ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:55 - 30th January 2014, by David West

Wolf Children

Wolf Children is the story of a single mother, Hana, trying to raise her two infants Yuki and Ame after abruptly losing her husband. What makes Hana's family particularly remarkable is that her husband was a wolf-man, and their offspring have inherited his dual nature. One moment they are children, the next they are cubs. So Hana takes them from the city where they were born out to the countryside, seeking safety in solitude.

Mamoru Hosada swaps the cyber thrills of Summer Wars for a palette of forest greens and rustic browns in his tale of a family growing up and pulling apart. Older sister Yuki is bold and outgoing, while her little brother Ame is fretful and timid, but Hosoda allows them to grow in directions that are unexpected but completely believable. This is an exquisitely crafted film, from the beautiful animation to Masakatsu Takagi's delightful score. It is a loving ode to the importance of family, but not in a saccharine, predictable fashion. Hana's greatest struggle is not to protect her children, but to give them room to grow, and, ultimately, to let them go. Hosoda manages the remarkable feat of taking a story about hybrid wolf-humans and making it deeply, emotionally resonant, so much as that the fantastic nature of the story is never a barrier to connecting with these characters. By any measure, a triumphant accomplishment both artistically and emotionally.

Wolf Children is a clear frontrunner for the best anime feature of 2013. Howl for joy.
SCORE: 5/5
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