Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Sep 17, 2011
44 min. per episode
G - All Ages
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.761 (scored by 23388 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe story of Hotarubi no Mori e centers around Hotaru, a little girl who gets lost in an enchanted forest where apparitions reside. A young boy, Gin, appears before Hotaru, but she cannot touch him for fear of making him disappear.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Hotarubi no Mori e
Characters & Voice Actors
"It is sad not to love, but it is much sadder not to be able to love." The words uttered by Miguel de Unamuno become unusually symbolic when we think of them in the context of Hotarubi no Mori e. The romance genre has grown stiff over the centuries - and some may even imply that any originality in that peculiar type of works has depleted, that nothing fresh and original can be created when basically everything is a cliché these days. Well then, I'm truly glad I can say that whoever sports that belief is in the wrong. The evidence: Hotarubi no Mori e.
How much emotion and feelings can be put into a small vessel? As Shakespeare and his cycle of sonnets taught us - you don't need much space (or time) to deliver a powerful blast of vivid emotions. And this film needed circa forty minutes to revive within me certain emotions, which I believed I had managed to cast aside long time ago. In our era, the concept of love seems to be incomplete and - I dare to say - a bit off the mark. Love is now an emotion which is the theme for a vast majority of pop songs - those pseudo-deep lyrics of them, even when combined in a single entity, still won't tell you nearly as much as Hotarubi no Mori e in several lines of dialogue and 40 minutes of animation. It's not overly deep or anything, it doesn't require your utmost attention to get a general gist, no - that's not the case here. It's a simple, effective, well-thought story with a warm sensation lurking behind it; a slow-paced story of love in its truest, platonic form. And now let us take a more detailed view on the whole.
Images are a powerful means of conveying information--and feelings as well. And no major issues can be found in this regard - on the contrary, the visual aspect of this film is praiseworthy, and a few things need to be pointed out. First of all - a genuinely perfect playing with scenery. It refers a tad to the script - but still, presenting the two (Gin and Hotaru) all alone in a forest was a glimpse of genius. The motif is neatly exposed - they are alone with each other, there's no one around them... and yet they're not together. Because touching someone is like confirming their existence - and even that much is not allowed to them. But not to sway of the topic too much - the exceptional words of admiration should be directed at the background scenery. Rich in details, properly animated, not breaking the decorum of the entirety. But only a little less can be said about the character design - rich in expressions, not overly static, presenting the character quite well... to sum it all up, I'll just say that I wasn't left speechless - but what speech was left to me--it was the praising alone.
Sounds are as important as images - if not more - so we should pay a close attention to this aspect of the film as well. Voicing was done fairly well, though there's nothing to cry tears of delight over, so let's just say that it was perfectly fine. But what really caught my attention was music. And goodness me, my ears still are in awe of what they heard an hour ago. Due to the limited time of the film, it's perfectly obvious and natural that the number of songs wouldn't be very impressive. But what matters is their quality - which in this case wouldn't be paid a proper recognition if I didn't call it top-notch. Those few instrumental pieces were enough to build up a desired setting, and reflected what was happening on the screen in a truly illustrative way. Especially the theme of the festival deserves my utmost recognition - it sure did manage to deliver a number of various emotions. All in all, both music and voices in this film aced the test.
Characters are inseparably connected with plot in this very case, so I think that they shouldn't... no, mustn't be regarded as two different aspects. To give a brief summary of events - a young girl meets a boy, who is in fact a spirit dwelling in the forest. The boy, however, mustn't be touched by a human, for it would result in him disappearing for all eternity. They spend the summer days with each other, and when the girl must return to home from her vacation, she promises to visit him again next summer. And that's eactly what she does - for the next few years. During that time she grows up, and her age is slowly getting closer to the age of the boy (who due to being a spirit doesn't age or ages very slowly). And then, one summer, comes the grande finale - he invites her to a spirit festival, during which he touches a human kid who tripped himself and was about to fall. Then, for as much as a few seconds, the two people who loved each other are able to touch, sense, confirm the object of their love. And after what seemed to be a blink of an eye... he's gone. He's not there - his mask left behind as the only proof of his existence. To love, yet not to be able to.
The story itself isn't something unique, or exceptional - as I have already mentioned, everything comes down to emotions. I was also surprised at the existence of a modified hamartia - just by the existence of the flaw, we can reason that there's no happy ending, and the inevitable must happen (unless we would get to see some Deus Ex Machina coming and saving the day).
I'm about to say something seemingly irrelevant, but in fact it will be the most important thing of all what I've said thus far. Whenever the question "why do you watch anime" arises, people and their answers can be divided into 2 groups. Those who claim to watch anime for cute girls doing cute things in a cute way, and those who claim to watch anime for plot. To truly notice the value of Hotarubi no Mori e, you must - like me - belong to neither of them. I watch anime to notice, to perceive, to experience - to get to feel that what I watch is worthwhile. To feel those emotions oozing from a series. And no - it's not the same as watching for plot - there exists a division called "4 levels of meaning". Plot per se, is the first - literal - level, so you could say that albeit important, it doesn't play the main role. And in fact - what matters is emotions, and feelings hidden behind the curtain. And with Hotarubi no Mori e, you are able to tore down the curtain completely, and observe how those emotions start to have an influence on you. It's a beautiful thing, and it alone is of a great value. Because - to quote a recurring sentence from Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru, "without love, it cannot be seen." read more
I am not great at writing reviews, but I am trying to get better so please bare with me on this one. Hope you like my review though ^^ ok so lets get on with it.
I started to watch this because it was written by Yuki Midorikawa. I loved her previous work "Natsume Yuuchinjou" and I was hoping this would be another good anime to pass my time on. I was not wrong.
I am sure that on this movie there are many reviewers who has retold the summary of this story in their own review which I am going to skip over because I am pretty sure you get the gist of it.
The whole plot was well put together. Even though the movie was only 40 mins. long, it did not seem rushed at all. Every scene flowed well into place.
BEWARE: READ ANY FURTHER AND THERE MIGHT BE SPOILERS!!
The characters were well played and none of them annoyed me, which is a plus point for me. It was really heartbreaking to see both Gin and Hotaru growing up to be good friends and eventually falling in love. Seeing them both struggling to hold each other and feel each other's warmth did make my eyes water.
Whenever I watch any anime, I am really careful about the ending because even though an anime could be great, the ending could really kill the whole story for me. But the ending on this movie was too good. Though it would be better if they could get together, but that did not happen...it was still beautiful though!
I definitely recommend this!! Can't wait to see what Yuki Midorikawa comes up with next! ^^ read more
Hotarubi no Morie e is like a longer Natsume Yuujinchou episode without Nyanko-sensei.
The feeling, the art, the music, the style.
Of course watching Hotarubi is like watching Natsume Yuujinchou.
Not only they are from the same manga-ka, therefor sharing the same gorgeous art and a similar story telling as well the taste for the same genre:
those are two titles who, if you liked one of them, you can't absolutly miss to wach the another as well!
Both are sweet, delicate stories, with splendid colors and wonderful characters who'll bring you into those supernatural and fascinating worlds.
Both give you the same calm feeling while watching them.
Indeed, very highly recommended both ♥
Not only do Natsume Yuujinchou and Hotarubi no Mori e have the same original creator and similar setting, they are animated by the same studio, with the same director and even the composer is the same. Without any doubt there is more than one that these two would both be liked by the same people.
The girl, Hotaru, in Hotarubi no More e and the boy, Takashi (mostly referred to by his family name Natsume), both see demon and spirits and they both befriend them. Both the film and the series play with a melancholic feeling and the relationship between humans and spirits.
Same Mangaka, same Animation Studio, same beautiful, melancholic style.
Charming tale exploring the relationship between a human and youkai.
Hotarubi no Mori e is like the 2 episode version of Natsume Yuujinhou. Even the main characters Natsume and Jin are similiar. Also, musics, the athmosphere and animation styles are alike. I loved Hotarui no Mori e more than Natsume because there was a romantic story in it. I wish it could become longer.
Very similar feel, art, plotline
The same author, both about Youkai, the same magic style
Same mangaka, Same animation style, Same Heartwarming feeling.
The setting was seems familiar in Natsume and also a character too.
Maybe its because these two series has the same author in manga.
Not only do they share the same creator, their art style, the music, the setting and themes are similar as well. They are both touching and will probably leave you with tears.
Both are about Youkai. Both have that bittersweet feeling to it.
Hotarubi is about love while Natsume is about friendship with Youkai. If You enjoyed one of them you will enjoy the other.
Both anime are written by the same author, Yuki Midorikawa hence contains similar themes, mood, and settings.
Both series has a mystical feeling which is smooth, slow paced, serene, and natural. The music in both series are also collected and calm. Both series also involves a main protagonist dealing with supernatural beings, specifically spirits.
These two anime are both relaxing to watch that are considered rare gems.
Completely same heartwarming feeling.
Both about youkai.
Same voice actor for main male lead and similar plot about ghost spirits wandering around. The main story of Hotarubi is limited by the fact that it's movie, and so it doesn't have as much touching stories as Natusme, yet it is still very moving. Both emphasizes the importance of relationships, especially that of a close friend.
Hoturabi no Mori e is almost exactly like an episode of Natsume Yuujinchou without natsume in it. About a Girl who meets a youkai it is also extremely touching.
Same world with Yokai ect..
same creator, same studio. similar background.
hotarubi is like side story of natsume yuujinchou. story without natsume and madara. both telling you interaction between human and youkai..
Both focused on the person, who can't live side by side with people because of circumstances. Both cause a calm and sadness
They both deal with spirits and have such a nostalgic sense to them.
Well, they're not exactly the same thing but these two anime have a lot in common imo.
Mushishi and Hotarubi no Mori e gives off a serene like feeling that is natural. Both series has supernatural themes with the main character being calm and collected. There is of course, strange rules in this world and applies it throughout both series.
Both are wonderfully presented that has spiritual feeling to them which makes them relaxing to watch.
its a very great storie even though it is only a small movie, it also has yokai and spirits as well
Both anime are about human interaction with spirits related to Japanese folklore.
The art of these two shows and the main male protagonist are similar. The beautiful landscapes of both Mushishi and Hotarubi are breathtaking and very similar. The art design for the characters is also quite similar. Not only do Ginko and Gin look alike, they also have a very similar purpose in their respective plots and act/think in similar ways. There is also a very similar kind of nostalgic tone to both shows. Additionally, both have meaning under the literal and will leave you thinking.
Opening ThemeNo opening themes found, add themes.
Ending Theme"Natsu wo Miteita (夏を見ていた)" by Sizzle Ohtaka (おおたか静流)
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Related ClubsMidorikawa Yuki Fan Club, Romance+, Marry a Character (M.A.C.), Myouren Temple, Anime Movies Club (A.M.C), Gin ギン ★ Hotarubi no Mori e, ТО AniMira, Brains Base/Omori Takahiro Fanclub, Draccon's Tea House, Hotarubi no Mori e Fan Club, The OVA/ONA/Anime Movie club, Tester, Asian Mythology and Folklore Club, !~~tsubasalover's Friendships~~!, Random Anime Cards Emporium (R.A.C.E.), World of Animes (W.O.A.)
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