After her parents separated, eleven-year-old Miyori was left in the care of her grandparents who live in the countryside, where she lives a lonely and solemn life. While exploring the woods one day near the village, Miyori comes across a giant cherry tree and meets the spirits of the forest. They tell her that she is the guardian of the forest, a role that Miyori stubbornly does not wish to fill - that is, until she learns that a dam is being built, and it threatens to submerge her home and the home of the spirits! With the help of her new woodland friends and classmates, Miyori hatches a plan to save her new home...
Please note: Spoilers abound.
I feel a little ambivalent about Miyori no Mori. I saw it primarily as a cute fantasy jaunt through the woods, and in this sense it achieved its goal more or less effectively. The morals and questions it explores are approached in a classic manner, but ultimately I feel that a few details keep Miyori no Mori from being as good as it perhaps could have been.
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Miyori no Mori