The story of Hotori: Tada Saiwai o Koinegau follows a young robot boy named Suzu and his blossoming friendship with a girl named Hotori. Suzu was created to become a boy named Ryou (a boy who had passed away) and thus has been undergoing various psychological experiments in order for him to gain Ryou's memories. This, of course, takes a toll on Suzu as the brain can only handle so many memories at a time. Meanwhile, Hotori is having the opposite problem: her memories are disappearing. Although the disease she suffers from is never named, it's almost like a very slow form of amnesia. The contrast between the two and the middle ground they find together is the cornerstone of the anime.
For only 40 minutes, this anime packs a punch. It didn't have much time to get its message across - and it definitely could've dived into some deeper subjects that happen later on - but it is definitely a short film worth watching. After all, it's only 40 minutes and it won't be a waste of your time whatsoever.
The animation was a little nostalgic for me, actually. It reminded me a lot of the older anime, back before CGI took over and everything began to look the same. It's not necessarily stunning and there weren't any scenes that stood out to me in particular, but it was well-done and easy on the eyes.
The sound was pretty lovely. The score was somewhat sad throughout most of the anime, which suited the theme and message perfectly. It was an above-average soundtrack. There's honestly nothing more to say here.
The characters were pretty slim. We really only have Suzu and Hotori to dissect and we only have them for 40 minutes of screen time, so giving them a proper rating is a bit difficult. From what I saw, they were likable, interesting and as flesh-out as could be. I wish that we had gotten more backstory on Hotori and I wish we had gotten to see the ramifications of some of Suzu's decisions later on, but...well... once again, we're only given forty minutes.
Overall, I wouldn't call this a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. A masterpiece would have been able to "wow" me within the 40 minute time slot provided. But...while this didn't necessarily blow me away, I did enjoy it and I did enjoy what it set out to do. If you have a bit of free time and want to watch a short - yet meaningful - anime, I'd definitely give this one a go.
*This review was written for the Daily Anime Marathon Club (DAMC). Check it out!*