Anime: Hotarubi no Mori e

Such a sweet and endearing love story by Brains Base who brought us Nastume Yuujinchou. And the similarity between the two is startling. The main characters look awfully alike and the whole laid back, nostalgic atmosphere are also very similar. Both deal with the idea of loneliness and in the case of Hotarubi long distance love. No wonder since the creator for both are the same. Hotarubi no Mori e is a really short movie at only 44 minutes but it is appropriate for the story the movie told.

A simple story about a human girl meeting a spirit (youkai) boy in the forest. It tells about the relationship between the two, and how love blossomed. It shows us their summers together as the girl grows up. It shows of the other spirits of the forest who have come to love and care for the boy.  The twist is that the boy can never touch a human or he will disappear. The story is one that is very endearing despite it’s simplicity.

I know that a lot of people have really enjoyed the movie and I have nothing against it. These kind of movies are a good watch from time to time, they speak of love  and because it’s between two people who can never really be together, it tugs at the heartstrings and causes tears to flow. It’s sweet and innocent and there is much to like about this movie. Except that I’ve grown pass the stage where this kind of movie still holds true. I no longer dream of love like this nor wish for love like this. To give up everything to be with someone you love is something that is portrayed too often in anime. I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, but there’s nothing wrong with giving up love for the sake of your dreams and ambitions either. I’m still waiting for an anime that will have a character walk away from a love that seems so right for dreams and ambitions that transcend that love.

But in the meantime, Hotarubi no Mori e, reminds us that love is really powerful. And so is longing. And that physical touch is still a hallmark of being in love. Ironic considering that the two could never touch, yet poignant because of that fact.


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