Monday, September 30, 2013

Anime Review: Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

WOLF CHILDREN AME AND YUKI: Another story that has no apparent goal, but this time, it works

Wolf Children Ame and Yuki is about Hana, a college student who falls in love with a wolf-man. She gives birth to two wolf children, Ame and Yuki. They live quietly in the corner of the city, as they try to conceal the existence of the wolf children. But when the wolf-man suddenly dies while hunting, Hana decides to move to a rural area where her children could roam free as wolves.

The story takes about ten to twenty minutes to establish itself, which is somewhat slow. There are scenes that could be removed completely to make the pace better. But aside from the sloppy introduction, there really is no problem with the pacing of the story.

Perhaps the others would argue that even beyond the introduction there are unnecessary sequences. But they’re not entirely correct. Some sequences that seem random are not random at all. They only appear that way because the story of Wolf Children Ame and Yuki has no apparent goal. Thus, the story has the tendency to give the impression that some events are just happening on random.

I’ve stated in my other reviews that I don’t like stories that don’t have an apparent goal. They seem to have no clear direction, as if their story just exists without a purpose. But because of Wolf Children Ame and Yuki, I discovered that this is not always the case.

Even though its story has no apparent goal, it still has a driving force that propels it forward; and those are the questions: What will she do, now that she has to raise the children alone? How will they live in the countryside? How are they going to supply food for themselves? How are they going to cope with society when the children finally reach the age of schooling? And these questions are answered one by one through the seemingly random sequences the others are talking about. That’s the reason why these sequences are not random at all. They serve as answers to the questions the story imposes.

What makes the story even more compelling is the minimal number of characters. All of them are given enough focus to make room for character development. Not only that, they are also well-made to begin with. They have their own philosophies and personalities, and this, from time to time, leads to conflict between them.

The best example of this clash of ideals is that of the wolf children. Yuki chooses to be human, and Ame chooses to be wolf. What makes their argument more compelling is the fact that neither of them is wrong; both of them are right in their own ways.

This dramatic story is also embedded with incredible musical soundtracks that make the scenes even more emotional. The animation, even though its design is not very detailed, has its own unique style. This adds to the distinct atmosphere the film is portraying.

Overall, Wolf Children Ame and Yuki is a film that could rival the best from Studio Ghibli. Its themes of familial love and belongingness to society are enough to trigger emotional responses to the viewers. Another thing that makes the story more relatable is the fact that it doesn’t transcend drastically from modern life. Its fantastic elements could pass as elements from magical realism and not wholly from fantasy itself. I recommend this film to those who are trying to find their place on this world, whether from within, from society, or from both.

Related posts:
           Anime Review: Summer Wars
           Anime Review: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

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