Review and Synopsis by Anime Girl

Wolf Children Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki Review By Anime Girl

The story of Wolf Children starts with Hana, a young woman college student.  She is fairly self sufficient and has a part time job in addition to going to school.  She notices an unusual man sitting at the front of her class. He feels out of place to her.

She gets to know the man a bit better. He has a distant nature, but he talks of his dreams for the future. He wants to belong somewhere.   He formerly worked as a furniture mover and delivery man and sat in on lectures. He was not actually a registered student and was just trying to fit in.

He reveals to her that he is a Wolf that has the ability to turn into a human. He would rather Hana not learn about his nature accidentally. She still sees him as a kind man who is interested in who she is, and they gradually fall in love.

The two settle into life and get an apartment. Wolf Man and Hana do have two children named Ame and Yuki.

The entire story is narrated through the eyes of an older Yuko, who is Hana’s daughter.

Wolf Man dies of unknown causes and leaves Hana as a single mother raising two children who are also wolves.

Yuki and Ame do constantly change between their human and wolf forms. Hana wishes to keep their abilities secret and attempts to hide them from the world.

She receives complaints from social workers and doctors that they are too loud, and that they have not been vaccinated. She is threatened with eviction and faces many of the same harsh realities of a single mother who isn’t a mom to wolves. She also has no desire to lose them or leave them. She still loves them.

Hana still feels like she can’t reach out to get the help she needs to raise her kids because she is terrified they will be judged harshly.

Hana moves the family to the countryside away from neighbors. She struggles to feed her family and work to repair their broken down home.

She meets some neighbors in the countryside, including Nirasaki, who is strict and teachers her farming and crops.

On a winter day, Ame almost drowns in the river while trying to hunt a bird. She is saved by Yuki. Yuki gets her mother to let her go to school with other kids. Hana has worked hard to keep her kids from knowing many others so they won’t realize they are wolves. She tells Yuki that she must not reveal herself as a wolf.

Yuki does find friends at school, but Ame is more animal like and prefers the forest. He takes lesson from an old fox about wilderness survival.

Yuki does eventually struggle in school. In 4th grade, they receive a new transfer student in Souhei. He pursues Yuki realizing something is different. Yuki get made and transforms into a wolf, inadvertently injuring Souhei. Souhei, not knowing that Yuki was the wolf, blames the animal and fees Yuki of any problems. The two become friends instead.

Yuki and Ame begin to fight about whether they are humans or wolves. Later, a storm gathers while Yuki is at school. Ame disappears into the frest to help his fox teacher, who is dying. Hana goes after him. While the other children are picked up by their parents, Hana has left Yuki and Souhei alone. Yuki reveals that she is a wolf. Souhei says he already knows but will keep the secret.

ana falls and gets knocked out while searching for Ame. Ame finds her and carries her. When Hana awakens, she sees Ame turn into an adult wolf. He then runs into the mountains. She accepts his goodbye and lets him go.

Yuki then leaves home to a dorm at her junior high school. Hana can also hear Ame’s wolf howls in the forest. Hana is alone in the house, but is happy and proud of raising her wolf children.

Much of the story is about parenthood and acceptance. Wolf Man finds acceptance with Hana. Hana continues to love her children they are different from even her. Parenthood is obviously more difficult for a single mom and her struggles make that clear. She is able to mostly happily take care of her kids and put them above herself.

Hana

Hana is a kind, loving person. She is seen a stronger, independent woman before meeting the Wolf Man. She is going to school for a career and she works a part time job. She doesn’t seem to need him, yet.

Hana seems surprised the Wolf man is in fact a Wolf Man, but she loves him for who he is. Regardless of where he came from, she appreciates that she knows of his nature.

She is persevering and selfless. She has gone through hardships but seems unwilling to give up. Whether she has an eviction notice or doctors asking why Yuki and Ame haven’t had checkups, she shields them. She loves her children like she loved the Wolf Man, though he is gone.

To support her family, she gets a job as a nature conservationist, which seems right up her alley for raising wolves.

Hana also ventures into the woods to save Ame from the storm She understands that he desired to be more wolf than men. He wants to reconnect with the fox before his death.

Hana is somewhat sad when her kids leave. She has built a home for them and taken a job for them. She still loves them though and doesn’t seem to have regrets over the hardships she faced.

Overall, Hana is a fascinating character and a bit of a feminist. She misses Wolf Man, but has the drive to both work and raise children. She faces fear of rejection from the outside world but ultimately let’s her kids choose their own way. Nowhere in the process does she seem to long for a man, probably in part because of the secret to her children. She accepts help from an elderly man, but only to ensure that she and her children survive. Hana also let’s her children go and move on but remains happy about the life she had and lived.

Yuki

Yuki is the older daughter. She does act a bit like a wolf. She has an energetic nature. She likes to chase small prey, just like a wolf. She loves being outside.

She calms down a bit when she is older. She has made a promise when she went to school that she will never transform into a wolf in public. She has learned some self control due to that request.

Yuki seems to enjoy being a human. She lives with her mother as a human though she does move out to junior high.

An older Yuki is also the narrator of the movie. She is reflective and appreciative of what her mother did to protect her from potential problems. She sees some problems with the way her mother raised them, but she understands that Hana did what she could.

Her desire to not intentionally turn into a wolf may be a reflection of her respect for her mother. Both want to be normal people in society. She also sees what her mother has done for her and wishes to help stop her worry and fatigue.

Ame

Ame is a bit wilder, though not early on. He is very shy as a child and fears the outside world. He is the opposite of his wild energetic sister. Ame is more introverted. He doesn’t especially like people, even in school.

He finds the world scary because of their portrayal of wolves in story books. Although no one knows he’s a wolf, he fears the treatment he will receive if they do learn. He sees people thinking of wolves as evil, cunning creatures who kill. He has more of a desire to protect and honor nature than to kill it. Some might consider him a bit more effeminate when he was younger due to his docile nature and closeness with his mother.

As a teen, he becomes much bolder. He becomes outgoing and wild. He meets a Sensei, an elderly fox, who teaches him the way of the wild. The fox, known as Barkeep, doesn’t have much dialogue in the movie, but in part expressing the distance between Amie and humans. Ame doesn’t develop any clear romantic connections throughout the movie, though it’s also not clear if he seeks a mate as a wolf.

Ame is destined to take care of nature and the mountain. When the fox dies, Ame has wandered way from school and into the forest. This is Ame’s goodbye. Hana follows him and falls. He rescues her but goes to the wild to become caretaker for the mountain.

Wolf Man

Wolf Man’s name is not known. He was the last of his kind and was orphaned to relatives as a child. They didn’t get along so he went on his own.

He is a calm, nice person. His wolf instincts make him a great potential father and he loves Yuki and Ame.

Wolves within anime and fantasy are often portrayed as cunning and ruthless. This is not Wolf Man. He cares enough about Hana’s feelings to tell her he’s a Wolf, only hoping the acceptance.

His cause of death is unknown. Given his paternal instincts and drive to find prey, he may have died hunting. While Hana is shocked at his death, she wishes to honor him as a person and wolf and carry on without him.

 

 

Write a comment

Your email address will not be published.