Hotarubi no Mori e

Alt title: To the Forest of Firefly Lights

If you're looking for anime similar to Hotarubi no Mori e, you might like these titles.

Natsume's Book of Friends

Natsume's Book of Friends

Natsume is lonely; he has an ability that separates him from others: he can see and interact with spirits. Soon, however, Natsume discovers that he’s not alone: his grandmother Reiko also had the gift. But things get hectic and possibly dangerous for Natsume when he finds out that he also inherited the 'Book of Friends', a book that contains the names of all the spirits Reiko defeated and subjugated. He finds himself hounded by his grandmother's underlings and, with the help of a 'cat' charm spirit, decides to free them from the Book's shackles, as well as protect the book from those who seek to misuse its power...

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Reasons you might like Natsume's Book of Friends...

AkaXIII AkaXIII says...

If you liked the anime Natsume Yuujinchou or Hotarubi no Mori e. Can I certainly did not imagine anything other than you also will like the other one! Both are very similar. Understood in this way, there are supernatural beings. both are in the relaxing pace and touching too.

Destifate Destifate says...

Where to beign..

Firstly, I'm pretty sure the voice actor who plays Gin is the same as Natsume's for a start! Secondly, everything about this anime feels great, it makes you feel warm inside watching it which is exactly what Natsume Yuujinchou will do to you!

You also have the spirits etc but that isn't that important xD!

Both these are great animes to watch just before bed when you want something peaceful to end the day with, quite the tearjerkers as well so be preapred!

bokusenou bokusenou says...

Both are based on manga by the same author, and animated by the same company. Hotarubi was written before Natsume, but it's almost as if it was a Natsume one-shot.

chii chii says...

Do you love series about supernatural beings that only one person can see? Both these titles deliver on that. Natsume is much longer (4 seasons worth) than Hotarubi but both give off the same slow paced dramatic feel no matter how many episodes there are. The only difference between these 2 shows is that Hotarubi has a romantic plot to it. Check them out!

kitsune89 kitsune89 says...

Soft animation, haunting music, heart-wrenching story. To those of you who like bitter-sweet stories about humans and yokai, I highly recommend this. Be prepared for a journey full of surprises that you will not forget too soon. 

elliottmarshal elliottmarshal says...

Hotarubi no Mori e and Natsume Yuujinchou are written by Yuki Midorikawa and published by Brain's Base studio so it's not surprising that both are very similar. Both Natsume and Hotarubi are stories about humans interactin with yokai. Both stories tug at your heartstrings (I've cried during both) so don't forget to bring tissues with you when watching!

c00kiedough c00kiedough says...

Both were written by the same mangaka and have the same underlying concepts of spirits; but most importantly, both animes give you the same heartwarming feeling when you watch one or the other. So if you liked one, you'd likely come to like the other!

Kamaitachi Kamaitachi says...

Both are slow-paced dramas that have to do with ayakashi, written and animated by the same people even.

On top of this, both animes will touch your heart, I know both  got me choked up to the point of almost crying or actually crying on multiple occasions.

snivets snivets says...

Two gentle-spirited anime which involve humans and spirits, Hotarubi no Mori e and Natsume Yuujinchou will definitely appeal to audiences who enjoy slice-of-lifes with a supernatural touch.

Sowal Sowal says...

japanese... ghosts (?) living in forests, some out of them are scarung , some are nice...

Great stories about ppl living at the border between people's and ghosts worlds

It's not needed to say more :) 

AnnaSartin AnnaSartin says...

Lovely, slow-paced tales of a human's experience with the youkai world. Both are emotional and well done.

Rin27 Rin27 says...

Two brilliant anime about a simple life but with a touch of the supernatural. Spirits play an important role in both of these incredible stories, not in a way that makes them seem dangerous but more in a simple, light hearted way.

Both these stories will also show some impressive character development, which is quite nice and certainly a great achievement, especially for Hotarubi no Mori e, since it's a movie.

These anime won't let you go from beginning to end and will let you experience a truly amazing story.

LadyPsychic LadyPsychic says...

Both anime have Japanese mythology themes, similar art styles, and a similar vibe.  Both also have plenty of "feels".  Though Hotarubi no Mori e has romance while Natsume Yuujinchou does not (not to metion that Natsume Yuujinchou is alot longer), fans of one will most likely like the other. 

hamletsmage hamletsmage says...

Spirits, country setting, and a young protagonist that suddenly becomes involved in the spirit realm. The slow pacing really brings these two anime together. If you're wanting some more quiet spirit time, check out the other half of this pair.

FullmetalDragon FullmetalDragon says...

Lots of supernatural stuff going on. Both are seriously adorable, and if you like one you'll probably like the other too! 

NatiBerry NatiBerry says...

Un hermoso pueblo entre las montañas de Japon y grandes valores de amistad entre seres del bosque

subparalien subparalien says...

Both involve spirits and have a really gentle feel. The animation style is also very similar. Personally, I enjoy the pacing of both. They both move relatively slowly, allowing time for character development.

Chocochip Chocochip says...

they are both simple shows with spirits. both shows focus on the relationship of humans and spirit though/

Spirited Away

Spirited Away

Chihiro and her family are on their way to their new home, when they discover an abandoned amusement park. After Chihiro's family mysteriously turn into pigs, she is thrown into a surreal world of magic and fantasy. Join her as she struggles to survive in the bathhouse of the gods, ruled by an evil witch who has stolen not only her name, but her way back to the real world.

12 votes

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Reasons you might like Spirited Away...

ibjilln ibjilln says...

If you liked Hotarubi no Mori e you would definitely like Spirited Away.They both have a lot of the same elements, namely a human 'infringing' on the spirit world, youkai and a curse. Hotarubi moves at a slower pace than does Spirited Away, however, in my opinion it is like a different version of Spirited Away but set for an older audience. Either way if you enjoyed Hotarubi no Mori e you will definitely enjoy Spirited Away and vice versa!

bobell bobell says...

Im surprised more people arent agreeing with this. I specifically set out to find anime movies like that of Hayo Miyazakis Spirited Away and found Hotarubi no Mori E.I agree with everything ibjilln has said. The art work in each movie is equally beautiful in their own way. Spirited Away is more imaginative and quick paced compared to Hotarubi no Mori E but they both have humans entering a spirit world, a pure and innocent companionship thats bittersweet, and a curse.

shikikywketsuki shikikywketsuki says...

both of these are amazing in there own way but they both have alot of similarities. both have a hidden love story where a human falls in love with a spirt and beautiful characters and story line. as well as that both of these are a must watch!

Fargo Fargo says...

Both of these movies are about a human girl who comes into contact with spirits by chance and begins a journey that will forever change their lives. To The Forest of Fireflies is a little more mature with a bittersweet focus on life and its circumstances while Spirited Away is a fun, hearty romp for the whole family.

Larkawolfgirl Larkawolfgirl says...

Spirited Away is also about a young girl and her travel into the Spirit World. Similar to Hotarubi, spirits come in different shapes and sizes. Both have a small plot and are somewhat slow-paced. POSSIBLE SPOILER: The endings are also similar. 

Borzoi64 Borzoi64 says...

Although less romantic than Hotarubi no Mori e, Spirited Away is a fantastic journey into the world of Yokai. It's filled with as much flavour and child-like wonder as you would expect from a Miyazaki film.

almostapeach almostapeach says...

I really believe that if you like one, you will like the other. They both take place among spirits and leave you with a similar feeling. I really love both movies and I hope you will too <3

ApolloLight ApolloLight says...

Both the movies are based on human interacting with sprits and other creatures in mutiple way i think if a peoson lived either movie they will like the other one as well.

morgangleave morgangleave says...

They are both lovely films, but with slightly diffent tones. Hotarubi no Mori e is a little darker, but both make you smile.

KawaiiKenzie11 KawaiiKenzie11 says...

Both of the main   Protagonist are girls and they both deal with the problem and find love along the way. The supernatural boys both have the same feel to them and I really enjoyed them! 

subparalien subparalien says...

Both involve spirits. Spirited Away has significantly more plot and character development, but Hotarubi no Mori e is very sweet. The animation style also has a lot of similarities. In many ways, you get to watch the female lead of both movies grow up, although the movies use different mechanisms to accomplish this. 

Hotarubi no Mori e tells a very straightforward story about a girl getting to know one particular 'spirit.'

Leahchu Leahchu says...

Both movies feature a young female protagonist lost in a place surrounded by demons and other spiritual entities. They are found by a helpful yet mysterious boy who gets them to safety, yet the girl keeps being drawn back towards the boy time and time again. In the end neither boy is as simple as they seem and its only with the girl's help that they can rid themselves on their own inner conflicts. Also both movies have a tendancy to cause a few waterworks.  

Mushishi

Mushishi

It isn't unusual for a person to feel that the world around them is strange and has unexpected secrets lying just beyond their sight. However, for most people this is just an occasional sensation that greets them upon awakening or chases them into sleep. For the mushi researcher Ginko, it isn't a feeling at all; it is a knowledge which guides his travels and motivates his life. Found in the cracks between what is conceivable and what is not, are the varied life forms collectively known as mushi. They surround us and affect us, but their intensely different nature makes them unrecognizable to most. Ginko brings these life forms into perspective for the lives of those most affected and most in need of an explanation.

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Reasons you might like Mushishi...

WinterSnowfall WinterSnowfall says...

Apparitions and the spirit world, with all its strange rules, wonders and beautifully told stories, is a main theme in both anime, though Horatubi no Mori e is essentially romantic and Mushishi is equally spiritual.

Sianeka Sianeka says...

If you liked Hotarubi no Mori e or Mushishi, I recommend you check out the other because both of these poignant and touching anime will grab your heart. Hotarubi is a bittersweet movie that tells of a friendship that grows between a spirit and a girl which develops into something more.  Mushishi is an episodic series involving the encounters a research scientist has with beings not of this world, and often these meetings resonate and stir the emotions.  The slower pace of both anime evokes a sense of nostalgia, and they both will reach out and pluck at your feelings.  If you saw one and liked it, be sure to check out the other.

loremar loremar says...

They kinda have a similar atmosphere in it. Ginko and Gin being having white hair. Also being slow pace, you'll find the characters walking in the mountain and interacting with a supernatural environment in a laidback sort of atmosphere.

LovelyOne LovelyOne says...

The  beautiful, quiet scenery and the mood of Mushishi (all seasons), and Hotarubi no Mori e are very similar. Both are emotionally moving with stories that will grab you, and keep you watching. They are intelligent and thought provoking with a little mystery in play.  If you love one, you will love the other. I can't recommend enough trying them both.

SSmith1014 SSmith1014 says...

Both Hotarubi no Mori e and Mushishi have that beautiful mystical quality that comes from Shintoism and spectacular animation. Another great aspect of both is the ability to condense a story with substanial depth into an episode that lasts 30-40 minutes- which is a big deal. 

Rin27 Rin27 says...

Both anime revolve around spirits in a way, Hotarubi no Mori e in a more romance and light hearted fashion and Mushishi in a bit more serious manner.

They do have a lot of things in common though, like the journey style storytelling for that matter. Both will tell a story that will stick with you for a while.

If you watched Hotarubi no Mori e you might just want to check out Mushishi if you're in for a more serious and episodic tale about spirits. And if you watched the latter than you might also like Hotarubi no Mori e.

subparalien subparalien says...

The pacing of both is very slow and gentle. Hotarubi no Mori e tells a story with a very simple and straightforward plot. Mushi Shi does not have much of an overarching plot, although the character's backstory is slowly revealed in later episodes.

5 Centimeters per Second

5 Centimeters per Second

Although today Tono Takaki and Shinohara Akari live far apart due to a family move shortly after elementary school, they were once two shy young students brought together by their shared differences from their peers. It is because of this that the two built a bond of closeness between them that still survives through their continued correspondence, even over such a distance. Secretly they both fear the loss of this bond over time, and for this reason they arrange a meeting between just the two of them. The journeys both of them take in their minds and in their lives create an atmosphere of intense emotional upheaval, but also a sense of peace. It is a twist of fate and a series of decisions that put the two in place to carry what they choose of their pasts into the future they will create for themselves.

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Reasons you might like 5 Centimeters per Second...

eitomakesmesmile eitomakesmesmile says...

Even though their contents aren't that similar, with Hotarubi no Mori e being more fantasy-like as compared to 5 Centimeters per Second, the themes that these two shorts have are the same.

Both revolve on theme of longing, on wanting to meet someone they like but have trouble doing so.

Also, both have easy-to-relate-to characters and a moving plot that will most likely move you to tears.

If you like one of them, you'll definitely love the other.

JohnWatchAnime JohnWatchAnime says...

Both anime are about romance and are slowpaced. They have a similar vibe and were both really enjoyable to watch. however 5 centimeters per second has a little more drama/sadness.

Fargo Fargo says...

These movies show the gradual process of relationships changing over time, focusing on both love and separation. A bittersweet atmosphere accompanies both titles and opens a perspective on how one cannot help life's circumstances at times.

YuiYui YuiYui says...

Both of these anime are very slow-paced and are set around a boy and a girls long distance relationship. Both stories focus' on the hardships for these two to be together and so on. Anyway in the end they are both pretty similar, the only main difference is that Hotarubi is a more fantasy whereas 5cm per second is a more of a realilty based anime. Never-the-less both are really good anime you need to watch if you liked on you should like the other.

Ailly Ailly says...

While 5 Centimeters per Second and Hotarubi no Mori e are on opposite sides of the realism spectrum, the feel and themes of these two movies are very alike. They both also feature some stunning background visuals and a nice music track. If you like somewhat more slow-paced and bittersweet love stories, you should check these out.

kristrex kristrex says...

Both of them are movies, and are quite slow paced. They have an amaing soundtrack and the atmosphere of both movies is quite light hearted and easy to watch. Both are also a little bittersweet towards the end, and both tell a really good love story. They're also good if you don't want to spend a lot of time watching a whole anime series, as they are both movies.

selvi selvi says...

hotarubi no mori e and 5 cm per second have this particular genre of romance anime that will make you feel the air in your lungs bring back such nostalgic things on every inhale you make. *sigh

Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress

Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress

Hamaji, a young huntress from the mountains, stumbles into the middle of a shogun's vendetta against a group of human and dog hybrids - the Fuse. Rumors of Fuse murdering innocent people in the bustling city of Edo have sparked a bounty for their heads. Hamaji joins the hunt for this dangerous quarry along with her brother, but after accidentally befriending one of them, Hamaji is torn between two worlds: her life as a self-reliant huntress, and the young woman her new friend has helped her to uncover.

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Reasons you might like Fuse: Memoirs of a Huntress...

Karasune Karasune says...

A young human girl meets a mysterious abnormal boy who hides behind a mask. Both share gorgeous animation, dramatic moments, and bittersweet feelings from beginning to end. Hotarubi no Mori e focuses more on romance while Fuse is a bit bloody and violent at times, but I feel like fans of one could appreciate the other to some extent. 

snivets snivets says...

Hotarubi no Mori e and Fuse Teppou Musume no Torimonochou have in common the relationship between a masked supernatural being and a normal girl. Although Fuse Teppou has a slightly more action-packed (and violent) atmosphere, both shows have themes of human connection and bittersweet relationships.

YuiYui YuiYui says...

A human girl meets a not so normal boy, these two anime are pretty similar if you think about it. Hotarubi is about a girl who meets a boy behind a mask and Fuse Teppou Musume no Torimomochou is about a boy who hides behind a mask as well. The fantasy aspect of both of these anime is pretty similar and the storylines and quite similar. Both are cute stories and I believe if you liked one you should like the other.

hamletsmage hamletsmage says...

A young girl comes to live in a new place and immediately meets a mysterious masked boy. With beautiful settings and a bittersweet romance, these animes feel very similar. The best part of these anime is that are rooted in Japanese folklore. 

KawaiiKenzie11 KawaiiKenzie11 says...

I love this movie! The art styles are kinda the same and j really enjoyed how the protagonists developed! The male characters are both going through a problem ant the girls try to fix it with love! I really love both the movies and you will too

My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro

Satsuki, her younger sister Mei and their father have just moved to their new home in the countryside, where grand adventures await them. One day while playing outside in the garden Mei encounters a small creature and decides to follow it. After chasing it through the bushes Mei eventually finds herself at the base of a large Camphor tree and as she drops through a hole in its roots, she lands on the stomach of a large, sleeping forest spirit named Totoro. The two sisters befriend the gentle spirit and are soon introduced to a world more fantastical than they could ever imagine, from playing with soot spirits to meeting a Catbus, to flying through the air and even making the trees grow. However when Mei disappears, Satsuki must call on the help of her new friends if she wants any hope of being able to find her sister...

4 votes

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Reasons you might like My Neighbor Totoro...

PorcupineHead PorcupineHead says...

Both  are very similar slow-paced and beautiful anime movies where a girl finds a friend Youkai (or forest spirit), althrough Hotarubi has sadder ending.

snivets snivets says...

Totoro and Hotarubi no Mori e are slow-paced, gentle anime. Both revolve around young human girls who become friends with a forest spirit.

YuiYui YuiYui says...

Both are slow-placed anime and have many elements of fantasy. Both have the same idea about a girl meeting a forest spirit of some sort. Also in both have elements that could be considered slice of life. The only real difference is that My neighbour Totoro focus' on a different sort of love compared to Hotarubi no Mori e. But I still think that if you liked one you should like the other.

kikidarko kikidarko says...

Both stories are about spirits in the woods, and each has a beautiful Japanese countryside setting (lovely forests in each). They each focus on friendships between humans and spirits and have similar moods throughout the movie.

Hal

Hal

Hal and Kurumi used to be lovers with dreams and aspirations, until one day a tragic plane crash tore them apart forever. To help mend his grieving granddaughter’s heart, an old man sends his android, Q01, to take Hal’s place and help Kurumi move on. But doing so won’t be easy, for Kurumi is resistant, and the android Hal will slowly come to realize the truth about the pair’s relationship...

3 votes

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Reasons you might like Hal...

Sianeka Sianeka says...

I'm not making this recommendation because these movies match thematically, because they don't. Hal is a move about the loss of someone beloved to you and Hotarubi no Mori e is about a childhood friendship.

Nay, I recommend these together because they are emotionally tied. Both are beautifully animated poignant and moving films that tug on the bittersweet heartstring and either will leave your emotions touched tenderly. Both evoke feelings of wistfulness and yearning. If you enjoyed either movie, the other will surely summon a similar feeling for you.

snivets snivets says...

Along with great visuals, Hal and Hotarubi no Mori e both tell bittersweet tales of a romantic relationship between a human and a non-human. Despite some thematic differences, I think fans of one would enjoy the other.

Starsamantha95 Starsamantha95 says...

Having watched these two films which almost left me in a state of tears - Hal is about a boy who goes to help a girl have a normal life once more. The boy is left feeling conflicted about the other and tries to help her in anyway he can (trying to feed her and clean up) however making blunders along the way. In Hotarubi no Mori e there is a boy who helps a girl escape a forest and go home. However not being able to touch her means troubles tend to arrise ( her falling out of a tree).  Both films at the end leave a bittersweet taste inside your mouth because their only intimate moments are followed by sadness. 

Honestly these films are some of the best films I have ever seen and I'd fully recommend to at least see them once. I hope you enjoy both of these films as much as I did. :)

Kamisama Kiss

Kamisama Kiss

Nanami used to live in a ramshackle apartment with her father - a man who spent half his time gambling and the other half hiding from debt collectors - until one day the scoundrel ran away, leaving his daughter hungry and homeless. That is, until she meets a mysterious stranger in the park who deems her the new goddess of a local shrine! Unfortunately, Nanami’s new home is occupied by Tomoe, a fox familiar who objects to the presence of a mere mortal and immediately begins to bicker with the girl. If she can manage to form a contract with the troublesome man, he’ll be obligated to accept and help her perform her duties. But there’s a catch: Nanami has to kiss him first, and who’d want to lock lips with that awful guy?!

3 votes

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Reasons you might like Kamisama Kiss...

SSmith1014 SSmith1014 says...

There's a notable difference: Hotarubi no Mori e is full of hurts and Kamisama Hajimemashita is, in its essence, a comedy. However, both have the yokai/human relationship and the theme of bridging the gap between the human and spirit worlds. Hotarubi has a markedly more detailed animation style with nature as the focal point. Kamisama has a sub and a dub version and both are equally as good (which is sometimes not the case.) I highly recommend the dub for any J. Michael Tatum fans out there. I would watch Hotarubi and follow it directly with Kamisama to negate the sad feels. 

Amzillaa Amzillaa says...

Based on Japanese folklore and dare I say, romance. The romance in these two isn't suffocating and although one is comedy based and the other drama, I think you'd greatly enjoy them.

FullmetalDragon FullmetalDragon says...

Both series focus heavily on the supernatural, with a cute and subtle romance bubbling underneath. 

When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There

When shy, artistic Anna moves to the seaside to live with her aunt and uncle, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes, and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws Anna back to the Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend.

3 votes

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Reasons you might like When Marnie Was There...

Karasune Karasune says...

A young girl takes a visit to her relatives quiet, rural home where she soon meets a mysterious, charming stranger who changes her life. She forms a special bond with this person, where they meet time and time again at the same location, but their relationship is soon tested by the stranger's unusual circumstances. Both are very warm, but sad movies that will touch your heart. 

minusha97 minusha97 says...

  • Both bring heartwarming story that will make you cry
  • Both have gerat animation you'll fall in love with
  • Both feature young heroine struggling with her identity
  • Both of them have friendship and overcoming insecurities as the main theme of the story
  • Both of them happen in countryside during the summer

kikidarko kikidarko says...

Both are very beautiful stories of a girl who visits a friend she creates a lasting bond with, but who she can't quite stay with forever. Each one gives a similar feeling of nostalgia and affection, even as a third party watching the movies, uninvolved in their lives. 

Voices of a Distant Star

Voices of a Distant Star

Nagamine is a young high school student who lives a fairly typical teenage life: hanging out with friends, attending class, and falling in love with a wonderful boy. But when she enlists in the galactic army, who is desperate for candidates to fight an alien war, she finds herself drifting farther away from her first love, Noboru. In the depths of space, where a simple email takes eight years to be delivered, will their love truly flourish, or simply fade away?

2 votes

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Reasons you might like Voices of a Distant Star...

Akeath Akeath says...

Both of these are short, moving animes about people whose circumstances keep them from the one they love. 

RaeBrooks RaeBrooks says...

Both are beautiful love stories with stuning animantion. In both stories you witness a great dealof time passing and it's effect on the couples. I was emontionly moved by both stories and coulpes.