This is the most beautiful heartbreak I've ever read. Before going into detail, I want to warn the readers about some [spoilers] in this review. First of all, if you want to take a break from too much mushy shoujo mangas, I would recommend this. But I don't recommend it for the faint hearted.
So I was just chilling one day, lurking the myanimelist, when all of a sudden I came across this manga. I was like "oh so cool. I bet they're going to put a cliche at the end where she still
gets to touch him anyway" Me---being a tragedy hater---was caught off guard. Let me tell you, I had 5 sleepless nights trying to get over this manga! It was just so sad! Everytime I saw the title, the picture, I still feel really sorry for Hotaru.
The story was just so beautiful--yet painful. We go around our lives, having wonderful and sad time---then things happen, and those experiences turn into memories. Hotarubi sent a powerful message that we must treasure our memories--even though it hurts ti remember them, they are a part of ourselves.
rant: BUT IT'S JUST TOOOO SaDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD ;_; HOTARU MAY MOVE ON, BUT I CAN'T!!!! ;_; pooor Hotaruuu
Yeah it's really sad. I like it. but I hate tragedies.
This manga is irregular. It includes four one-shots, some better than others. The art is not my favorite style, but it is ok.
The second story (Hotaru no mori e) must be one of the best one-shots I've read. Hotaru gets lost in the forest and a boy called Gin, who is really a spirit, helps her find her way home. They become friends; they start meeting every summer holiday, and grow each year closer. But she cannot touch him, or he will disappear. A really beautiful sad story.
It was made an anime, with the same name, which is also very good, with nice
art, and beautiful music. I seriously recommend watching it.
If it were for this story alone, I would rate it with a 10.
The fourth story (Deepening the Scar) is also very good. It is a love story between brother and sister, but unlike most brother-sister love stories, this one is realistic. It is not the typical "we are siblings, but love prevails, so who cares" type of story. Good development, good ending... very sad, too.
I would probably rate this one-shot with a 9.
The other two stories are not as good. The first one isn´t very clear... there are things I didn´t understand, or that were kept unexplained: I think it is a ghost story, though I'm not sure... but even if I'm right, who is that ghost? And does that ghost have anything to do with the character's injuries? I think that if it were a little bit longer, the plot could have been better developed. The third story is just average, nothing really special about it, although there are instants -certain panels- were you can perceive a deeper and more serious feeling that what's usual in the typical shoujo manga. I think there is a gap between the two stories I mentioned first and these other two. But I wouldn't say they are "bad", either.
In any case, I recommend reading this manga. "Hotaru no mori e" and "Deepening the Scar" alone make it worthy.