Hotarubi no Mori e (2011) Film Mini Review

Hotarubi no Mori e is a short anime film that is based on a shoujo manga. It has garnered several awards in the past years and captivate audience with its story and arts. Most important of all, it is a film that seems to be able to bring the audience into a different world and immerse them into it. So what’s make this anime film so unique? Check it out!

Hotarubi no Mori e’s basic premise is about Gin, whose existence is neither spirit nor human and Hotaru, a normal human girl who resides in the village during summer holidays. They met each other when Hotaru was lost in the forest while she was 6 years old. Since then, they start forming a relationship. However, there’s a catch, Gin can’t touch humans or else he would disappear forever. With this limitation, could their romance be broken?

First of all, DAYUM! The narrative is really simple for an anime film. There are no big twists or some complicated plots that will make you think its a deep film. What you get is a simplistic but serene romance story that is close to innocent love. I love the pacing which is done slowly but keeping us interested in both Gin’s and Hotaru’s relationship that is developing in a controlled pace. You will feel the time moves along as Hotaru gets older and grows to become a fine young woman, which contrasts with Gin’s eternal youthful appearance since the start of their encounter.

What’s surprising is the amount of emotion each scene is able to bring out, even though Gin is always wearing masks and there are no other events happening aside from those two accompanying with each other doing basic activities. Perhaps its the wonderful animation and the music which helps to set the mood and atmosphere of peacefulness. It is akin to us going back to childhood and enjoying the peaceful nature with a friend. The ending is quite touching as it’s not overdramatised and it has been foreshadowed by Gin’s words and actions. It’s a truly wonderful short film which manages to makes us feel for the characters using minimal characters and in such short time.


Categories: animation, Film Review, Movie ReviewTags: , , , , ,

Anthony L Tjandra

A photographer and videographer that aims to capture the Heart behind the moments.


  1. I really enjoyed this story. It is pretty simple and I kind of wanted to spend a bit more time with the characters but it is emotional and entertaining and the story just works. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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