Monday, November 11, 2019

Anime Monday - Wolf Children

Okay, I'm just going to flat out say it. Wolf Children is not something I would normally watch. It really isn't. If I would've come across the movie on my own, I wouldn't just skipped over it and went onto something I'd think is better. So, why did I watch it? Well...

The first time I had even heard of the movie was when fellow NGR writer GlacialLeaf mentioned it to me. In fact it's actually one of his favorite movies of all time, so he explained quite a bit of it to me in great detail. From what he told me it didn't seem like a bad movie or anything, but it still wasn't something I felt I should watch. The idea seemed interesting and all, but whatever, it just wasn't my thing. So years went by, and not once did I watch it -- until about a month ago that is.

"GO WATCH GUNDAM 00!" I had been trying to get GlacialLeaf to watch it for quite awhile, but he was too stubborn and would always do something else. So we struck a deal. He'd watch some of 00, if I watched Wolf Children -- and that's exactly what I did. That night I sat down with the movie and watched the whole thing from start to finish. Honestly I didn't think I'd be going back to the movie after that, but this week's RNG chose it, and now here I am once again. Now with all of that being said, how is the movie?

First of all Wolf Children is a film co-directed by Mamoru Hosoda -- a man known for directing other movies like "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time," and has worked as a key animator on quite a few projects as well. His movies do have cult followings though, and Wolf Children is no different. His movies are highly praised, and considered "must watch" films by fans and critics alike. But why is that? What is Wolf Children about, and why do people love it so much? Well...

Wolf Children follows the story of a young woman named Hana. At the start of the story she's living a normal life, with no real plans for her future. She gets up in the morning, goes to school, and then comes back home only to do it allover again. It's an everyday existence many people can relate to, but soon all of that is changed. One day at school Hana notices a strange guy in one of her classes. She's not sure what it is that draws her to him, but eventually she works up the courage to talk to him. The two hit it off, and before long they start dating; however soon she discovers that the man has a secret. He is a werewolf.

Shockingly this doesn't scare Hana. She accepts the man for who he is, and the two spend the night together. Eventually Hana discovers she is pregnant, and decides to spend the rest of her life with the wolf. The two move in together, and once the baby is born they decide to continue building their new family -- that's when Hana gets pregnant for a second time. Although both children ended up being born without issues, what happens next will rock Hana's world forever.

One day after their second child was born, the wolf followed his animal instincts and went out to find food for the little one. After he leaves the house a lot of time started to pass though, and he never returns home. So after waiting as long as she can, the worried Hana sets off along with her two children in hopes of finding him -- and that's exactly what she does. As she searches the city, her eyes are eventually drawn to a group of men on the edge of the water way. Apparently a dead dog was reported being seen in the water, and they were there to fish it out and throw it away in the trash. That's when Hana realizes it. This dead "dog" is in fact her husband.

Losing him is hard, but Hana has no choice but to go on. She has two babies to take care of, and she's the only one who can do it. So that's what she does. She completely dedicates her life to her children, and we get to see her story unfold over the next ten or so years.

The main plot of Wolf Children focuses on Hana and the challenges she faces being a single mother, but it's also a bit more than that. While the children seem to be normal at first glance, the reality is they have inherited their father's ability to transform into a wolf. This makes things especially difficulty for Hana as she has to keep what they are a secret, but the kids themselves don't seem to understand that. Her daughter (their first child) will throw tantrums like a normal kid, but in the process she'll also transform into a wolf and run around the house causing chaos. As they walk in the park and meet other dogs they'll grow and bark at them, and sometimes they'll even transform as someone is walking up to their stroller to say hi to them. Eventually Hana realizes that keeping the two in the city would be hard, so she packs up and moves far out into the country. With little money at her disposal, she buys an old run down house, and begins her new life as a farmer.

Overall the movie is pretty interesting. It's not your average "slice of life" show, and the kids are both drastically different. Young Yuki is an energetic girl who enjoys being with other kids and going to school, while her little brother Ame seems to have more wolf like tendencies. He's reserved, and doesn't get along with other kids. It's a challenge for Hana to take care of these two, and there's a lot she has to learn in order for them to survive.

Although I didn't want to watch this movie to begin with, I'll admit that it was pretty good. I do have my own issues with it, but they mainly come from the ending (something I wont be spoiling here). It is a fun movie though, and could be worth checking out if you haven't already. It's definitely not a movie for everyone though, so keep that in mind before you check it out. As for me? I am glad I gave it a chance.