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Fridge / Wolf Children

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Fridge Brilliance

  • When Ame decides to abandon his human form and live as a wolf, he suddenly turns into an adult wolf even though he's only 10. It makes sense though; once he decides to become a full-fledged wolf that means his age equals adulthood for a wolf (which the wolfman even points out in Hana's dream). Yuki on the other hand chooses to be human and remains a child.
    • Closely related to that is the reason why Hana took so long to accept this and let her son go and choose his own way of life. Again, 10 is adulthood for a wolf but not for humans like her. Also, throughout the movie, Yuki's hair becomes darker (going from brown to dark brown or black) while Ame's hair becomes paler (going from blue to darker pale blue). Yuki's hair colour changes to the colour most humans in Japan would have (which would be black or dark brown hair) while Ame's hair colour changes to closely resemble the colour of wolves. (Many wolves have pale fur colors like grey, dirty brown, tan or even white.)
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    • Some Artistic License – Biology is at hand as a ten-year-old wolf is really an old wolf. However, seeing as Ame is a werewolf, the same biological rules probably don't apply as to a normal wolf.
  • Yuki and Ame hint at their ultimate decision long before either hit 10: as Hana notes, many wolves gravitate to forming packs. Yuki's 'pack' is basically her group of friends, yet when Yuki (initially) tried to form a pack with her brother, he refuses, as if he's already a lone wolf deep inside, even before his near-death experience. And upon a re-watch, there's some foreshadowing when Hana asks the kids which they'd rather be, if they had to choose: Yuki's standing on her hind feet, while Ame is on all fours.
    • Another small thing at the part where Yuki and Ame start physically fighting each other: Ame seems to have gotten better control of his wolf body as well as he dominates Yuki in the fight while all she does is run away or shove him off her. That, or it shows how little Yuki is willing to act as a wolf anymore by not properly fighting back.
      • When you think about it, it's no surprise that Yuki's only response to fighting is to run away. For most of the movie, Yuki never quite uses her wolf fangs for biting others. She only runs around to convince her mother to get what she wants, ran away from Ame when they played in the park, and chased after cats and wild animals. So naturally, all she can do in a fight is run, that's it.
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    • Yet one more hint foreshadowing each child's path in life. Yuki seems eager to embrace her wolf side and is the first to attempt hunting as a wolf. But watch how she does it. She keeps catching the critters with her fore paws. This hints that despite her enthusiasm to be a wolf, she's more inclined towards her humanity. Whereas during their first winter in the countryside, Ame saw a bird and (as a wolf) successfully hunted it with his teeth. Like a real wolf.
      • There's also something brilliant about how Ame accidentally falls in the water that same spring. He got tangled in his scarf and slipped. This represents that Ame is potentially capable, and all that pampering and living as a human is hindering his independence.
      • The light novel is more explicit with how the children's attitudes towards nature influence their choices in how to live. Yuki's love of hunting isn't out of hunger or any predatory instinct, but a desire to learn as much as she can about the forest. Whenever she catches animals, she likes to examine them closely and compare them to the ones she's read about in books, a distinctly human way of learning. But because Yuki can only learn so much by herself in the woods, it's only natural that she would eventually gravitate more towards school where multiple different subjects are taught and there are more people to interact with. Most of Ame's knowledge of the natural world is also limited to books at first, until Sensei teaches him that the animals have a vastly different understanding of nature than humans, even having unique names for things like plants and weather. And since Ame isn't nearly as sociable or comfortable in human society as his sister, he becomes fascinated with this new world in the forest where he has a place as a wild wolf.
      • Even looking at the film's poster provides small clues to the choices each child will make. Yuki's wolf tail is smoother, kind of like a domestic dog, and she clings more to her human mother. By contrast, Ame's tail is scruffier in the way a wild wolf's would be and he leans out more to look at something in the distance, making it seem like Hana's hold on him is slipping.
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  • Hana deciding to let Yuki go to school instead of having her home-schooled, despite the risk of their secret getting out. Not only would it have been hypocritical for Hana to keep her children away from other humans forever when she already promised that they could choose how to live, but Hana couldn't finish school because of her duties as a mother and lived a solitary life as a student. Of course Hana would want to give her daughter the chance to make friends and get the full education that she herself never got.
  • At the end of the film, Yuki states that she's living in a dorm to attend middle school. While it might seem odd at first that Hana would be okay with both of her children not living with her, earlier in the film when she was being shown houses in the area, the realtor tells Hana that the closest middle school was about two and a half hours away from where the area he was showing her, and that was including a train ride. Aside from showing that Hana was okay with her kids growing up and choosing their paths, it also makes sense not to have Yuki spend five hours a day getting to and from school.
    • More fridge brilliance in that Yuki has essentially become an adult like her brother did (mentioned above). Yuki, while she chose a human path, is still partially a wolf inside, as her brother is still part human despite choosing a wolf path. Both have matured naturally as wolf children, and as such have matured earlier than regular humans. It's just that Ame is wolf on the outside, while Yuki is wolf on the inside.
      • Here's some more indications that Yuki and Ame are never fully going to lose the other half of themselves. During their fight, Yuki still turned into a wolf to defend herself while Ame changes back into a human afterwards. Yuki sharing her secret with Souhei means that she now has the freedom to be a wolf around someone she trusts. Meanwhile, Ame shows human concern for Hana being worried about his departure and even visits her in the manga.
  • Ame and Yuki, their names are so symbolic, not just of the weather they were born during, but how each sibling affected the other's choice. They may have grown apart, yet they still managed to touch each other's lives.
    • Yuki means "Snow". Her brother Ame is timid and fears nature. Eventually, he becomes just as self-confident as his sister, even after he nearly drowns. When did this happen? During the winter, in the snow.
    • Ame means "Rain". His sister is impulsive, proud of her wolf side, and at times inconsiderate. At one point, when she confesses about being a wolf to Souhei, she's more humble like her brother. When does this occur? While it's raining.
  • It may seem ironic that Yuki becomes the one who's ashamed of her wolf side, whereas Ame comes to embrace it to the point of becoming a wolf. But it's suiting in a sense. Yuki wasn't ashamed of her wolf-side, but that was before she found the friends and company she long wished for. Ame rejected his wolf-side because (according to story books) people hate wolves, but it was because he lacked confidence. Being a loner taught Ame to realize it doesn't matter what others think. And being with others taught Yuki that everyone has standards, and they may not like the same things you like.
  • Fridge-Heartwarming: The morning after the wolfman confesses his secret to Hana, she doesn't seem to be visibly smiling. If you recall her story, she only gives her best smile when things are bad to signify getting by tough times. Hana doesn't need to give that smile: no matter what he thinks of himself, Hana doesn't see being a werewolf's wife as a hardship. That's how much she loves him.
  • Fridge-Heartwarming: In life, the wolfman was a bookish type who loved reading. It's part of how he and Hana first bonded. Meanwhile, his children each grow up to find their respective passions. Yuki grows to love school because it's where she can expand on her education, and Ame falls in love with nature and learning about the mountains from his Sensei. Looks like the wolfman's love for knowledge will live on.
  • This might not have been intentional, but Ame and Yuki each embody the traits of an introvert and an extrovert, each displaying the difference between the two. Yuki is outgoing and gregarious, and likes to go to school because it's where she can be surrounded by friends and can speak out the answers in class. Ame is withdrawn and a lone wolf and prefers to either be with his thoughts or to study life in the woods alongside Sensei.
  • Something caught my attention when it was mentioned in the YMMV about Ame; he was basically allowed to be a wolf and do whatever he wanted scots free, while Yuki was constantly berated to behave herself, had social standards to live up to, and was even punished (by Souhei's mom) for defending herself. It wouldn’t be surprising if it caused Yuki to develop a grudge against Ame for acting however he wanted and taking it for granted, and possibly why she was so impatient with him in the lead up to their fight.
    • It didn't help that Ame was being Innocently In Sensitive by going on about how much he's learned as a wolf when Yuki losing control of her own wolf side was still a major source of stress for her at the time. Ame also devalued Yuki's desire to stay in school even before the fight started by saying that he learns "real stuff" on the mountains.
      • A slightly more optimistic interpretation is that they simply missed each other’s company. Growing up, Ame and Yuki only ever had each other to play with and wolves are pack animals by nature. Yuki was eager to teach Ame how to behave at school when he first started attending and even when they were growing apart, she still protected him from bullies. Maybe there was a part of her that missed having her little brother following her around. Meanwhile, Ame now has a greater appreciation for being a wolf and wants to share all he’s learned about the forest with the sister he knows embraced her wolf heritage at a young age, as seen by how he encourages Yuki to also take lessons from Sensei. Yuki and Ame’s failure to convince the other to join them on their path probably made them feel abandoned, leading to tension in their relationship.
  • When they're kids, Yuki and Ame have a tendency to run away and hide from anyone who isn't Hana. Even when the other mothers in town come over to talk to Hana with their children in tow, both kids choose to observe from a distance in the bushes rather than rush over to play with potential new friends. This is especially strange to see from Yuki, who is normally so energetic and eager to jump into new scenarios. But it makes sense when you consider that both siblings have essentially been raised in isolation. They never had the chance to play with other kids or interact with anyone other than their mother because of the risk of their secret getting out

Fridge Horror

  • If Yuki and Ame are the last living wolf people as well as Japanese wolves in general, that means Ame will lead a very lonely life, never having a mate and offspring. Should he realize he wants them, he'd have to abandon his decision and return to civilization someday after all, in order to have children with a human woman, or even if he just wants a same-species friend.
  • Before leaving the house for good to settle down as a wolf and guardian of the mountain, Ame tells Yuki that his sensei had broken his leg, the implication that his injury meant he was unsuitable for ruling the mountain which was why Ame had to step to take his place. In the wild, an animal suffering an debilitating injury like a broken limb is doomed to die of starvation due to being unable to catch prey which means that unless something is done, sensei will suffer a long, grueling death leading to another fridge horror in that Ame may have had to Mercy Kill his former teacher to spare him that suffering which is what he may had set out to do before or after Hana found him.
    • Alternatively, Ame may choose to care for Sensei and protect and hunt for him until he dies of old age.
  • Not really Fridge Horror so much as Fridge Weird, but considering Ame turned into an adult wolf when he decided to abandon his human side, does that mean that if he decided to turn human again he'd turn into an adult man? A human form reunion between him and Yuki would certainly be awkward then.
  • Yuki's Big Eater tendencies may have been just a character quirk or she might naturally have a faster metabolism due to her wolf blood, requiring her to eat much more than a human child. The Fridge Horror kicks in when this large appetite disappears along with her other wolfish traits when she tries to fit in. And since it's unlikely it decreased naturally, since caloric needs are particularly high in adolescence, Yuki could potentially be starving herself for the sake of being an ideal human. Which tragically wouldn't be an unheard of thing for a young girl to do.

Alternative Title(s): Wolf Children Ame And Yuki