Wolf Children on The Lone Parenthood
Wold Children: Ame & Yuki is the latest feature film from famed anime director Mamoru Hosoda of Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time fame. Its no secret that I am a huge fan of his and my expectations for his new film were very high. I expected the film to be a nice heart warming childrens film and my expectations were not exactly met, Hosoda instead gave me a Josei slice of life drama about a young woman finding love and raising two children. This was not by any means a bad thing because somehow, Hosoda managed to give me one of animes best examples of a strong female character, probably the best ive seen in years, Hana.
Hosoda’s strength in story telling has always been in the way he sets up his visuals, no dialogue was needed for me to know that Hana was falling in love or how much pain she felt when she lost her husband. All the characters in the movie are believable and very well developed.
The thing I loved the most about Hana’s character was how real she felt. She’s a character that is both strong willed and has some vulnerabilities. It’s the combination of both her vulnerabilities and tenaciousness that make her so endearing. I rooted for her whenever she did her best to raise a precocious young girl in Ame, I felt sorry for her whenever she had troubles with the neighbours over her kids behaviour, I felt fear whenever she was on her last penny and thinking of how she would raise the kids for another week as a single mother and I felt happy for her whenever she stood her ground or bettered herself in life.
Being raised by a single Mom myself, I related intensely with most of the situations Hana and her children were put through. Had Hana been made out to be an invincible super “miss independent I don’t need no man” woman the entire movies emotional message would have simply withered. The same is true of the opposite side of the spectrum, had she been a completely vulnerable woman needing help to raise her kids it would not have had the same impact either.
Hana’s character grows as well, she learns as she experiences new problems in life. Such as How to farm, how to teach her children to behave in public and her special problem of how to treat children that are half wolf/human. I really wish more media would give us more female characters like this, its really not that hard to pull off but when it is successfully done and done so masterfully, it makes for a true masterpiece.
The film is simply a masterpiece one of the best stories you will ever see about the trials of parenthood. It helps that the visuals are stunning and the character designs fit well with the story being told. Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Evangelion, Summer Wars) returns as the lead character designer and Hosoda gives us his most touching piece of drama yet.
I highly recommend this film, highly.