Have you ever met people who come and go like seasons but affect you so deeply that you resonate with those memories for the rest of your life, then welcome, into the forest of fireflies’ light.
Based on a one shot manga by Yuki Midorikawa, ‘into the forest of fireflies’ is a one shot romantic shoujo story about a romance that develops over a course of almost ten years. Being what can be considered as one of the most apt, simple yet beautiful depictions of seasons in anime.
Hotaru, the protagonist meets and befriends a forest spirit, who goes by the name of Gin. Instead of being scared by a ghost, Hotaru spends her holidays playing with Gin and slowly becoming acquainted with other mountain spirits because you can never have too many ghost friends (Casper anyone).
We see Hotaru and Gin become best friends and eventually reaching the point in their relationship where they worry about one outliving the other. Something pretty standard with supernatural romances.
The story is pleasant and feels like a summer breeze, fresh like the watermelon (loved that scene). Its not scenic but gives an apt caricaturisation of various characters though few in number. The writers also paid attention to the little things. Like Gin and Hotaru ‘holding hands’ using a cloth. Or the watermelon scene with Hotaru and her uncle. The movie gives us glimpses in Hotaru’s other life, back at home. How it is moving forward both in school and relationships. But Gin stays the same old Gin. Though most would describe the movie as a supernatural romance, I felt it was more about ….letting people go. The harsh reality that this dream like friendship couldn’t possibly last forever.
The movie spends enough time letting the audience get attached to the characters building up to the climax all in a very simple set up. The story flows smoothly. And yeah, even though I associated this movie with Casper the friendly ghost just now, this movie has had a deeper impact. Its not about having fun pulling pranks on people. But the implications faced by one who really wishes to be something he isn’t. Both characters struggle with the hard truth. And I have to say, the characters got over the ending much better than I did.