Read Canne’s conversation with the main characters from Wolf Children Ame and Yuki for exclusive insights, analysis and criticism for this award-winning anime! (contain spoilers)
Canne: Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since the last time we did conversation-styled review and Wolf Children Ame and Yuki provided a perfect opportunity to revisit that style. This movie was an unconventional anime that looked very conventional. The story of a single mother trying to raise two children in countryside was a theme frequently used in any drama. But in this anime, the children were Japanese werewolves and the story took a bold path towards the end which left plenty of topics for further discussion. Today, I have the three main characters from this anime with me and I would like to share part of our conversion with you. First, let us welcome Hana! How are you doing?
Hana: Thank you, I am doing great.
Canne: please tell us about your character.
Hana: I am the mother of Ame and Yuki, a plain woman with good heart who fell in love with a handsome werewolf during my college class. I know that it sounds cheesy and all.
Canne: I thought so! A woman who fell for a werewolf? Sounds like Twilight!
Hana: Oh, you mean those Twilight movies that hired pretty actors who could not act to play fake-looking CGI wolves and glittering vampires? We are way better than that.
Canne (Giggling uncontrollably): You are absolutely right. So, what do you think is the key points of you character?
Hana: Mother’s unconditional love, of course. I think that it is also the main point of the whole anime. I went through lots of hardship trying to provide the best for my wolf children. I left college and my apartment in the city and moved to the countryside. There, I had to learn how to live all over again. I fixed my house. I worked on the field and took part time job at the animal conservatory as well. And all this time I had to learn how to raise both young wolves and young children. It was hard but I endured, because my children had only me and they were all that I had.
Canne: Then it must be really hard for you when Ame left for the mountain and Yuki left for high school. Just when you started to settle down, they had to leave.
Hana: That was painful for me, I admit. I wanted them right beside me, at least a while longer. But if I forced them, I would have been doing that for my own sake, not for theirs. I love them enough to let them go. I’ll always be here waiting for them if ever they needed me.
Canne (wiping tears): That was really beautiful. Thank you so much for your time.
Hana: It’s my pleasure.
Canne: Next, let’s talk to Ame who has just come down from the mountain for this interview. Hello, Ame. I’d appreciate it if you would remain in human form during your time here. The people of aniblogsphere are very…well…sensitive.
Ame: I understand that. I think if I were a neko-chan, they would probably throw me a welcoming feast.
Canne: I think so, too. Okay, let’s talk about you Ame. Please describe yourself for us.
Ame: I am the descendant of Japanese wolves like my father. I would like to believe that I have more wolf blood than human’s compared to my sister, Yuki. I always hear the woods and mountains’ calling. That’s why I chose to be a full time wolf in the end.
Canne: Right, I noticed that you are very similar to your father. You even wore white, long-sleeve shirt during your time at home like your father did.
Ame: That was my mother’s doing, for the most part. Maybe it’s her way of remembering my father.
Canne: That makes sense. So, what do you think was the key message of this anime?
Ame: Freedom to choose one’s own path, obviously. I am lucky to have a mother who understands my nature despite belonging to different species. Everyone should have at least the freedom to choose which path to take for his or her own life. In human’s eyes, my choice of living in the mountains may sound absurd. But they were judging from their own standard, not mine. The mountains are where I belong, where I was born to be. The mountains are the one place I can be myself and be free. I am happy. I knew that I hurt my mother when I left but in the end, she sent me off with a smile on her face.
Canne: That’s very brave and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Are you heading back?
Ame: Yes, I am heading back right away. Farewell. (Turns in to wolf and runs away)
Canne: Wow, that was amazing, wasn’t it? Our last guest is the lovely Yuki. Hello!
Yuki: Hello, Canne. It’s so nice to be here!
Canne: How’s high school, Yuki?
Yuki: Going great, actually.
Canne: The whole anime was told from your perspective. You were the narrator. So, I was wondering if you have altered any part of the story while making the anime. Especially the first arc involving your mom and dad, it was like a fairy tale with all those love at first sight and stuffs?
Yuki: I understand where you are coming from. I was very young and I could barely remember my dad. The story I told was the one I heard from mom. She was the romantic one, I suppose. But the truth is, those memories were the ones me and my mom chose to keep.
Canne: I like that answer. So Yuki, what is the one most important thing you want the viewers to get from watching this anime?
Yuki: For me, Wolf Children was about our family’s struggle to fit in to the world. It’s about finding the place that we belong. That’s the most important thing and it’s the one thing that everyone has to go through at some point in his or her life. My mother found herself no longer part of the rural community after she had me and Ame so she moved. And then at our farmhouse, she had to find a way to fit in to the new society. For Ame, he could not fit into the world of human, he found friends in the wild and there he found his own place. I, on the other hand, had a rather hard time fitting into the normal school life at first. But with the help of some friends and my mom, I turned out okay. I found my place in the school and I intended to live my life as human.
Canne: Does this mean that you choose to deny your wolf bloodlines?
Yuki: Of course not. But I choose not to make fuzz out of it. No one has to know my wolf identity. I don’t need everyone’s approval. I only need the acceptance from those few who are dear to me.
Canne: Very well said! Do you have anything to say for those who haven’t watched this movie?
Yuki: Well, Wolf Children is not a typical story about wolf. It’s hardly about wolf at all. It’s more about life itself. We are all different from each other in our own ways. We have defects and we have our little secrets. The real challenge is to be able to embrace your own unique qualities and find a way to live with them. And on the other hand, we should also be open-minded enough to accept other people’s unique qualities and respect their choices. Imagine how the world would be if we could all achieve this.
Canne: You speak my mind! Thank you so much for your time. Have a nice day.
Yuki: Goodbye. (smiles)
Canne: That was quite amazing. It’s not every day we get to watch anime that manages to convey so many important messages to the viewers. This anime uses strange combination of conventional drama and werewolf to create something extraordinary. When combined with its great production value, Wolf Children Ame and Yuki is highly recommended for everyone.
Here we are at the end of the interview. I hope this discussion was entertaining, informative and, hopefully, inspiring for you. If you have seen Wolf Children already, do not hesitate to share your thoughts. Thank you!
Title: Wolf Children Ame and Yuki (aka Wolf Children, Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki)
Genre: drama, fantasy
Released date: July 21, 2012
Running time: 117 minutes
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Animated by: Studio Chizu, Madhouse