"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.
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."
"Time might separate us some day. But, even still, until then, let's stay together." -Hotaru Takegawa
Time is cruel. Time is responsible for the summers that come and go, for the leaves in autumn that shrivel and fall to the ground at the mercy of the next toddler looking to create satisfying crunching sounds, for the long and cold winters.
You come to love the smell of rain in the spring or the cool breeze of a summer night and then poof. It's gone.
Much like a fleeting summer's day, the main characters in Hotarubi no Mori e are bound by the chains of time. He
cannot leave the forest for fear of being touched by a human and she cannot see him until three seasons have passed and summer comes again. And so, the two spend time together when they can, and as she grows up with him she realizes there will come a day when time will yet again become their enemy.
Their time together is short, meaningful and ultimately bittersweet. Much like the anime itself.
Hotarubi no Mori e is a beautiful movie that takes the idea of forbidden love, a topic that has been overly done and worn out by bad soap-opera themed dramas, and remakes the idea in an elegant, refreshing manner. Much of the brilliance in this anime can be accredited to the captivating character and background designs as well as the honesty that shines through in the writing. The anime pulls us viewers in with dramatic music and writing while keeping everything light and down-to-earth. And it does all of this in a mere 45 minutes.
Forbidden love, playful love, intense love, a love that is not love. With all of these takes on love, can we really be sure of what love is? Simply put, love is a universal... well, for lack of a better word, thing.
Nobody really knows what love is but everyone has their own interpretation of the word. Plato once said, "at the touch of love, everyone is a poet". And it's true. The concept of love is incredibly popular and you can probably find more pieces of literature or entertainment that center around love than any other genre. This anime specifically has taken the idea of a physical love and completely thrown it out of the window, all the while proving with gusto that love doesn't have to be physical to be just as emotionally impacting.
You see, the anime focuses on the more important ideas about love that maybe we've all kind of forgotten.
Like the happiness you feel when you're near them.
Like the first time you saw them laugh.
Like when it's suffocating to be with them because you don't know what to do or say.
Hotarubi no mori e gracefully weaves these elements into a heartbreaking tale of a first love. Sure, it's lighthearted and even a little fun, but a love founded on emotions is the heaviest burden you can imagine.
As stated before, the art this anime is nothing short of breath-taking. The designers definitely knew what they were doing when it came to setting the mood with soft pastel colors or adding bursts of colors to enhance a scene. Although it wasn't exactly memorable, the art did help to add an extra element of beauty. Similarly, the soundtrack to this anime was also very fitting and nice. Especially the ending song, "Natsu wo Miteita" (I saw summer) which had the feel of summer that is longed for but will never return. The art and sound really worked together well with what was happening on screen. Everything fit together perfectly like puzzle pieces.
To end this review, I will rebound back to the very beginning and touch upon the subject of love again with our two main characters Hotaru and Gin. What makes this anime so special, what makes it stand out from all of the others that claim to give you the true meaning of love is that it's believable and honest, despite having the supernatural theme of spirits. Despite their wishes, the two are bound by circumstances that are out of their control.
They cannot touch.
They cannot see each other outside of the forest.
They are reunited in the summer and are separated in the fall, over and over again.
And against all odds, they try their best to maintain the connection they've built through years of playing in the grassy fields, spending time by the lake on a warm summer night talking in hushed voices or confiding in one another under the light of the fireflies -- a connection stronger than any kind of physical love can ever provide.
The ending may come as a shock to you. Having read the premise, and a few other stories with similar plots, it didn't come as a shock to me. And although I knew it was coming, I couldn't stop myself from crying when it did. This anime was touching and nostalgic. I know it was good because I was left with an empty feeling after watching it -- like the feeling of longing after something that time has already taken away.
Like the ever-changing seasons, this anime will pull you in, get you attached to the characters, make you love it and then...poof. It'll end.
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! ^^
Hotarubi no Mori e is a calm story of love, growing up and the passage of time. It will charm you with it's great visuals and a beautifully composed soundtrack, and that's pretty much it for me. If this sounds like something you'll like... good, go watch Natsume's Book of Friends or Garden of Words, both of them way more worth your time then this.
[THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS AHEAD NOW!!!] Now for the detail of why I didn't like this movie:
In this kind of short, emotional movie, the characters have to be easy to get attached to, since the short time of the movies
gives no times for the viewer to get accustomed to them and feel empathy towards them, and no snobbish quote about love can change the fact that the characters in the movie have no personality, and are very forgettable. Hotaru the main character has 2 traits to her, she got lost in the forest, and is in love with the other chraracter, Gin. She is as bland as it gets, she boils down to this person saved me thus I have to love them. Maybe she fell in love with Gin because of the time she passed during all her summers with him, but most of the movie is just the writer bashing your head in trying to make SURE your remember that if Gin touches a human he dies. Wow, thanks, after the 4th time you told me I forgot, so thanks for the new heads up random voices from the forest.
This is where my biggest problem comes from, instead of developing a sweet relationship between an almost immortal spirit and an aging young girl, and have the character that was supposed to live on forever die, thus creating a sad and tragic ending, the movie was basically 45 minutes of being reminded that Gin was going to die. Even worst is that that ending came out of nowhere. Not in a good way like I was surprised, like in the sense that I have no idea why he just died when he did. There was no buildup, no emotion, it just happened after a weird festival thing that was frankly pointless.
The more I think about it, this movie is quite pointless, nothing is developed, all you get is a 45 minute movie about a young girl who likes a spirit and how she gets told 10000 times that her lover is basically as good as dead. Thanks, but if you try to hard to make me sad, instead of writing characters I will feel sad about, I'm not going to cry at your super at of nowhere unemotional death scene.
Just like I said, listen to the soundtrack, because it's probably the only thing I thoroughly enjoyed. From the same writer Nastume Yuujinchou which is miles better. And watch Garden of Words if you want a 45 minutes emotional movie about growing up and impossible love.
Or you could just go watch Train Wars, at least that has the bonus of being entertaining.
For something with a pretty basic romantic storyline, Hotarubi no Mori e pulled it off pretty well.
It's easy to follow; a young girl gets lost in an enchanted forest, she meets a spirit, they become friends, they grow up together every summer, they fall in love, and then their love ends. Pretty basic, huh? That's what I loved about it. It was a comfortable watch, you didn't have to think about it too much, but all the emotion is still there.
The script is well written, interspersed with the right amount of humour, with natural conversation flowing between the two main characters.
It seems like a typical shoujo anime, heck it probably is your typical shoujo anime, but in the 45 minute runtime, you really see a relationship develop, with no unnecessary drama, following the two mains as they grow together and fall in love together.
Really, I think that's what makes it so damn sad at the end.
You watch it, accustomed with Hotaru and Gin being by each other's sides for most of the screentime. For the times when Hotaru is back at home for school, her longing for the summer and of Gin is heart-wrenching and a reminder of the feeling of falling in love slowly, with someone you've known your entire life. The development behind the characters themselves, Gin slowly becoming more open in the face of a human, when before he was guarded and distrusting of them, and Hotaru, maturing from a hyperactive young girl into a young woman who continues on without the being that she loved, is incredible, and again, one of the best parts of this film is watching the characters grow.
However, the film does not forget its subtle, but noticeable baseline that this good thing will end. From the beginning, you know that it will end in tragedy, with Gin's condition of being 'alive' as such dependent on a lack of physical human contact. This condition hangs like the sword of Damocles throughout the entire film, but when it finally falls, you don't expect it, and it's a real stab to the heart.
Again, the script remains triumphant through all of this. Romantic lines between Hotaru and Gin don't feel forced, nor do their actions and interactions. Hotaru's small monologue at the end was beautifully written, and the voice acting was brilliant; Ayane Sakura captures Hotaru's grief, but also her strength in knowing that she was loved, and she is forced to move on.
The animation is spot on, with the forest coming alive in vibrant greens and golds from the sunlight streaming through the leaves. When watching this, appreciate the background, because despite the beautiful character designs, the forest setting comes to life and draws you into the film and away from reality. The festival itself at the end is beautiful and vibrant, full of life and detail, whilst not overpowering what is the main focus of its scene; Hotaru and Gin's romance.
I loved it. I cried a lot. It was sort of bittersweet, and even though it was a simple story, a basic romance story, it was still hard-hitting at the end. The best thing about this film is its ability to connect you with the characters, and to experience what they are feeling as well.
Give this a watch, you won't regret it. But make sure you have a box of tissues at the ready, it's a real tearjerker.
From the same creator of the ever calm "Natsume Yuujinchou" series comes "Hotarubi no Mori e," a tale of the developing friendship between a young girl, Hotaru, and her youkai companion, Gin. Through brief glimpses at their time spent together once a year in the summer, viewers witness the passage of time and the changing of seasons, and the growing bonds that develop as the young girl grows up, while her youkai companion remains relatively the same. Even though this difference in age is negligible in her younger days, it becomes an increasing problem as she grows older.
Although this aging problem specifically deals with
the supernatural, a more realistic problem is: How do people deal with the passage of time and distance? Gin has been placed under a spell such that no human can ever touch him. Otherwise, he will disappear. Hotaru learns to deal with this as a child, but as she grows up and starts becoming more attached to Gin, she yearns to physically touch him and spend even more time with him. Gin, while ever friendly, always seems so distant in his speech, more so when Hotaru is a teenager. They are close emotionally, but the unreachable is always looming above them.
Through each stage of Hotaru's life, we see and hear her thoughts about Gin and the strange, magical world she has wandered into. Viewers see how a little girls childish affections of her savior develop into friendship and then finally love for him. The only obstacles are the magic that separates Hotaru and Gin, and time. These underlying problems are the force that develops the two characters until the long awaited Summer Festival, something the two will never forget.
On a technical level, the film has extremely crisp, clean, and detailed artwork that brings to life the lazy summers that Hotaru and Gin share, and the ordinary life Hotaru has outside of the youkai inhabited forest. It resembles a moving watercolor painting, with soft colors and colorful, blended backgrounds. Background music is minimal, but the silence adds to the nature that surrounds Hotaru and Gin.
"Hotarubi no Mori e" is a heartwarming story that shows the deepening bond between a young girl and her supernatural companion, and how there is always an unreachable desire that follows the two as Hotaru grows up, and as Gin remains ever the same. It is a fairy tale that is slow, calm, and relaxing. I enjoyed watching this short, thoughtful movie, and it was something that I have thought about since then. I think of this movie like this: Do things always go our way? No. But it doesn't mean we can't enjoy the time we spent trying to make it so.
And here, I'll end with a little something from a movie called "When Harry Met Sally..."
"...when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
From the same mangaka that wrote Natsume Yuujinchou, being adapted by the same animation studio that brought you Natsume Yuujinchou, directed by the same man who directed Natsume Yuujinchou. Would you believe then, that this is nothing like Natsume Yuujinchou? That it is, in fact, a rip-roaring action-packed adventure flick as the main characters ride wave after wave of explosions and cynical social satire? Of course you wouldn't believe it because you're not gullible. This is just Natsume Yuujinchou the Rather Short Movie.
The story is very simple, almost refreshingly so compared to the convoluted mess that sometimes invades blockbuster flicks. A little girl gets lost
in a forest and befriends a yokai in there who helps her find her way out. From there they establish a friendship and she goes to visit him every summer. The main crux of the story is that this yokai is lonely and has learned to dislike humans, but this girl has eased his loneliness and taught him how to feel love. You know, the exact same story that every single episode of Natsume is based around?
It might sound like I don't like this movie, but that isn't the case. Like Natsume, the story is very capably told. It has a knack of hitting you with the emotional core of the story at the right parts, and does just enough characterisation of the lead two to make you care about them. It's a very short movie, only 45 minutes, so they wisely kept to only two characters. It's also got this neat way of not showing the characters faces at certain times so you've got to figure out for yourself what they're thinking. The yokai wears a mask throughout the film, but lifts it up every now and then and even puts it on the girl at one point, right at the moment when she (without spoiling) should have had a very...expressive face. It's a clever little move.
I think my biggest problem with it is I don't see why it had to be a full movie. The animation looks the exact same as Natsume. Same light toned colours on all the characters. Same watercolour backgrounds. Same bloody sound effects even. Not that it's a bad look, but it wasn't even particularly well animated. I'm used to the idea that studios splash out when they go to the big screen. I also didn't feel like it needed to be 45 minutes. Most of the film was spent on the kid and the yokai playing in the forest. Sure, it as fun to watch the kid being a kid, because there's something inherently infectious about children's joy in simply playing. And sure, it was cool to watch the kid grow up slowly over the course of the film from a small girl to a teenager. But you could have easily cut out half that film and it would have still hit the right emotional notes at the right times.
You know what? Take an episode of Natsume Yuujinchou. Have Natsume ask Nyanko has any stories of other yokais to tell him. Stick in a 20 minute version of this movie and have Nyanko occasionally narrate to imply he's the one telling the story, and it would fit perfectly. Same animation style, same music, same world setting, same essential moral to the story. Nobody watching would be able to tell the difference.
Hotarubi no Mori e is a relatively short movie that attempts to portray the developing relationship between a young girl and a spirit who stumbles upon said young girl in a forest.
Unfortunately, the movie suffers greatly from being as short as it is.
With that said, the movie does have some appeal to it.
First of all the artstyle of the movie is good. By no means will it blow your mind, but it is definitely drawn with care to it and it is detailed. There is no particular scene in the entire movie I can strike down upon and say "The animation faltered there".
Secondly, the music
of the show brings about a decent atmosphere while you are watching, swinging from very calm and relaxing to more solemn and lonely tunes. It fits the movie and never goes beyond the limits of the different scenes. That being said, it is not a soundtrack you will immediately recognize upon re-listening to a couple of months later.
Where the movie begins to falter is in its story and in its characters. The story itself is rather basic and not at all unheard of. The main premise of the relationship between the two characters is established fast and leads the viewer to quite easily being able to predict an outcome of the story.
The characters are not dislikeable, but they are definitely not anything beyond the ordinary.
Not only that, but because such a long period of time of the main character's life passes over the course of ~40 minutes, it became hard for me to immerse myself with the character and her emotions, making the movie feel a bit dull, for the lack of a better word. Her emotions are understandable to me, but I completely failed to relate and the movie in its entirety didn't really invoke anything emotional for me.
My last big gripe with the movie was the inclusion of the supernatural. It felt very forced. What I mean by this, is that this same story could quite easily have been told without the inclusion of the supernatural. We are introduced to several supernatural beings during the movie, but nothing about them is ever really explained. To me it felt like a boring cop-out in order to add drama to the relationship of the two main characters (Making one of them a supernatural being).
Overall, the movie is not bad and I feel like if it had been longer, with more time to explain the world of the two characters, it could have actually been great. However, for me it was nothing to write home about.
I have no words to describe this anime. To me, this anime is nothing short of perfection. This movie cements anime as a legitmate form of art in my opinion.
Story- The story starts out with a young girl, Hotaru, who gets lost in the forest of sprits. It is then that she meets, Gin, a sprit who lives in the forest who decides to help her leave. The twist is, that Gin can never be touched by a human or he will disappear. It is then that the seeds of their relationship is planted. Rarely, is there a show that can depict a love
blossoming between two people with out melodrama and crying. This is an accomplishment within itself. The love between Gin and Hotaru was something so clean, gentle and pure, that it brought tears to my eyes and I don't cry very often. You see their relationship grows as Hotaru gets older yet Gin remains the same. The ending is lovely and reminds me of why I fell in love with anime in the 1st place.
Art- The art is very good. I would say it is on par with Miyazaki films like Sprited Away.
Sound- Hotarubi no Mori e has a very beautiful soundtrack. A lot of somber mellow, euphoric tracks that could relax or sadden you. I find listening to the soundtrack to be theraputic.
Character- The movie revolves around Hotaru and Gin. Their relationship is one to be envied and it is so innocent and pure. You feel the affections they have for each other deepen as years go by. The movie never really focused on their problems, rather their interactions with each other. It was truly something beautiful to behold, watching their relationship.
Overall, I give this show a 10/10. I would place it up there with my favorite anime films of all time like : 5cm Per Second, Howl's Moving Castle and the Haruhi Film. I strongly recommend this show to anybody with a heart.
Want forty-four minutes of sadness and happiness mixed into a ball just for you?
Well here you go, Hotarubi no More e. Beautiful and tender, Hotarubi no Mori e is the very embodiment of tranquility. The watercolor backdrop, the light toned colors, and soft piano background music immerse the viewer in a placid world. With the passing seasons throughout the movie, from slumbering winters to shimmering summers, a sense of timelessness pervades the experience.
Hotaru, a young and playful girl, finds herself lost in a forest purportedly inhabited by spirits while spending a summer at her Uncle's countryside house. A mysterious and masked young man named Gin,
who claims to somehow "no longer be human", finds her, and in spite of his claim that he will disappear should she ever make contact with him, he agrees to lead her out of the forest. Before the day ends, however, the two find themselves enjoying each other' company and agree to see each other again, in spite of the risk Hotaru brings to his life and her fear that as she grows older each summer, she may someday cease to be able to be with him.
Regardless of the character's ages, there is one thing in particular that stands out about this movie, and that is that Hotaru and Gin are wonderful to watch. As a child, Hotaru is of the adorably naive and inquisitive type who, upon being told not to touch an object, can think of nothing besides doing the exact opposite, and yet she fails to be either whiny or frustratingly impotent, being the sort of toddler you look forward to watching grow up. The movie, in fact, is told mostly as flashback from the perspective of a teenaged Hotaru and shows her aging from a toddler to a high school student, neither skimping on the in-between points nor rendering her unrecognisable as time passes. She's lovely to watch both as a child and as a developing adult, in fact, and while collecting my thoughts on the film, I realize that such consistency of characterization even across age differences is impressive for such a short movie.
While no individual tracks made me gasp in awe, it set out to do what it needed. The soft piano music definitely helped established the calm atmosphere of the movie, and it was enjoyable to listen to as a whole.
I also enjoyed how they also used nature, which further strengthens the forest Gin lives as a place of home and as an invitation for Hotaru to Gin's world. The voice actors for both Gin and Hotaru are sublime: not hard on the ears and providing enough emotion for the emotional scenes. The balance between this and the humorous scenes are spot-on.
Hotarubi no Mori e is, atmospherically, a gorgeously detailed piece with beautiful animation courtesy of Brain's Base studio, a landscape beautiful enough to make me regret being barred from it by the difference between fact and fiction, and a nostalgic feel brought about by such moments as Hotaru's uncle recalling a period spent in the woods from his own childhood and her dreamily recalling her summers spent there while gliding by the countryside on a train. It's a story that could easily become trite, but with the strength of the script and characters, as well as the artistic detail that brings even a visit to a summer festival
Hotarubi no Mori e is a first class example of an anime that makes optimal use of its time. What it accomplishes in 44 minutes, few anime television series ever accomplish in entire seasons. It makes you care about its characters and draws natural empathy from its audience. Even though it is a quick watch, a lot of passion and emotion is communicated in this work of art. It is short, sweet, and to the point, and for that it deserves many accolades.
So much to say about that one great first love. Since time immemorial, first love has always filled our hearts with longing and nostalgia and that is where Hotarubi no Mori e hits home.
Ever had the feeling when you want something so bad even though you know that it's never ever gonna be yours? We all did. No matter how futile it is we still hope for a better future with the one we love. But reality isn't gonna babysit us. Sometimes it has a cruel way to wake us up.
Hotarubi no Mori e is a romantic-fantasy anime filled with memories of summer and unadulterated
love. Six year-old Hotaru met Gin, a mysterious being, when she was lost in the mountain during her summer vacation. They played in those summer days and agreed to meet the next summer. And the next. And the next. Hotaru grew up from a child to teenager with Gin by her side. Making summer the most special season in their hearts.
How do I explain this? The simplicity of the storyline made it hard for me to believe how it was able to draw out the feelings I forgot. Or maybe it was the simplicity that made my heart ache to the memories of a first love. The story was relatable, at least the feelings were. And that what made Hotarubi no Mori e beautiful. You will smile in spite of your tears, you will love in spite of the pain, you'll believe though it's hopeless. It's liberating, somehow.
Hotaru is one of my favorite characters ever. She's innocent but not ignorant, she clearly knew what being together with Gin entails but faced it anyway. Surely she knew that it was hopeless but never for once did she lose hope. She wanted to be with Gin and for that she's willing to do everything that she can but she's not oblivious to the fact that it may end one day. Gin was just as hopeful as she is. He loved Hotaru. Cared for her more than anything else. He wanted to be with Hotaru just as strongly as she wanted to be with him. They patiently wait for three seasons to pass and for summer to come. The agony was almost unbearable. But the feelings they hold for each other are much more powerful than that.
To put it simply, Hotarubi no Mori e tells a story about one's unforgettable first love in the blush of summer days. A fateful encounter like no other.
When I finished watching this I was left with feelings that I somehow lost along the way. Feelings that were buried and forgotten resurface once again. It felt good like washing all the pain away with tears so I could smile once again.
"Time might separate us some day. But, even still, until then, let's stay together." - Hotaru Takegawa
And with that, this anime holds a special place in my heart.
There’s many ways to communicate with each other like talking for an example, but talking doesn’t enough to know someone deeper, it just gave us the impression about how other’s feel when they talked to us. Because of that, we learn about touching with each other. “Touching” in here is the act of how we serve our feelings towards someone and just as simple as that, love can emerge and grow within it. Well, as most of people said that “love” is an emotion that sometimes hard to understand and very complicated. But, you’re not gonna get a headache or something when you watch this
anime. It described love in a way that even a little kid could understand. It is simple and short but it will leave a deep meaning to your heart as you watched it.
The story is about forbidden love but don’t worry, it’s not as complex as Romeo and Juliet or another romance story. There’s a young girl who lost in a mountain forest. Then she got helped by a strange young man that wearing a mask. After that, she is making a friend relationship with the strange young man that turns out to be a youkai. From there, he tells the young girl that because of the supernatural within him, he is forbidden to touch or being touched with a human. Yup, so it is forbidden love. The idea is simple but the story serving has covered that into an easy package to watch. You don’t even have to worry about the 45 minutes duration. It’s short but managed to explain about every element that needs to describe. The introduction, the romance, the feelings, the past and the main conflict that got its climax when the story is about to end. The supernatural element had shown a little rather than the other element but it balanced at the end.
Yuki Midorikawa (the writer) has truly understood about how slow or fast pace the story is and the right of time to put every part of the story in the right place. And for a writer to do it so it’s really hard. Because she needs to place her position as a reader first before writing her inspiration to a story. That’s the one of the hardest part that writer often to face but she has succeeded to do that and making the story section become the most satisfying among all of the section to me. Although it predictable from the very beginning about how the story will end but anyway it still moved my heart. In the end of the story, you will know the meaning of its title. The story itself filled with live elements and peaceful sensation that makes you feel warm and nostalgic feelings as you watch it.
Well, Yuki Midorikawa has best known for her work in Natsume Yuujinchou series so the art was similar to it. It’s not high but not low either, I would say that it’s standard. But, the art style still fits the story, it makes the audience easy to watch, deepen the story or maybe even more. Despite of it, the background and the animation were beautiful. It levels up the emotion of the audience to feel every scene. And it helps both the story serving and the characters a lot. My favorite background was the forest and absolutely the festival because when I saw that I feel as myself stand together with the characters in the same place. It certainly makes me memorize every scene that the characters have been through.
I found that the character design of the girl was similar to other anime’s character but on the other hand, the design of the masked young man was memorable enough. And I like the idea about the costume especially when the masked young man in the winter season and the girl’s yukata at the festival.
The back sound was good, it’s one of the elements that helps the story. It’s nostalgic, heart-warming and again.. peaceful. It’s certainly nailed it to bring the magical romance atmosphere into the story. For the ending song, well I can say that is good enough, especially it lyrics that suits the story. I still remember the lyrics a little that there’s sentence said, “I will never forget, the memory of that summer time…” It so romantic and symbolize the story very well. Ayane Sakura’s voice was cute and suits Hotaru well, but somehow I’m more interested to hear Kouki Uchiyama’s voice for Gin’s character. His voice was sound familiar, soft and sometimes sad at the same time. It just fits the character. And for Ayane Sakura, she got a bonus point from me for showing the audience of how Hotaru truly feel towards Gin especially in the ending of the story.
Takegawa Hotaru and Gin, both their name is memorable. Gin’s character was soft, gentle, and caring. It just like a prince in the folklore and I bet there’s many female audience that loves him as he shows that character in this anime film. He was memorable and most partly because of his mask. And when he took it off, well again.. I guess the females will scream out loud because of his cool and charisma he has.
On the other hand, Hotaru’s character was amazingly developed as time in the story pass and made her more mature. It’s not easy to develop character in a one-shot film like this, so it’s a very good job. Hotaru’s character was changing slowly and that affect Gin’s feelings about her. I like especially when Gin teasing Hotaru about the embrace and the dating part. Well, which exactly that maybe it’s not a joke after all (just watch if you want to know). I found that I really like their characters and I’m feeling happy when I saw them together. It just like the writer has made these characters on purpose so the audience could feel them and support their relationship. Well, other than both of them there’s supporting character like Hotaru’s mother, Hotaru’s grandfather, the youkai, the boy who attend the same class with Hotaru, Hotaru’s father (just appeared but not talking) and Hotaru’s grandmother that just told but doesn’t appear. Its cast was little but the main characters have proved that it’s not a problem at all.
Before I watch this anime, I definitely confused on what anime should I watch first because my laptop is full of anime with many different genres. I think that I need to find a simple but meaningful story because I’m not feeling well at that time and finally.. after seeing it enough, my choice is this one. I tell you, I don’t feel wrong at all to pick this anime for that. Why? Because the story was epic, I’m moved by the ending and the characters, I just have to spend 45 minutes to watch it and finally my heart could not let go and forget it just like that. It lingers in my mind after I watched it. It’s a beautiful one and could make the audience’s heart melted. It’s hard sometimes to found an anime that shows us about a deep and meaning story like this. And even after I watched it, I’ve got the imagination to keep this anime carefully and will re-watch it again with someone I love someday. It’s really defined about how hard it is when we felt something towards someone but couldn’t be able to tell him or her about that. It’s a wonderful story indeed.
In all, this romance supernatural anime has achieved its goals through the serving and you will found a remindful love within it. It’s worth to watch and recommended especially to romance anime lover.
I heard a lot about Hotarubi no Mori e for its great story, despite it being so short (45 minutes). It was a movie that people deemed was almost equal to others like 5 Centimeters per Second. I finally watched it after my friend pushed and pushed me to see it and I was definitely not disappointed.
The romance story of a forbidden love seemed very unoriginal after years of silly soap dramas reusing the plot over and over again. But a sprinkle of supernatural and innocence made Hotarubi no Mori e different from the others, and better. The love story between
the two main characters was so pure, hanging only on feelings and personality since any form of skin touch was not allowed. This made the emotions draw out better, easier to sympathize with. Despite the movie only being 45 minutes, the pacing went really well. About every point in the relationship was shown and the final conclusion was a huge bang. I thought it was unexpected, which I'm sure was what the writers were going for. I ended up getting way more emotional than I initially thought I was, which really shows how the movie was able to grow and build onto you. It was a wonderful film and I just wanna watch it again and again.
Only two characters you need to care about here: Hotaro and Gin. In the beginning of the movie, Hotaro was still a typical little anime girl. I wasn't sure what to think of her. But you follow her as she grows into a high school student and she ends up slowly growing on you. Her perspective into Gin's supernatural life is similar to how we're seeing him. You end up sympathizing with how she feels and is dealing with the big issue in the movie. While plain, Hotaro was still lovable and easy to relate to. Gin was a unique character. His spell of being unable to come into contact with no human and his entire being was filled with mysteriousness. I wanted to learn more about him and was intrigued as much as Hotaro was. In the end, it touched my heart seeing how these two bonded together. I wish they had different scenes of interaction, but given the limits they gave, the movie had about as much as it could.
The sounds of Hotari no Mori e were pretty well done. The soundtrack was a treat for my ears and was very pleasant to listen to. It amplified the emotions, especially the climax scene, incredibly well. It filled the movie with happiness, lightheartedness, and sadness to create a more dramatic effect. The closing song tied the whole movie together and created a sense of calm and closure. While not being too amazing to be remembered, the soundtrack was still great.
Animation was above par. Nothing too high quality came out from this movie. The characters were colored a bit flat but still had a sense of life to them. However, Hotari still had many beautiful back drops that were lovely to look at when the time came. The animation wasn't so bad that I wanted to gauge my eyes out, but it also wasn't incredibly praise worthy.
In the beginning of the movie, I was a little intrigued with where the plot would take me. As it progressed, I was shocked to see how attached I had become to the events and by the end I was filled with great feelings of happiness and sadness. It was definitely an enjoyable experience.
While being a bit draggy and short, Hotari no Mori e was still a fantastic movie. I didn't expect myself to be as drawn in as I was and the final impact of emotions at the end showed me how great of a movie it was. I will NOT forget what this movie did to me. It's showings of innocent love touched me and I'll definitely won't forget it in the future. I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys pure romance and won't mind crying over a little heartbreak.
My friend had introduced it to me and it was a great anime movie.
Hotaru, (main heroine and protagonist) was lost in a forest as a young child where she met a boy named Gin who covered his face in a mask. Hotaru could only go visit Gin in the summer, so the movie mostly focused on Hotaru's summers, except for one glimpse at her winter months.
The story was great. It showed Hotaru grow up each time she went to visit Gin, and you could see her develop from a clumsy, young child to a mature, healthy young woman. Meanwhile, the movie fills you with
a sense of sadness because Gin never changes making you think that Hotaru would leave Gin behind. It had Romance and the heart-warming moments. But I was so frustrated. I wanted them to fall in love and hug! (but Gin can't be touched by a human or else he'll disappear) It was frustrating to watch, but the story and ending was excellent. However in all of the anime movies I've seen, it always leaves a cliffhanger. It always feels like there's one last bit missing before the movie can actually conclude. It will fill you with a HUGE feeling of sadness as the 45 min "episode" ends.
The art was mediocre in my opinion, but for a movie, I think it was pretty good. Nothing looked out of proportion in the faces, and I was so excited to see Gin's face because most of the time, he has the mask to cover his face. Hotaru's character design from a young girl to a teenager was very smooth in terms of design.
The sound track wasn't amazing in my opinion. However, the opening had a slightly quirky feel to it. The sound track was good at setting the mood, but it doesn't leave any emphasis towards any scene.
The character design and development is excellent. If you took the characters out of the anime and put them together, they really are a very good match. Hotaru's development was excellent, one of the best I have seen before. You see her go from a young girl who got lost in the forest, to an older girl who would enjoy Gin's company, to a teenager who realized her feelings. Gin's development wasn't as evident, but you see him accepting Hotaru's kindness more, and eventually, developing feelings for her.
I really enjoyed watching this movie. It really knows how to develop a good, heart-warming, and tear-jerking story and develop great characters. The creators really knew where to hit you in the feels. I would really recommend it to people who enjoy a nice, sweet, romance with a girl's first love.
There is a metaphor that speaks of two parallel lines that have many in common but never meet...but there is another that really graced this movie dearly.
"The two lines that merge closer to one another as time pasts...but once they meet, they will separate forever."
Basic geometry may not really do this movie justice but it perfectly encompasses how their love was destined but not meant to be forever. I am ashamed to have only watched this movie today but I would probably regret if I never did.
It is a simple tale of forbidden love that grew from strangers to an uncanny friendship and soon evolved
into a yearning yet untouchable (literally) love. I loved it...as we are flooded with endless ecchi and harem anime lately, this movie is breathtaking and refreshing despite its foreshadowed sadness.
There is nothing complex or mind-blogging. The story makes you enjoy the smooth sailing through the pure emotions that it gives you.
Just like the story itself, it is beautiful and simple. I do notice that the animation is greatly focused upon as it helps in displaying the soft emotions the story tells. To watch it in itself is very soothing and I think that kind of art just leaves you relaxed and drawn into the story...not realising that time is slowly passing by.
To support the story itself requires heavy focus on its soundtrack and in my opinion, they did a very good job in delivering the emotions simply through its peaceful yet softly melancholic music. There are certain points of the anime that does not rely on dialogues and the scenes portray a lot more emotion just with the background music itself. What I noticed is that...the music reminds me of one you hear in a theater; consistent and builds up along the story as if the music itself is narrating.
Of course, with the ending comes a beautiful ending song that continues to build upon the emotions that the movie left us with...pondering and unable to escape it. Beautiful really.
There is nothing complex about the characters...and I loved that fact. Hotaru's character truly brought the presence of the hidden emotions that she wielded deep inside as well as Gin's. Their relationship develops as the years fly by while being surrounded by others from both the spirit world and the human world...and in between, are the two of them.
ENJOYMENT & OVERALL
It is hard to write review without spoiling the movie but honestly, it can be expected right from the beginning. However, despite so...it still made me shed tears profusely through the ending song and it is such a precious movie that will definitely remain in my heart for a really long time and it will do so to you as well.
I stumbled upon this anime by pure coincidence while I was searching for something similar to Mushishi. Since it had only one episode, I thought to myself: I will give it a go. Needless to say, I was not dissapointed. It is truly great, but extremely sad. I cried like a baby during the last 10-15 minutes. Seriously, it is devastating. From my point of view at least. It is about love that can never become reality because even the slightest touch by a human will make him disappear. The story is simple, the characters are well thought out, but it is really so sad.
Being so close together, yet so far apart. Is is a story so bitter-sweet it really made me appreciate life more.
“…My chest will hurt. My tears will be overflowing. But this warmth in my hands and these summer memories will live on in my heart…”
Hotarubi no Mori e did much more than present us a coming-of-life masterpiece as it shows us its lack of story being one of its strong points. It is as if Omori Takahiro has put you under a spell as you watch second by second the simplicity unfold into a marvellous piece of writing. And if that wasn’t enough, Yoshimori Makoto maintains your hypnotic state as he accompanies that simple story with
These two brilliant and talented men continue to sway your emotions from start to end; from the time Gin and Hotaru meet, to the time Gin and Hotaru depart. The lack of characters allows you experience the life of Hotaru as she lives and feels throughout the movie. We do not feel these emotions and experiences from our seat; rather it feels as if we are actually spectating from within. Yet, it’s those little, meaningless actions and experiences we come to love and appreciate.
As much as Hotaru wishes for the seasons to change, we also wish for it to change. Her impatience rubs off on us as if it was only natural. As much as the pacing was deliberately slow, you wish for it to never end. At this point, the world which Gin and Hotaru live in becomes our escape from reality. Their romantic development has not only touched our heart but our soul so much that we wished for a miracle near the end… a miracle we knew that was never going to come true.
From the producer and artist of Natsume Yuujinchou you can definitely feel the similarities of the two almost as if we’re watching the next episode but with a different protagonist. A story like Hotarubi no Mori e could’ve been condensed into the Natsume series as another episode, but the choice of making this heart-warming simplicity into a 45 minute movie was – in my opinion – a brilliant idea.
The movie allowed us to understand Hotaru as she grows up with Gin. If it was done in Natsume, we’d knock her off as ‘another touching Natsume episode’. The movie allowed you plenty of time to see the characters grow and develop with each other and a good amount of time to relate to these characters in their given situations throughout the movie. Hotarubi no Mori will go down in history as a brilliant coming-of-life role model for future anime series and movies.
Its simplicity in its story is what astonishes most of us with how much of an emotional impact it made on the most of us that have seen it. It mainly consisted of background music and dialogue between Gin and Hotaru as they enjoyed their summer together mucking about in the forest. Yet little things such as the butterfly fluttering off Gin’s mask sub-consciously make you appreciative of its beauty even with its simple art form. I believe by now, I do not have to even mention to you how much I loved this film.
It lacked a story, it lacked characters, it was slow paced, it dragged on but you know what? It was these aspects of the movie that made it into a wonderful piece of art. The story was simple and needed not to be any different in delivering that sweet, simplicity of the life of Hotaru and Gin and their romantic development. The lack of characters allowed you to focus more on the two which is exactly what you should be doing instead of the other minor characters in the movie yet those minor characters all add a unique element in the upbringing, personality and development of Hotaru and Gin. I loved every moment of the film as it swept me from reality; experiencing an escape into the wonderful world of Hotarubi no Mori e.
In all up? Yes, you should definitely watch this movie as soon as possible and especially without too many distractions as you’d want to take in the atmosphere it presents as you watch it. I will personally classify this as an unmissable movie for all ages and if you haven’t seen Natsume Yuujinchou as well then you better start downloading!
When I finished watching Hotarubi no Mori e, I was in a certain state of mind. I wasn't quite in a down pour of rain and dark clouds, but I wasn't engulfed in sunshine happiness either. I'm not sure where I was, but there's one thing I'm 100% sure of, and that is the fact that I absolutely LOVED this anime!
Story: 10! (^ o ^)/ Ten! 10! Diez! Sampu! テン!
The plot of Hotarubi no Mori e is very unique. I have yet to watch an anime like this one (it
may also be due to the fact that I've only finished 49 animes...). I can see why many people found this anime to be too short, but I thought it was just the right size! I think if it was any longer, the story might have been dragged out too much. The pacing was perfect and the plot kept you engrossed to the story!
Art: Yet again, a 10! ~(^o^~) Ten! 10! Diez! Sampu! テン!
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful is pretty much all I have to say. The backgrounds are just enchanting and the characters are nicely drawn as well.
Sound: 8 (^.^)
I had no issues with the sound, but it didn't astound me or anything. It was still very good though.
Characters: DOUBLE THUMBS UP! d(^ o ^)b Ten! 10! Diez! Sampu! テン!
Even though the movie is only 45 minutes long, it somehow used that time efficiently enough to make me REALLY attached to the characters. Gin is a character in a very unique situation (he can't touch humans, or else he'll disappear) and the way the two protagonists interact and find ways to still be around each other even with his situation is very endearing. I loved seeing the time they spend together and growing to like the characters even more.
Enjoyment: SOLID 10! (^ o ^)/ Ten! 10! Diez! Sampu! テン!
The movie was very enjoyable for me, so hopefully it will be for you too! I felt an alluring happiness throughout the entire movie, but also felt a ping of sadness somewhere in there. But it all came together leaving me with a bittersweet ending... that I still loved greatly.
Overall: 10 :)
It was a pleasant, yet simple story that I would recommend to anyone.
Life is a fleeting concept. Everything in it, be it love, friendship, loss, happiness, you can't have it forever, because it just doesn't work that way.
Hotarubi no Mori e has wrapped itself around my head and heart, making me truly respect this movie and its message. At first, it will appear to be a simple movie of friendship between Hotaru, a little girl lost in the woods, and Gin, a forest spirit who is lost emotionally. But it is so much more than that. For such a short movie, it is incredibly impacting and thought-provoking.
We begin with our main character, the young Hotaru, who
is lost and crying in the forest. She meets Gin, a white-haired boy who helps her find her way out, but will not let her touch him. If anyone touches Gin, he will perish and never return.
The premise of the story is simple, but so sweetly executed. Hotaru befriends Gin, visiting the forest every day to play with him. Because she only stays at her uncle's for the summer, they can only meet for those few months every year. This brings a somewhat precious connotation to every memory they create together, which heightens the audience's attention to the relationship.
Hotaru grows, but Gin is constant. He is always the same teen to early twenties, while Hotaru ages more and more. This also bring to attention that, perhaps, one day, Hotaru will surpass Gin in age, breaking one of their connections of eternal youth.
When Hotaru becomes a high-schooler, the story slows pace and takes a more in-depth view of their days together. Gin and Hotaru both share a pure and deep love for each other, and this part of the movie is really beautiful to watch. The story was incredibly bittersweet and lovely, and it really makes me think about how short everything in life really is. It makes me treasure what I have, and look forward to the future.
The artwork was gorgeous, and set the scene impeccably. The characters, background, and setting were so nice to look at, I didn't feel anything was out of place.
From the rustling of leaves, to the unexpectedly peaceful background music, the audio fit the movie to a tee; everything worked and the ending song cannot get any more perfect for this movie. It really brings everything together, and I enjoyed it immensely.
In only 40 minutes, Hotaru and Gin are developed so fully and smoothly, it's hard to believe that you could end up caring for them so much. Their relationship is something truly magical, and it's wonderful experience to follow.
I really, really loved this movie. The romance was on-par, and I really felt everything that was happening. The humor was gentle and cute, and it wasn't hard to root for the characters. The only reason that this isn't a 10 is because I'm so conflicted on the ending.
One of the reasons that I found myself immersed in the story is that anyone can empathize with the storyline. Chances are, you're probably not a forest spirit that befriends little girls - sure, but you probably understand how incredibly short life really is, and why it's important to cherish everything you share with others.
I cried. Gin and Hotaru smiled. Will you?
Okay, so Hotarubi no Mori e was one of the anime's I watched when I first got into Anime. It's still one of my top favorites.
If you're really picky with you're anime. (Because I was and still kind of am) Then let me assure you. This is perfect in every way. You may not like subtitles (because some people I know don't) but Hortarubi no Mori e isn't brought down in any way by being subbed.
It is one of the most beautiful stories I have ever seen. Some people may think that it revolves to much on just the two characters but I
think that it's perfect that they don't waste any time with other character besides mostly Gin and Hotaru. Sure it's only like 40 minutes, but not once did it feels rushed. It actually amazing how perfect it was for how short it was. And I don't want to give anything away but even though the ending may not have been what people wanted. It was perfect in it's own sad way.
The art has to be endlessly praised for all eternity. Seriously, that's how amazing I think the art was. I wish I could write such a long paragraph but it's just to beautiful for words to explain it.
The background music to the songs. Everything was beautiful.
The characters couldn't be more perfect. I think my favorite time of the movie is when she is little. Hoturu couldn't be more adorable. And it's funny the way they interact with each other. I like Gin, (aside from being hot) is because he is always calm and also sweet. And speaking of characters I think the spirits were a great addition because you don't really get the feeling he's a spirit after seeing what he looks like without his mask. But the other forest spirits help with that impression.
What? do I really have to explain why I gave a 10/10 for this. Of course I enjoyed it.
So, I'm recommending this to everyone. No matter how old you are, what gender , if you love/ hate anime. This movie is perfect for everyone.