimi Koyanagi
Yurina Kumai Yurina Kumai
Kumiko Mori
Hitomi Nakahara Hitomi Nakahara
Takashi Sasano Takashi Sasano
Makoto Satô Makoto Satô


A young teacher comes up with the idea of the elementary school students in his charge taking care of fireflies and their habitat. While as in any classroom there are different characters with distinctive personalities they ultimately come together as they care for the environment and the creatures in it. The teacher and students are up against the established way of doing things however. Written by aghaemi

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family


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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]





Release Date:

5 June 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Fireflies: River of Light See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cinema Voice Y.K. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Nothing new, but special all the same...
13 July 2006 | by PutShadySee all my reviews

First of all, let me say English is not my first language. Chances are I'll make a couple of grammatical errors. Let me apologies in advance.

This is the first time I'm writing a review on IMDb, and I really don't have that much to say, but since this particular movie doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves I'll have a go at it.

I just finished watching it. It's been part of my Asian cinema collecting for maybe two weeks now, and after viewing Miike's "Gozu" yesterday it was time to give this film a go. The story is far from original. A young teacher has trouble handling his class. One day the idea of raising fireflies is suggested by one of the children, and it seems like a good project for everyone to get to know each other, and do some bonding. As you might expect, there are some kids that don't get along too well, there's an outcast that refuses to communicate with the others, and some other familiar characters. This all changes during the movie though... You can probably guess the rest of the story.

Fortunatly, there's a lot more to the movie than just the story itself. The characters, although unoriginal, are done quite well thanks to more than decent acting by the child-actors. You've got to give the director and the rest of the crew credit, if not only for having the children run with their feet tied together without them falling all over each other every two seconds. The pacing is good for the most part - I never got bored - and I'm a sucker for Japanese architecture and scenery. The school-building felt to me like a warm place, especially thanks to the way it's implemented in the surrounding nature (I hope this makes any sense). It's something I personally don't see to often, but really enjoy.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this is very much a film for those who enjoy nice scenery, some good acting and a little peek into another culture, but it's nothing groundbreaking. I liked it a lot, though I'm not really sure why.

I hope more replies will follow, I'd love to hear how other feel about the movie.

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