Kaushik here, back to review an anime movie this week. This time it’s the recently released (on blu-ray) film Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki. The movie came to theaters in Japan in July of 2012, and made its way to home releaes (in Japan) on February of 2013. The way this work first came to my eye was actually the manga adaptation of the movie. I didn’t realize that the manga was based off a movie at first until I researched the manga a little bit. Considering how much I enjoyed the content and subject matter of the manga, of course I was going to check out the source material, the movie.
Since the genre of this movie is slice of life, the plot isn’t a big focus. The main character of this story is a young woman named Hana, who meets a young man during her university years. Of course, the two of them fall in love and begin living together. There’s one little catch: he’s a wolf man. Not really like a werewolf, but more like someone who’s a wolf and a man at the same time. He just assumes whichever form is more useful to him at the time. While Hana met him as a man, the first night they had sex he showed her that he was also a wolf, but Hana accepted him for being who he was.
Eventually the two of them have two children, first a girl called Yuki, and then a boy called Ame. For a short while, the family of four live quite happily together. Unfortunately, a terrible accident forces Hana to raise the two children by herself, and that’s the bulk of the movie. The trials and tribulations of a single woman raising two children by herself sound difficult, but throw in the fact that these children are also wolves makes things a hell of a lot more complicated.
Since there was no way for Hana to keep a secret like her wolf children for long, she decided to move to the countryside to raise her children far from prying eyes. But as they grow up, Hana and the children have to make a choice. Will they grow up as wolves, or as humans?
The main character in this movie is Hana, the young girl who would give up anything for her kids. Considering the events that occur to her early on, Hana is forced to grow up very quickly in order to care for her children. And even though she’s the “adult”, there’s a lot of times she doesn’t quite know what to do. Still, Hana has this cute motto of smiling no matter what, and it’s that kind of attitude that manages to push her through. That, and the love of her children. By the end of the movie, she felt like somewhat of a pitiable character. Her entire life was for and about her children, and while a mother’s love is sweet to see, the lengths she goes to for her kids are astounding.
Hana’s children, Ame and Yuki, could not be more different. The way the two of their characters develop over the course of the movie is perhaps the most interesting part of this movie, since a major theme of this movie is whether the children will grow up as humans or wolves. As children, Yuki is the more active of the two. She’s a wild girl, and definitely a tomboy. She also changes into her wolf form quite often, whenever she feels like it. To contrast, Ame is a more shy character, prone to staying in his human form. He’s quiet and contemplative, and a little bit clingy with his older sister.
The art and animation for this movie are quite pretty. Particularly when Hana moves to the countryside, and a lot of more natural backdrops show up. They look gorgeous. On the flip side however, the character designs feel quite bland and even almost out of place, but I got used to that as I continued to watch the movie. As far as the score is concerned, I had no complaints. There were some nice tracks in the movie, but over all I don’t think the sound track was amazing.
— Interesting character development
— Sweet story about a mother’s love for her children
— The scenery looks very pretty!
— Over all not an amazing movie, simply above average
— Character designs feel bland
Studio: Studio Chizu, Madhouse
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Character design: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto
Music: Takagi Masakatsu
Original run: Released in theaters July 21, 2012. Home video release February 20, 2013
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