English: Wolf Children
Synonyms: The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jun 25, 2012
Producers: Madhouse Studios, VAP, Dentsu, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation, FUNimation EntertainmentL, Kadokawa Shoten, Toho Company, Studio Chizu
Duration: 1 hr. 57 min.
Rating: G - All AgesL represents licensing company
Score: 8.931 (scored by 11895 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Oct 22, 2012
The story is both simple and elegant, with a well constructed plot that follows the above mentioned periods of a young family in a emotionally dynamic and charming manner, evoking joy and humour in equal measure, and just the right amount of melancholy and distress. This is helped by the endearing, often cute - in a fashion non-stereotypical of modern anime trends, and thus refreshing - and naturalistic characters (again, no ridiculous anime archetypes to be seen here really, and the one 'expy' in the film is a rather respectful and very amusing pastiche of Clint Eastwood). Indeed, despite the fact that the eponymous kids are indeed wolf-children, their stories are those of many a young person - the desires to fit in with society and conversely to take ones own path through life are explored in a counterbalanced fashion between the two siblings, which adds great depth to their intertwining tales. Even if we are too young to have experienced the hardships and joys of parenthood, or fortunate enough not to have experienced the loss of a spouse or parent at a young age, most of us will still likely relate in some way to the young lives of Ame and Yuki.
The elegance of the plot and tone of the story are complemented perfectly by the exquisite animation, which was in fact created in 3D and then augmented with 2D (apparently the opposite of the anime film norm). The effect is that the simple, familiar art style one might associate with a Ghibli production or Mamoru's other works is given that extra bit of depth, that touch more of aesthetic richness, and so when a scene that makes full use of the visuals comes along, one is treated to breath-taking feats of visual artistry, thus augmenting the whole experience as a whole. Underpinning all this is an equally impressive soundtrack, as well as superb sound design - I felt that the subtle crescendo of the rain in the first sequence in which Hana searches for a missing loved one was almost harrowing in its evocation of her growing despair. As a composer myself, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the effective use of interesting metres and rich textures throughout the movie, and thought the music did a great job emphasising and revealing the emotive nature of the film.
I saw the film in Edinburgh as part the Scotland Loves Anime festival, but because it had already aired in London last week, it was ineligible for that particular festival's award. If it had been, there is no doubt in my mind that it would have taken that home as well, for as a film (read: piece of visual art, as opposed to Otaku fan service) it was invariably better than all the others on offer. Indeed, it is without doubt one of the best animated films I have ever seen, on par with if not better than many of Ghibli's best efforts. I thus implore anyone who has read this and not seen it to go watch it at the first available and convenient opportunity. I'd be greatly surprised, and even perhaps worried, if it fails to warm you heart to at least half the degree that it did mine. read more
Apr 23, 2013
I have always been fascinated with parenting, though it’s a topic that is rarely portrayed in anime. It’s an experience that on end can bring a person to complete ruin to giving someone a very reason to exist on the other. It’s ironic how being a parent is one of the greatest challenges and hardships that a person can experience but yet nearly everyone is one or will be one. One of the main reasons for this is that no one can tell you exactly how to handle parenting specifically. There’s no step by step process to follow, raising no one child is ever the same, and experience is the only true way to approach/handle it.
Though the film has fantasy elements, do not let this dissuade you by any means. I myself am no expert on fantasy but I had some concerns that the characters would be unreal and not relatable to the viewer. Any preconceptions and doubts I had were disproved very early in the story.
Straight from the beginning we are shown the main character Hana, a normal college student dealing with the day to day tribulations, part-time, studying, etc. Then one day she starts taking notice to a certain someone in the classroom. Very soon she begins to instinctively fall in love with Ookami, our other main character, who she will soon find out is not entirely human. He is a werewolf, and the two children they have end up being the same.
Unfortunately for Hana, Ookami is no longer around and now she must learn how to raise her werewolf children alone. Later on the three move out into the country to effectively raise them without much unwanted human intervention. As they grow older, the two children, Yuki the elder daughter, and Ame, her little brother, begin going their separate ways in life. There is much conflict in the process but eventually Hana comes to accept whatever Ame and Yuki wish to do with their lives from there on.
The story with its interesting and unusual mix of genres is executed outstandingly. The fantasy and slice of life elements are mixed in a way that one genre doesn’t feel overpowered over the other, it’s very well balanced. Simply one genre alone could not have achieved the greatness that this masterpiece has.
I honestly had no intentions coming into this film that I would experience anything ground breaking with the visuals, but I received exactly that. The primary reason for this is that the animations are originally designed in 3D and then 2D effects are added onto it. The movement animations because of this innovative effects style are vibrant and surreal. The movement doesn’t simply resemble multiple frames moving in fast motion like in most anime. All the background scenery is breathtaking to look at, whether it be urban streets or lush forestry. The characters animations themselves are realistic and thoroughly balanced. The characters are clearly not favored toward any particular viewer type.
Despite all the other astounding accomplishments this awesome film has to offer, the characters are definitely where this movie shines the most, it’s almost blinding. If Ookami Kodomo were only to be told from one single perspective this movie wouldn’t have been half as good as it was. If it hadn’t been executed this way then the end result would be unbalanced with more time focused on only certain characters over others. Due to the multiple perspectives the story felt more wholly and comprehensible in the end as well.
You can tell the voice actors put their effort in to their performance, each character didn’t sound out of place or more expressive over the others. You could outright tell that the cast was chosen with extensive and attentive care, considering they’re all predominantly new and unknown voice actors. All the characters had equal screen time as well, in part due to narration by some characters early on for supplementary albeit vital info.
The sound is very well balanced and nothing sounds out of place. What else can I say, it’s what you can expect form an excellent movie.
This is the finest and most groundbreaking anime film or in fact any piece of anime I have ever seen. This list of admirable innovative aspects and features found throughout Ookami Kodomo are abundant. Others that aren’t are still executed excellently and by no means in any cliché style. This is a masterpiece that other future or forthcoming anime series/films should surely aspire to become.
Mar 10, 2013
Have you ever thought about how hard it is for a single mother to raise two children who are only a little more than a year apart? Well, I can tell you right now that’s it’s not as hard as raising two children who are only a year apart and part wolf!
Let me start off by saying that this is one of the best animated films that I’ve had the pleasure of watching. I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face for almost the entire film. If you’ve watched any of Mamoru Hosoda’s previous works (The Girl Who Leapt through Time, and Summer Wars) you can see that Mamoru has grown as a director, and learned some things from both of those movies that he put into Wolf Children. In The Girl Who Leapt through Time, Mamoru learned how to write believable characters. From Summer Wars, he learned how to focus on a large cast and make sure that they all were characterized in a well done manner, as well as showing a pretty accurate representation of a family. In Wolf Children, he puts all of those together to give us a small, well characterized family that is very, very believable.
Story – 10
Wolf Children starts us of by showing us the key main character, Hana, and how she fell in love with a wolf man she met during college. We then see her children being born, and how she raised them from birth, until Yuki and Ame are 11 and 10 respectively.
We see Hana trying to figure out how to deal with the fact that her children are part wolf. How can she keep it a secret? How should she raise wolf children? What should she do when they’re sick? She can’t take them to a doctor, because she’s scared that one of them may turn into a wolf during the diagnosis or even during regular checkups. It’s such an emotionally charged film that you can’t help but feel joy and sorrow at the same time Hana does. Not many films do that for me, and none have done it in such a way that Wolf Children did.
Visuals – 10
This is an amazingly animated movie. From the characters to the backgrounds, everything is beautiful. There’s a lot of CG around, mostly noticeable is the fact that a lot of the background characters are CG. Unlike a lot of CG in anime, I didn’t feel like it took me out of the immersion. It was tastefully done, for the most part, and not terribly noticeable in some scenes.
The backgrounds, though, are absolutely gorgeous. The mountains, the snow, the streams, the skies, everything, looked fantastic. As I was watching the movie, sometimes I wished I could just pause it so I could take in all the backgrounds had to offer (alas, I could not, due to first watching this movie in a theatre).
Characters - 10
Here’s where the movie really shines. The movie has a decently sized cast with the main three characters; Hana, Yuki, and Ame, getting the most attention. Hana is a single mother of three, and we see from her perspective what it’s like to be a single mother. I liked this, since most of the time you see how they grow up from the child’s perspective.
Hana is, in a word, human. She tries hard, works hard, wants the best for her children and doesn’t succeed all the time. That’s natural. It’s hard to care for two children (let alone wolf children) and be able to study while working a job. It is fantastic how well Mamoru was able to show us her hardships, and how she always continued no matter how tough it was.
Now let us talk about the children, Ame and Yuki. We get to see them from the moment they’re first born, and we continue to watch them grow until Ame is 10, and Yuki is 11. Over the course of these years, we see them (much like real children) start out one way, and change slowly over a realistic amount of time.
We see how Yuki, as a small child, would always turn into a wolf and go run around the house whenever she wanted, but learned slowly, as a child would, when it wasn’t acceptable to do that since she had to keep the fact that she’s a wolf a secret.
Ame is a small, reserved child and he dislikes being a wolf, since in all the picture books he reads the wolf is the bad guy and he just wants to live peacefully. He goes through some great character development over the course of the story, and Mamoru definitely knew what he was doing with the main cast in this film.
Overall, this gets a 10 from me. I can find next to no flaws with it, and it was masterfully done. I hope that Mamoru’s next work will be able to surpass this film, but I find it hard to believe.
To all the people who voted Helpful and Not Helpful, feedback is appreciated :) read more
Mar 9, 2013
So when I heard about Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki through its ridiculously high ranking on MAL, I wondered if this would yet again be a Hosada movie that I wouldn't care much for. In a lot of ways, I think Hosada still shows a lot of his weaknesses in previous films in this one, but he's improved a lot, and I'm glad to see one of the few films in anime that I've seen that has been focused on family. It was heartwarming, truly.
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (or Wolf Children: Ame and Yuki) tells the story of a single mother who, through her love with a werewolf, gives birth to two wolf children, Ame (who was born on a rainy day) and Yuki (guess what day she was born on?). The unoriginal names aside, the story describes their upbringing as the single mother, Hana, moves to the countryside to help them choose what kind of lives they want to lead. The life of a wolf? The life of a human? Both?
What really stands out to me is how Hana is portrayed. I think so often when we think about strong female leads in anime, they tend to have various strengths that stands at the forefront of their character. Balsa, Mokoto, or Revy might be recognized as strong just by their physical capabilities and also their mental fortitude (well...Revy less so I guess). Then you have the mysterious and intelligent female leads like Yuuko from xxxHOLiC or Senjougahara from Bakemonogatari. Just from a broad standpoint, a lot of these characters have had a defining trait that just stands out.
What's interesting is that Hana doesn't have any of these. She's not particularly smart, or strong, emotionally or physically. What she has though, is a determination to use all that's within her power to make the best environment for her kids, and that's something I could really respect about the film. It takes a relatively bland person, nobody particularly special, and gives her purpose, gives her a drive, and she uses everything within her power to make sure she can keep going. It feels real, and a strong point about this show is the emotions that it draws from the various struggles Hana goes through trying to help her kids grow up to be the people they want to be.
Another thing that was impressive was the growth the kids experienced. Kids in anime...or any medium really, tend to be incredibly annoying. They're loud, written poorly with bad lines, and in a lot of ways their voices can be ear sores too. But I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that the children were actually quite interesting. Both siblings had an interesting role in the dynamic that was being explored between the world of wolves and the human world.
Yuki, the older sister, became that symbol of a growing pubescent time where we don't really know where we are. She struggles to accept her identity, and at times to bury it at the cost of other people's wellbeing. Her acceptance of her identity was the lesser enjoyable parts of the movie, but I still think that it still played a pivotal role in her development, and I liked her as a whole.
Ame, the younger brother, had a rather interesting character transformation, and I was actually quite pleased with how he turned out as a character. Unlike Yuki, Ame's transformation into a strong young adult was more unexpected, and I would have never imagined the ending to be as it was. I think thematically speaking, Ame's growth as a character played that oh so important dynamic of a mother's love for children, and the struggle to seeing them leave out for the real world.
Still, despite these strengths, Ookami Kodomo has its fair share of weaknesses. Its exposition was rather lengthy and uninteresting, as the father figure doesn't really provide any backdrop for any of the characters except for the fact that he was a wolf. The film is also marred with periods of boredom, where nothing of value really seems to be happening. A certain portion of the movie, where Ame and Hana visit an old grey wolf seems completely unnecessary, and I think as a two hour movie, it could have definitely been shorter by removing a lot of stuff that was kind of boring and didn't serve as a point thematically.
And while I did say that the characters experienced some interesting changes, I still think that they're relatively weak characters. I think since it's a film about family, character development definitely got a lot of the attention, and that's great. But even so, the characters, for the most part, were relatively ordinary. There was nothing special about them, and while Hana was great at portraying the role of a single mother struggling to make ends meet, I didn't see anything significant from the children until almost the very end of the film that told me that these children were really something special. I think their conflicts with their identities as both wolves and humans, which was hinted throughout the story, didn't come up often enough for some of the scenes at the end to feel relevant, nor did I think there was enough development to justify some of the decisions these characters made towards the end.
Speaking of themes, while I did enjoy a lot of themes that Ookami Kodomo came up with, I can't say I was entirely satisfied at the execution. The ending of the film came up rather abruptly, and while I don't want to spoiler anything, I"ll just say that a certain character's rationality and change to grow up appeared to rather unexplained. I can see in some ways that reflects the idea that when a child grows up, he or she grows up and that's all there was to it, but I think that's not what Hosada was going for.
Anyway, despite these flaws, I think Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki is a very interesting and fun film to watch. It's a heartwarming family tale with a peaceful and interesting soundtrack to go along with it. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Mamoru Hosada's other movies, and even if you didn't, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with how much he's improved the quality of his films.
If anything else, it was a great movie to watch before my mother's birthday.
Mar 10, 2013
Can one anticipate the future? The struggles, the joys, the pain? It may be a mystery because we humans have to learn from our past mistakes and try to continuously improve ourselves. Motherhood is one of these things, never regretting, only moving forward, that is the only way. Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki is one of these rare animes who come once a year or more, to remind us why we became so enchanted by animes in the first place.
*The following review may contain some spoilers*
The movie opens with the introduction of a University student named Hana. The main character's name has in itself a great semnification, her father named her that because she was born on the day the cosmos flowers in their backyard bloomed naturally, without being planted. Her father then thought he will raise his child to have a smile as beautiful as a flower, that won't fade away. This also symbolises the journey of the character, that overcomes difficulties with a positive mind, even when inside, she suffers.One day, at one of the University's classes she notices a young man who seems estranged, otherworldly. She then starts to interact with him,even though reclutant at first, he gradually warms up to her. On one of their walks, she tells him the reason her father named her, adding that at his funeral
she didn't cry, but smiled instead. The young man finds it normal,since he understands that Hana tried her best to be strong.
Thinking he cannot hide it anymore,"Ookami" (the young man) reveals that he is a descendent of a long forgotten clan who were able to transform into wolves. The legend became reality,but suprisingly,Hana accepted Ookami's true nature,showing that her love for him is without limits. After a while,Hana becomes pregnant with a child. The first born Yuki, was a girl who was born on a snow day,hence "yuki" meaning snow. The second born follows shortly, a boy named "Ame", who was born on a rainy day,"ame" meaning rain.
They live happily, until one day, when Ookami doesn't come back home.And so begins Hana's struggles with her not quite normal children, learning the difficulties of not only raising two kids alone as a young,single mother, but also dealing with the strange nature of her half-human,half-wolf children.
The story is quite simple in itself, yet mesmerizing in its message and emotional impact on the viewers.
Story : 9
The art resembles quite a lot Toki wa Kakeru Shoujo's art, since it has the same studios: Madhouse Studios, FUNimation Entertainment etc. and the same talented director, Hosoda Mamoru. The art is beautiful in its fluid,soft animation style. The colors are variated, from the bright scenes of nature to the dim ones on a eerie, rainy day. The characters design is eye-pleasing and more similar to the real people than most animes.The strongest point of the art is the stunning depiction of the movie's various landscape,ranging from the rendering of suburban Tokyo,to Japan's countryside and to the mountain's deep forests. The change of landscapes helps the viewers along Hana's journey.
The soundtrack fits perfectly every scene in this movie, encompassing the atmosphere. The seyiuus do a marvelous work in this anime,especially the two young seiyuus who voice the children Ame and Yuki, showing great promise, with the skills of a professional and natural talent. Some scenes in this anime are heart-breaking, so the music is at times sorrowful,but at the same time soothing and comforting.
The characters may as well be the show's strongest point. This two hour movie had more character development than most 26 episodes animes. The main characters,Hana and her two children, Ame and Yuki undergo a constant methamorphosis. At the beginning, Hana is a young girl who lives by herself,only having to worry about mundane day-to-day problems. All that changes when she meets her soul mate Ookami. She finds a hidden world from ours, where men who transform into wolves do exist. After Ookami disppearence, she finds herself alone, taking care of her supernatural children.Hana breaks free from her chrysalis,gradually maturing into a
responsible,strong woman who faces any difficulties for the sake of her children.
The two children are completely different from each other, Yuki is a energetic, curious, restless, playful girl, bustling with life.Her brother being the total opposite of her, having a weak constitution,and an introverted, withdrawn and fearful personality. When they move to the country side, Ame's reaction is reclusive to the change, fearing the wide, open spaces and the variety of wild animals. Yuki however rejoices at the thought of living so close to the wild life.
In a twist of fate,their roles are being reversed after Ame's accident,and Yuki's going to school,transforming Ame into a more adventurous spirit,as well as a wild life admirer. Noticing her interests are unlike her classmates, and afraid of rejection, Yuki begins to restrain herself, becoming more like them. The depiction of the change in the children is wonderful, their choices in life separate the two siblings in time. Ame embraces his wolf nature, while Yuki chooses the human life style. Both choose to walk different paths from each other, which is heart-breaking but at the same time helps the character's development.
Even supporting characters are interesting and have their own charm, such as Souhei and the grumpy old farmer. It is fascinating to see the staggering growth of the characters during a two hour movie.
Characters : 10
It has been a while since I enjoyed every minute of an anime like this, it has been a wonderful experience, that re-awakened in me the pure joy of watching a story unfold.
May 19, 2013
Follows Hana a young university student who falls for a guy in her class, they spark up a friendship at first meeting on a regular basis, until one day where Ookami has to come clean, he hid a side of him he would only share to the person he trusts which is Hana, he shows that he is also a wolf (Wolfman) Hana accepts Ookami for who he truly is and become more than friends they eventually get married and have 2 kids (Yuki & Ame) Their life was going fantastically until one rainy day Ookami didn't come back home, Hana curious to where he might of gone starts looking for him until she spots a wolf lying dead in a open sewer area. She's lost her husband and father to those 2 kids who now have to brought up by Hana alone with massive hurdles to overcomes, one being they are Wolf Children, how can they adapt to normal society.
When i first saw the "wolf" part i was hoping this wouldn't be a cashing in on something that was popular in culture due to Twilight films, thankfully it wasn't.
The overall feeling i got from this film was its portrayal of how you have to adapt even if you think it can be difficult or near impossible, That and also how much stress and strains children and situations like this could cause to a single mum in Hana.
At time this film is simply stunning, i am a fan of the character design their facial features seem smaller than normal but it really worked nicely. Beautiful.
Not many musical tracks but the voice acting is amazing, Love Hana's delicate voice, everything oozes class with Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki.
Area where this film REALLY shines, the character development is fantastic it's nice to see how the 2 wolf children grow up its a journey through the early years of their life's and great to see how they overcome problems and turn into who THEY Truly are.
Even the minor or side characters are really good.
I love how they portray Hana the most, Losing her husband and having to look after 2 children who are not normal takes a strain of her, but she never ONCE complains, only smiles.
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki is a wonderful film, everything simply oozes class. I loved the characters they are which make Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki fantastic, it's all done with poise and perfection, my only slight issues were, I expected a little more to happen Story wise, after the initial plot it simply relies too much on the Characters and Slice Of Life aspect to bring the film through, Don't get me wrong i enjoyed it but i wanted more to happen at times which were left unfulfilled. That is my reasoning to mark this as a 9/10 Stunning film and worth the 1 Hour 57 Mins or so.
Series Or Films Its Like?:
I would say as this was done by director Mamoru Hosoda,His other works. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars would be worth checking out. Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki feels more a mix of his previous works and put together with series like Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai! and Usagi Drop, Which i think they a more similar too as a core part of the film is Hana raising both kids.
Apr 28, 2013
I'm ambivalent when it comes to the story. It is told in a very charming manner, but suffers in terms of pacing. I wasn't able to connect with the dramatic moments, particularly in the beginning with the father, with the conflict between the siblings toward the middle, and the end. It all felt incredibly predictable and haphazard. It couldn't even develop the conflicts so that they felt more believable or meaningful--it felt like empty drama. Wolf Children shines brightest during the peaceful and relaxing slice of life moments. The most poignant scenes for me were Hana fixing up the house/growing veggies, and Yuki's time alone in the school with Souhei.
Overall, the drama and conflict are predictable. The mechanisms used to bring us to the bulk of the story are flimsy and lack punch because they lack exposition and development. The best parts are when we watch Hana building a home, a garden, and a family. These moments are tender and beautiful, and the saving grace for an otherwise overdone experience.
I'll start with the strengths--detailed backgrounds and fluid animation. Scenes of the family flying through the forest and rolling down the hill are fantastic and exciting. The atmosphere of the quiet, subdued scenes that punctuate the film is wonderful. On the other hand, we have a heavy reliance on 3DCG that is ugly and unnecessary. Why anyone thought it was a good idea to add ugly robots walking every which way is beyond me. Some scenes had such a disjointed mishmash of 2D and 3D that it was distracting. I expect better from Madhouse. On top of this, the wolf-human blending was awkward at best. That "romantic" scene in the beginning? No, thank you. What could have been sweet and tasteful was instead disturbing.
That said, taken as a whole, Wolf Children is still a pleasure to take in and the work that went into it cannot be denied. The character designs overall were very pleasant and when everything "clicks" it's certainly an enjoyable experience.
I thought the soundtrack complemented the film very well, adding punch to dynamic scenes and serene calm to the more introspective ones. There's not much to be said here; it's very reminiscent of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.
I don't know about you, but my favorite characters were side characters. The neighbors that helped out and Souhei were the most colorful part of this film and made the slice of life moments what they were. Most of the characters felt flat and largely uninteresting.
Moments of clarity shine through, as with the adolescent expressions of Yuki and Souhei, and the struggles of Hana. On the other hand, we have the father who is nothing more than a plot device and the dramatic shift of Ume, which I found neither believable nor affective. I understand the symbolism of the two siblings in developing the internal conflict of living as a wolf-human and the concept of free-will. What I don't understand is why they decided to ream me with it and reduce the characters into little more than thematic contrivances. Wasted potential.
I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. I came in excited and left disappointed. Maybe if I was a furry I would like it more.
Despite my criticisms, the film isn't bad. For every flaw, there's a moment of calm that sucked me in and kept me watching. Beyond the problems, it's cute and sweet, quiet and pleasantly meandering. Still, the problems are very apparent and they dragged this film down. I wanted to like this film, but there's just something "off" about it. Maybe it's the 3DCG or sloppy establishment of setting, plot, and conflict. Maybe it's the frustrating lack of character depth or dramatic artifice. Whatever it is, it left me underwhelmed. read more
Mar 16, 2013
Co-Produced by Studio Chizu and Madhouse
Licensed by Funimation Entertainment
Review from my POV (w/personal biases)
+ A very appealing concept: Mom raises children who are wolf/human hybrids and emphasizes on the struggle and social problems that the whole family has to go through.It's an out of the ordinary Fantasy element mixed in with a very alluring Slice-of-Life/Coming-of-Age Formula.
+ I felt that the Hana was amazing. (Sp) She's basically wonder woman cause she can do anything :P
+ The 2 children are very diverse from the get go, and continues to diversify with a steady pace of character development as the film goes along.
+ The animation AND art is pristine (Some designs were from Yoshiyuki Sadamoto :D)
- (personal...somewhat) It can get a bit predictable. within 20 min of the movie I called on one specific conflict, revolving around the development between both children.
- I felt a sense of miscommunication towards the end.
- (personal) Hana and Ookami "do" it, while Ookami is still in Wolf form...... this really ain't a CON. Idk, it just seemed weird to me :P
Final Note: It's a really heartfelt film throughout and (just like Pixar's "UP") manages to tell a better love story within 10-15 minutes than the whole Twilight Saga.
Recommends to: Those who like Hosoda's previous works
Those who like pretty set pieces
Those looking for a family film. read more
Mar 3, 2013
In fact, growing up is like an experience, a natural time when we embraces the days we go through. It is from these times where we learn about the world, make connections, and make the most of our lives. It begins with the very first breath we take in and out. The prospect of growing up therefore is like climbing a ladder. The higher you reach, the harder it becomes. But of course, that doesn't stop some people from reaching the top and enjoying their life with people they care about.
That's especially the case for Hana.
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (also known as The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki) is an anime film presentation directed by Mamoru Hosoda. He is known for his work in other famous movies such as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars. The film is also co-produced with Madhouse along with Studio Chizu. Taking place in modern Japan brings forth this movie that presents naturalism along with the prospect of raising a family in its purest form.
The movie takes place in modern Japan similar to our present times. In a lighthearted atmosphere, we meet Hana in the very first scenes as she sees a young man. It becomes a 'love at first sight' instance the moment she laid her eyes on him. From there on, the two develops a relationship. However, not all is at it seems because the man has a secret. He is in fact not human. However, this does not break their strong bond together. After some happy moments and days of their lives, a tragedy breaks Hana and her husband apart forever through an unprecedented event. Devastated but promising to raise their children together in the 'fairy-tale' love they once shared, Hana vows to raise the children properly and give them a future.
From this standpoint, I found the movie to have quite a sense of realism to it even with the fantasy themes. In fact, the prospect of growing up and raising a family by a young single woman is difficult in today's world. Not just by the struggling economy but the fact that you're all alone with little experience yourself in the real world makes it that much more difficult. In this movie, an unique aspect adds to the mix with the fact that Hana's children are not human. They are wolves. By beast of nature, they are considered a threat to society. Any chance that their secret is exposed could put Hana's life with them in major jeopardy.
The movie plays on a role that details on how important it is to protect one's keen and growing up together as a family. In fact, I find many of the sequences similar to those of nature. By nature, animals must protect their children and teach them how to survive. In this movie, Hana teaches her kids many new aspects of nature and the world while learning about it herself. As a matter of fact, Hana's role as a single mother often shows her vulnerability in the beginning as seen when she is warned by neighbors, becoming the talk of the town behind her back, and getting tough lessons from an old man. Despite this though, she continues to keep her promise with the wolf man in the beginning of the film and that is:
To raise the children not as wolves but as Ame and Yuki
Speaking of which, the characters of Ame and Yuki are presented in various ways throughout the film. At first, they start out as children and beast by nature. They are curious about the world as many times, they try out new things by themselves with mixed results. One particular moment involving Ame almost costs his life but that event only makes him stronger as an individual. On the other hand, Yuki too grow up as the movie progresses. Although starting off as a popular girl, her interactions with a particular character almost sets her off to isolationism from the others. But yet with more interactions with people, she is able to open herself up more and becoming a stronger person.
The movie also has a theme of nature and survival. After all, we can't forget that Ame and Yuki are not like you and me. They have instincts and follows the law of nature. In the latter half of the movie, Ame is able to invoke that instinct when he embraces more of his animistic self. In ways, it's growing up like an animal/person and learning more skills to survive. After all, those kids can't rely on Hana forever right?
The series also explores social issues and identity as our main characters tries to figure out their place in the world. Whether at school or in the wild, Ame and Yuki often shows both human and animistic behavior. In particular, Ame and Yuki contrasts in their views of themselves. Yuki sees herself as a human who wants a normal life. On the other hand, Ame embraces his wild side and sees himself an animal, a wolf. The two balances out between animal and human behavior as seen in the later half of the movie.
Although well presented, I found the movie did have a few problems. One in particular is a lack of exploration in the Wolfman. His origins and backgrounds are unexplored territory and how he came to be is surrounded by mystery. I mean, why is he the only surviving descendant of his species? Additionally, while the romance between Hana and Wolfman was set off well, I found that their relationship to be rather blend, even so later on in the movie. Finally, I thought the film was somewhat predictable with the nature of the way it was presented. Along with that, the seemingly lack of exploration of the children's adult selves and what their future was in stored for them was a turn off.
In terms of visuals, I found the movie to have a natural way of presenting itself. It is lighthearted and presents its colors well in particular the snowy day when Yuki was born that symbolizes a fresh start, or the first breath of life. When the snow melts, it becomes water, evaporates and returns to the atmosphere in a sort of evolution theme. Some of the other visuals are cute especially during the scenes involving the children in their younger lives. The way they behave are like human and animal the same time with their lack of knowledge of the real world. The forest, countryside, the dawn/sunsets, and rural city also sets off that civilization pattern which becomes a symbol of realism and evolution in growing up.
The soundtrack of the series is well performed in my opinion. At many times, the rhythm matches the overall tone of the story especially with Hana in taking care of her children. The majority of the movie has that feeling of motion which seems makes its soundtrack more distinguishing as the children grows up. Takagi Masakatsu performed his task well with the music score. Beautiful, simplistic, and natural are just a few words that come to my mind when my ears hears the vibrations.
In the end, this movie was a delight for me and one that I enjoyed. At many variances, it tells the story between the wolf and how it's been ostracized. But really, are wolves really that devious? Are they really a threat to society? The way I look at it, it's nature itself that when left untamed becomes a threat. Thankfully, we have parents for a guide and helping us climb that ladder to success.
Mar 1, 2013
This will translate into prominent and excellently executed montage sequences throughout the film. They are used not only to suggest the passage of time, which is something you will appreciate a lot since the film's timeline spans more than a decade, but also to convey meaning and nuance in the story and set the tone and atmosphere, which is something you will appreciate even more. The film could have jumped around to key points in the narrative. Instead, it meanders a little using these short sequences, adding a lot to the story and the characters, and also smoothing the transition from one moment in time to the next in the process. They're just collections of clips and beautiful music edited together that follow a common theme or some purposeful pattern. But you can't really see this type of storytelling in any other medium but film and animation, and "Ookami Kodomo" gets the mix just right. Not too much so that it feels overbearing, but not too little so that it does not make an impact either. The method is cleverly used, and the film is thus very rich in content even though it is only two hours long.
In essence, "Ookami Kodomo" is a story about family. But Hosoda and Okudera Satoko (who cowrote the screenplay) approach the subject in a surprisingly exhaustive and multilayered fashion. Perhaps even more surprising, but not in the least unwelcome, is how well the magical, "fairy tale" details fit the overall narrative. The film gives up on a more realistic approach in favour of fantastical charm and a kind of allegorical emphasis. The wolf-man twofoldness and metamorphosis is never the real focus of the film, but it is fantasy with purpose. There is a great deal of attention paid to the growth and identity of the two siblings, Yuki and her younger brother Ame. From how they act, to how they feel. This character analysis goes a way further than just skin-deep and asks how much of all that is ingrained in the children from birth, and how much changes as they learn and experience new things. Another key element of the story is how Hana must learn to raise her children as a single mother and how she deals with them growing up. Both are far-reaching themes for which the fantastical is far from being a necessity. They are based on basic but complex and enduring realities in our lives. Something everyone goes through in some form. Or at least something everyone ponders about, even if in passing, at one moment or another. But the point gets across so much better when Yuki and Ame are part human, part wolf, and in a way have to decide between the two aspects of their nature. Thus, their internal conflict is suddenly made a lot more vivid to the audience, as are their mother's struggles and concerns.
The idea behind "Ookami Kodomo" is intensified through its execution. All of the components of the film conspire to make something greater. Like Sadamoto Yoshiyuki's very appealing but simple character designs, which allow the animators a lot of room for expression and together with the cast's efforts make the characters almost palpable, but definitely tangible. Or the music (and its absence) which adds that extra layer of immersion. Or the calming but at the same time breathtaking pillow shots. Moments that are hilarious. Moments that are sad. Moments that are touching. The film has a little bit of everything, but not too much of anything. By the end, my cheeks were aching pleasantly. There were few moments during which I could stop smiling.
... read more
Mar 3, 2013
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, which translates to “The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki”, is not about the legend of the werewolves. It is not about human becoming wolf in the night of the full moon, going berserk and killing people. It is an absolutely adorable story of a single mother, Hana, and her struggles, and the hardships she overcame with smiles and determination to bring up two children, what more, in secrecy, because of the secret of her family she could not share with the society. And that is not the entire story. It also tells the story of Ame and Yuki, the two siblings, brought up in secrecy by their mother, learning their way to accept their lives as wolf-children and making their own choices of what they would become as adults.
The two hours story is told by Yuki as a narrator which spreads over thirteen years. Everything started from 19 year old college student Hana getting to know Ookami, and then falling in love with him, and then getting to know his secret, and then falling in love with him even more. The first fruit of their love arrived when Hana gave birth to Yuki and then, their second, Ame, a year later. The young parents were looking forward to a loving family... until everything fell apart in a fateful rainy night. Ookami never returned back home. From thereon, Hana’s struggles begin. It would have been too much for a young woman at her age, but for Hana, as a mother, she decides to overcome anything and everything for her Ame and Yuki. And thus we enter one of the most endearing stories ever told. I leave the rest to you to find out!
The characters portrayed in the movie have great depth and development over the span of just two hours. It is simply amazing how the characters, particularly Ame and Yuki showed their depth and development in the little time the movie had to show for. Small yet profound details were put at the right places where we could see the reasons behind their changes in character, their development in personality and in the end, the path they decide to take prior to entering their adulthood. The most amazing thing of the movie is found in Hana however, as a young lover in the beginning, and as a remarkable mother in the end. She is at the epitome of a heartwarming reminder of what a Mother is all about.
The characters are designed by Sadamoto Yoshiyuki. He was associated with Mamoru’s previous two full length movies Tokikake and Summer wars, too. While those who are unfamiliar with his character designs, may find the character drawing a bit too bland initially, but as the movie progresses, the characters will definitely grow in them. It happened to me the first time I saw Tokikake, but for Summer Wars and Ookami Kodomo, I could really enjoy the movies from the get go because I was already aware of the designs after seeing Tokikake. It honestly made it more enjoyable, at least for me, because I could really see how I could find the character designs absolutely fantastic and overwhelming as the story progressed.
The animation, done by MADHOUSE Studios, is visually stunning. The motion pictures are of the top quality and the environment and the surroundings portrayed such that you are actually seeing and experiencing just as the characters in the movie are. Okudera Satoko did an amazing job yet again in her role in the screenplay. The drawing angles of the animation, the placement and positioning of the characters, and the views seen by the characters, of both their surroundings and while interacting with one another have been brilliant. They are so good as if you are exactly in the same place and situation with the characters, in the process, making you feel the same as the characters.
Another fantastic feature of the anime is definitely the sound. The background music, a blend of orchestra in some segments, and traditional in the others, gives the feel of the given situation, and most importantly, makes you feel the emotion of the characters in those situations. The ending theme song “Okaa-san no Uta” (My mommy’s song) by Ann Sally is really lovely. The lyric is so beautiful! If you are the type who skips over the credits of anime movies, my request to you will be to at least listen to the song once. The voice acting has been equally impressive. Both younger and older Ame and Yuki seiyuus have been exceptional. Hana and Ookami's seiyuus have been excellent as well. And all other seiyuus of the side characters did wonderful, too.
Overall, this has been the best anime movie since Hotarubi no Mori e in 2011. Hosada Mamoru is undoubtedly an amazing director. This has been yet another of his movie masterpieces. If you manage to get two hours out of your life despite of how busy your life may be and give this movie a chance, I can guarantee you that you won't regret a minute of it!
No less than a fairy tale, more than just another romance story, Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki will be cherished by fans for many, many years to come. read more
Sep 8, 2012
Just like how the movie can be summarized in two parts, it will also be reviewed in two parts.
Partially narrated by Yuki, it starts off with a brief story of how the couple met, married, had kids and the loss of the father. Then as the story progresses, the mother endures and overcomes a variety of problems in order for her children to live a life free from the burden of their alternate identity. The children themselves eventually grew older, and they too began to face issues that they had to resolve on their own. The problems they encountered were typical and expected of such a family; things like trying to suppress their animal instincts, hide themselves from the prying eyes of others, and financial woes. So there’s nothing unexpected here. The problem however does not lie with its predictability, but rather the ease of how those problems were resolved. In almost every situation, they were conveniently assisted through the introduction of additional characters rather than getting by through their own effort or changing themselves. In other words, I felt that the story did not adequately convey the hardships of single-parenthood and difficulties of a single parent family to me. Also, I was puzzled by how they managed to prevent their identities from being exposed despite several situations. (IMO, it'd have been more interesting if they were exposed.)
I’m no single mother, but I know enough to understand that raising kids alone is a monumental undertaking that requires both mental and physical fortitude. Thus the simplicity of how she prevailed despite her predicaments seemed almost disrespectful towards those who have experienced it, and misguiding towards those who have not.
Yet, the first part was a heartwarming portrayal of the strength of a mother and the kindness of their neighbors. The gradual buildup of emotions, from the loss of the father, the struggles of the mother, culminating in the successful integration of the family in the countryside really got to me. Simply put, it's just like one of those heartening stories you see on the internet where you can say:" Faith in humanity restored.". For the first part, I give a score of 9/10.
The second part's focus was on the siblings. Interestingly or not, their problems were either of the mythical; resulting in situations which I found hard to identify with (Ame), or of the usual; teenage angst and rebelliousness (Yuki). I am especially confused by the actions taken by Ame; the change in his attitude and behavior in the later part of the story was quite sudden and ill-explained. Identity and reconciliation was evidently the main theme in this part of the story - how Ame and Yuki each found their own answers to how they should be living their lives and how the family accepted each others' decisions.
Although it was at times conventional (Yuki) and awkward (Ame), I admit the part where Yuki was persuaded back to school was kinda cute, while Ame's lone journey in self-discovery was kinda mysterious and cool. I also can't help but think that another message to the conclusion of the story was - to each his/her own. As long as you are happy and not doing something bad, go live your life and don't let anybody (apparently including your mum) stop you. For the second part, I give a score of 7/10.
Just like its predecessors Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo and Summer Wars, the animation was crisp and detailed; nothing less could be expected from Hosoda and Madhouse Studios. Voice-acting was faultless. The music by Takagi was surprisingly well done for someone new to anime music scene. Also, I really liked how certain sequences were well-timed to be completely silent, which contributed to the emphasis of the scene as well as the appreciation of the music that followed after.
To be fair, I knew from the beginning that this movie would not deal heavily on the issues of single-parenthood. After all, it is a story that is accessible and understandable to audiences of all ages, and that in itself is a huge, huge merit. If you love Pixar movies like Toy Story, you will definitely love this.
Outstanding, but lacked the depth to be truly exceptional. Overall a great movie for the family.
Mar 3, 2013
I think the main purpose of this movie was to show how a family starts and see how your children grow and eventually "leave the nest" .
I don't know why Im crying. I feel silly since Im not in the state of life to have kids or get married, but everything in this movie was just so beautiful. I don't even have to be in the situation to just understand the emotions and bitter sweetness of seeing your kids grow up so fast in front of your very eyes.
I don't know, maybe its woman instinct/future mother instinct that I feel this way. Throughout the movie I would just put myself in Hana's place. It was just painful for me to bare the idea of Ame growing up and leaving my "nest". It was painful to just know that he grew up so fast. I didn't want him to go, but I know that Hana raised him strong enough for him to stand on his own and make his own decisions. Its sad, and bittersweet, but it had to happen. I just imagine the future pain of just seeing your kids grow up and leave you, and its...sad. I kind of makes me curious of my mother will feel it when that time happens for her. Do I sound silly for being too attached to the characters in this movie?
This movie was beautifully made. I love how the roles just switched. When they were young,Yuki was the one that was so attached to the wolf side to her and Ame wanted to be a human. As they grew up,Yuki wanted to be the human and Ame, the wolf. They were able to discover them selves and find out who they are.
Overall, I really loved this movie. Its a good lesson and amazing video and perspective of life. Im still kind of sad because I kind of a sap when it comes to bittersweet movies, but in the end, this movie is definitely beautiful.
Mar 4, 2013
The introduction of Ookami Kodomo no ame to yuki is about the love story between a women named Hana and a man who has traits of half man, half wolf. Shortly after, she falls pregnant, and thus her new life begins. This story follows the life of Hana, the mother of two young wolf children, raising them and providing unconditional love for the both of them. All while struggling to make ends meet. To me, it gave off a some-what nostalgic feeling throughout the film, portraying the innocence and freedom of childhood. It was a breathe of fresh air, in comparison to the hundreds of try-hard, over the top, plot less anime series that seem to be popping up all over the place.
The animation at times were inconsistent, however the majority of it was done beautifully. Simple, yet it tied in with the entire concept of this film.
The voice acting and music throughout was pleasant enough, however not memorable or anything different to what i have seen in other works. Don't get me wrong, it was great however it wasn't the best.
Characters really stood out to me. Even without alot of brackground knowledge of each character, watching as they grow up and mature as the film goes on was one of my favourite elements of all. This, i believe is why it is so easy to relate to the characters in this film.
I recommend that anyone who can spare two hours out of their day, to watch this. I guarentee you won't regret it. It was everything that i hoped it would be, and more. read more
Mar 26, 2013
Upon seeing the title (Wolf Children) I was afraid there was going to be violence. But since the word 'children' is in it, I guess it makes it okay? It's like a fairy tale, nothing scary. But it gets serious, so I wouldn't call it a kid's story.
(Bits of spoilers ahead wee-woo-wee-woo)
I didn't like the protagonist in the beginning. She just seemed like your average, naive girl. I didn't think she could get around in the world because she seemed too innocent; when she approached the wolf man I thought she was also a busybody (come to think of it,I totally forgot his name. I just finished this thing a few minutes ago). He was also an older man; are women just naturally curious about/attracted to mysterious older men? It worries me.
Her naive, smiley and accepting personality is what makes her one awesome mama. The way she behaved when caring for her children was suspicious in the city and was risky, but she definitely proved that no one takes better care than a mom. For the sake of her kids they moved to the beautiful countryside; from there she did all the usual housewife stuff and the handiwork as well! This woman was always a positive thinker, which was great, it kept her going! You'll cheer for her til the end!
The kids were interesting; Yuki the firstborn, was hyperactive, always exploring and using her wolf genetics to her advantage. Her brother Ame was more timid and cautious. He spent time contemplating society's attitude towards wolves, and wanted to move back to the city. School changed them drastically, and this is what keeps me thinking all the time: when Yuki grew up, she understood that to be accepted among her friends, she would have to be more feminine and lose (or at least hide) that wild side of hers. Eventually she didn't have to hide it anymore, because she controlled it so well. Females have higher expectations in society so her attitude is understandable. Ame on the other hand, became the complete opposite. He was still quiet, but he became energetic in his own way. He dropped out of school shortly after entering because he couldn't adjust as well as his sister, so he spent his days adventuring the wilderness. His fear of being a wolf withered away and he soon found it more interesting than his human life. His mom was accepting of his time in the wild but was concerned for many reasons.
What I did not see coming was Ame's fate. I was already irritated by the fact that he looked like his dad from head to toe, but when he argued with his sister that they were also wolves, I had to wonder: did Ame prefer being a wolf because he felt rejected from society and found refuge in the wild? Of course. But he asked about his dad, so I thought he would feel more connected to his dad this way, or even felt obligated. Supposedly his decision would make sense since males tend to value independence, but I felt that Ame shed his emotions too quickly for someone his age.
The ending gave me mixed feelings; like 'this was bound to happen, it can't be changed, bravo' and 'stop damaging my kokoro' and 'no, nooo, NOOOOOOOOOOO'. The ARTWORK was fabulous; I always have to remind myself that these films are done by the human hand, and that we are so capable that we can nearly imitate reality.
First I was very creeped and confused in the first 1/3rd of the movie; girl, did you just perform intercourse with an animal's body (despite it being your lover/husband [did you even get married?]) Yeah that pretty much stayed in my mind for the entire movie
Second, didn't the father only turn into a wolf under a full moon? The kids turned into a wolf whenever they felt like it so I am confused
Apr 28, 2013
Synopsis: The story is about a woman named Hana who falls in love with a wolf man(pretty negligible). They grow up and start a family. Unfrotunately thought, the father died, for reasons never mentioned, and Hana was left alone to raise their two children: Yuki and Ame. These children are half wolf and half human. So they can transform into wolves and maintain human form. Afraid of society's reaction, she and the others move to farmlands. The family grows up, but the kids ultimately choose opposite paths of life. Yuki chooses to be human while Ane chooses to be wolf. And then we see character development.
The story was incredibly predictable for the first 2/3, strangely though i enjoyed all of it. We see a simple slice of life story that we can just watch and enjoy moments that we all remember somewhat in our childhood. There is then a great change in tone in the later parts. Not that the story became darker, but it at least had a plot. In fact, now that I think about it. There is no plot for the first 2/3 of the movie. However the storytelling was so good that I felt like the characters could really grow o me by focusing heavily on dialogue and character development.
The story deserves a 9.
The characters are absolutely amazing. We grow with the characters. Hell we even learn some farming techniques with Yuki. I found it really intriguing that the Ame was at first scared of being a wolf and developed to, not only accepting, but choosing a wolf life over his mother and the sister is vice versa. But what makes it so interesting is that the trasitions literally took seconds for the borther at least. And it was very understandable for him. The sister got along with her frieds while Ame was bullied. It's really interesting, seeing the two children take on different paths. We usually see this kind of thig about good brother vs bad brother, but this is more about life style choices then about morality unlike cliche movies. Yuki. Oh my god. You cannot even get me started. She deserves a mother of the year award in anime. Although, she is a little over protective, she always places the kids first. Kind of cliche, but seeing her efforts definitely made me want to push her on further. She also is pretty much a good role model for kids to grow up with. Loving, caring, determined. kind of like how you would picture an ideal mother. I also love seeing her tears, as she sees Ame leave. She ont only cannot stand that she is losing one of two the most important figures in her whole life, but also the fact that she couldn't promise to protect him. There's also more reasons, but I said enough
Characters deserve 10
The art/animation is great, where not only every moment is fluid, but there were some incredible visuals with Ame. showing that the world Ame will choose to live is a beautiful forest that teems with life and the beauty of nature. Even the short fight between siblings shows a contrast of colors, where we see a clash of ideology.
The Art/Animation deserves 8
One of the interesting aspects is the lesson. The lesson is predictable, choose to live your life how you want to be. But it is still a lesson that even adults need to be reminded about at times. It is also executed greatly, Ame was leaving for the forest, but the mother doesn't want him to leave. For very good and legitimate reasons. After all, when Ame almost died, she vowed to protect him. So she obviously felt like she has to stop him from going into a dangerous forest. However she comes to learn the lesson as she knows she cannot stop him, and that Ame is similar to his father by appearance and independence.
Enjoyment deserves 9
And an overall score of 9.
well done anime, and a highly recommended anime for those who love family stories read more
Nov 13, 2012
The mother in Wolf Children is really quite an extraordinary character in how determined and admirable her attitude towards life is. The trials she goes through in order to raise her children the best she can is the main focus of the movie. The kids do lead a fairly happy-go-lucky life under her, ditching off school to wander around the forest, but it comes under the main theme of providing an environment in which your children can pursue any goal they wish. It all has a very strong focus on family values, and it comes across as all being rather hopeful and inspiring. In fact, maybe a bit too much…
Here is where I reveal that I am a horrible human being, because I found the aggressively maudlin tone overbearing. Particularly the opening 15-20 minutes of the movie with the relationship between the mother and the wolf dude. It laid on the sap way too thick. It reminds of those movies that are made entirely to win Oscars, with their overly sentimental tone. The way these movies try to draw emotion become almost robotic in their predictable nature. Wolf Children doesn’t have a single twist that isn’t even remotely surprising. That obviously doesn’t preclude it from being good, but it is a nice way of demonstrating how much it plays to this same factory-churned heart-tugging attempts.
There are parts to this movie I do genuinely like. The interaction between the two kids when they’re still young is charming as hell, particularly in how they formed opposite personalities in the way siblings do. The older child runs around and lot and is very charismatic, while the younger brother is quiet and withdrawn. It’s rather like myself and my younger sister, where videos of us would be her sitting around reading books patiently while I run around in the background screaming about Sonic the Hedgehog. Wolf Children perfectly captured that boundless energy and curiosity that children have.
But the other parts that I might otherwise have liked are fed through this maudlin machine and flip around to be too sentimental. The struggle the mother has to go through to get a garden working is really overdone, or more specifically the part where it says how wonderful the people of the countryside are. Not a message I’m opposed to by any means, but it comes off as way too overblown emotionally. The final part in the movie with what the younger brother eventually decides suffers from the same problem. I won’t spoil, but this is a really huge part of the movie that marks a massive emotional decision on his part and his mother’s, which they still somehow manage to overstate. I would like the movie to let me experience these emotions myself, not to have it smashing me over the head with a saucepan yelling “ISN’T THIS TRAGIC? LOOK AT HOW EMOTIONAL THIS IS! CRY DAMNIT!”
I wouldn’t say it’s a bad movie. There was never a stage when I wanted to leave the cinema and visit a trendy coffee shop instead. But the way the movie smashed repeatedly about how emotional everything was paradoxically left me feeling even more indifferent towards the film. read more
Mar 26, 2013
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (or Wolf Children Ame and Yuki) was one of the sweetest, most beautiful, depressing films I've ever seen.
It begins with our heroine Hana at college, where she spots the mysteriously handsome Ookami. She is instantly drawn to him, and after a few failed attempts, catches his attention, too. In a quick montage we see them get to know each other, and soon enough Ookami is comfortable enough to reveal his secret. He's a werewolf! Now, I was weary going into this movie knowing it was about werewolves, since it's been a bit overused in the past few years. But this movie goes beyond your expectations. It's not just "girl falls in love with pretty werewolf boy". It's SO MUCH MORE than that! It's about love (obviously), family, friendship, identity, strength, and believing in yourself. And surprisingly, it touches on these topics without any cheesiness. (Well, there was a bit of a cheesy moment towards the end, but I was too busy crying to notice).
The characters were wondrously developed. Hana was the best possible heroine. She may come off as a bit too loving and naive, but she had such a quiet inner strength and beauty that shone through with everything she did. Throughout the movie you see her constantly reading and educating herself, always wanting to be better and better with each day. She gets through multiple heartbreaking and soul crushing moments with a smile on her face, because that's how her father taught her. (If you've seen the movie, you get the particular sadness of this fact... ~sigh~) Ookami only made a brief appearance (20 minutes!!) but he made a lasting impression. He was so head over heels in love with Hana, you could just tell with every look he gave her. He's protective, supportive, and loving, the perfect match for Hana. And their children!! aaaah their children were so great. Yuki was the firstborn, feisty and strong and playful. Never taking no for an answer, she was a handful from day one, but turned into such a lovely girl. And Ame was absolutely adorable. As a child he was shy, quiet, tentative, and really precious. He grew up into a brave, independent young boy, who was very much like Ookami.
The plot is broken into 2 parts. Part 1 is Hana and Ookami falling in love, followed by Hana trying to figure out how to raise two wolf children on her own. Part 2 is Ame and Yuki facing the "big question": should they live their lives as wolf or human? The result might surprise you. And the animation! OH IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!! I loved it. It mixed very real imagery (so incredibly life like! oh the power of CG) with simple (but lovely!) animation. The stand out scene for me was when Hana, Ame, and Yuki were running through the snowy woods. It was so breathtakingly gorgeous and enjoyable!
Overall, this movie was everything good in this world, along with a whole lot of sadness. It went back and forth from cute to sad so quickly that I spent the entire movie half grinning/half sobbing. Which, really, is all I could ask from a movie. read more
Mar 9, 2013
If that is what you came to this review for, if it was worth a watch, you can stop reading now and go watch it.
Now for the "in depth" review. This is the newest film from Mamoru Hosada and I think it was o.k. as in Summer Wars was o.k. I will compare this to his earlier films 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" which I ranked a 10 and "Summer Wars" which gets a 5 from me, just to give you some perspective.
It is basically a slice of life/ growing up genre/ drama, and nothing too much extraordinary, and fairly predicable. Gets a 6 for being fairly fluffy with a runtime of 2 hours.
Yes, it tried to stick to the "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" art style, which fits well. However, it conflicts heavily with the fairly detailed scenes, such as the running through snow scene. The tears and crying are still the meh quality from "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time".
Voice actors were good. No emotional vocal soundtracks or heartfelt piano in this movie. The incessant wolf sounds were very off putting. I really did not enjoy hearing the say woof woof, AAAAOOOOWWWW!!!.
Its not that I did not like the characters, it is the extremely flat 2d cookie cutter characters. We got happy woman, tsundere old man, insecure girl, and sociably bankrupt boy. All character development if you can call it that is something that has been done before.
Did I have heartfelt moments? Yeah. Did I have a laugh? A few. I had high hopes (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time) for this movie and low ones (Summer Wars) Ultimately, I let hype get the best of me and I was disappointed. I did not even enjoy this as close to The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Too much seems to be forced and watching dogs run around is plainly not good.
Go ahead and call me stuck in the past for loving "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" too much. It is one of the only 2 anime that I rate a masterpiece from about the 60 I have watched. This seemed a lot like trying to recycle it anyway, and that is that.
Mar 21, 2013