In life, you’re forced to make choices. What you want to eat, what you want to study, what kind of job you want, and even who you want to marry. But rarely does one have to make one that affects your life entirely and create a divergent that can separate who you will become later on, a life-changing decision to determine your own fate.
The story of wolf children follows the story of Hana, a young woman who starts college in the hopes of pursing the city life. As she begins school, she notices a man who seems distant and far away from the rest of the class. She then begins to pursue said man, and learns that he is a wolf. Despite that the two fall in love. After giving birth to two children, and a few heart wrenching circumstances, Hana and her two children, Yuki and Ame, move out into the countryside where they begin a new life where their mother gives them two paths to go down: pursue the path of the wild as a wolf, or walk to the city path as a human.
The plot is simple, involving a very easy to follow plot, as the story focuses only on the 12 years that Hana spends raising her two children. Despite its easygoing plot, its execution bore some imbalance between the different time periods, as the beginning sped up the whole “prologue” part with the children and the college romance, while the ending years shown were very drawn out and long. There was even a few timeskips here and there that served only to give a general synopsis of what had happened within that year and slightly hampered the show’s connection of growth as time goes on. Though this is a small nitpick since more than likely, you probably won’t care due to how engrossing the tale of these two children becomes with time.
Whenever you have a movie, you’re always forced into this small little time frame that limits how much material you have. This movie does not have that. In fact, disregarding the pacing, the movie does itself proud by working with the 2 hour time frame it was given, and ultimately conveying the story that it wanted to convey.
+ Very well written story
+ Worked well with its time frame
– Somewhat uneven pacing (this can be overlooked)
While the story was well executed, I found the characters to be a smidge lacking in comparison to the story. They were still REALLY good characters, but because of the aforementioned time frame that an anime movie is forced into, the characters I felt didn’t reach their full potential.
First, is Hana. Hana is probably the #1 mother of the year. She literally spends her days in the early parts of the film: raising two children by herself, fixing a run down house from the ground up, plant and grow her own crops from unfarmable land, all the while having to deal with two growing children who are also wolves. Above all, she doesn’t complain at all, and wears a smile the whole time she’s doing it like it’s no big deal. If that doesn’t say anything about perseverance and willpower, I don’t know what will. At the beginning of the movie, Hana is the main focal point, having to deal with the trials and tribulations of her new life mentioned above. As the movie goes on, she sort of takes a back seat in terms of focus, as her maturing children start to take the prominent role. She’s still a main focus, but not as much. Throughout the movie, she is shown to be a very caring mother, giving her children the choice of choosing which side of their blood they want to pursue towards, ultimately being happy with whatever her children do. Personally, I feel like this is what made me feel for the movie the most. It’s because of this idea of being accepting your loved ones with whatever they turn out to be, that this story ends up being so touching and heartwarming.
Next is Ame and Yuki. While Hana is indeed important to the movie, I feel like these two children are the movie’s main focal point. Birthed from a man who was a part wolf, and a woman who was completely human, the two have both human and wolf blood within them, causing them to sporadically change from wolf to human, and back again at any moment’s notice. Like most children, they begin out as blank slates. A child is born without any sense of what is right or wrong, what is good or bad, and requires the guidance in order to mold them into the person they will turn out to be. As the movie goes along, the two children begin to find their own paths, ultimately becoming the different beings that the audience sees at the end. What I like about these two, are the fact that they accurately represent the way people are created. We all require outside forces such as our parents, and friends, in order to become the person we are today, and this movie represents that in a very heartwarming fashion. However, the children are subjected to the short time frame as well, so their development goes awry at some points, so you’re probably going to have to just go along with it whenever something new pops up that wasn’t explained.
With the main 3 characters, comes a load of supporting cast that don’t really have too much character. The majority of them help Hana and her children with their lives, and not much else. Not that that’s wrong, but that is essentially the role that they play.
+ Awesome mother main character
+ Well done execution of a child’s growth
+ Very good supporting cast that helped with the plot
– Few missing details on the main characters
Art and Sound:
The art in this movie is rather simple. While the backgrounds look extraordinary as all hell, the actual people appear rather simple. There were times when the movie had distant shots of people, and their faces weren’t there. Even the general character designs weren’t all too glamorous or convoluted. The clothes were also quite bland to, mostly will just a single color taking up an entire piece of clothing. The art itself wasn’t bad, in fact, it actually fit with the story and the movie as a whole, but when you judge it by itself, the art style notes ‘simplicity’ as its strongest point.
The sound on the other hand is awe-inspiring. The tracks for this movie are filled with vocal songs and piano parts that add to the movie’s serenity and calming nature. Throughout the whole movie, they play this sort of music, and it works in the movie’s favor. It makes the scenes a lot more heart-wrenching/warming, adds the mysticalness of the idea of raising hybrid children, and even finishing off the movie with a wonderful ending which I must say, is rather perfect.
Now, for voice acting. The dub I feel is quite good. The characters have voices that work with the characters, (except Ame’s older voice. He’s like 10. No 10 year old I know sounds that deep.) and ultimately, I felt like there was a lot of emotion coming from the voice actors that made the story feel a lot more genuine. So all in all, this dub is definitely a keeper.
+ VERY good soundtrack
+ Good background art
+ Dub approved
– Rather simple characters (again, can be overlooked.)
When I first heard about how touching it was, I was rather intrigued. When I got the guts to watch it, I was sitting in my chair trying to hold it all in. This story is beautiful. It brings the idea of family into a whole new light, and explains what a parent must go through when raising children: giving birth, raising them, teaching them manners and moral understandings, and then letting go. It connected to me with how what I aspire to do in life, and I just felt happier for watching it.
All in all, I felt like this was a great viewing experience. The negatives of this review that I mentioned become obsolete once you start watching it, and in the end, it touched me the same way something like Clannad did. This is a movie that everyone should watch. It’s very cute, it has a nice end, and above all, gives a new perspective to the potential anime has as a medium. I hope that anyone who reads this who hasn’t watched it, goes and watches it, because I guarantee you it will be worth your time.
Little Note: There’s a short 30 second bestiality-esque scene in the movie, so…keep that in mind if you want to watch it.