With the upcoming dub release as well as the special theater showings, it’s time we sit down and talk about Wolf Children.
Wolf Children was introduced to me through Anime Boston 2013 and a freaking amazing AMV you can find on youtube by searching ‘Fidelity Wolf Children’. But more importantly, this AMV made me cry. And I knew immediately, DAMN, I have to watch this movie! So I went right to the Dealer’s room only to find it wouldn’t be out for months. My boyfriend and I decided to watch it online.
This was the worst mistake I’ve ever made in my life. Because that amv? Man it’s sad but it’s not like YOUR SOUL IS DYING. And that’s what Wolf Children is ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to YOUR SOUL DYING.
Hands down the best part of this movie is the mother. The main character, Hana, is probably the sweetest girl ever. The beginning of the movie is basically she finds a guy interesting and tries to talk to him and they bond. Then, before you know it, they’re in love. And then Hana finds out a secret from her new love- he is a wolf man who has been living amongst humans. She doesn’t care, and they consummate their relationship. And before long this results in her ending up pregnant. She and her husband (I think the implication is they do get married, but you never see it) are overjoyed and it’s not long after their daughter, Yuki, is born before Hana is pregnant again.
But once Ame is born, her husband dies tragically. Satisfying his instincts, her husband tries to hunt for a good meal for his wife in wolf form. This results in what seems to be the city killing him, because wolf in a city would kind of freak people out, and Hana going to find him only to see his dead wolf body being lifted into a city vehicle. So now Hana must find a way to support her two children, completely abandon her education, and overcome the death of the man she loved all by herself. Her sheer determination is just so amazing I can’t even describe it properly. Every blow, she takes. She takes and she rolls with it.
And that’s why this movie isn’t fair. Because she works so hard, takes so many hits, and I’ll tell you right now- the movie doesn’t end in a way that makes you feel like this was fair. I’ll continue on the review but know this- the one problem with this movie is that when Hana’s husband dies from then on she is living solely for her children, and her children love her but they forget that she has lost what was going to be her happiness to give them what she can- and – ugh- hkxjhfkjldhjdhf
At first Yuki is a trouble maker who is always turning into a wolf and making her mother worry. Hana’s inability to keep her children’s nature in control without help results in various problems. She can’t take them to get vaccines because the slightest pain and they change into wolves. She can’t explain why there are barking and growling noises in her house to her landlord. And her husband only left her so much money. So before long she knows that she has to move or risk her children being taken or found out. And so she leaves all she’s known trying so hard to support her children.
The next part of the movie is probably my favorite part because it’s the part where Hana gets the most back. She tries so hard and the villagers she moves near see this, and the old man in town works hard to help her once he sees this. Her children love her, they’re there, and she can be there for them. They go running in the snow, they have good memories, her hard work is. . . this is arguably the happiest part of the movie and it’s still so sad because you can see her struggle and how alone she is.
And then Ame and Yuki start to diverge. In a twist, Ame becomes less attached to his mother and becomes more wolf life. Yuki wants to become a normal school girl and even falls in love. And by the end of the movie, Ame, who is still a child in human standards, leaves home to become a wolf. And it’s not much better on Yuki’s end, because she goes away to high school.
So here’s how this upsets me, because of course this is a story about progression and aging!
Because the wolf man was Hana’s true love. Because in all those years seeing him once in a dream/illusion confirmed she never stopped loving him. Because she worked so hard to raise her children, gave up everything she ever known, was the best mother she could ever be- and the movie ends with her in her thirties working in a secluded mountain side and every evening eating by her husband’s drivers license which is the only picture she has of him.
Because this movie shows that the Wolf Children are given what they need, but the Wolf Children aren’t who we’re made to care about this movie. Ame leaves his mother for a life of wolves – and that means no Christmas fucking vacation okay. He’s gone. And Yuki’s potential romance is never fully elaborated on. No.
It’s just Hana we see at the end.
It’s her life we see.
She has consolidated herself to a life of being finished in her mid to late 30s. To working a job she never asked for in an empty home when her children have left her and all she has left of her husband is a driver’s license. And I’m sure she’s okay with that because she raised her precious children to adulthood in their own ways BUT I’M NOT OKAY WITH THAT!
I AM NOT OKAY WITH HANA BEING LEFT WITH NOTHING!
I am not okay with this! With her having what, maybe 3 whole years of being able to be with the one she loves before he dies? With her son not really speaking with her about leaving, just doing what he needs to do. With her daughter not even encouraging her to do more things, to become more? She wanted to go to school! That’s how she met the Wolf Man! But she has consolidated this to I GUYS THIS IS NOT POOR WRITING. THIS IS NOT A FAILURE IN DIRECTION. THE POINT IS CLEAR. OKAY.
THIS IS THE MOST SELFLESS LOVING WOMAN IN ALL OF MEDIA AND I JUST WANT TO HUG HER BECAUSE IT’S NOT OKAY GUYS IT’S JUST NOT OKAY.
This movie isn’t okay.
It’s a beautiful masterpiece but it ends with the best woman alive being alone for the rest of her life doing who knows what without anything anyone just a job she took to make ends meet and maybe she likes it who knows I don’t but she
She DESERVED SO MUCH MORE THAN THIS! I get it, this is life, and it’s why the movie is so good because LIFE IS HARD and things aren’t always fair but why couldn’t there have been one single
shred of hope
So yeah go see it.
Now excuse me while I go drown myself because this movie has destroyed me yet again.