This is an interesting movie. The story is rather unexpected, but it is also relaxing and nice. The animation is not that good, but the story itself makes up for that. As I started watching this movie, my first thoughts were innocent, relaxing and a nice love story. The power of love in this type of anime movie just amazes me every single time. It's wonderful how you can find love in most unexpected places and this anime proves that point.
Life can truly be beautiful when you have someone that loves you and that the love is mutual.
Things changed rather quickly after the unfortunate event. Life moved on and new experiences followed. It was really hard raising two half-wolf children. As the kids were growing up it was pretty impossible to stay in the city. Moving in the middle of nowhere was the only logical thing to do. It was really nice watching them grow up with all the freedom they could ever possibly want.
Don't quite understand why, but I really like this kind of anime movies. Maybe it's because of the positive feelings it gives off, maybe because of the message that anything is possible and never as bad as you think or maybe just because of so much love..
Nineteen-year-old college student Hana meets a young man who sneaks into her classes for lessons and falls in love with him immediately. They soon start dating. One day, the man reveals his identity to Hana; he is a Wolfman and the only surviving descendant of the extinct Japanese wolf. Undeterred by this fact, Hana invites him to live with her. A year later, when Hana becomes pregnant, she decides not to visit a hospital out of fear that her child would be a wolf. Their daughter, Yuki, is thus born at home on a snowy day, along with her brother, Ame, who is born a year after her, this time on a rainy day. Not long after Ame's birth, the Wolfman suddenly disappears. Hana searches frantically, only to discover that city workers were working to remove a wolf's carcass from a canal. He had died accidentally while hunting to feed the children. Although devastated by the loss of her beloved, Hana resolves to take good care of her wolf-children by herself.
However, Hana discovers that living in the city with her children was extremely difficult. Yuki, who is temperamental, often switches between her human and wolf form, creating a lot of noise, making the neighbors unhappy. Child-protection officers have been hounding Hana because her children had not gone for the compulsory immunization program. Making matters worse, her landlord receives complaints that she was keeping pets at home due to the wolf cries made by Yuki and Ame, and threatens to evict her because the apartment forbids pets. Eventually, Hana decides to move to the countryside and stumbles upon a dilapidated house that was virtually rent-free, but requires a lot of renovation work. Most importantly to her, however, is the fact that the nearest neighbor is miles away, and the house is surrounded by nature.
Hana gets down to work immediately, repairing the house and later tried to grow crops. Initially skeptical of her at first, the other villagers warm up to her and help her to settle in. One fierce old man who treats newcomers harshly even shows Hana how to grow her own farm. At the same time, Hana tries to find ways to educate her children about wolf survival in the wild. She eventually gets a job as an assistant in a nature reserve to learn more about nature. Meanwhile, Yuki loves the new environment, while Ame dislikes it. One day, Ame finds the will to chase after a kingfisher, but loses his footing and falls into a stream, and nearly drowns. After that day, Ame became a more confident person.
Soon, when Yuki and Ame reaches school-going age, Yuki begs her mother to send her to school. Hana agrees on one condition: they must never transform into a wolf in front of people. Although Yuki does not fit well into the school environment initially due to her background, but she soon adapts and makes many new friends at school. On the other hand, Ame does not adapt very well and gets bullied to the point he stops attending school and frequently wanders into the woods behind their house. Later, Hana discovers that Ame was taking lessons from an old fox about hunting and survival in the wild.
In school, Yuki's class receives a new transfer student, Souhei who ultimately tells Yuki that she smelled of an animal. Fearing that he would uncover her identity, Yuki avoids him. However, he follows Yuki around the school until Yuki, unable to control herself, transforms into a wolf and scratches him across the ear. Haunted by this incident, Yuki refuses to go to school. However, moved by Souhei's persistence in sending her homework and foodstuff every day, Yuki eventually returns to school, and even became good friends with Souhei.
On one stormy day, when Ame's "master" dies, Ame decides to take over his role in the woods, but despite his mother's objections, he slips away without Hana knowing. During her search for Ame, Hana slips and falls down a chasm, but is rescued by Ame, who carries her out of the woods. Before regaining consciousness, Hana has a vision where the Wolfman apologizes to her for the burden she had to bear in raising their children and tells her he is proud of how they have grown. Hana berates herself for Ame's disappearance, to which the Wolfman responds that Ame has found his path in life. When she awakens, Hana finally accepts Ame's decision, and watches in awe as he howls and disappears into the distance as a matured wolf. Meanwhile, Yuki, who was left in school with Souhei, reveals her true identity to him and confesses that she was the wolf who attacked him. Souhei admits that he knew this a long time ago, but he has already forgiven her.
Years later, Yuki attends a boarding middle school, making a lot of new friends in the process and despite Ame's disappearance, his howls could be heard far and wide. Meanwhile, Hana continues to live in her old home, happily knowing that she has raised her wolf-children well.
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Screenplay: Mamoru Hosoda
Music: Takagi Masakatsu
Studio: Studio Chizu, Madhouse
Release Date: July 21, 2012
Running Time: 117 minutes