Anime Review: Hotarubi no Mori e (Touch Him Not!)

(Written by: Yuki Modorikawa Directed by: Takahiro Omori Released date: September 17, 2011 Length: 44 minutes Genre: Romance, Supernatural)
(Written by: Yuki Modorikawa
Directed by: Takahiro Omori
Released date: September 17, 2011
Length: 44 minutes
Genre: Romance, Supernatural)


Six-year old Hotaru Takegawa gets lost in the forest one summer, only to meet a masked-wearing, teenage-bodied Gin, who claim to be a forest spirit. Gin reveals that humans cannot touch him, nor can he do it himself. Otherwise, he will disappear.

Gin then helped her find her way out of the forest. She came back the day after, bringing some snacks for the two of them. Their second meeting was followed by another, and then the next. Amidst their differences, they manage to establish their friendship. From then on, summer was never the same for Hotaru. 

Summer meant going back to the province, which means, seeing Gin again. 


Okay, so we’ll make this quick and simple. The film’s short, running around 44 minutes only, and the story is easy to follow. But more importantly, you can easily sympathize with the characters (and relate to the story eventually).

This isn’t the type of anime for those who are looking for a thick, witty and tightly-knitted plot line. Nor is this good for those who are looking for genres other than supernatural and romance. (Although, I’d still recommend it.)

As I’ve said, it’s SIMPLE. That simple. 


But it’s that type of simplicity that makes you feel like, ‘Wow..that’s cute.’ or maybe that kind that makes you wonder, ‘That’s it?’

Despite the short length, I’d say that it successfully narrated the story in a lovely, cute and forest-spirit-kind of way. It’s something straight from the writer’s imagination but one that portrays a real human experience on it.

The character of Hotaru for instance is a portrayal of development. From her first meeting with Gin during childhood, up to the time when Gin actually thought of her as a ‘woman’, we’ve seen how her like, which eventually turned to love, for the forest spirit has remained. 


It tells us something about growth – that while we grow older, there are things in the past, intangible things most especially, which cannot be forgotten.

Gin’s character on the other hand is a story of waiting and longing. He doesn’t seem to grow old. Even if Hotaru’s features changed over the years, he looked as young as he did the first time they met. So you can just imagine how he might have felt about it.

Plus, he will have to wait for summer season before he can once again hang out with his valued human friend. And yet you never hear him complain. He never said it, but watching their encounter every summer brings in you this sort of strange feeling that says, ‘Finally…’ and you can’t just help but be happy for them.


For those who are looking for a sweet, tender and short story, you’ll have to watch this film! It’s worth your 44 minutes!

RATINGS: In a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, Hotarubi no Mori e is a tender 9!


The ending can be heartbreaking so watch it now and comment your thoughts after!


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