Sunday, March 08, 2015

Review: Wolf Children

Daughter, Yuki tells the story of her mother Hana who falls in love with a werewolf  and has two half-werewolf children with him.  Soon after the boy Ame's birth, their father is killed. 

Hana soon finds out that the children  Yuki and Ame can  switch between their human and wolf forms, and Hana has to hide them from the world.  Hana moves the family to the countryside.  

Soon Yuki is  begging her mother to let her go to school like other children. Hana accepts on the condition that Yuki keeps her werewolf nature secret.  Ame, on the other hand,  Arne is more interested in the forest, and spends most of his time in the forest, learning about survival in the wild.

The film ends as Yuki ends her narration describing Ame's choice to remain in the forest, as a wolf while Yuki moves back to the city where Yuki  is now a teen entering Jr. high school.  And Hana, living alone in the old house in the country, reflects on her life with the wolf children as magical. 

I really got lucky getting a chance to view this fine anime movie.  It really is magical.   The wolf here are very believable much as those in Wolf's Rain say.  Director Mamoru Hosoda could have gone for the cheap tear jerker but instead deftly and calmly  slides through the high moment as well, leaving the viewer calm but interested in what comes next.   All but for the end, when you realize that people that you have come to appreciate in the few short minutes you have been with them, are drawing nie. Because it is ultimately a good feeling ending, one where you wish all, best of luck. 

How would I rate Wolf Children?  There has to be a 9 out of 10 in the mix,  Spirited Away is in the same block, as is The Girl who Leaped  Through Time  to mane only a few.   My suggestion would be to find it and watch it.  If you like anime and like a well crafted  anime movie,  then you really can not go wrong with Wolf Children.


Obee Juan said...

Funnily enough, I had just picked up this on Blu-Ray about a week before your review. I finally got a chance to watch part of it this morning, and got just past the point where they moved. A couple observations... their new home and really the layout of that entire area (rice paddy fields and all) looked like it was lifted straight out of My Neighbor Totoro. I know this isn't a Studio Ghibli film, but I'm wondering if some of the same people worked on both films. I'm gonna have to re-watch Totoro this weekend after I finish Wolf Children

Secondly... the scene where she learns the fate of her husband was one of the most horrifyingly tragic scenes I've ever seen and damn near brought this full grown man to tears.

Beam Me Up said...

I am a bit embarrassed to note that the scene you mentioned, did in fact bring a grown man to tears. It was shocking and um-nearving to the point that I WAS in fact brought to tears. There were many such moments in Wolf Children, the ending in particular where the aging matriarch sits to contemplate her life. Very powerful scenes.

Thanks much for your comments. Reviews and movie comments always are welcome.


Obee Juan said...

Oh there's no need to be embarrassed. I still cry at the end of The Iron Giant. Every. Single. Time. I'm sobbing like a big baby as he flies off. And when Groot protects everyone towards the end in Guardians of the Galaxy. I'm tearing up now just recalling him saying "We are Groot." Yeah... I cursed Vin Diesel for doing that to me again.

Beam Me Up said...

Who the hell knew that Vin could do such good voice work! Check out my review on Fury and I found this gem in a dollar store discount rack for $4 so Galaxy kind of set me up but I was still surprised that he could make Riddick live in a straight to video animated feature!