Hotarubi no Mori e translates to “Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light” is a shoujo manga originally illustrated by Yuki Midorikawa and published in 2002.
Later in 2011, a short anime film of 44 minutes of run-time was produced at the anime studio Brain’s Base and directed by Takahiro Omori with the same name as Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light).
Hotarubi no Mori e (“Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light) is a romantic based supernatural story. Ironically this is a touching story where the main characters are deprived of physical touch.
This anime is one of my favorite among my list of must-watch anime movie.
(Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light) Hotarubi no Mori e Plot
The story portrays the friendship between Gin and Hotaru, which later grows into a romantic relationship. Their bond is special and at the same time, intriguing because they are from different worlds. While one of them is a mere human and the other one is a spirit.
Hotaru is a little girl who gets lost in the Spirit Forest while visiting her Uncle’s place during the summer break. Feeling hopeless and lost all alone in the forest, she breaks down in tears.
Gin finds Hotaru crying in the forest and decides to help her out. He helps her to find the way out of the Spirit Forest to her uncle’s house. And Gin warns her not to wander in the forests again.
Despite being warned by Gin, Hotaru keeps coming back to play with Gin. Gin is a boy in his teen years and wears a mask. Hotaru learns that she cannot touch Gin, or else he would disappear forever.
After the summer break, Hotaru returns to her home to attend school. But ever since that fateful meeting, Hotaru visits Gin every summer break. And Gin waits for Hotaru every time.
As years pass, Gin doesn’t age at all while Hotaru is now grown up and seems to be the same age as Gin. Both start to grow fond of each other, and Gin even gets comfortable enough to take off his mask in front of Hotaru.
But this fleeting romance between the two doesn’t last long sadly. During Hotaru’s high school summer break, Gin asks Hotaru on a date to the Yokai Festival of Spirits.
A human boy who snuck into the festival rushes past Gin and Hotaru. He trips and nearly falls. Gin catches him to prevent his fall. And hence Gin touches the boy, unknowingly that he is a human.
The spell which preserves Gin’s body is broken due to the contact, and Gin starts to disintegrate. Knowing that he has mere minutes to live, Gin calls Hotaru to him. Hotaru falls into his arms, Gin gets the chance to hold her finally.
But thankfully, Gin got to confess his love for Hotaru before the incident, and she says that she loves him too. Gin puts the mask on Hotaru and kisses her over the mask.
The Yokai that protected Gin thanked her because she gave Gin joy and fulfilled his wish, which was to touch a human. Hotaru keeps Gin’s mask that serves as a reminder of Gin’s existence.
Hotarubi no Mori Characters
- Gin: A human trapped in the spirit forest, who is protected by a spell by the mountain spirits. Also, the male protagonist of the anime.
- Hotaru: The female protagonist of the anime. Gin’s only human friend and love interest.
- Ryouta: Hotaru’s classmate.
- Takegawa: Hotaru’s mother.
(Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light) Hotarubi no Mori e Trailer
Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light) has a lot of Japanese folklore mentioned in the storyline. You will get a clear view of it once you get to know Gin’s past. The movie is quite simple but elegantly put together, at least that’s how I feel. Also, I find Gin hot with is silver hair, green eyes, and a laid-back cool and calm attitude.
The ending of Hotarubi no Mori e (Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light) did make me sad. And I wish there was a loophole where they could coexist together and be together.