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Heartwarming / Wolf Children

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Not so much a single moment; the entire film is filled with the sheer heartfelt parental dedication that Hana gives for her children. It's difficult to isolate particular incidents when she manages to be an awesome mom in nearly every single scene.

  • After she tried to introduce herself to the wolfman, Hana watched him in secret as he kindly helped up a child who had fallen on the ground. This is what warms Hana up to him. Single Woman Seeks Good Man indeed.
  • When the wolfman first reveals he's a werewolf to Hana one winter night, it's not played up as horrific or scary, but rather gentle and wondrous. And not once is Hana particularly frightened when she sees him change into a wolf. Maybe a little surprised, but never horrified. As Yuki narrates:
    Yuki: The universe is full of mysteries, but his heart was not one of them.
    • In the next scene, the wolfman wonders to Hana if she's frightened of his wolf form. She quietly responds she's not, because it's a part of him, part of the man she fell in love with.
  • The warmth and respect in Yuki's voice when she narrates how her father was a werewolf. This becomes more-so heartwarming the second time watching when one bears in mind that at some point in the story, Yuki grew ashamed of her wolf heritage. If it's any indication, not only has Yuki made peace with her wolf heritage, but that she still honors her late father's memory.
  • Hana and the wolfman's all too brief time together is so packed with these, it's hard to pick out a single moment. Their jubilant embrace outside the cake shop after Hana learns that she's pregnant is a big one.
  • Although tinged with sadness, there's Hana's tearful promise to her late husband that she would take care of Yuki and Ame, followed by her big, hopeful smile.
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  • There's a short scene in the manga where baby Ame is crying at night and Yuki decides to cheer him up with a little howl. After he lets out a howl of his own, she tells him that "wolf kids are strong!". Technically speaking, Yuki was the first one to teach her little brother that his wolf heritage is something to be proud of.
  • Ame and Yuki playing in their new backyard and running around the forest. After spending their early years being cooped up in an apartment and having to hide what they are, seeing them finally get to let their wild sides out is like a breath of fresh air.
  • Hana firmly teaching her children the importance of keeping their wolf halves a secret from everybody else. Rather than outright worry them with the concept that it will scare everyone, she makes a gentle point that it will "surprise them too much" so they better understand there are consequences. When she teaches them they have to treat the wild animals respectfully, and they wonder why, she explains " Because Daddy would want you to be nice to them."
    • Hana's illustration of her late husband depicts him as a gentle-looking man with wolf ears and big heart. It's as though it signifies that in Hana's eyes, he was defined, not by his being a wolf, but by his kindly nature.
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    • Later, when Yuki boasts about bullying the other animals, Hana reminds her she promised to be nice to the animals she meets. When Yuki objects, Hana tells her "Please? For Daddy." This is what convinces Yuki to swallow her pride and acknowledge her promise.
  • If you can read between the lines, old man Nirasaki teaching Hana how to grow plants.
    • The very context of why Hana keeps working hard and taking advice from him: she's doing it for Ame and Yuki. She came to the country so they could live freely and explore both sides of their heritage in peace. And giving up that life is not an option.
    • And that single moment afterwards serves as the point where all the others living nearby start helping Hana out with her home and farm, teaching her what she needs to survive. A pair even let it slip that the 90 year old man told everyone to keep an eye out for her.
  • Ame's motivation to catch the kingfisher was mostly due to how confident he was feeling that day, but the manga expands upon this by showing how Ame was inspired by a story Hana told him and Yuki about when the wolfman used to hunt pheasants for her. Like Father, Like Son indeed.
  • A preschooler Yuki greeting her father's shrine as though it were her real father]]. It has a wholesome, innocent feel to it, as though he were there in spirit.
  • After visiting a tamed wolf at a nature sanctuary, on the bus ride home, Ame wonders to his mother if his late father was anything like the pitiful wolf they saw today. Hana tells him that he wasn't, that to the contrary: "Your Dad was special. He was one-of-a-kind..."
  • Fridge-Heartwarming: Even though it's a bit sobering for Yuki to decide she wants to be "the perfect little lady", Hana not only supports her choice, but also sews her a new blue dress by hand. This isn't just any blue dress: Hana based it off the blue dress she wore on her first date with the Wolfman. She made a happy memory with that dress, so she wants Yuki's fitting in with the other girls to also be a good memory as well.
  • Two from Souhei. First, he discredits Yuki ever hurt his ear by claiming it was a wolf so his mother won't take the matter to court. Not only is he protecting Yuki and Hana from repercussions, but it implies he already forgives her for scratching his ear, recognizing it was an accident. Afterwards, when she doesn't return to school, Souhei takes to bringing Yuki her homework, and even leaves out gifts for her.
  • During one of Souhei's visits to Yuki's home, Hana invites him inside to talk about what happened. She gauges his ability to keep Yuki's secret by asking him to recap how his ear got scratch. Not one instant does he imply it was Yuki. Hana already knows the truth, but his claiming a wolf did it and Yuki had nothing to do with him getting hurt tells her he's good at keeping her secret. When she asks if he holds anything against wolves now, he answers that he doesn't and in fact still thinks they're cool. This is meaningful when you remember Hana's loving promise to Ame that she would stick up for wolves, no matter what. Souhei is just like Hana.
    • Also in that same scene, however sobering it may be, there's one instant where Souhei wordlessly finds common ground with Yuki. Whilst sitting at the table, in the corner, he spots the shrine of Yuki's late father. Given what he know about Souhei's mother being single, it tells us he can relate with Yuki: he knows what it's like to not have a father in one's life.
  • When Yuki reveals her wolf form to Souhei. He tells her that he's known she was a wolf girl the whole time, but never blamed her for scratching his ear, or told a soul (and never will).
    Souhei: (gently) You're safe. No more crying.
    • Plus the overall implied childhood romance between them. It doesn't take much to imagine they'll probably end up the reverse version of Yuki's parentsnote .
  • Ame's steely determination to take his sensei's place as the guardian of the mountains is immediately shattered when Hana pleads with him to stay home for her sake. Even if he doesn't end up keeping his promise, he still lingers around the house for as long as possible and his final spoken line is an apology to his mother. Her son might see himself as a wolf, but Hana always manages to draw out Ame's humanity.
  • Hana's dream reunion with her lover, the wolfman. Everything in this scene, from the intimacy of the dialogue delivery to the incredibly beautiful and subtly detailed gestures in the animation, are utterly magnificent.
    • To put it in context: ten years have gone by, and still they both love each other so strongly. We knew Hana did throughout the story, treasuring his in-memoriam tribute and taking care of their children, but the Wolfman never stopped watching them, even from beyond the grave.
    • In the dream, the wolfman assures Hana that although she thinks she messed up, she did a good job raising Ame and Yuki. He especially praises that she did a good job raising Ame into the fine "adult [wolf]" he is today, since he's found where he truly belongs.
  • The scene in which Ame departs as a wolf for the final time starts as a MAJOR Tear Jerker, then takes a very appropriate and uplifting rise straight into heartwarming territory. Ame's howl to his mother and her words of encouragement are pretty damn powerful.
    • When Ame is ascending the mountain in the manga, he thinks back to when he asked his mother why wolves always have to be the bad guys and her loving promise to always stand up for wolves. It's a heartwarming Call-Back that shows just how instrumental Hana was in helping her son's confidence blossom
  • A bit of a Fridge Brilliance heartwarming moment that only occurs in the manga. When Ame took Hana to see Sensei, Hana thought to bring a few food items to thank him for teaching Ame about the wild. One of the things she brought was a peach, and consequently it was the only thing that Sensei accepted. In a sense, the peach is a symbol of gratitude for having taught Ame something important. Hana was always concerned about how she had never been able to teach her kids these things, which leads to both a Tear Jerker and a Heartwarming Moment during Ame's departure into the wild later on. Why is all of this more important in the manga? Because in the manga-exclusive epilogue, Hana finds something that has been left by her door, which is strongly implied to have been left by Ame. What is it? A peach.
    • Also from the manga epilogue, Yuki writing to her Mother and asking if Ame is alright. Even after they've grown apart, the family still love each other.
  • Yet another heartwarming manga moment comes in the form of a dialogue-less short story wherein Yuki catches a cold during the winter and has to stay inside for bed-rest. She is naturally upset about this, as she was looking forward to playing outside and making a snowman. Later, Yuki wakes up from a nap to find that her mother has cooked her a bowl of udon (not unlike the kind the wolfman once made for Hana) and Ame has taken the time to make her a tiny snowman. D'awwww!
  • The end, with Hana hearing Ame howl in the woods, letting her know he's all right.
    • The music at the end, a loving lullaby from a mother to her child.