Anime Recommendation: Hotarubi no Mori e

September 13, 2016

I'm always on my guard when it comes to the "feels" sub-genre of anime shows. I'm always not ready to watch a show that will end up with me crying at my seat as the last few moments of the anime unfolds - I'm just not ready. When I do end up watching shows with "feels", it's often because I don't have much of an idea on where this show is going thus I get super wrecked emotionally because it's unexpected. A few nights ago, however, I got my guard down and prepared myself as I watched Hotarubi no Mori e.

Basic Info:

Anime Name: Hotarubi no Mori e ("Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light" / "The Light of a Firefly Forest" are it's English titles.)

Number of Episodes: 1 (Movie)

Duration: 45 minutes


As a child, Hotaru lost herself in a forest near her uncle's place that she visits every summer. There, she had a fateful encounter with a spirit, who helped her even though he would disappear if a human being touches him. She began to visit him every summer, even as she grows; while he waits for the summer to come, for their time together to flow again. (From AnimeNewsNetwork)


A few months back, I saw one of my friends shared this AMV on facebook. That AMV touched me and the clips were from Wolf Children (an anime I'll try to watch as soon as possible). What remained in me afterwards was the really beautiful song that accompanied the whole video. It was from an artist named Lauren Aquilina. I'm so into her voice and style of music. I wanted to hear more of her voice again so I decided to search the song, named "King", on Youtube and I fell head over heels for it and I cried through it - it was so beautiful.

A few days later, I was still hooked with the song so I kept visiting lyric videos for it on Youtube and one time, I was going over the suggested videos' side of the page and there's this one particular AMV I saw whose title is a line from the song. If you are either a big fan of AMVs, Hotarubi no Mori e, Lauren Aquilina or if you're just someone who loves exploring the anime side of Youtube then you probably know WHAT AMV I'm talking about here. (*・∀-)☆  Being the curious guy I am, I clicked and watched it and do you know what was left of me afterwards? A human filled with overflowing feels!

And that's when I knew the show.


I admit that I got spoiled because of that AMV but I still felt the need to watch the show. After a few months, I still couldn't, and I struggled so hard because I'm such an emotional person when it comes to anime and watching feel-y shows make me so nervous. I think I'm the kind of person who's oftentimes, not prepared for feels and that I need to give myself a really huge prep before.

For some reason, I knew I was ready last Friday (August 19) so I decided to watch the movie that night. I checked, beforehand, the duration of the show which is more or less 44-45 minutes so it wasn't intimidating to watch the movie. I usually watch at night (when I'm so sleepy) so watching long movies will make me sleepy at some parts so I was a bit thankful that it wasn't that long. 

A part of me is happy, yet at the opposite side of the scale, I was sad because this means that consuming the movie will be faster and that I'll reach the end (a.k.a the feels) part, faster as well.

I won't be spoiling the show to let you readers get the most experience from it if you'll ever start watching the movie after reading this. Again, I'll hopefully try my best. If I'll suddenly drop even a minor or major story info, I'll warn you beforehand by dropping a CAPITALIZED, underlined, and red "SPOILER ALERT" label to alert you.

Let's start!

The whole film was beautifully done. I haven't read the manga but the movie was well composed when it comes to how the whole elements of a show needs to be done. The sound was well put together enough to feel everything easier. The way the animation was done was also quite pleasing to the eye as it matched the light and vibrant colors of the art styles.

The plot was quite simple as well. It was just about a guy (spirit) who can't be touched for he will disappear but then he meets a girl who quickly becomes his closest friend. This kind of simplistic plot doesn't require and need multiple settings for the story and it was beautifully applied here in this anime film - a pretty simple story that takes place in a forest, nothing more and nothing less.

It was also a relaxing film to watch as it is really lighthearted. This show is an example of a popular quote that has been said a lot of times - "simple is beautiful".

This film's progression is also something that needs to be talked about. The buildup towards the climax wasn't really what you call a "buildup" because I felt that there was no underlying tension that slowly raises up to the climax - and I loved it! I felt calm throughout the beginning parts before the climax because it was all about creating a stable surrounding for the characters' relationship to develop. Again, just like what I said awhile ago, the story is simple so of course there won't be any need for more "plot development" than what it already shows because what it has already displayed is enough for you to fall for this show head-over-heels.

The characters were also easy to get to know by heart. Chances are, if you're knew to the anime world and this was the first one you'll watch, I'm pretty sure this'll be your most favorite movie of all time.

Even though I've watched that special AMV about it many times, it never lost it's emotional impact on me when it was about to end.

In fact...

mini-spoiler alert

... I was actually taken by surprise on what the show actually turned out to be in the end. I think it was because I wasn't focused on everything the AMV showed. But still, the way it turned out to be was emotionally wrecking nonetheless.

A sequel for this film is almost near impossible for it to happen and I'm sad yet happy at the same time. I'm sad because I know that I'll miss this wonderful tale that has affected me a lot of times through the AMV and by the movie itself but I'm also a bit happy because I know that this gem of an anime will always standout from the crowd of other animated films as a wonderful show about a friendship-to-love story about a girl and a boy whose love was never even possible to begin with.

I highly recommend this show to everyone of you who's reading this post out there, it doesn't matter who you are or what you are, just watch this show and I can guarantee that you will love this. I mean what I said, I really recommend this!

I'm actually debating on whether or not to link that AMV here because some of you might not have watched this movie yet and the AMV might spoil you.

Thanks for reading this and I hope to see you guys, again, soon!

Authors Note:

1. Tah dah! It's my comeback post after a few weeks of not posting any anime reviews! I hope you enjoyed reading this!

2. I now have 2 candidates for my "Summer 2016 Highlights" post series which I'll be writing up as soon as possible! Stay tuned for that.

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Greetings, I am Jefferson and welcome to my anime blog. This anime blog is where I'll be housing all of my reviews and recommendations for anime shows.

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