Sadness and Alternate Worlds – Hotarubi no Mori E 蛍火の杜へ – Anime Review

Sorry for the late posting, but anyway, this is the next show with a splendid pile of feels, Hotarubi no Mori E@Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light! That ending though…I can imagine its impact on them fangirls…


Hello, people. Sorry for the late posting and stuff. Blame reality. I haven’t been watching anime properly for a whole week and I did only paperwork for a long, long time. But fret not, for now I am back with a renewed passion to write more reviews for more entertainment!!!

Sad anime is so tiring and draining. watching it either kills me inside or leaves me hanging so I decided to run the sad anime review marathon alongside my regular anime. For today, we have…

Hotarubi 5

蛍火の杜へ, Hotarubi no Mori E aka Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light is based on a one-shot shoujo manga of the same title.


It revolves around Takegawa Hotaru, a girl who lives in the city and goes to the countryside to live with her uncle during the summer vacations. When she was six, she entered the forest nearby that was said to be occupied by the mountain god and the spirits and got lost. When she was crying from exhaustion, a human-like entity wearing a mask approached her and comforts her. However, when she attempts to hug him, he dodges her and tells her that if he touches a human, he will disappear. And so, little Hotaru became more fond of the man/spirit whose name was later revealed to be Gin, and proceeded to visit him in the forest everyday of the summer vacation.

Hoturubi 2

Of course, like every shoujo manga, there’s always a normal looking girl as the main protagonist and the ever-mysterious yet charming male character as the love interest. But unlike typical shoujo, the characters are not exactly too tied up with its usual stereotyping due to the irregular setting. Like the movies by Makoto Shinkai such as 5 Centimeters Per Second or Voices of A Distant Star, the plot of this OVA/short film whose running time is exactly 45 minutes, the problems faced in real life are recurring themes in this anime too, although presented in a less orthodox way. For example, physical distance is the underlying theme as Hotaru is unable to touch Gin and that makes them yearn for each other more.

Hotarubi 1

In terms of story, plot and development, this anime is one of the most well-developed stand-alone OVAs I’ve ever seen. It’s run time of 45 minutes is utilized to the maximum and every scene and dialogue is used only to present the plot in the best way possible. More about that ending later.

Illustrated and published in the year 2001, the manga was so good that it was considered to be Yuki Midorikawa, the manga artist’s starting point for her best known work, Natsume Yuujinchou. The anime production began in 2011 and top of the class as well. Undoubtedly, this anime has one of the best storylines ever adapted for an OVA and the most depressingly relatable one I’ve seen so far.

Given its length, there is nothing much to talk about this anime. The plot was good, the characters were average, which is understandable given its shortness, the artstyle was quite artistically beautiful although not as stunning as Makoto Shinkai’s work. In short, it was a beautifully crafted animated story with a lot of charm that had a great finishing and is almost flawless in every aspect.

So, you’re thinking: “How is this anime sad?”

I’ll give you a few clues. [Minor spoiler alert]

  1. Gin is not a spirit but somewhat he is somewhat not of the human world. And that thing about him not able to touch humans is true. He also doesn’t age like humans do. In short, he is forever a teenager.
  2. Hotaru is a completely normal girl who like all normal girl characters in shoujo yearn for love as they enter adolescence. But do you think she can withhold herself from wanting to touch Gin?

Lastly…[Really, don’t read this if you still have completely no clue whatsoever to what is going to happen. Ignorance is bliss.]

3. What is going to happen when Gin touches a human?


Enjoy your feels while you’re at it! Enjoy your next day rolling on the ground crying, you crybabies!!! *Evil laughter*

Till the next sad stuff, ja ne~~

I can hear them fangirls crying their eyeballs off their sockets already.

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