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Barefoot Gen 2 takes place 3 years after the end of the original movie, with Gen trying to cope during the early post-war reconstruction of Japan. While the first movie focused on the immediate affect of the atomic bombing, the second film focuses on the long-term problems that faced the survivors, such as the devastated economy and national infrastructure, and lingering affects of the bomb's radiation. Most of the buildings are still in ruins, and Gen's school building is still half-wrecked by bomb-damage. Many still cannot afford basic necessities of life, as Japan's economy slowly recovers. Gen and his mother struggle to survive, and while she gets a job at a brick-building factory, it is barely enough to support their basic needs. There are also several gangs of orphaned children squatting in the ruins instead of going to school. At first, contact with them is adversarial, but Gen soon realizes that they have nowhere else to go and are as desperate as he is, striking up a friendship with them. During a lighter moment in the film, Gen and the children stumble upon an old military firing range where ammunition was dumped at the end of the war. The gang leader realizes they can sell the old bullets for scrap metal, and the entire group starts filling wheelbarrows with spent shell casings, singing as they work.
The other major plotline in the movie follows the long-term effects of the use of the atomic bomb: even years later, many people are suffering lingering medical effects from the radiation. A girl among the orphans was badly burned during the bombing (possibly from the atomic blast, or normal fire) and is ostracized by the rest of the group for her condition, though Gen accepts her. Gen's own mother is gradually dying of cancer throughout the movie, due to exposure to the atomic blast (compounded by years of malnutrition). They both know that she is dying, though Gen struggles to comprehend how he will survive without her.
- Issei Miyazaki as "Gen Nakaoka", Barefoot Gen, the protagonist of the story.
- Takao Inoue as "Daikichi Nakaoka", Gen's father.
- Yoshie Shimamura as "Kimie Nakaoka", Gen's mother.
- Seiko Nakano as "Eiko Naoaoka, Gen's elder sister.
- Masaki Kōda as "Shinji Nakaoka", Gen's younger brother."
- Katsuji Mori as "Seiji"
- Junji Nishimura as "Boku-san"
- Kei Nakamura as "Masa" (for Barefoot Gen 2)
- Taeko Nakanishi as "Hana" (for Barefoot Gen 2)
- Takami Aoyama as "Katsuko" (for Barefoot Gen 2)
- Kōichi Kitamura as "Suekichi" (for Barefoot Gen 2)
- Barefoot Gen
- Barefoot Gen (film) - PART1 (1976)
- Barefoot Gen (1977 film) - PART2 (1977)
- Barefoot Gen (1980 film) - PART3 (1980)
- Barefoot Gen (anime) - PART1 (1983)
- Barefoot Gen 2 (anime) - PART2 (1986)
- Barefoot Gen (TV drama) - (2007)
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Barefoot Gen at the Internet Movie Database
- Barefoot Gen (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
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