This movie can basically be summed up as “man, white haired anime boys ruining your life.”
I mean, I really don’t know what we were expecting, though. The entire premise is a relationship where touching the dude kills him. You know it’s going to end badly. They literally don’t belong in the same world.
But even so, the entire time, you’re screaming, “YOU FOOLS! Please don’t do this to us. Please don’t do this to yourselves. BE HAPPY. STOP FALLING IN LOVE. Or break the spell! Break the spell and touch him and live happily ever after and, and–” continue to devolve into crying.
…yeah. Why were we expecting a happy ending again?
Oh, that’s right. Because we want to cheer for Hotaru. We want her relationship with Gin to be more than just happily frolicking under the summer sun. Since this is a story that is solely focused on the relationship between these two characters, all we really see is how much that relationship has affected the other. The movie is like a glimpse into what-could-have-been. In a different dimension, in a different world, they could have been each other’s forever. They could have never met. Instead, and perhaps most tragically, they’re stuck right in the middle. Hotaru will go on for the rest of her life, comparing every boy she meets to Gin, except none of them will match up because none of them are a forest spirit who defined her entire childhood.
The movie isn’t tragic just become some dumb boy died. It feels tragic because the death of Gin marks the end of Hotaru’s childhood. It is the dissolution of her youthful dreams and a harsh reminder that everything must come to an end. On Gin’s side, it is tragic because he never had the chance to experience much of what life had to offer–love, uncertainty, independence. Just as he was beginning to understand the world outside the mountain forest, it all came to an end. His tragedy was the untapped potential of a life not fully lived.
On the whole, though, it is a touching story. It’s meant to make you feel and perhaps not take everything for granted. Hotaru’s choice to move on with her life instead of grieving endlessly for Gin is one of the most painful and heart-wrenching decisions she could have made–and also the most mature one. And personally, I find it interesting when not every story has the fairy tale ending (though I could have forgiven that for this one………).
Be warned if you decide to watch it, though. White haired anime boys will ruin your life.
I give 8.75/10 (145.47 on enjoyment scale). Now excuse me while I sob into a pillow and find some fix-it fanfiction.
P.S. : “Reviews”, such as this one, are filed under Animu Thinks and Thoughts because I don’t like doing the traditional anime review where I ramble about story, characters, sound, art, blah. I just want to talk about the things that stood out to me, whether that’s good, bad, or in between.