Movie Review: Hotarubi no Mori e

If you are wondering how a 19 year old guy like me shed tears? Hotarubi no Mori e is the answer.

There are really few movies that have made me cry…Yes! I do cry…and now I have one more to add on the list. Have you ever seen a movie which makes your heart warm, and at the same time shatters it into pieces? Have you ever seen a movie where you try to hold back your emotions, but you reach your limit and out burst with those feelings? If not, you have missed one of the most amazing movie of all time: Hotarubi no Mori e.

Hotarubi no Mori e, a shoujo anime,  falls under drama, romance, and supernatural genre. The movie was expertly directed by Yumi Satou, and written by Yuki Midorikawa. The story starts off in a forest…a forest where the mountains god and spirit live. During summer vacation, a six year old girl named Hotaru is lost in this forest. She was here to visit her uncle during the summer break, but some how she ends up in the forest and now is stranded helpless. She starts crying, and all of a sudden she hears a whisper calling out to her. Turning her head back she sees a guy wearing a weird mask…and this is where we are introduced with our other main character. His name is Gin…He is neither human, nor spirit as you will later find out in the movie.

The main story plot is that if any human touches Gin, he will disappear. Hotaru finds it to be interesting…and slowly this fascination of hers turns into a intense feeling of deep emotions. She starts visiting him every summer and they spend time playing with each other in the forest. Slowly as she ages, her attachment to Gin grows stronger and stronger to the point where it is clear to the viewers that she likes Gin a LOT. But she cannot touch Gin because of the fear of loosing him…the fear of never seeing someone whom you love so much. It’s a harsh reality for Hotaru which she can’t escape. How will this bitter reality make her suffer?

This 45 minute long video will give you the answer to the question in a mitigating manner.The pacing of the story is smooth. You won’t feel rushed at all…Every single second of the movie is important, and it is really hard to take your eyes off the screen. The movie starts off with happy days, slowly building tension towards the ending of the show.

Their is nothing much to talk about character development. This anime solely focuses on Gin and Hotaru. Gin is little unfathomable to some extent whereas Hotaru is straightforward. Both of these characters understand each other well…and yeah! that is it! Nothing much to talk about here.

The art/sound of this movie is really well done to fit the subtle atmosphere of the story. The way they use mask to hide Gin face makes you wonder what kind of mysterious life lies within…and trust me when I say that the art is so absorbing that you loose your sense of time. Overall, the animation was mellow enough to mesmerize your heart.

Although I have no complains, I just felt that this movie could have been easily extended to a 90’ish minute mark. I would give this movie a solid 8/10. If you are looking for the answer to the question asked in the introduction, this is your must watch movie which leaves you with a bitter-sweet memories, and lasting impression.


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