Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki is a Studio Chizu/ Madhouse production from 2012. It was directed and co-written by Chizu founder, Hosoda Mamoru. The same bloke who directed the Girl Who Leapt Through Time. So, how did the film turn out? Better than that one, I hope, considering how mediocre it was.
We open with Hana, a University student. She’s attending a class when she notices an intense looking young man without a textbook taking notes. One thing leads to another, and romance blossoms between them. With some hesitation, he reveals the truth about himself to her. He’s a werewolf. At will, he can take on a lupine form. She is surprisingly completely, unreservedly okay with this. To the point where she reacts as though he’d told her that he has a bit of a nasty looking boil on his back and not that he can actually transform into a wolf. Her general lack of concern about it allows their relationship to continue without any kind of conflict and she has two children. Unfortunately, things go wrong when he’s shot and killed while in wolf form. Hana finds herself undergoing the trials of being a single parent with the added complication of her children being part wolf.
Honestly, the biggest issue with the film as a whole is just that things get resolved way too easily. It’s not just the whole werewolf revelation either. There are a good three other major plot points where the resolution pretty much comes down to an instant solution. Don’t you wish things were that easy in reality?
That being said, I will credit the film for keeping your attention with those various conflicts. Even if the resolutions are weak, the stuff leading up to is interesting. It’s also a clever way to put a new twist on the whole coming of age formula. And the narrative does have heart to go along with all the fluff.
The characters who really matter in this film are Hana and her children, Yuki & Ame. I do like that both Yuki and Ame have their own arcs and have to come to terms with who they are for themselves, even though it causes tension within their family. I also like the way that Hana’s extraordinary challenges are portrayed. Even if she is too readily accepting of strange things. I like the isolation she goes through what with not being able to get help through conventional means for fear of the truth about her children being discovered. Those three aside, however, the characters are pretty boring and bog standard.
The artwork and animation in this film are really well done. The backgrounds are lively. The sequences of the children transforming and running around are very well animated. It is a very nice looking film.
The main cast is pretty good. Nishii Yukito, Miyazaki Aoi & Kuroki Haru all do a good job. The other actors are all competent enough. The music was composed by Takagi Masakatsu and he did a really good job.
There isn’t any to be seen.
There’s quite a bit to like about Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki. The main three characters. The unique take on the coming of age formula. The music and visuals. That being said, it certainly has its problems. The generic supporting cast and the weak resolutions being the big ones. The film still has charm and it is entertaining, but it’s not one of the best out there. My final rating for it is going to be a 7/10. Tomorrow we’ll keep film festival week going with Bakemono no Ko.