First released as one shot story collections manga with the same title. Hotarubi no mori he was animated as a short movie last September. Portraying mild friend-romance relationship from the girl’s view. I’m a bit surprised myself, not sure whether it is really obvious or not, my guess about the author is right. She is Midorikawa, Yuki, the one who created Natsume Yuujinchou. And while I haven’t watch any single episode of Natsume Yuujinchou, been reading the manga, though. From the nuance I just know that it was her, It really feels similar.
For a short story, Hotarubi no mori he as a whole were just being ordinary. So let see it in parts. Omori, Takahiro sure know how to brought this story to life. And looking from his previous works, I just can’t help to deduct that he has some specific interest in supernatural-background story. Hotaru, a little girl about 6 years old, just lost her way at the forest which claimed to be dwelled by deities and mountain god.Someone calls her as she crying, a teenage looking boy wearing fox mask. This is the first time Hotaru meet Gin. Gin said that he can’t touch human. The mountain god cast spell on him, so he can’t leave the forest and can’t be touched by human, or he’ll be vanished. Later the story goes plotting on how they meet each year at summer. Until Hotaru realized her feelings about Gin.
In depth. There’s some less obvious aspects from the movie. I haven’t read the manga so I don’t know how it goes with the original story. But from the movie there’s this scenes where Hotaru depicted living a solitary school life. Daydreaming about Gin while the whole class is moving for another lecture, also she never seen together with her girl classmates, which might be weird for some skeptical viewers. But one can argue that this is to be expected since the story were focused on Hotaru-Gin relationship.
I said it was just being ordinary by the fact that the similar theme portrayed already explored by several other authors. But Midorikawa-sensei is really good at writing this kind of simple-calming-yet funny supernatural story. Directed by the man behind Jigoku Shoujo and Aria the Natural. This movie is as good as it supposed to be.
So, in the end. This movie is worth your 45 minutes to spare on. Also watching little Hotaru is fun, still awed by how witty she is.