Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light") is a one-shot shōjo manga written by Yuki Midorikawa. It was published on July 2002 issue of LaLa DX in Japan and had a 44-minute anime film with the same title and was produced in 2011 at the anime studio Brain's Base and directed by Takahiro Omori.
Hotarubi no Mori e tells a story of a young girl named Hotaru and her extra ordinary friendship with Gin, a strange young man wearing a mask.
Summary of the Story
A six-year-old girl named Hotaru Takegawa, who gets lost in a forest which rumored to have inhabitants of yamagami, or mountain spirit, as well as yōkai (strange apparitions from Japanese folklore). She was found by a mask-wearing, human-like entity named Gin, who will vanished when a human touches him. He then leads Hotaru out of the forest. Hotaru returns to visit Gin in the forest over the next few days and they become friends despite of the limitations on their interactions. In summer's end Hotaru leaves because she must come back to the city and study. She promised to come back every summer holiday and Gin patiently waited for her return.
As the years goes by, Gin hardly ages while Hotaru physically matures and grows closer to his apparent age. Upon reaching adolescence, Hotaru begins to struggle with their budding romance and their uncertain future together, while Gin wishes he could touch and hold the young woman that Hotaru has become. One summer when Hotaru came back Gin takes her on a date to a festival in the forest hosted by the spirits. The night ends in tragedy when Gin mistakenly touches a young boy who snuck into the spirit festival, though before he disappears, he and Hotaru embrace and confess their love for one another. The story ends with Hotaru accepting her pain and moving on with her life.
Reviewers universally praised the anime film for its beauty, simplicity, and tenderness. And I agree with their review, I also find the film diferent from other supernatural anime film. It has some elements that stand unique from other films. It's story is simple but interesting. It has a simple story line with a shallow but heartbreaking ending. It really shows in this movie that Simplicity is beauty. The film has only short length which is made to have sole criticisms.
I learned in this film that friendship chooses no one. Whatever you are, your economic class, your race, colors and any differences either you are a human or a spirit this can't hinder true friendship. If the hearts are bind with genuine bond, form and origin wont matter. Frienship is the greatest treasure you can find in this world. It gives color to one's life and can save a shattered lonely heart. With someone you can call a true friend is more than enough reason to be happy in life.
Accepting one's fate is portrayed in this movie. Lossing someone is very traggic and depressing. It's the most difficult moment in life but when you happen to overcome it can lead to a greatest strength in life. One life may had just ended but we must face it and move forward. Only Acceptance can set a heart free and a soul to rest in peace. They may had just leave us but the moments we spent with them will never fade in our hearts and memories.
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