“Wolf Children” Review

‘Wolf Children’ (or ‘Wolf Children Ame and Yuki’/Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki) is a Japanese animated fantasy film that heavily reflects themes such as family, loss, hard work and perseverance, acceptance, and unconditional love. It follows the story of a young, widowed woman, Hana, who is left to raise her two werewolf children following her werewolf husband’s death.

I remember watching this movie a few years back, and I loved the simple art style and how heart-warming yet at the same time heart-wrenching the overall storyline was. Upon watching it again, these feelings have not changed in the slightest. I still loved how the realistically the characters were portrayed, especially Hana. I love how she stays determined even in the face of adversity and became a role model for her children despite her grieving.

One of her admirable traits is how she maturely handles herself even when dealing with her children’s fantastical circumstances (the werewolf bits of the movie). One prime example of this (and this isn’t a major spoiler or anything) is when the older child, Yuki, accidentally eats silica gel and promptly falls ill. Upon arriving in town (in the middle of the night, no less), Hana then is unsure whether to contact a general practitioner or a vet, as Yuki is part-human and part-werewolf. But by calming herself down and giving herself some time to think, she found a solution by contacting both and coming to her own conclusion that Yuki will be fine given a few hours of rest.

I also loved how nothing, especially the romantic aspects of the movie, was forced upon the audience, I loved how gently and artfully they handled the romance between Hana and her husband, I loved how it bloomed slowly and naturally between them. The only partially negative thing I have to say about this is that—again, not really a spoiler, since this happened early on—Hana being pregnant while she was still in university isn’t the most ideal situation. In my opinion, anyway. I also loved how the movie took a ‘show, don’t tell’ approach when focusing on Hana’s sadness, via the camera angles, recurring mementos, etc. without it being too ‘in your face’ about it. The flashbacks were kept to a minimum, which I also appreciate since too much of it would be a bit of distraction for me.

One minor issue I had with the movie is that it didn’t show much about the children themselves in relation to growing up fatherless. One of the questions I had while re-watching it, that I didn’t think to ask back then, was did the children resent their dad for making them so different from the rest of their peers? Because it wasn’t addressed very much. I understand that they would probably not remember him much, but I thought that it would’ve been an interesting topic to explore since I’m sure a lot of kids will be able to relate.

‘Wolf Children’ is a beautiful and poignant story about family, love, and overcoming obstacles in trying times. It handles deep, meaningful topics such as loss of a loved one with such grace and respect that sadly not a lot of movies can do successfully these days. This is undoubtedly one of my favourite movies to date, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to watch a beautifully-written and animated love story.

If you’ve made it this far into my post, thank you for reading! Have you seen ‘Wolf Children’ before? If so, what did you think? If not, would you want to? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see you in my next post.

Until next time,
Dev.

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