Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Wolf Children

Go To

"You might think this sounds like a fairy tale. You might even laugh at my story. You probably think that stuff like this just doesn’t happen. But everything I tell you is true. This is the story about my mother, and the wolf man she fell in love with."

Wolf Children Ame and Yukinote  is a 2012 anime Slice of Life film by Mamoru Hosoda — director of Digimon: Our War Game, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars — about a young woman named Hana (Aoi Miyazaki) who falls in love with her mysterious college classmate (Takao Osawa) who is actually a Wolf Man. The couple produce two children who also possess their father's lineage; the big sister Yuki (Haru Kuroki), who was born on a snowy day, and the little brother, Ame (Yukito Nishii), who was born on a rainy day.

The wolf man suddenly dies one day, leaving Hana to raise the two wolf children herself and struggle to keep their secret. But when the family is threatened by eviction, child services, and neighbors annoyed by Ame's constant crying (and often both children's howling, which the landlady mistakes for pets), Hana decides to move out to the secluded countryside where her kids can roam free.

The film also stars Takuma Hiraoka as Sohei Fujii and Bunta Sugawara as Grandpa Nirasaki.

This film provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Hana, so young-looking and cute that she can easily be mistaken for Yuki and Ame's older sister. This is justified in that she had met the Wolfman during her second year of college, meaning she is still pretty young.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • A downplayed example. The English dub explains the wolf man's life before he met Hana in more detail near the beginning of the movie than the original Japanese version did. We don't learn much more, but despite that it's still a nice little bonus, as it builds his character some more.
    • While the manga adaptation compresses a lot of the story for sake of flow of plot, it makes up for it by having a few tidbits of bonus story, such as a small comic where Yuki catches a cold, and an epilogue that gives us a glimpse at Yuki's life at her new school, while she writes a letter to her mom. It also gives a possibly slightly happier ending than the film, implying that Ame still visits Hana occasionally after he chooses to live as a wolf; she finds a peach left by the door, similar to how she took a peach to give to Sensei when Ame took her to meet him.
      • The light novel based on the film sticks a lot closer to the original source material, due in large part to being written by Mamoru Hosoda himself. Aside from exploring some of the character's inner thoughts, the book also goes into a bit of Hana's life before entering college and explains some of the history of the country town the family moves to.
  • Appetite Equals Health: When toddler Yuki eats something she shouldn't have, Hana frantically calls a poison hotline. Fortunately the item was relatively harmless, and the person on the other end asks about Yuki's appetite. Since the girl is hungry, no harm is done.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Asked by Hana near the end of the movie before Ame departs. Interestingly, it doesn't pierce Ame's armor, but Hana's, as she realizes she's been sheltering Ame too much.
    Hana: Ame, wasn't I supposed to teach you something important in your life by now? What did I teach you?
  • Artistic License – Biology: Zig-zagged. The wolf people are depicted as Honshu wolves, which were only about a foot tall in real life and had short legs. They do seem to share the Honshu's elongated snouts and lanky bodies, but their size, thick fur, and long legs give them more in common with timber wolves.
  • Artistic License – Law: It's highly unlikely that social services would leave Hana alone just because she moved. The film does handwave this to some extent as Hana doesn't appear to have told anyone she was leaving the city, and the town she moved to is much more remote. Though you'd still think that down right refusing social services into her house to see the kids would have caused them to sic the police on her.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: More like Art-Shifted Adaptation. The manga illustrations by Yu are softer and gentler when compared to Hosoda's style. Most notably, the manga includes several moments where the characters become Super-Deformed, though this gradually stops happening as the kids grow older.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Hana when she runs into a bear while searching for Ame in the woods. Fortunately it eventually loses interest and she wanders off with her cubs. The light novel even dedicates a couple of paragraphs to the village's relationship with bears right in the middle of Hana's encounter.
  • Beast and Beauty: The wolf man and Hana. He's a fairly handsome-looking man most of the time, but he's capable of turning into both a wolf and a sort of in-between, half-man, half-wolf form.
  • Big Eater: Yuki, at least as a small child. She asks for snacks repeatedly and "wolfs" down any food she gets.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Yuki saves Ame from drowning at one point, and is later seen protecting him from bullies.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: Ame is born on the same rainy day his father dies.
  • Bittersweet Ending: By the epilogue, Yuki is living in a new school and Ame is the new protector of the forest — meaning Hana is alone. However, Hana is instead happy for her kids, knowing that they have found their calling.
  • Book Ends: After his death during a heavy rainstorm, Hana dreams of the wolf man leaving her. After she loses consciousness in an even heavier rainstorm, Hana dreams of finding the wolf man again.
  • Book Worm: Hana goes through stacks of books on childcare and raising wolves to better understand how to take care of her kids. Later, she reads up on how to plant crops. Her children seems to have inherited this trait from her, as Ame browses through picture books about wolves and the manga shows him skipping class in order to camp out in the library and study all he can about the mountains. In the light novel, it's mentioned that after some time at elementary school Yuki prefers reading to playing around.
  • But Now I Must Go: Ame in the ending, where he chooses to live as a wolf and rule the forest in his deceased teacher's place.
  • Call-Back: Hana tumbles down a hill twice. Played for Laughs the first time, when she and her children are running through the snow, the second...not so much. Her fall in the pouring rain knocks her unconscious while she's looking for her son.
  • Cat Smile: Displayed by Hana on the poster.
  • Cerebus Callback:
    • The first time the wolf man hunts, catches, and cooks a pheasant for Hana, it's an extremely sweet moment that's also played for laughs. The second time, it's the cause of his death.
    • Yuki and Ame playing chase in the park as wolf pups is an adorable sight. Their older selves tearing through the house while brutally fighting is considerably less so.
  • Character Development: Nobody lives their entire life with the same personality or interests they had when they were younger. People change. Just because Ame was born a timid, frail Shrinking Violet who hates his wolf heritage doesn't mean he wouldn't grow out of it or come to love being a wolf. And Yuki's pride in being a wolf changes as she adjusts to being around other kids.
  • Cheerful Child: Yuki as a toddler. Very curious and full of energy, she's practically bouncing off the walls in every scene she's in.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Before her first day of elementary school, Hana teaches Yuki a little mantra, ostensibly to keep her from turning into a wolf in public. At the time, it's just a cutesy phrase that Yuki giddily sings to herself all the way to school. But three years later, when she starts frantically whispering it to herself beneath her breath, it immediately becomes obvious that she's getting emotional and having a hard time keeping herself from transforming.
  • Child of Two Worlds: Played with. Yuki and Ame are both wolf and human; at the beginnings of their life, Yuki was the more wolfish and Ame rejected it, but by the end of the story Yuki and Ame identify themselves solely as human and wolf, respectively, and are upset by their sibling seeing things otherwise.
  • City Mouse: Hana, though she adapts much better than most. Partly because Wolf-Yuki chases the wild animals away from her crops. She also gets a lot of help from the locals.
  • Comfort Food: Early on, Hana and the wolf man share chicken yakitori together. It's also the first meal that the family has in their country house and Hana frequently leaves a skewer by her husband's shrine. At the end of the film, Hana is shown eating yakitori one last time after both of her children leave.
  • Coming of Age Story: For Hana's children. Yuki develops from plucky and hyper to more mature and humble, while Ame develops from a Shrinking Violet to aloof and stoic.
  • Covers Always Lie: The kids never assume the Little Bit Beastly forms shown on the poster to the right - when in wolf form, they're more like Wolf Men.
  • Deconstruction: The idea of raising werewolf children is played fairly realistically, with incidents like a welfare officer asking why the kids have no immunization records (presumably, Hana didn't want to risk a potential wolf-shift at the doctor's office, or didn't know how they'd react to human medicine), and Hana being unsure whether to take Yuki to a vet or a doctor after she ingests silica gel.
  • Dedication: The dub's production is dedicated to Nirasaki's actor Jerry Russell, who died a few months before the movie was released in America.
  • Department of Child Disservices: Zig-zagged. The Child Welfare Agency shows concern about Yuki and Ame not having any sort of medical records. However, they also try to forcibly enter Hana's apartment without a warrant and accuse her of neglect without any real proof.
  • Determinator: Hana. Despite the drawbacks when she first moves to the countryside, she sticks it out. Several of the locals joke that other city folks who attempted to live the country life found it too hard and moved away after a short while.
  • Disappeared Dad: The wolf man, though it's due to his death while attempting to support Hana and their kids rather than neglect.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The conflicts the children go through are reminiscent of the issues of heritage vs. assimilation that second-generation immigrants must deal with.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Hana walks right into this when she tries to tell Ame off from going to the mountains. She states how "even though 10 years is adult age for a wolf...", then is about to point out he's not really a wolf before she pauses in shock. Having lost her case, all she can do is tearfully beg Ame to not go to the mountains for her sake.
  • Family Theme Naming: Hana and her children are all named after things that were nearby when they were born - Hana was named because her father saw a flower when her mother was in labor on their way to the hospital, and Yuki and Ame were named because it was respectively snowing and raining while they were born.
  • Family Title: The titular Wolf Children are siblings.
  • Farm Boy: Hana moves into a rural town consisting mostly of farmers.
  • Foil:
    • Hana and Souhei's mom. Both are single parents who are protective of their children. However, Hana comes from a poor background, is immensely compassionate and humble, and fully dedicated to raising her kids. What little is seen of Souhei's mom paints her as more well-off (she wears expensive-looking jewelry), prideful, and unforgiving. She also ultimately neglects Souhei in favor of her new husband and baby. What's more, Hana never once went out of her way to remarry, even if it would've been more convenient, for the sake of protecting her children's secret. Souhei's mother, on the other hand, has the luxury to remarry.
    • Ame becomes this to the wolf at the nature reserve where Hana works. The wolf was born in captivity at the Moscow Zoo before being kept as a pet by a wealthy individual who later passed away, and can't be released into the wild since it had never lived without the influence of people. Ame was born in Tokyo and was a frail child who always needed his mother. But because of Hana moving her family to the country to give them the chance to live freely and the experiences that lead Ame to appreciate being a wolf, he is able to live an independent life in the forest.
  • Fight to Survive: After the death of her Wolf Man lover, Hana fights and struggles to provide for and take care of her children having to learn how to realistically farm.
  • Formerly Friendly Family: Downplayed with Ame and Yuki. As the last two wolf children in the world, they were each other's only companions for most of their childhood and it's rare for a scene to feature one but not the other. By the time the siblings reach adolescence, their differences in how they live means they barely interact. One of the few times they do is a bitter argument about whether they should be humans or wolves that escalates to the two fighting in their wolf forms.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Near the beginning of the movie, Hana asks the children whether they would be humans or wolves if they could only be one thing. Both kids react to their future choice. (Yuki's eyes widen when Hana says "people", and Ame's eyes widen when she says "wolves".) Yuki is also standing on two legs like a human while Ame is on all fours like a wolf.
    • On the morning of Ame's first day of school, Yuki eagerly instructs her brother about school. But as he wanders in the opposite direction of the bus stop, she bossily pulls him away, somewhat annoyed. This clues us in the gap that will form from Yuki enjoying school and Ame feeling distant from it, not to mention Yuki treating Ame's choice to be a wolf with frustration and impatience.
  • Friendless Background: While living in the city, Hana didn't have any friends until she met the wolf man. Justified since she's juggling being a university student with a part-time job, so she didn't have a lot of time for a social life. This turns around when the family moves to the country and Hana befriends many of the villagers.
  • From New York to Nowhere: Hana and her children move from Tokyo to a small rural farming town in the countryside.
  • Generation Xerox: Despite physically resembling the same-sex parents, Yuki and Ame end up taking the life paths of the opposite-sex parents. Like Hana, Ame chooses a grown-up lifestyle at a very young age. Like the wolf man, Yuki lives as a human and reveals her wolf side only to someone important to her.
  • Genki Girl: Yuki as a kid is very hyperactive and almost too much for Hana to keep up with. This actually causes Yuki some trouble in school, as her loudness and interests in all things wild drive off the other children.
  • Ghibli Hills: Hana's new place in the country. It's a beautiful, verdant locale (in the warm seasons, at least) with dense forests and plenty of semi-magical wildlife. This is shown in full effect in a montage where Ame and Sensei the fox go exploring in the mountains.
  • Girliness Upgrade: As she ages, Yuki loses her tomboyish wolf aspects as she realizes they alienate her from the other girls. She begins to wear more fashionable clothes and act more quiet and modest in her attempts to be more feminine. In an extreme example, a boy noticing her wolf scent causes her to have a breakdown as she realizes she never will truly fit in.
  • Good Parents: Hana. Despite all the grief and stress of losing her husband and having to raise two extraordinary children alone, she never gives up, or even complains that much (if at all). She's protective, supportive, and understanding of her children as much as she can. The only times she falters is when it comes to their wolf sides, and that's only because she doesn't know what to do, aside from the fact that it has to remain a secret; she has to look up information about wolves, and was literally figuring it out as she went along.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Nirasaki. Despite all his snarking and insults, he teaches Hana how to grow crops, and tells the other farmers and locals to help her out.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Yuki and Ame as offspring of their Wolf Man father and human mother.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Hana's impressive work ethic is constantly on display, notably when she's learning how to farm and repairing her newly bought house.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: The film focuses on Hana attempting to raise Yuki and Ame following the death of their father. Despite the horrible grief, she continues forward.
  • Hide Your Otherness: Hana teaches Ame and Yuki to never turn into wolves around other people. Yuki gives up being a wolf altogether so she can fit in at school. The reason why she is so unnerved by Souhei at first is because he said she smelled like a dog, which reminded her that she still isn't a normal girl deep down.
  • Humanoid Female Animal: Yuki's half wolf form looks decidedly more human-like than Ame's, especially when they're teenagers. It's implied to be because she had embraced her human side a lot more at that point, while Ame was going in the opposite direction.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Yuki as she gets older, and simply wants to live a normal life as a human girl. She rejects her wolf side more and more, and when it accidentally resurfaces when the new kid in class confronts her, she's devastated to the point of tears.
  • Implied Love Interest: Souhei to Yuki. Nothing official comes from it, but their tender moments, especially when Yuki confesses her wolf side to him, imply that there's romantic feelings between them. They also present a gender-flipped Generation Xerox of Yuki's parents.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Souhei didn't mean anything by his comment that Yuki smelled like a dog, merely, he was curious. Nonetheless, it does exacerbate Yuki's belief that her wolf side isn't "girly" or "lady-like" enough to fit in at school.
  • Interspecies Friendship: Ame eventually befriends an old fox living in the forest. The fox becomes his psuedo-teacher of sorts.
  • Interspecies Romance: Hana's love affair with the wolf man.
  • Irony:
    • As toddlers/young children, Yuki embraces her wolf side and often transforms while Ame prefers his human form more and even states that he hates his wolf heritage at one point. Towards the end of the movie, Yuki prefers being human while Ame abandons his human side altogether and decides to live as a wolf in the wild.
    • During their childhood, Yuki picks on Ame for not being tough like a real wolf and letting other animals attack him while crying about it. Years later, Ame criticizes his sister for not wanting to be a wolf while Yuki is shown to be a much less capable fighter than her brother and cries after getting into a fight with him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nirasaki is very snarky and dry to Hana, but he does help her out with the farming. He even gets the other villagers to warm up to Hana.
  • Last of His Kind: The wolf man is the last surviving descendant of the Japanese wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf which in real life has been extinct since the early 20th century. When he dies, Yuki and Ame become the last of their kind.
  • Limited Wardrobe: While less extreme than most examples of this trope, throughout most of the movie Yuki wears a pink one-piece dress and then switches to a blue dress over a white blouse, while Ame wears the same clothes as his father did.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Ame has trouble connecting with kids at school, and in a montage is seen being bullied. Eventually he stops going to school altogether.
  • Magic Pants: Happens at certain times, but noticeably averted in others. At least one scene shows Hana picking up her children's clothes to give them back later.
  • Mama Bear: Hana is insanely devoted to her children and will do anything to keep them safe. Without the wolf man, Hana is left to raise her two children alone, but she never complains and she never shows any resentment towards her kids. She leaves her comfortable life in the city behind to find a safe place to raise her kids, working her ass off to restore an abandoned old house in the country. Even though she has no idea how to raise half-wolf children, she tries her best to support them. When Ame leaves for the mountain during a typhoon, Hana follows him in only a rain-jacket and rain-boots. The terrain is steep and treacherous on the mountain, moreso when it's pouring rain and gusting wind, but Hana keeps going in order to find her son and keep him safe. This is referenced when she runs into a literal mama bear and her two cubs while searching for Ame in the forest.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Whatever's going on with Ame's fox "sensei" and the mountain he lives on. Ame describes Sensei as the mountain guardian, and when he eventually dies, Ame's final motivation to give up his humanity is the fact that someone needs to take his place. It's clear Sensei is not a normal fox, but just how much of an abnormal fox he is remains unclear.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Hana was named after a Cosmo flower that her father saw spring up during her birth. He hoped that she would be able to endure and be happy like it, despite hardships in life. She lives up to it.
    • Yuki was born on a snowy day; Ame was born on a rainy day. "Yuki" and "Ame" are the Japanese words for snow and rain, respectively. Ame also abandons his humanity and lives as a wolf in the forest on a rainy day.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: A mild case pops up, where in two scenes a black bear and her cubs can be seen wandering around the woods despite not being native to Japan. The light novel's equivalent scene explains that the village has a special connection with bears, suggesting that they're merely one of the several unusual aspects about the place.
  • Momma's Boy: Ame as a toddler. He's very shy and demure, and is mostly seen hanging around his mother.
  • Morphic Resonance: Ame and Yuki's wolf forms have tan fur but keep their human hairstyles. Ame's fur turns completely bluish-grey once he becomes an adult. According to the film's artbook, this was done intentionally to show that the children would always retain some form of humanity even when they otherwise look completely wolfish.
  • My Greatest Failure: Yuki views breaking her mother's promise by changing partially into a wolf at school and accidentally hurting Souhei to be this. She is terrified that this mistake could get her kicked out of school or force her family to move away and spends several days alone in her room ruminating over it. It's heavily implied that this incident is what cemented Yuki's desire to live exclusively as a human.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Something Yuki and Ame struggle with throughout the film - especially as toddlers, when their puppy-like behavior can't easily be reigned in. Ame gives in entirely and opts to abandon his human side.
  • New Transfer Student: Souhei. Yuki is uncomfortable around him, partly because he says that she smells like they have a dog at her house, and partly because of how persistent he was at attempting to talk to her.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Before her Girliness Upgrade, Yuki would do things like play with snakes and collect animal bones. The fact that these hobbies send the other girls running away screaming leads to her abandoning these habits.
  • No Antagonist: Other than a society that probably wouldn't understand, the only antagonizing force is the struggles of survival.
  • Noble Wolf: The father wolf man and Ame by the end of the film.
  • No Name Given: The wolf man's name is never revealed.
  • Nostalgic Narrator: The story's narrated by an older Yuki.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Even though they explicitly bring up the Hollywood tropes commonly associated with them to debunk those, the shapeshifters are never explicitly called werewolves.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Hana, when Souhei claims that it was a wolf and not Yuki that slashed his ear. Luckily no one noticed as she was bowing her head at the time.
    • Also Hana, looking like she's a second away from a major freak-out after Yuki runs around in her wolf form, in plain view of two neighbors. Luckily, the husband thinks it's a German shepherd mixed with something else, mentioning the "fact" that wolves are extinct in Japan.
  • Older Than They Look: Hana still looks like she's in her early twenties, despite being in her mid-thirties by movie's end.
  • The Oner: An interesting one used to bridge the gap between Time Skip. It transitions from the early years of primary school to both children's final years there.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: It's stated early on in the film that the traditional werewolf lore is all made upnote , and actual wolf-people are nothing like that.
  • Only One Name: Hana, Ame, and Yuki’s family name is never revealed.
  • Parental Abandonment: Souhei's mother gets remarried, and he hints that he's not needed by her anymore. Which is a bit of a shock, considering how concerned she was for him earlier, when he was attacked and suffered injuries to his ear by Yuki, who got angry at him not leaving her alone.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: Both the wolf man and Ame's fox "Sensei" die during rainstorms.
  • Perspective Reversal: At the start of the film, Yuki is into roughing it up as a wolf while Ame is shy and feels shame after his wolf status. By the end, Yuki decides to live as a human permanently and Ame goes to live in the mountains as a wolf and guardian of the forest.
  • Plot-Driving Secret: The fact that Ame and Yuki have to hide the fact that they can turn into wolves is the main source of conflict. Hana moved to the countryside because of it.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Towards the end of the film, Ame decides to live as a wolf and, because he's ten years old which equals adulthood for a wolf, he turns into an adult wolf as a result.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The wolf man, Ame and Yuki's father, dies shortly into the first act after being shot while hunting for food. This leaves Hana a widow, struggling to raise her family with little knowledge of how wolf children should be raised.
  • Plucky Girl:
    • Hana, oh so very much. Before and after becoming a mother, she's incredibly upbeat and enthusiastic, always looking on the bright side of things.
    • Yuki too, albeit toned down as she grows older. She's very stubborn but energetic, and only becomes more modest when she decides she wants to fit in more.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • Ame's eyes gleam red after a fight with his sister. Hana is very unnerved by this.
    • Earlier Yuki, when she slashes Souhei's ear because he won't leave her alone.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Yuki's red to Ame's blue. Interestingly, this dynamic is reversed by the end of the movie, as Yuki becomes a mature girl who wants to live a normal human life while Ame embraces his wild side and becomes a wolf for good.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Ame and Yuki as half-wolf pups.
  • Running on All Fours: Ame and Yuki do this a lot, especially when they're little
  • Rule of Symbolism: When Yuki accidentally scratches Souhei's ear, an off-white butterfly flies past Yuki's claws as they drip with blood. This strongly represents Yuki's loss of innocence.
  • Sand In My Eyes: While they're trapped in the school, Yuki opens the window, letting the storming rain in, and confesses to Souhei that she's a wolf. He accepts her, and tells her not to cry about who she is. Through laughter and relief, Yuki tells him that she's not crying and that it's just the rain.
  • Scars Are Forever: Souhei's ear is permanently scarred by Yuki.
  • Scenery Porn: The city, parks, and Hana's college are all shown in lovely detail, but it's when she and her children move to the country when the animation really shines. The mountains, forests, and rivers are all beautiful.
  • Secondary Character Title: The titular Wolf Children aren't the protagonists, it's their mother Hana.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Near the end of the film Sohei reveals to Yuki that he'd known she was a wolf ever since she scratched his ear.
  • Sexy Discretion Shot: Used in Hana and the wolfman's first night together, after he's revealed his identity to her. They lean in for a kiss and wake up together the next morning.
  • Show, Don't Tell:
    • The montage with Hana and the wolfman living together, Hana finding out she's pregnant and their busy, sometimes struggling, but also heartwarming everyday lives up until Yuki is born is accompanied by a gorgeous piano piece and no dialogue.
    • Later in the film, the contrast between Yuki and Ame throughout the early grades, with her fitting in fairly well, and him having trouble adjusting to school and getting bullied.
    • Ame being taught various things by "sensei" a fox he meets in the mountains. Part of it shows when he suggests Yuki stay home instead of going to school one day, knowing that a bad storm was coming before the meteorologists did.
  • Shown Their Work: The farming tips and tricks shared with Hana by the townsfolk like which crops to plant together and how to deal with excess produce and farming problems are surprisingly accurate.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: The timid Ame and the hyperactive Yuki. Yuki embraces her wolf-side while Ame hates it. This is switched around as they get older.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: As Ame gets older, he resembles his father more and more. And to a lesser extent, Yuki resembles Hana quite a bit once she's gotten older.
  • Soup Is Medicine: When Hana is suffering from morning sickness during her first pregnancy, the wolf man makes her a bowl of udon with a pheasant he caught.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Downplayed. When the wolf man transforms in front of Hana, he has these for a few seconds near the end, before they're back to normal afterward.
  • Symbolic Baptism: Ame almost drowning in the river and emerging with a newfound appreciation for being a wolf. Yuki even notes that from that day forward Ame seemed like a completely different person. Yuki herself also goes through a change after diving in to save her brother, attending school shortly afterwards and becoming more in touch with her human side.
  • Theme Naming:
    • Yuki ("snow") and Ame ("rain") are named after the weather on the days they were born.
    • Hana ("flower") was named after flowers blooming in her family's garden on the day she was born.
  • Those Two Guys: Nirasaki's two old-geezer buddies, who help Hana with her crops and bicker about every single instruction they give her.
  • Tragic Keepsake: After the wolf man dies, his driver's license is all Hana has left.
  • Training Montage: Nirasaki teaching Hana how to farm after her repeated failures. Nirasaki is an unforgiving taskmaster, and in typical fashion, Hana works her ass off to the point of physically collapsing from exhaustion as soon as he leaves.
  • Twirl of Love: Hana and the wolf man share one outside the cake shop after he finds out she's pregnant for the first time.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Yuki vomits all over the floor after eating out of a silica packet. Luckily, she turns out okay.
  • Wild Child: Both of the children, particularly Yuki. Somewhat subverted since they are raised by their human mother, although they don't interact much with human society until they are old enough to go to school. Ame becomes a straight example by leaving home to live in the forest as a wolf at the ripe old age of ten.
  • What If the Baby Is Like Me: A somewhat different example. There's no question as to whether or not the children will be half-wolf, but whether they'll be in wolf or human form when they're born is uncertain to the point where Hana and the wolf man opt for a home birth, without outside assistance in both pregnancies.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Discussed when Ame brings up the children's stories where the wolf is always the villain.
  • Wham Line: When Ame explains to Hana about his new teacher "Sensei", Hana suggests she could meet him so she can thank him for teaching her son. When Ame casually points out Sensei doesn't like to be around humans, it lets Hana know Sensei may be an animal teacher rather than the human one she lead herself to believe.
  • Wham Shot: The wolf man's corpse near the start of the movie, followed by what becomes of the corpse when it's tossed in a trash compactor while a horrified Hana can only watch. It's the first indication that the film isn't just going to be a fluffy Slice of Life romance like the opening scenes suggest.
  • Working-Class Werewolves: The werewolf father was a truck driver — he meets his future wife in a college class when she offers to share her book because he can't afford one. Later his children, also werewolves, grow up poor, living far out in the country because of the difficulties their mother faces raising two wolf-kids in the city.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Ame explores the wilds with an old fox and is breathtaken at the scenery. Implied to be his reason for deciding to live as a wolf as he prefers being in nature.
  • Younger Than They Look:
    • Towards the end despite being 10/11 years old, Yuki and Ame look about 4 years older. This also applies for the fully human Souhei.
    • A strange case with Ame, as it's implied towards the end of the story that he's mentally aged into an adult despite being only 10, because he's grown closer to his wolf form and a 10-year-old wolf would be well into adulthood. This would also explain his weirdly deep voice and his wolf form being fully grown during his last scene.

Alternative Title(s): Wolf Children Ame And Yuki


Wolf Children

What, you got dogs in YOUR home, boy?

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheNoseKnows

Media sources: