Explorations in Japanese Culture

Hotarubi no Mori e


Number of Episodes: 1 (Movie)

Genre: Drama, Romance, Supernatural



When she was young, Hotaru was once lost when she played in the 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. (-ANN)

What I Like:

Hotarubi is adapted from a one shot manga series, and is not even the length of a full feature movie. With a running time of only 45 mins, it is really just about the length of two episodes of a show. And that is part of what makes the movie so charming. The story is simple and does not try to hard to unnecessarily develop characters or plot. Hotarubi is a simple story about the need for human contact and love. In the short span of the movie I was able to connect with the characters and felt my heart breaking by the end. I know that not everyone wants every anime to have a love story or a tragic ending, but I find those to be my favorite. Hotarubi no Mori e is a great short movie to recommend to someone who is just getting into anime.

Favorite Character:

With only two characters and such a short movie, there isn’t really much of a choice to be made on a favorite character. If I had to chose between the two though, I would have to pick Gin. I could not help but feel sympathy for him, living in the woods and unable to feel the touch of another. He is forced to always distance himself from the person he loves and only see her once a year for a short time.

What You Should Know:

In the case of Hotarubi luckily there really isn’t much to address as far as surprises or complications. Really, just know that Hotarubi is very short with only a 45 min run time.



+ Short & Simple
+ Original Story
+ Good anime movie to show to a new viewer


– Short

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