Anime-style ‘Red Riding Hood’ tale combines beautiful scenery, mystery

Red Riding Hood should’ve met THIS guy in the woods  

J. Du Gan, Lead Graphic Designer

Young Hotaru has a special bond with the mysterious being she meets in the forest.

Hotarubi no Mori e, originally written as a novel by Yuki Midorikawa, is a movie I watch a lot. It’s truly one of my favorites. The story begins with young Hotaru. One day, as she was doing her normal summerly visit to her uncle’s hut in the forests of Japan, she wandered deep into the woods and got lost. She walked around for countless hours, calling out for help.

After a little while, a tall, white-haired man stepped out from behind a tree and answered her calls. She was scared at first, but a few seconds later she ran toward the man, but he stepped away before she could touch him. The story goes on to tell how the relationship between Hotaru and the mysterious man, grows as she visits the woods every summer.

So, what’s to like about this movie?

I enjoyed the voice acting a lot. The script was very well written and spoken, and their words pulled me in, making me want to watch it more. Hotaru’s voice actor, Sakura Ayane used her well-rounded voice to show Hotaru as she grew, the cycle blossoming into a beautiful array of words. voice actor, Uchiyama Kouki, stars as  the mysterious white-haired man in the forest. In my opinion, he had the perfect voice to match the mysterious ways and acts of the character you will come to know as Gin.

I loved everything about this movie. The scenes were beautiful, some bringing tears to my eyes. The visuals were astounding, the artist’s style capturing the true beauty of Japan’s forests.

A teenaged Hotaru shares a special moment while at a parade in honoring fallen loved ones.

This movie taught me a lot, especially about not taking what I have for granted, and to be happy for what I have.

Who would love this movie?

People who are into heartbreaking, dramatic, and meaningful types of movies would enjoy this movie plenty. I would recommend this movie to anyone who wouldn’t mind shedding a tear. On the other hand, if you don’t like having to read subtitles, or sitting through a sad story, this movie is not for you.

This movie is rated G for all ages. I absolutely adored this movie with all of my being, and hopefully you might too.

I would give this movie a solid 10/10 rating.

Janessa Du Gan is in the eighth grade. She is a graphic designer for RO:In The Know, and is an aspiring visual artist and novel writer.