Known also as Hotarubi no Mori E, this short story of love that can never bloom is an adaptation of a short manga under the same name. The people responsible for this are also the same people who did Natsume’s Book of Friends, seeing it as one of those enchanting love-stories, it landed to the experts that knows its craft well. To think of it, is there any difference from this one to the big chunk that is Natsume?
No, Not Really
If you happen to watch this by accident, you might think of it as one of Natsume’s episodes doing its usual spirits stories, but realize that its has become too long to be your ordinary episode. There’s not much to tell here if you are a fan of Natsume, since the elements that makes each stories in that series are here. Lonely spirits bounded to eternity meets a young woman who eventually grew feelings to a spirit with a twist that she can not touch the spirit for it to disappear. A little similar to Pushing Daisies. That american drama that never really went anywhere. It has a great concept, but it wasn’t marketable enough, I guess.
I could just point you guys to my Natsume episode blogs and review to understand what makes that franchise good at its craft. But for those who haven’t seen a single episode of Natsume, I would suggest you watch it. Anyway, Natsume’s theme is always does its slow build-up between the characters. It also plays in silence and small details that makes you connect with them. There is also this element of time, which a fact in most Natsume, where we see characters grow in time while the spirit remains the same. Showing the difference between two worlds and the boundaries that set them apart as creatures of this world. Gin, our main character with the development that happened through the years grows more into wanting our lead female, like wise to her as well. While they accept their stances, knowing the consequences, they still want to be together until it last. The ending was sad, but at the same time, it was a message that even that it is over, it ended in a well-manner that will forever mark their relationship in their hearts. Just like life experiences, they come and go, but their imprint remains in our lives till the end.
Overall, it’s a wonderful story. I can’t say I am moved by it, but it wasn’t that bad or average. It would make a dent if you haven’t seen Natsume, but since I am a fan of this formula, it sort of ended predictable. Add to the fact that I had read the source material before. So it wasn’t anything “lasting” for me. But don’t mistake it for something negative. I still believe that you will like it. If you want more, go watch Natsume’s Book of Friends. That’s good relaxation for the holy week.
Film Rating: 4/5