Life can turn upside down with tragic events and you’ll be forced to adapt. It can be painful, but also an experience that will shape you into who you are today.
It’s easy to take life for granted and forget how fragile we really are. In a the blink of an eye we lose somebody or we lose ourselves. Leaving behind those who loved us most, leaving them to fight for their own in a big and chaotic world.
In Ookami Kodomo we follow Hana who loses her husband. He leaves Hana and their two children behind, who just like their father are half human and half wolf. Hana has to raise two children without the guidance of her husband. She has to learn how to raise children who don’t know who they want or have to be.
Ookami Kodomo tells the struggles of life through a tragic fairy tale in which children try to find themselves and a lonely mother who tries to raise her children the best she can. It’s heartwarming, yet painful to see a young mother struggle to make ends meet. Despite all hardships the love for her children knows no boundaries.
The concept of finding yourself is beautifully displayed. The movie explores different stages in life and depicts how a mother tries to create the best environment for her children in which they can grow up.
On the other hand, the show tells the story of the children who struggle with their own identity. Being half wolf and half human, they face inner conflicts with who they have to be. As society will not tolerate wolves, they want to be accepted for who they are. Nature will tolerate a wolf, but nature will not tolerate humans. An interesting metaphor for the power of nature who decides who may enter and who will be left out.
While watching, I got the same feeling I had with Clannad. This series tried to take me on a emotional ride by exploring tragic and beautiful moments in life. And even the most tragic events can give strength to make the best out of the worst.
Ookami Kodomo made struggles in life approachable and opened the mind to think about where you stand in life and where you want to be. This effect might not occur with every viewer, but this kind of storytelling triggers me to think about my own home, the hardships along the way and what is to come. Ookami Kodomo not only tells a story, it makes me think about my life.
Ookami Kodomo comes from the same director who also did Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo and Summer Wars. The animation feels familiar and the resemblances are unmistakably recognizable.
The character designs aren’t complex, but speak for themselves. I guess the designs give the animators the freedom to create fluent and lively animation as there are less details to worry about during the process.
The soundtrack was good, not epic, but it was good enough to set the tone. Combined with the strong story and confident animation, the story developed into an emotional package.
I cannot explain why I give this a 9 and I also cannot explain why I’m not giving this show a 10. Maybe out of principle that I don’t believe perfection can exist. Ookami Kodomo told a convincing, mythical, yet credible story in which it took me out of my comfort zone into its own universe. I was engaged and I was moved by the beautiful emotional display that is Ookami Kodomo. This story can be enjoyed by young and old, anime watcher or not.