Movie: Hotarubi no Mori e
Genres: Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural
Summary: The 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.
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.