Wolf Children

Wolf Children – Rain and Snow, Both Will Bring You To This Movie

Wolf Children - Screen Shot #2

Its always nice when a show takes an unexpected turn, its even better when the story seems so generic. Wolf Children may sound like a boring expose of a really messed up set of humans/wolves, but its a lot more than you’d expect. Wolf Children was a wondrous journey through the mindset of children and their mother alike. From the normal growing up and learning to live like humans, but also the struggles of both the human and the wolf worlds as they collide viciously through each character arc. Wolf Children was a delight to watch and like most animated films, they always leave you with a thought provoking ending.

Wolf Children - Screen Shot #16A little back story about why I ended up watching this movie. As most of you all who reads this blog, would’ve known that I love any anime related content. I’ve always heard about Studio Ghibli, but I’ve never heard about Studio Chizu and as I was wondering around the studios info, I noticed that Wolf Children was being released on Blu-Ray. After looking it up, I saw that Yoshiyuki Sadamoto did the character designs for this movie, most notable for his work on Neon Genesis Evangelion. Being a huge fan of Evangelion and the character designs, I thought I’d give the movie a shot.

Wolf Children (also known as The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki (おおかみこどもの雨と雪 Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki) in Japan) is a 2012 Japanese animated film directed and co-written by Mamoru Hosoda. The film stars the voices of Aoi Miyazaki, Takao Osawa, Haru Kuroki and Yukito Nishii. In Ame and Yuki, Hana falls in love with a Wolf Man. After the Wolf Man’s death, Hana decides to move to a rural town to continue raising her two wolf children Ame and Yuki.

Via Wikipedia

Wolf Children - Screen Shot #15After securing my copy of the show (in glorious High Definition, I might add), I can plainly say it was well worth it. The show was absolute joy and it didn’t really waste any time introducing the story. As most of the story takes place after the death of the Father of the Wolf Children, it is wise to note that the story was still progressing rather well. However once that part was over, the show began to crawl slightly slower than I’d like. However, as the show slowed, more and more character development began to take place. The Wolf Children themselves were simply an adorable joy on screen. Constantly shifting between their two states (human/wolf) they would manage to brighten your day, even though your going to have a lot of questions (Like a lot of questions).

Wolf Children - Screen Shot #8The story itself, was without any real action. Honestly, I didn’t know why that surprised me. I supposed I expected a fight of some kind. It was much nicer watching Hana (the Wolf Children’s Mother) learn to take care of human/wolf hybrid children as she also learns how to live a tiny village. The show finally culminates in a a massive storm as it rips apart the family, only to bring them closer.

The character development was rather amazing throughout this movie, though it did lag here and there. Hana, having to drop out of university to care for her children, learns not only about herself during the course of the movie but also learns to be somewhat self-sufficient. Her intentions were always pure right from the start, never truly wavering. She constantly was forced to get random odd jobs, including being a wild life ranger. All to ensure her children goes to school and lives as comfortably as possible.

The two Wolf Children were written rather well. I would expect so, seeing as the story is about both of them. Ame and Yuki were lovely characters until they started to be divided across their lineage. While Yuki wanted to be more human, her brother opted to be more wolf like. This was rather expected seeing as how their characters were developed initially.

Wolf Children - Screen Shot #9

Yuki was a high-energy child who constantly ate and ran around every she got the chance. She would change over to her wolf form more than her brother and she would do it involuntary most of the time. This leads to the children’s being kept back from attending school at an earlier age. As Yuki was the older child, she learned to control her change quicker. She eventually decided to not change at all and live as a human with her human friends as she went to school.

Her brother on the other hand was always shy and closed off from the world. He remained like this most of the early part of the movie, until a near death experience changes him giving him the confidence he needed. Ame would eventual drop out of school to live on the mountains, learning from one of the older animals of the mountain.

Wolf Children - Screen Shot #6I liked the character development of this movie, it was nicely paced, though it could’ve been better here and there in regards to particular events. But overall the characters weren’t the same as they were in the end. They each grew into their respective personalities rather well.

Now on the most interesting part of this movie. The animation. Being an animation junkie, I am always looking to check out some interesting art styles. While Wolf Children didn’t have a wild or bizarre art style like some other shows, it was a much more calmer and laid back art style. The art and animation was crisp and clean and brought a feeling calmness to the show. There isn’t much to say about the animation but it was rather well done.

Wolf Children was an amazing show and certainly isn’t one to pass up. Despite being almost two hours long, the show really brings to life these characters and this setting really well, I’d recommend it.

Garden Of Words: Screenshot #029

[Review] The Garden Of Words – The Garden Of Beauty

Garden Of Words: Screenshot #032

The Garden of Words, Kotonoha no Niwa, is a feature film done by CoMix Wave Flims which was released on 31st May, 2013. Garden of Words is truly a remarkable and beautiful film. It is easily the most gorgeous piece of cinematography I have ever seen. With the backing of a very touching and unexpected plot and its following twists, Garden of Words is sure to please even the most stubborn of film fans.

I’ll start off simple, the pictures. Garden of Words is quite frankly, absolutely gorgeous. This Production Studio has truly outdone anything I have ever seen and seeing as this isn’t the first time one of their productions has blown me away (Voices Of A Distant Star), I can safely say, whatever it is that they are doing, I hope they never stop.

Garden Of Words: Screenshot #021

The animation was 100 percent fluid and well crafted. Each scene immersed you into this world and kept you on your feet with regards as what to expect, visually that is. A lot of the scenes in this movie was inspired by real life photographs, also in some places real life photographs where also imposed onto the film and then rendered. However, it was done so well that it felt as though it belonged in that world and not this one. Another major point is the rain. This movie centers around the rain, and the rain was just spine chilling. I mean when you see those droplets of water flying across the screen and falling in puddles of water and the artists were able captivate a real life-like motion for the water droplets, I feel as though it is able to really make you question a lot of what you think you know. Its just that good.

On the basis of character animation, again, brilliant. Each character was splendidly brought to life by the production and art teams. They were crafted so well, I honestly aren’t really sure how much more I can elaborate, just how amazing the quality of these drawings are.

Garden Of Words: Screenshot #005

Onwards to the actual story. The plot of this show was quite simple, on the surface.

Takao Akizuki is a 15 year old student who lives with his melodramatic mother and adult older brother. He yearns to be a shoemaker, having being enraptured as a child by a pair gifted to his mother, though his immediate friends and family think little will come from his goal.

One morning commuting to school during the rainy season, Takao opts to skip his first class and head to the park to sketch shoe designs, and encounters Yukari Yukino, a well-dressed young woman drinking beer in the early morning drizzle. They do not speak to one another, but as the rain clears she notes the school crest on his vest and decides to bid him farewell with a tanka, leaving Takao puzzled as to its origin and meaning.

[Via Wikipedia]

The truth is, this is only the tip of the ice berg. Both characters are posed with very traumatic past experiences and if the opening of this show is any indication, they are in for a lot more.

Garden Of Words: Screenshot #001

When it comes to character development, I really commend this anime. I wasn’t quite sure how they manged to get me so quickly invested in characters I hardly even knew. After all, they both were keeping secrets from the world, from each other and from us, the viewers. I really liked how quickly Yukari’s character developed. I mean for some people, it may not have appeared so, but for those who noticed the slight ticks that was evident during her conversations with Tako and the few spoken words she uttered to herself and to others throughout the show that drove her character to the point where it needed to be and it was quite a sight.

The show also feature quite a nice score. It wasn’t over powering, but it was just right. This isn’t an action oriented anime, in any way, form or shape. The nice and light pieces of music that accented the nature like sounds was just the right atmosphere. This isn’t always very easy to pull off, so the mere fact that it blended so well together was really a testament of how serious this studio takes even the simplest and subtlest matters.

Garden Of Words: Screenshot #015

I honestly don’t want to give up too much about the show, because I honestly want you all to check it out. Its a really nice heart warming story, it had the perfect ending for what was going on and how they were dealing with their issues. It couldn’t have ended any better.

I really enjoyed this show, I came for the drawings and animation, stayed for the masterpiece that was A Garden of Words. I urge you all to check it out and push this show down everybody you knows throat. Because this was a really good show. I am sure you’ll enjoy it, long time fan of anime and just some random person in the interwebs. You’ll love it.

See Copyright Information: Garden Of Words – Image Copyright Information