Hotarubi no Mori e
Hotarubi no Mori e is a one-shot shōjo manga written by Yuki Midorikawa. It was published in the July 2002 issue of LaLa DX in Japan, and in July 2003 it was reprinted in a tankōbon short story collection of the same name, which included four romantic one-shot stories written by Midorikawa. Hotarubi no Mori e tells the story of a young girl named Hotaru and her friendship with Gin, a strange young man wearing a mask, who she meets at the age of six in a mountain forest near her grandfather's country home. Hotaru learns that her friend is supernatural and that touching Gin will cause him to disappear forever. Hotaru returns every summer to spend time with Gin, and their relationship matures as both struggle with its limitations. The inspiration to write the story came suddenly to Midorikawa, who immediately drew the manga—a process that went smoothly despite some initial conflicting elements. Hotarubi no Mori e is considered a starting point for Midorikawa's best-known work, Natsume's Book of Friends.