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Anime / One Stormy Night

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This movie has slightly more sexual tension than The Fox and the Hound.

One Stormy Night (Arashi no Yoru ni) is a 2005 Japanese animated film based on a 1994 book about the deeply romantic friendship (or relationship, depending on whom you ask) between a goat named Mei and a wolf named Gabu. It starts one stormy night when Mei and Gabu, both separated from their companions and terrified of lightning, happen to take shelter in the same barn. There in the dark where they can't see each other's species, they strike up a conversation and learn they have a lot in common. They promise to meet each other again at the same place, and say "one stormy night" as their secret phrase. Imagine their surprise the next day when they discover the truth! Mei and Gabu like each other so much already that they decide to put aside predator and prey in order to be secret friends. However, it's only a matter of time before their respective groups find out they've been fraternizing with the enemy, and brand them as traitors. Will these two be able to find a way to stay together?

God help you if you confuse this with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni or Higanbana no Saku Yoru ni.

Compare The Fox and the Hound and Night on the Galactic Railroad. Contrast Ringing Bell, a Darker and Edgier anime also exploring the relationship between a wolf and an ovicaprid.

This series provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Beach and Zack are a bumbling, comedic duo of wolves in this film. In Real Life, the voice actors, Tetsuya Yanagihara and Yoshiyuki Hirai, are a comedic duo in Japan known as America Zarigani, formed in 1994.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: We never see any other evidence of humans besides the abandoned barn that Mei and Gabu initially meet in, the lack of humans makes it unclear if the story takes place in the past, present, or perhaps the future in some Post-apocalyptic setting where humans are extinct.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: While they're searching for Gabu and Mei, one of the wolves in Giro's pack becomes really excited about seeing some pretty flowers.
  • Audio Adaptation: The film received a Drama CD that was released in 2006, a year after it's release in Japanese theaters.
  • Award-Bait Song: Star by Aiko, which plays over the credits.
  • Beast and Beauty: Mei is the "beauty", but more in that the bestial Gabu finds him irresistable to eat.
  • Birds of a Feather: Mei and Gabu bond over their similar personalities and backstory.
  • Bookends: Gabu eventually ends up fighting an entire wolf pack to protect Mei, just like Mei's mother did in the film's opening. They even fight the same pack leader.
  • Break the Cutie: Mei's perfect faith and devotion to Gabu is never strongly challenged until near the end, when he is reunited with Gabu only to find out that Gabu had a Tap on the Head and has Identity Amnesia and cannot remember anything that happened, and that goat meat is and has always been Gabu's absolute favorite food. Mei has his only real loss of composure in his horror that the one he loves has forgotten him and wants to eat him as an indifferent stranger. But Gabu's memory is quickly jogged when Mei cries about the one stormy night together when they first met — their "Arashi no Yoru ni".
  • Carnivore Confusion: Gabu loves goat meat. Gabu loves Mei. Mei loves Gabu. Mei is willing to be eaten by Gabu if only one of them can live. Gabu has an emotional meltdown. This trope is used to subvert the Unresolved Sexual Tension trope.
  • Death Mountain: The impassable snow-covered mountain Mei and Gabu must pass to find their freedom.
  • Disney Death:
    • Mei appears to die after he and Gabu fall over a waterfall. He lives.
    • After the avalanche, Mei thinks that Gabu has been killed. Gabu does turn out to be alive, but...
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • The only brief time we see Mei getting mad is when he wakes up to Gabu sneaking back after having eaten some mice, to which Mei accuses him of doing it "every time when I sleep", and they have a small argument. The scene is reminiscent of a wife scolding her husband for eating midnight snacks or drinking behind her back.
    • As they're preparing to leave the secret cave Gabu hides them both in during the wolf attack, the pair's conversation turns to the full moon and how much they simply enjoy being with each other. It gets quite emotional, and the camera pans away as they decide to skip going home and just spend the night in the cave together. They don't get back to their respective homes until late the next day. The whole thing almost has a Did They or Didn't They? feel to it.
    • And then there's the whole scene of Gabu getting distracted by Mei's butt while they walk to their picnic. While it's ostensibly just a matter of Gabu finding Mei particularly tasty-looking from that angle, the prevalent Unresolved Sexual Tension in the film makes it seem almost like Gabu is getting Distracted by the Sexy.
  • Downer Beginning: It starts with Mei and his mother being attacked by wolves, to which Mei runs away while his mother stays behind to fight them, but ends up eaten.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After going through so much together with no likely chance of a happy ending, Mei and Gabu get to stay together forever without having to worry about their kin getting in their way. Though, it's bittersweet in that Mei will never see his friends and family again.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Not in Japan where the film was originally made and marketed. In the United States, it's probable parents might be uncomfortable letting their children see a movie where a goat rips off a wolf's ear with her teeth barely minutes in!
  • Fear of Thunder: Mei and Gabu both meet each other while hiding from thunder.
  • Feuding Families: Wolves eat goats. Goats flee from wolves. They can never be friends.
  • Flashback: Gabu's memories of his childhood with his mother and the other wolves.
  • Forbidden Friendship: Or Star-Crossed Lovers, depending on your interpretation. Mei and Gabu are very, very good friends, but since their species are natural enemies, both their kin won't approve their relationship.
  • A Friend in Need: Gabu casting aside his own fierce hunger to find food for Mei and protect him from the wolves pursuing them.
  • Furry Reminder: While the goats are guilty of it as well, the wolves especially have a lot of humanlike behaviour, such as occasionally walking around on two legs, somehow making complex things such as a 'lid' on the hole they throw Gabu in, one wolf is wearing an eyepatch, and they have long and serious discussions. Come the climax of the film, Gabu decides to fight them all to which the following battle turns them all into fully animalistic, vicious wolves; growling, barking, drooling and tearing at each other.
  • Ghibli Hills: The idyllic Pleasant Mountain where Mei and his goat kin live. Also the Emerald Forest where Mei and Gabu are finally free to be together.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Gabu and his pack when he decides to fight them.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: When Mei and Gabu's kin each learn that the two have been spending so much time together as friends, they are horrified and angered (respectively) at what they see as an ultimate blood betrayal.
  • Green Hill Zone: For the goats, every place away from Pleasant Mountain. It's beautiful, there's lots of food, and goats can be killed in broad daylight.
  • Happily Ever After: Both Mei and Gabu get through the mountain and once Gabu recovers his memory, they can live a happy life together without having to worry about others getting in the way of their friendship.
  • Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?: Gabu does, and it ends up nearly killing him and giving him Easy Amnesia.
  • Heroic BSoD: Mei gets this after Gabu disappears towards the end of the film.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted twice. When Mei and Gabu are on their Death Mountain and slowly starving to death, Mei offers himself to be eaten by Gabu so that Gabu may live. Gabu, rejecting this, goes out to dig for grass to feed Mei, but confronts his wolf pack and decides Mei may be worth dying for, and attacks them. Gabu survives the fight and an avalanche, albeit with amnesia.
  • Hide Your Gays: Mei and Gabu never do anything beyond holding hands and hugging, but their relationship is heavy on the Homoerotic Subtext.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Lots of it. This is a very gay film. But it's also for children, so there are no explicit sexual overtones that aren't wrapped heavily in symbolism (such as Carnivore Confusion).
  • Identity Amnesia: After Gabu has a Tap on the Head (well, an avalanche), when he and Mei are next reunited, Gabu doesn't remember who he is or where he came from, except that goats are his absolute favorite food.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Mei doesn't want to be eaten by a wolf or anyone, unless that wolf is his friend Gabu and there's no other choice.
  • Imagine Spot: Mei and Gabu finding out where each other lives and imagining what it must be like to be there.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Mei the goat and Gabu the wolf are best friends. No one else is happy with it.
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Mei and Gabu first meet one stormy night, with both of them taking shelter at a barn.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Gabu bravely fights to protect Mei.
  • Little Guy, Big Buddy: Mei the little goat and Gabu the big wolf. Look at them! Just look at them!
  • Make Up or Break Up: With all their kin watching from afar, Mei and Gabu must either deceive each other or stay true to each other.
  • Mama Bear: Mei's mother during the Downer Beginning, who fiercely protected him from an entire wolf pack and gave her life in the process.
  • Meadow Run: Mei runs happily across the meadow towards Gabu, but Gabu actually has Identity Amnesia and is running towards Mei to catch his prey.
  • Meaningful Name: "Mei" is the Japanese onomatopoeia for the noise a goat makes and "gabu" is the one for biting.
  • Mistaken Identity: When Mei and Gabu first meet in the old barn, they can neither see each other nor smell each other, but they can talk to each other, and they become friends there. Only later does Mei realize that Gabu is a wolf (not another goat) and Gabu realizes that Mei is a goat (not another wolf). By this time, they have decided to be friends and they stay true to it.
  • Mordor: Gabu's home, Chomping Hills. At least if you're a goat. Or if you're a wolf who befriends goats.
  • The Mourning After: After Gabu's apparent death, a month passes by. But Mei is dejected to the point of feeling unable to keep on going without Gabu.
  • No Accounting for Taste: Mei looks very upset when he catches Gabu sneaking back after yet another night of catching and eating mice.
  • Odd Friendship: Mei and Gabu are a scraggly wolf and a tiny goat who become close.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Mei and Gabu's first interaction and blossoming friendship is built on such a conversation. When the two of them are in the dark barn that stormy night, each is under the impression they're speaking to their own kin. When Mei brings up he lives in the valley of sheep, Gabu comments on how he probably has plenty to eat there. Both are agreed it's a place of bountiful food, but the thunder drowns them out before they can say out loud what their respective idea of food is.
  • Parental Abandonment: Mei and Gabu's mothers have both already died. Gabu's father is mentioned once, but otherwise fathers are nowhere to be seen.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Just when Mei and Gabu get through the mountain, Gabu loses his memory after getting hit by an avalanche. He tries to eat Mei and Mei is heartbroken by apparently having lost his best friend. Until Gabu recovers his memory when he hears Mei say "One stormy night".
  • Poor Communication Kills: Inverted at Mei and Gabu's first meeting; it's because the pair aren't specific about what they mean by "food" that they can get along... at first.
  • Predator-Prey Friendship: It's a story of a wolf and goat who become best friends against the odds and against the will of their families.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Mei and Gabu only say they are "best friends" or "secret friends". Their relationship dynamic and dialogue still come off as highly romantic.
  • Queer Romance: The story is about the Interspecies Friendship between a male goat and a male wolf, although their relationship dynamic may lead you to think of them as lovers.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Mei was raised by his grandmother after his mother died.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The goat elder. And in abstract, his objection to Mei befriending a wolf is reasonable in context — if the wolf is not absolutely trustworthy to all the goats, it's a grim threat to their survival.
  • The Reveal: When Mei and Gabu meet for the second time, they see each other for the first time and realize they are different species. Eye-widening Body Language follows.
  • Rule of Drama: Yes, Mei and Gabu. Cross the giant mountain ahead of you that spells out nearly certain doom. It's not like you could go around it.
  • Say My Name: Through the course of the movie, Mei and Gabu speak/yell the other's name in times of peril and/or uncertainty.
  • Scenery Porn: The scenery, not the characters. Not that that doesn't exist.
  • Secret Relationship: Gabu and Mei conceal their association from both their kin.
  • The Smurfette Principle: There seems to be only one female in Gabu's pack or two counting his deceased mom, in stark contrast with Mei's flock. She also doesn't have single line of dialogue in the whole movie.
  • Suicidal "Gotcha!": Twice. First when Mei and Gabu suddenly decide to jump into the river together to be swept far away from the suspicious eyes of their kin. Then again when Mei and Gabu are fleeing their wolf pursuers in the forest and Gabu makes a brave leap he's never been able to make before.
  • Take a Third Option: Either act as The Mole for your kind, or have Mei be devoured by Gabu? Naaaaaah, just jump in the flash-flooded river!
  • Take My Hand!: Gabu acts quickly to save Mei from being swept away by a fast-flowing river.
  • Tempting Fate: While heading towards the mountain, it starts snowing. Mei and Gabu comments that it'll probably clear up the next day, only for it to cut to them braving their way through a blizzard.
  • They Have the Scent!: Everyone knows what goats smell like and what wolves smell like, unless they come down with the sniffles, that is. The wolves also know Gabu's unique scent.
  • Title Drop: Repeatedly, though understandably. Though at times it almost seems to come close to being their safe-word...
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gabu is a pretty friendly and non-threatening wolf throughout most of the film. However, once he's finally had enough of his pack chasing him and Mei, shit goes down.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: In the Japanese dub, Barry does it quite a lot when he's angry.
  • Unrelated in the Adaptation: Giro is Gabu's father in the books.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Played With. Whether Played Straight or a Ship Tease, scenes were intentionally arranged to appear like this. In particular, the scene where Gabu stares at Mei's rump while they're walking was based on the Marilyn Monroe walk, making it appear that Gabu was having a Male Gaze moment.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Suspected by Mei and Gabu's kin once their relationship is discovered that the other of the pair was The Mole to gather information about their enemies. Suspected briefly by Mei and Gabu themselves before being dismissed and proven wrong.
  • What You Are in the Dark: During the climax of the movie when Mei and Gabu are trapped in a blizzard and set to starve to death, Mei relents that while he'd never want to get eaten if given the choice, he'll let Gabu eat him so at least one of them can survive. At this point Gabu is completely isolated from anyone who might influence his decision on what to do, and can't even hide that fact that his instincts would have him eat Mei, but even after promising to Mei that he'll do so, he doesn't. He'd rather freeze to death looking for food for both of them than eat Mei, even with no strings attached whatsoever.
  • Yakuza: Gabu's pack has several shades of it, both in mannerism (the trilled R's typical of Japanese Delinquents, Giro's behavior) and looks (Giro's scar, Barry's red hair resembling Delinquent Hair). Heck, Giro's original voice actor, Riki Takeuchi, is famous in Japan for his several roles in Yakuza movies!
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The price Mei and Gabu pay for loving each other.

Alternative Title(s): Arashi No Yoru Ni