I came across this animated film on Youtube known as Hotarubi no Mori e (translated to read as ‘Into the Forest of Fireflies Light’), based on a shoujo manga written by Yuki Midorikawa. The film is quite a short one, running to about 40 minutes long. It was beautifully made, with a touching storyline that is accompanied by artwork reminiscent of Miyazaki’s work.
This is a ill-fated supernatural romance story about a girl called Hotaru who meets a masked spirit, Gin, in the mountains when she was six years old one summer. She got lost in the mountains while visiting her uncle, met Gin who led her out of the mountains. They become friends. Gin has a spell cast on him which would cause him to disappear if he touches a human being. Hotaru visits him every summer till she reaches teenage-hood and they fall in love, always careful not to touch each other. Without giving away spoilers, I would just say that the ending was heart-wrenching, not unexpected but still terribly sad, and it is a good thing that the story does not linger on. It came swiftly and before the tears hit you, the film ends. Then you rewind the last three minutes and watch it all over again.
I really loved the anime film and looked for the manga to read afterwards. Glad that the anime follows the manga very closely. Ah, it was such a satisfying piece of work to watch. I will probably check out some of Yuki Midorikawa’s other mangas soon.