English: Wolf Children
Synonyms: The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jun 25, 2012
Producers: Madhouse, 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: 8.941 (scored by 26516 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Oct 22, 2013
Teenage Hana is a hardworking girl putting herself through college. During a class, her eyes fall on a man who enthusiastically and diligently takes notes, but he has no textbooks and he disappears before roll is taken. Intrigued, she searches him out and learns that he sits through classes but doesn't attend the school. From what we see, he works with a moving company, delivering goods to houses. He comes to university and bums through classes to learn. Hana works at a laundromat to make ends meet, and meets him when her day is over. We never learn of this man's name, but he becomes Hana's world, and she, his. Then their worlds are joined then broadened with the births of their children.
To call this film a movie about "werewolves" is doing it a mighty injustice. To call it a spirited, charming and heart-rending look about family is more accurate. And while it is always about the "ookami no kodomo", it is carried by Hana's life. Hana does what she can to keep her children safe and alive. She removes them from the urbanised world and carries them deep into a rural village where they are free to develop and understand the other half of them.
The film can be divided into three clear arcs. The first finds Hana in love, developing a relationship. The second follows Hana's struggles to raise her young children who have special needs. The final one sees her settled while her children attempt to find their own places in the world. A recurring theme throughout each arc is that there is a reason to always keep smiling.
Ookami Kodomo is a film of change and self-discovery. Yuki begins the film feral and wild, easily embracing her lupine half while Ame, tearful and timid, is afraid of what it means to be part-wolf. As the years pass, Hana's resolve remains unwavering, but her children grow apart from her as children naturally do. With this growth, they also change. The film changes focus from Hana as the children grow older, giving us their insight and feelings about who they are. Yuki's desire to belong allows her to channel charisma into socialising with peers. Ame's introversion makes him steely and independent. Yuki wants to embrace her humanity while Ame wants to explore the animal. Ame and Yuki yearn for something more, just as their mother knows they would but is afraid to acknowledge.
The story carefully and gently handles the fantasy so that it never overwhelms the film. There are no transformation hijinks or forced comedy or drama. The film treats the wolf children naturally. They seamlessly transform into their wolf-forms and out again. Some of the greatest scenes animated in the movie are these transformations as they move in and out of their dual identities.
The animation for the most part is fluid, with beautiful art painting a lovely countryside and the wilderness. Sometimes the film suffers from poorly chosen CGI effects, repeated animation and disproportionate character models, but this does not take away from the movie's overall beauty. Hana and the children's country home is clearly inspired by the 1988 classic My Neighbour Totoro, even down to Yuki's exuberant exploration of the broken down shed and the wild grass growing everywhere. Adding to the atmosphere of the film is a well-thought out score which knows precisely what type of music fits a mood. Sometimes, especially in the beginning and ending of the film, it can be a little heavy-handed with its emotional outbursts, but largely, it works and it makes itself invaluable to the film's impact. The voice-acting for the movie is one of its strongest aspects. Having child actors to play Yuki and Ame's characters in their toddler stages was a wise choice, as their earnest delivery of their lines makes the characters more genuine and loveable.
Ookami Kodomo's characters are the major reason that any viewer will become easily involved. Hana is one of the most inspirational characters ever to be given life through animation. Her love for her family is apparent. If anything, I'm pretty sure some of this film's audience is going to feel a pang of affection for their own mothers. She dutifully cares for them in ways that are admirable and it is her unbreakable spirit and positive disposition that makes her noteworthy. She is a strong woman and an even stronger mother. The mysterious man who she loves doesn't have the chance to be developed but it is this shroud around him that works to his character's benefit. We care for him through Hana's affections; in one particularly jarring scene, we understand what he means to her and this breaks our heart more than he himself ever would.
Yuki and Ame carry the film in places their mother cannot. While her hopes and fears for them are palpable, it is their experience of hope and of fear that makes these feelings more acute. Yuki's voice takes us through the entire film with its steady narration, and her character grows from precocious and brave child to a young girl who unfortunately knows what it means to be afraid. Ame's behaviour becomes a bit frustrating in the end of the film, but to understand him in the context of an animal, it makes perfect sense. He is a wolf.
The rest of the cast is made up of extremely likeable characters, including the old man who looks after Hana when she moves to the village and Souhei, a boy who crosses paths with Yuki. Even non-speaking, non-human characters like the caged wolf whose pain Ame senses and the wild fox whose freedom Ame respects are indispensable.
While the film's imperfections are honestly very few, they add up enough to have it stop just short of being a masterpiece. With some tighter editing of the story, cleaner and consistent art and animation, more precise handling of the characters, and a more memorable soundtrack, it easily would have been a masterwork of anime. As it is, it is still essential viewing for anyone interested in a movie that looks at growing up and raising a family. It is a mature, insightful and often painful reflection of how deeply we feel about those we love and inevitably have to let go of. read more
Aug 3, 2013
Now for the rest of my spoiler free review,
The story of Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki can be described as very heart-warming and extremely cute, however with that being said, there are moments where the darker side of the story can be heart wrenching, if you're a fan of any of Studio Ghibli's works you'll be able to relate to the story/themes/emotions immediately. Honestly, if someone were to make you watch this movie without any prior knowledge of it, you'd probably come away thinking it was made by Ghibli, however the director Mamoru Hosada has done enough to make this his own masterpiece and that's especially good as Mamoru Hosada could be one anime director who could rival the international reputation of his former employers; Studio Ghibli. With prior works such as "The Girl Who Leaped Through Time" and "Summer Wars" this should come as no surprise to you that what you were delivered is nothing short of stellar.
The art of Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki is excellent, I mean there were literally moments where I was blown away by just how detailed and gorgeous everything looked, the animation for the most part has a hand-drawn feel to it, however the use of 3D animation was present too although isn't used for spectacular effects, but in day-to-day scenes instead, such as water ripples created by raindrops, or how wind blows.
With the art there comes the amazing sound/voice overs... From the sounds of little critters out in the wild, to the thunderous rumbles in the skies, each will leave you fully immersed in the world presented to you. Most of you have probably seen "Hotaru no haka" aka Gave of the Fireflies, if you have seen it, you'll remember that Setsuko's voice actress (Ayano Shiraishi) delivered an incredibly realistic (which is almost a rarity these days) young girls portrayal, well this is true for the Wolf Children too, both Ame and Yuki were just awesome to hear, Yuki in particular - I just loved that little gruffness in her voice. It was about a third of the way through the movie where I literally said out loud, "these voice actor's are incredible" even the supporting cast were excellent!
This goes hand in hand with the characters, from young to old the development of the characters were incredibly well done. Hana (the wolf children's mother) manages to raise the children and deal with their gift, habits, situations and to teach them the morals they need to fit in with the rest of the world. Albeit she herself has a thing to learn about her tough situation, whether that be from textbooks, passing neighbours or seasoned veterans.
Its very enjoyable to watch and with the running time at around 2 hours I was secretly hoping there would be more coming, so needless to say the pacing was great and didn't bore what so ever, and now it's about that time in the review where you hope you've said enough to convince others to give the subject matter a shot, hoping you haven't missed anything... I really cannot find any faults and therefore would have to rate Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki with a perfect 10/10. Seriously though, nothing but praise. If Mamoru Hosoda isn't in your list of favourites, now's the time! read more
Jul 1, 2013
Yuki and Ame are ordinary children in appearance only. These are two children werewolves. When their father died (he is the last representative of a family of great antiquity of werewolves), their mother , the ordinary girl, decide to move far away from the big city and to make a fresh start. Mother is compelled to hide them from other people. The husband werewolf died early, and young mummy didn't manage to ask him about his childhood.
But also this summary, not promising seemingly any intrigue, is capable to wake up interest of any person, possessing a minimum of the imagination and familiar with stylistics of the movies, speaking about a generation gap. What will do the mother, having remained alone with two small children? Where should she run when her child seek — in hospital or in a veterinary service? How to explain to growing-up children, that it is impossible to turn into a wolf on public? It is easy to guess that we are faced by the Great Saga about Mother. To be mother is a difficult work, it is so important and so heavy to have passion and smiling at a difficult moment.
In spite of the fact that it is the fairy tale, all events seem very vital and real on the screen. The director narrates measuredly, but it isn't tightened about problems of motherhood, a choice of a course of life and a growing. During viewing you don't look forward to the end and outcome, and you enjoy history.
Anime is easy. Atmosphere is absolutely noncommittal, any very touching and cozy. And all thanks to what? It is all thank to the details. These wonderful jars with simple wild flowers, a basin, the children's things scattered on a floor. The refrigerator which the Grandfather presented to Hana, friendly neighbors putting gifts … It is lovely. And it is lovely somehow in home-style, it is gentle and easy.
Whether probably to create such fragile, man-made harmony on the screen? Yes, it is possible. The world has been probably located somewhere near us and at the same time, such inaccessible. This world full of pleasure and patience in relation to relatives, love and fidelity to object of the love. But the most important, this world filled with admiration and respect for the nature surrounding us. All this absolutely inexplicably combines creation of Mamoru Hosoda.
This anime learns us not to be given and see light even where it already grew dim. Very light, touching and pure. In it there is no modern platitude. You know, after all even in our cynical world, there were still such spotless things as maternal love, friendship. This is the finest that exists, and it is necessary to protect.
Fantastically traced landscapes and the very precisely given emotions of characters are brilliant merit of animators. Who is familiar with other movies of this director, that got used to careful posing of the characters, thus not weighted excess details. But that really strikes in the movie, so it is landscapes and nature elements. Spacious mountain meadows, stony gorges, freshness of the deep old wood with huge trees, the sky with expanding magnificent clouds, the gentle rural decline, a waving web with dew drops, snow-covered open spaces. All of this cause bigger delights when you know that the studio approached very qualitatively to work and used the real-life district for the animated film.
About music I have nothing to tell. That I wouldn't tell, it will be very little for such magnificent music.
It is necessary to smile when under jumping, but at the same time the pacified music wolf cubs run on the snow wood and when grown-up Ame aspires up to the very top of the rock, very much trying won't slip on wet stones, heart is ready to jump out of a breast. And at the end of the animated film there is "The song about mother" performed by Sallie Ann under whom it is already impossible to constrain the risen tears.
It is separately necessary to tell about the bound fabulousness and realness of this creation. This annoying social guardianship, quarrelsome neighbors, shortage of the money, any household problems, diseases. All of this are close to us. That is there is absolutely real world, with real characters who problems are quite household and habitual to us. But also at work has a fantasy element which recovers all picture. In spite of the fact that a fantasy element only one — it intertwines perfectly with the shown life and develops smoothly throughout all narration which doesn't seem tightened.
Brother and Sister: two ways.
To the Viewer, probably, will want to see something exotic in the relations and development of two young werewolves, but it won't occur. Despite two essences, children suffer, have fun and rejoice as well as ordinary children. Unless just animal pleasure is available to Ame and Yuki — rush on all four wolf feet down on a snow slope. The small werewolves, so lovely supplementing each other at the beginning of the movie, will go on own way at the end. Thus it isn't simple the decision between the good and evil, absolutely not, it is a choice of a course of life.
For me it is the best animated film of year. Such warm, gentle and at the same time fascinating animated film wasn't already long ago. If you want to see a qualitative anime about relationship, the nature and mysticism droplets — I advise you to look.
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.
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
Aug 16, 2013
The story, while daring to try something different, is certainly not trying something 100% new. In short, it is a coming of age tale as we watched the titular wolf children decided what they want to be as they grow up in the world, and while it won't have you taken aback by any sudden plot twist, it is well executed. The story is really brought to life in the characters, and they are fleshed out just enough that their actions aren't bemusing. The pacing is good, seamless in fact, and while there are moments that could beg for more details, they aren't so present that later into the movie you ask yourself why they weren't fleshed out. This is more a character driven tale than anything, and it benefits from that, as it could have easily been pushed into being something that demands you sit on the edge of your seat. As a character piece, there are few stakes raise, but if you can get involved then you won't be begging for more.
-- Art --
In one word: "Beautiful," and while I certainly could end it at that, I have to give a round of applause to Madhouse. Even early in the movie when we find ourselves in a small corner of the otherwise booming Tokyo, we are treated to some very detailed set pieces. I feel like I don't know enough about art to give it it's proper credits, but the soft colors complement this mellow tale, and when they want to show you just how beautiful things can be, they do it in very well done scenes. Sans sound except the music and the whispers of nature, we get to see how much effort was lovingly put into the animation of a movie that could have that easily been more muted. Through the art direction, this movie shows a strong grasp of "Show not Tell," and the only flaw with it would be the character design, which isn't very detailed, but is enough so that you could recognize a character regardless of whether you could name them or not. That is to say nothing of the cinematography that had me applauding the director, who had an amazing grasp on when scenes should have dialogue, and when minor grunts or even just silence, would do enough to get the story across.
Much like the Art, the Sound could be summed up in one word, and again like the art, that word would be "beautiful." When we aren't treated to the orchestral symphony accompanying otherwise quiet scenes, we're allowed to here the whispered tones of nature in things like the whistling of the wind, and chirping of cicadas. Together with the Art, the Sound makes an impressive harmony as they bring the dazzling scenery to life in ways that would be missed without it. The voice acting is well done as well, with the VAs putting a lot of emotion into their lines, and controlling their tone when the scene calls for it. At no point did I feel like they're tone was overblown, and continuing the harmony with the visuals, the voice-acting brought a new life to certain scenes.
Here is where Ookami Kodomo stands out the most, and it does well to do so. Had the characters been poorly written this movie couldn't possibly be the same, because there'd be absolutely no reason to watch it. For this particular tale, only three characters possess significant importance. The first is of course Hana, the mother of the two children, and it is Yuki and Ame who fill out that importance. I would remiss to say that it was impossible to see where their development was going, especially when scenes just hand the direction to you, but even with those clear moments in mind, I still found myself wishing for the best. At least twice throughout the movie, I stopped it and begged as if it could hear me, to allow the characters to have a good life, and when things turned out bad for them, I actually felt the pulls of empathy. Minor characters, although not fleshed out, are written well enough that you can imagine you know them. The only potential problem I can see is the children in their early days, but this is only a potential problem because of how young they are at that point, and how foolish it would be to hate them for being bratty kids.
It is very easy to say I enjoyed this movie in the entirety of it's near two hour run time. This would be the fourth movie director by Mamoru Hosoda that I've watched, and like the previous three, I enjoyed this a great deal. Hosoda knows what he's doing when he writes a character tale as he has undoubtedly shown before, and the only possible problem I have with that, is that I wish I could learn more. As the movie came to a close, I wondered what would become of the two children as they furthered into adulthood, and what would become of Hana, who showed a great deal of strength to get them that far. However, I wouldn't dare say it should have continued after that, as Hosoda chose an excellent time and point to bring the story to an close.
If you're thinking about watching Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki then the question you should ask yourself is: "What do I want to see?" If you're expecting something action packed for whatever reason, then it's certainly not going to be your cup of tea, and if you're expecting something along the lines of other wolf themed shows like Spice and Wolf, or Wolf's rain, then I'd say you'd be closer along, but that you may want to tread lightly. I believe that Wolf Children possesses one of the rare qualities of certain anime, that would make it watchable by people who aren't otherwise into the medium, and certainly presents an interesting take on a coming of age tale. read more
Sep 28, 2013
The story is a narrative of a woman named Hana who raises two wolf children by herself after her beloved werewolf husband dies. Though the story isn't anything very original, it's lighthearted and memorable. As the movie progresses, you start feeling attached to the characters as if you've known them your whole life. The only con the movie's plot really has is that the story isn't the most original and can feel predictable at times. However, the characters, the themes, motifs, trials and tribulations of each protagonist that happen throughout the movie all make up for the lack of overall originality of a storyline.
The animation for Ookami Kodomo no Ame and Yuki was very clean cut and simple. Throughout most of the movie, they go to many different environments which really brings out how beautiful the scenery's animation looked. The character's animation was also very fitting and did a fantastic job portraying the way their personalities fit their look, I don't think the characters could have looked any better. However, the animation didn't look very fluid and graceful.
Ahh, my favorite part of movie, the music. The OST for Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki is such a calm, simple, heartwarming OST. The music plays at the most convenient of times and really makes the scenes feel very emotional. This music is the kind that you would play while going to sleep or something you would play when your sad to make you feel uplifted and happy. It definitely sends such a positive feeling and is something that makes you appreciate your life and what's to come.
The characters are the most important and do a great job at keeping the movie interesting with what they have to go through. The mother is a nice, caring and positive kind of character. She's really determined and very hardworking. She inspires me so much to be successful and happy with my life no matter what hardships may come in my life. Her kids are also quite the unique bunch. First, you meet Yuki, she's what you would imagine a wolf child to act. Yuki is rowdy, energetic and certainly very destructive. Thankfully, the mother has Ame, the younger brother, who keeps watch over his older mischievous sister. Ame is quite the opposite of Yuki, he's quiet, observant and sensitive. The side characters are also a very nice addition and they really add emphasis on situations that occur throughout their lives.
I really really enjoyed Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki. I feel that I've emphasized that enough. Even for non-anime watchers, this movie is enjoyable. I'll certainly re-watch the movie again and I may even buy it on Blu-ray. Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (cyber in-hale) is a movie everyone should watch and will learn a few things from it.
This is definitely something that you should watch before you die. The movie has little flaws that can be easily overlooked and will touch your heart. I have to admit, I did rate it a bit too high but it really had me thinking and happy. So until next time my fellow anime organisms. read more
Nov 14, 2013
I’ve stated in my other reviews that I don’t like stories that don’t have an apparent goal. They seem to have no clear direction, as if their story just exists without a purpose. But because of Wolf Children Ame and Yuki, I discovered that this is not always the case. Even though its story has no apparent goal, it still has a driving force that propels it forward; and those are the questions: What will she do, now that she has to raise the children alone? How will they live in the countryside? How are they going to supply food for themselves? How are they going to cope with society when the children finally reach the age of schooling? And these questions are answered one by one through the seemingly random sequences the others are talking about. That’s the reason why these sequences are not random at all. They serve as answers to the questions the story imposes.
What makes the story even more compelling is the minimal number of characters. All of them are given enough focus to make room for character development. Not only that, they are also well-made to begin with. They have their own philosophies and personalities, and this, from time to time, leads to conflict between them. The best example of this clash of ideals is that of the wolf children. Yuki chooses to be human, and Ame chooses to be wolf. What makes their argument more compelling is the fact that neither of them is wrong; both of them are right in their own ways.
This dramatic story is also embedded with incredible musical soundtracks that make the scenes even more emotional. The animation, even though its design is not very detailed, has its own unique style. This adds to the distinct atmosphere the film is portraying.
Overall, Wolf Children Ame and Yuki is a film that could rival the best from Studio Ghibli. Its themes of familial love and belongingness to society are enough to trigger emotional responses to the viewers. Another thing that makes the story more relatable is the fact that it doesn’t transcend drastically from modern life. Its fantastic elements could pass as elements from magical realism and not wholly from fantasy itself. I recommend this film to those who are trying to find their place on this world, whether from within, from society, or from both.
Oct 24, 2013
Story- It's going to be hard to properly explain the story without writing spoilers so i'll apologize in advance for the vagueness. The premise of the story is a simple one, it's a love story between a regular girl and a guy that is also half wolf. it might seem weird at first, but it's actually quite good. The name of the movie is the wolf children so I don't think i'll shock anyone when I say that the two of them get married and have kids. The story is more or less about Ame and Yuki growing up being half human and wolf and how they choose to deal with it at school and just being in public. They have to deal with different situations and naturally some of the choices they make cause some turmoil between them all. Once they become old enough they start having trouble choosing between being a wolf or a human, and this is where the story really starts to pick up in my opinion. It has some really powerful scenes for being a g rated show, in fact i'm glad it does. It's very reminiscent of something like lion king in the sense that it deals with some rather heavy subjects in a manor that anyone can understand, even kids, and yet it remains enjoyable for anyone and everyone. It takes alot of good writing to be able to produce something like that and they definitely managed to pull that off here.
Art- The art style is nothing special in this anime, but the animation quality is excellent. It's extremely smooth and definitely compliments the story. Some people might complain about certain aspects of the art because of the way some of the faces are, but I think that it was deliberate. That comes down to personal opinion, but the overall art style, animation, and aesthetics are really well done.
Sound- The sound assets are very well done. Nothing really out of the ordinary, it has fantastic music scores that really help bring the scenes to life. Every little bit, whether it be the sounds or art really helps bring the anime to life.
Character- There are 4 main characters In The Wolf Children. Ame, Yuki, Hana, and Ookami. Hana being the mother, Ookami being the father and ame and yuki being the kids. I'll talk about the kids first since the anime/movie is mainly about them. Ame is the boy of the two kids and he is the weaker of the two. He's a bit of your stereotypical mommas boy that requires attention, he gets scared at lizards and runs back to her whenever he gets the chance to, but always remember that people can change. Yuki is the girl of the two and she's definitely the brave one. She chases down rabits, cats, and even small boars at even the younger ages and she isn't afraid of anything. They definitely have opposite personalities, but that makes things interesting. Hana is the mother and she is overly caring of her husband and children. She even goes so far as to till her own fields and farm her own food just to keep them alive, wondering out in the dangerous woods looking for them despite knowing there are bears, foxes, and other dangerous creatures dwelling in there. She's too caring for them, and that is why she's the best mom they could ever ask for. Ookami is the dad and he has the same amount of compassion for Hana and the kids, he just shows it in a different way. He risks being caught as a wolf just to help feed everyone, he's also very trusting in people. Hana is the only one that has ever seen him transform and he has that must trust in her. They're a really sweet couple and family, all of them seem very much alive and it's really touching just to see them be together as a family.
Enjoyment- I'm probably getting repetitive at this point, but I can say without a doubt that anyone and everyone will enjoy this. I enjoyed it from start to finish and it never had a dull moment, the only part I didn't like was when it ended, because I just wanted to see more. It was filled with happiness, sadness, anger, and disparity, everything a great and enjoyable story needs. If you don't enjoy it I would like to know why, because you must have watched something completely different from me.
Overall- Overall this was amazing. What more can I say, it has everything. It executes every scene perfectly and is extremely entertaining, and it does all this while being rated g. There are not alot of examples of movies/anime that are this good and this accessible to everyone. You can sit down with your family and enjoy this, you'll likely be talking about it for months, maybe even years after you watch it. I know I will and I will be personally recommending this to everyone I know, whether or not they like anime or not, whether or not they are young or old. This is something EVERYONE has to watch at some point. read more
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
Sep 22, 2013
Were my thoughts when I finished watching this movie. Interesting thing that this feeling answered my own question that I had before. I was unsure about watching at the beginning, wondering how a story about raising a child could be so interesting and so loved by many people. Now I realize that what makes it adorable isn't a major plot with turns and twists neither an exceptional story, but all the beautiful little things from daily-life gathered together. Parents out there would easily and gladly answer, without a second thought, that there isn't a better love story than the one between a parent and a child.
On the other hand, some may drive away from it, because heard it's silly or childish. At first sight it sure seems a bit naive and looks like a "overly-cute" fantasy, but think about it, is there any story out there that is 100% free of criticism? Just like you shouldn't "judge a book by its cover" don't judge this movie before watching it.
What makes a masterpiece?
In order to give a full score, an 10 out of 10, usually reviewers tend to weight all the aspects of a show.
This would include story, artwork, sound, characters and all the elements that gathered together makes one final piece. There is no doubt that this concept is correct, but what if one story is so great that by itself excels in this criteria? Should you give credit to it, or just mathematically consider the final score? In my humble opinion, the least you can do is show respect to it, opening an exception to the pattern and review it in a different and unique -just like this story is- way.
Usually when you talk about animes with wolves and werewolves, to most people the first thing that comes in mind are usually fantasy series or fairy tales filled with magical elements, usually medieval themed, and lots of other mystical creatures. Sometimes these stories would develop into a romance, where a human character falls in love with this being that is half-human/half-animal and their relationship would slowly progress until they finally end up together.
Then what? What about the After Story?
Ookami Kodomo finally breaks this generic kind of story and goes further, showing how it really would be raising human-wolf kids in modern-age Japan.
If raising a "normal" child isn't easy stuff, imagine raising two, with a gap of just one year, and worse, those two aren't normal babies, they are wolves. What do you prepare for their dinner? Do you buy them kid's or dog's toys? Where do you take them, to the nursery or the veterinary!? The most trivial thing can turn into a real hardship if someone finds out about this little "issue" and then, the biggest fear of every parent: have their kids taken away from them, could become reality.
Just like this, the story will develop while we see Yuki and Ame grow to become great humans -or wolves?- with their mother Hana working hard to provide them the best of the best.
It isn't a "slice-of-life" but instead it would be better classified as a "life story" since along the 120 minutes of this movie, you can accompany 12 years of these kids and their mother life. And it's also a romance, a love story, because this love doesn't always need to be between a boy and girl. Besides from the parent-child relationship, the story also shows the lessons and all the help you can get from strangers and neighbors when you're facing problems. That is one of the most wonderful things in these animes, the ethic and the sense of moral they carry with them.
Ookami Kodomo was produced by the same director and studio that became famous due to "Summer Wars" and "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time", titles that might sound familiar to many people nowadays. Their style of a simple animation without much coloring details or special effects may drive some away from their projects, yet, I guess this is the perfect style for a movie which has the story and characters as the main focus. If the animation and the outline are beautiful or not is a different discussion, however, it must never be considered as "second hand" quality, after all, style is something you can't argue about.
Along with this, every character movement was well elaborated and some scenarios had a really beautiful artwork. Also, just pointing it out, something that really impressed me was the quality of the animation of raindrops, I don't remember seen one so good like this.
The music of this movie is adorable. Specially at the prologue and the ending scenes. Some calm and relaxing pieces that fits perfectly with the tone of the story. Just like that, sound and OST in general contributed to create the environment of the plot, nostalgic at some times but also thrilling at others.
The movie is structured as if it was being told to someone, just like a book. The one narrating the story is Yuki (grown up already) and the calm and gentle voice of her VA helps to bring this air of fantasy an old fairy-tale would have. I got no complains at all regarding sound.
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, was a lucky surprise that I found by accident while browsing the database, and now this is a story I'll always cherish deep within' my heart.
It might induce different feelings in each person, depending of what one has gone through in life, if he/she is a parent, etc... just like some may go down to tears and others may feel indifferent to it. However, I guess everybody can appreciate the beauty of the story.
Expect a lot of character development -as if this wasn't clear yet-. You'll see these kids grow and there is no way you won't attach to them.
For the numerical breakdown of my scores, you can click the "overall" and check by yourself. What I took mostly in consideration -like said before- was the enjoyment and quality/originality of the story, that is why, in my humble opinion, this 10 is very well deserved.
Then, if not this, what moves people's hearts? 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.
Sep 9, 2013
Interestingly, since _Wolf Children_ is realist in style and set in the very recent past (feels like the '90s, roughly), we get to see a rural Japan we don't usually see in your standard nostalgic movie like Ghibli: we see a rural Japan which has depopulated, been abandoned by young people, rents collapsed to zero even for what are practically mansions, a countryside which has only some old people and their dependents who engage in comically-inefficient agriculture which can only survive due to trade barriers and substantial government subsidies (which we notice, whether or not we want to, by noticing how well-maintained the roads are even on a remote mountain where no one is, how buses travel even with only one or two children or adults aboard, and how a government official personally escorts Hana around while looking for a house).
Here the story really begins as Hana fixes up the mansion, builds ties with her neighbors, learns how to farm by hand (again note the inefficiency), and Ame and Yuki start becoming people. Since it reminds us so much of _My Neighbor Totoro_, we keep expecting some sort of supernatural entity to appear - this is their father's homeland from before he moved to Tokyo, surely a pack of wolves or tanuki or something will show up soon - but instead, they just keep growing up on screen, with some small but meaningful conflicts: Ame refuses to go to school, Yuki hurts a boy who keeps harassing her, a record storm puts them in danger.
And gradually it dawns on one that Ame and Yuki aren't really the main characters but that Hana was the main character all along: this isn't a story about being a half-human monster struggling to reconcile one's parts, or about a war between humans and the supernatural, or a war between humans and the environment. This is a movie about the sacrifices Hana made to become a mother and start a family, and the challenges she braved to find a place for her children to grow up, and the pain of watching their struggles. At the end, when Hana rushes out into the torrential rain to look for Ame, our initial impulse - to mock her foolishness and failure to understand that she is in far more danger from the storm than Ame, that he has spent infinitely more time on the mountain than Hana and knows what he is doing - is immediately tempered by the understanding that *this* is part of what it means to be a mother: the desire to help and protect, no matter how little, and no matter how little the child reciprocates. (A quick exercise: in the last third of the movie, does either child ever express any love or gratitude? Ame in particular comes off as a cold-hearted bastard.) In the final moments, as Ame vanishes into the mountains, we understand Hana when she asks/begs aloud "I still haven't done a single thing for you! I still haven't..."
Animation: mostly mediocre and closer to one's TV expectations than movie-quality. Characters are rendered in as abstractly and little detailed a fashion as possible. Movements are not generally not that fluid, and while some of the backgrounds are pretty nice (especially after the move to the northern countryside), they don't rise to the routine expectations of a Miyazaki movie or a Shinkai production or the more atmospheric series like _Mushishi_. The exceptions are a handful of wolf-sequences: the romp in the snow is fantastic and moving, and Ame following his fox master up the mountain is also good.
Music: Takagi Masakatsu's score is mostly unobtrusive and quiet, matching the general tempo and mood of the film and its setting. That said, I must single out the ending theme "オヨステ・アイナ" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcRa7TRhJgE) for conveying the overarching theme of motherhood very well through its lyrics & sound for anyone who didn't get what the story was about, and "おかあさんの唄" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cstiuUA-7q8) for just being a great instrumental/classical piece. read more
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.
Oct 23, 2013
We follow the story of Hana, who suddenly finds herself a single mother, to two wolf children, Ame and Yuki. The film explores the struggles and joys of such a family, keeping in mind the children’s unique heritage (which it very much emphasizes throughout the story) and their adjustment to their new lifestyle outside of the city and into the country. It could be said to be a simple story, and I like to think that it is, but it is in the execution and the storytelling that makes this simple story into something extraordinary.
Without characters, there is hardly a story: the characters of Ookami Kodomo are lovable, especially Ame and Yuki during their younger years. What makes the two so endearing is that they are so realistic—I would daresay that nearly everyone has a frail and quiet Ame or energetic and loud Yuki in their life; in fact it may be you yourself. The children’s growth and development is central to the film’s story; I’m afraid I will spoil it for you should I comment on it further but I will say that the two are not flat characters considering the time constraint of the film. Hana’s development is nothing to scoff at either. We see her grow from demure college student to knowledgeable and independent mother, arguably the kind of mother that every girl should strive to be. Ookami Kodomo is not exactly a plot-driven story, and so it would have to rely on its characters’ charisma, qualities, and growth to make it a successful story and I will say now that Ame, Yuki, and Hana accomplished to bring the story to life.
The art and aesthetics of the film does not take second fiddle to the story and the characters. We are treated to visual delights comparable to the highly detailed and colorfully rich Kotonoha no Niwa. The images of Ookami Kodomo are already beautiful when static but take a life of its own when in motion, particularly of landscape. The simplistic character designs are not lost on the rich and luscious backgrounds either—rather, both the characters and the background complement each other perfectly. Moreover, the art throughout was consistently well done. I watched the film on 720p on my 13” screen and even then, my breath was already taken away by the detail and the colors of the art. I can only imagine what it looks like on a large screen at 1080p.
I have been praising all of Ookami Kodomo’s characteristics so far and I am not to stop now: the sound is nothing short of amazing. The sound effects truly immerse you into the film’s world—whether it is the rain, or the sound of the cars’ tires on the road. The background music is such a pleasure to listen to and accompanies the scenes and the voice acting well. If I had to describe the overall quality of the sounds—be it the effects, music, or voice acting—I would say that it is soft and quiet, the kind of soft and quiet that many slice of life films want to achieve but could not quite do.
I watched Ookami Kodomo one weekend night, and watched it again night after. The film is simply that beautiful, so beautiful that watching it once within the span of 24 hours was not enough. The familial love and the narrative that is their everyday life is the best of both genres that I have ever seen (i.e., the love story and the slice of life). Nowadays, many people watch something for the sake of a review, whether personal or published, and so they strive for objectivity but for myself, it was difficult to be objective with Ookami Kodomo. I fell in love with the characters, the story, the art, the music, and everything about the film. I highly recommend this anime to anyone, particularly to older audiences; you could have young’uns watching this now and have them watch it again in a few years, I think they’ll thank you for that.
This could be the best anime film we will have in quite some time and probably the magnum opus of the director as well; I will truly be surprised if they manage to make a new film that tops this masterpiece. I think it should become a benchmark for all films regardless of genre. Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki is a magnificent masterpiece, and the staff should be proud of their work. It truly is one of the best and immersive films that I have ever seen.
Aug 15, 2013
The story of this movie is strong. A single mother who does her best to raise her children who are "conveniently" wolf children. Even though this story is strong, it is lacking a certain something. We have all heard of stories of single parents, such as, "Usagi Drop." This version of the single parent story has only one twist: the wolf children. This was not captivating enough to capture my complete attention.
Imagine a field painted with beautiful golden flowers that swaying in the spring breeze. With that opening scene, I knew that I was going to give the art of this movie a perfect ten. The art, although simplistic, complements the movie nicely. However, the simplistic art does make me want to pay more attention to the story and characters but they are not interesting or captivating. Therefore, in this situation, the art style caused some points to be lost. Another detail that I also enjoyed was the stunning eyes of the wolf and the fox. Their eyes held emotions, such as, pride and depression. Overall, the art takes into consideration of what the story is telling and makes use of its potential.
The sound is nothing special, even a tad dull. I watched this movie on my computer and with headphones. With my headphones, I could distinguish every sound and found absolutely nothing to be surprised by. Additionally, there was not any outstanding music. Music is becoming more and more important to the visual art because music can create a particular atmosphere and convey meaningful emotions. None of that was found in the ending song and the soundtrack. The sound was dull and the music was boring. The only thing I could compliment on is its sound of laughter and clarity. But that wasn't enough to sway me.
I didn't care much for the characters, even after watching them grow and progress in their lives. Especially the mother; she felt quite hollow and phony. The fact that she shows so much strength is what makes me dislike her. Allow me to say this, I'm not interested in weak damsels. That isn't my fetish. What I have a problem with, is that she makes an impenetrable wall. Not to the characters but to the audience. I would like to know what really goes on in her head. The story is told from the point of view of the daughter. I believe if we had more insight in the mother's challenges in raising wolf children, we would have a character that we actually care for.
This anime did not spark any particular emotions for me. Even though I did enjoy this movie, I don't feel like it lives up to the hype that other people on this site have said. I admit, the art is quite nice, but the story and characters are too dull for me to truly enjoy every bit of the story. Thus, I give this movie an eight for enjoyment. read more
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.
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.
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 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