Movies that are anchored on myths and legends are often fascinating to watch because they appeal to our fantasies. Stories about wolves, mermaids, and vampires are fictional, yet over the years have gathered quite a following. The Japanese animation, Wolf Children may be about werewolves, but it is not about its fantastic characters and plot that will lure you to watch until the very end, but its realistic theme about the hardships of single motherhood and of raising two unique individuals.
Hana as a university student in Tokyo falls in love with a mysterious man in her class, who turns out to be a werewolf. They are drawn to each other because of Hana’s optimistic and cheerful disposition. Hana eventually gives birth to a daughter named Yuki which means snow and later to a baby boy named Ame which means rain. Life throws a curved ball at the family when Hana’s husband dies unexpectedly. With two young half-human and half-wolves to raise on her own, Hana strives hard to be a mother and father at the same time. Hiding her children from public proved difficult, so she decides to move in the country where her children grew up to eventually choose their own paths.
This is one film that every mom ought to watch. Not only does it tackle about the daily toils that mothers have to face in raising children (single moms especially can relate), but also the joys and the rewards that go with it. It also imparts one lesson that mothers and every parent will have to face eventually – that is learning to let go of one’s children once they come of age. The little ones will also enjoy this film because of the playful way the young werewolves are portrayed. It is interesting to note that with the Japanese emphasis on uniformity over individuality, the young werewolves each took a different path from each other.
So beyond the movie title and the characters, this movie is really a celebration of motherhood.
*I included the lyrics of the movie’s soundtrack. I think Moms should make this as the soundtrack of their lives, too.
Okaasan no Uta (Mother’s song) – the opening song of Wolf Children
‘May I meet you soon, my yet unseen child,’
I always wished as I stroked my belly
Fu-u-u fu-u-u I wonder how your face looks like?
Fu-u-u fu-u- u I wonder how your voice sounds like?
I see myself reflected in your big eyes
as your tears trickled down your cheeks
‘Mama, mama, come, I’m finished with my food!’
‘Ta-ta-ta, ta-ta-ta, come, let’s go out for a walk!’
You hugged your knees, crying out your eyes
Tell me why, I’ll listen to everything
Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere
No matter what happens,
I’ll be with you I love your face when you laugh
Even when you’re down, please try to cheer up
‘Ru-ru-ru, ru-ru-ru, come, let’s sing a song’
‘U-o-on, u-o-on, come, shout your hearts out’
Ki-ra-ra, ki-ra-ra, may you grow free from care
Run through snow, count the clouds, play in the rain, get blown by the wind,
get buried in flowers, make your grass flutes sing
with your four legs,
with your two legs
A new morning, a new wind,
prepared just for you
A new morning, a new light,
a world just for you
A new morning, a new rainbow,
a world full of wonder
No matter which of the two roads you choose,
I would probably no longer be able to gaze at you from afar
Someday, when you set out on your journey,
I’m sure I will see you off with a smile
U-u-u, u-u-u, but perhaps I’ll be a bit lonely
U-o-on, u-o-on Please, live strong