Hotarubi no Mori Anime Movie Review

Cover image for the anime review of Hotarubi no Mori e.

Hello animé fans, I hope that you all are doing well and watching anime. With that being said, I bring you an anime that is short and sweet. Since a lot of people are getting busy with their lives and can only spend so much time for themselves, short anime is starting to get more attention as they don’t require much time to finish. Anyways, let’s get started with the movie review. 

The short movie I was talking about is called Hotarubi no Mori e. If you have seen this movie then I’m sure you’re here to live that nostalgia again, at least, I hope. For those of you who have not heard or seen this movie yet, I will be sharing every possible information with you in regards to ‘Hotarubi no Mori’.

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The Story

Let’s start with the introduction of Hotarubi no Mori e

I don’t want to spoil too much in the introduction as it will be discussed in detail in the review section. So, if you want to avoid spoilers before watching the movie, you can stop here. 

Gin and Hotaru in the forest flying kites

The movie is about a girl named Hotaru who gets lost in the forest where there is a legend about a Mountain God residing there. When she was crying after getting lost, she meets a guy named Gin in the forest. Apparently, she is told that Gin is not a human but a spirit and has a curse placed on him according to which, if he is touched by a human he will disappear. Gin is shown to be a mysterious entity and as their relationship develops, they start getting closer to each other, over time. 

Hotarubi no Mori Review 

Again, I am warning you that this section is going to contain spoilers. So, if you want to watch this cute movie then you can stop, go watch it first and then come back to know my thoughts on the movie. Now… Let’s get started. 

I’d say that the length of the movie Hotarubi no Mori e was just perfect, neither too short nor too long, with a run time of about 40 minutes if we remove the end credits.

Hotaru and Gin meeting for the first time

I really enjoyed the storytelling in this movie. The way that Hotaru and Gin met and how their story progressed further. Hotaru was just a little girl when she met Gin, while she was lost in the forest and it was a really cute encounter between the two. As Hotaru gets bumped in the head every time she tries to get in contact with Gin, they start developing a bond between them. She knew that Gin would disappear if she touched him but still she kept forgetting about it as what you’d expect of a child. She was only a kid and couldn’t help it when she felt excited. So, when Gin gets Hotaru out of the forest, she tells him that she needs to thank him and so they promise to meet at the entrance to the forest the next day. This is how their relationship starts to blossom as they spend more and more time with each other and create, sort of an untold understanding, that need not be put into words. It is just as good even without having a name. 

Gin and Hotaru enjoying at the spirit festival

But, since she was on a summer vacation and had to go back to her home, she feels a little sad. That is why they decide to meet every year when she comes for a vacation. The one thing that I noticed was the growth of Hotaru and I’m not talking only about her age, but her emotional growth as well. From always forgetting about the curse on Gin to saying, “No matter what happens don’t touch me”, she showed how much she cared about him and it was the same with Gin as well. As time flies further, they start feeling each other’s absence as well and want to be with each other more often, the reason being that they were only able to see each other only in the summer vacation when Hotaru visits her uncle. I also wanted them to be together because it’s really difficult to wait for someone you love.  

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However, they were reaching a point in their life that they would never forget. Somehow, Hotaru gets a feeling that she won’t be able to see him for much longer. You can say that it was sort of a lover’s hunch. And what’s even worse was the feeling that even though they longed for each other so much, they couldn’t feel each other’s touch. You can imagine how hard it can be when you are with someone and yet you can’t feel their touch because of the circumstances. I can sort of relate to what they had and that is why it made me feel sentimental. What I liked was the way their final moments together, when they were able to finally feel each other’s touch. It was a totally random occurrence and made us realize that anything can happen in a moment, so we gotta make full use of the moments we get, this is what they do indeed… Instead of panicking over what suddenly happened, they just live in that moment and finally hug each other. It was a really beautiful display even though we knew that Gin was disappearing. For me, it wasn’t sad and was more like a “Dream Come True” moment and the message was clear that if we don’t live in the moment and reminisce over the past or think too much about the future then we might not have what we wanted and we will also lose out on the opportunity that was right there in front of us. This is what made this anime movie even more beautiful. 

Gin and Hotaru finally hugged each other

But, as we all know nothing can last forever, which is likely the theme of the story as well. In other words, we can not stop the passage of time and we can also not change back what we lose. 

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My final thoughts

Hotarubi no Mori e was a very cute story with many slice-of-life elements. I loved the sheer simplicity and the beauty of this animé and how the story and the characters had progressed. The movie didn’t feel rushed and neither did it feel slow, so the pacing was also really good. Overall, I’d say that this movie is a must-watch for slice-of-life lovers and also for those who do not have much time on their hands. 

This is it for the animé review and I hope that you liked it. If you did like it then check out my other blogs as well where I’ve shared many animé suggestions and reviews as well. Any suggestion is most welcome and you can share it with me via dm on my Instagram profile (@theanimeguy24)


In this section, I will try to answer some of the questions that were not answered in the sections above. 

  • What does Hotarubi no Mori e mean?

The official title of the movie, it means “Into the Forest of Fireflies’ light”

  • Why does Gin wear a mask?

According to the movie, Gin is a human. However, when he was abandoned by his parents after his birth, the Mountain God placed a curse on him so that he could live on as a spirit because his body had become very fragile and was on the verge of death. This is why he wears a mask so that he can look like a spirit and not a human. 

If there are any other questions that you’d like to ask then drop them in the comments section or you can ask me via dm on my Instagram profile 

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