This week am going to start writing mini reviews for indie/drama films because one I don’t have all the time in the world to write my normal 1000+ word reviews and two because I tend to struggle writing reviews for indie films. That being said I probably could go on a while about these two because they are two excellent animated films from Japan. I know most of my readers probably don’t see all that many anime films or anything foreign or subtitled. So with that in mind I have picked two that are in English language (Excellent Dubs).
I’ll go into much more detail below but please give them a try, got trailers and images below. Check it all out and give me a like and a comment at the end.
Wolf Children (Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki)
Hana is a 19-year-old student who falls in a “fairy-tale like” love with a “wolf man”. Over the course of the 13-year story Hana gives birth to two children – older sister Yuki, and younger brother Ame, or “Snow and Rain”. At first the family quietly lives in the city trying to hide their wolf heritage, but when the “wolf man” suddenly dies Hana makes the decision to move to a rural town, far from their previous city life.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended
Story: 90% Acting: 85% Characters: 95% Dialogue: 85%
Drama/Fantasy: 100% Style/Sound: 90% Visuals: 85%
Normally this isn’t my type of film and I wouldn’t have watched it. The struggle of a single mother raising two children on her own, that’s a good story on its own but here’s the twist that got me. They’re Werewolves. You get a life time of emotion from this film, ups and downs but in the end it’ll make you feel really just happy. Hana’s struggle is so alien but at the same time it’s somehow relatable, well done writers for that. But that’s just one development; you also get to see a coming of age of two children of a bizarre upbringing, do they embrace humanity or become the wolf.
My favourite scene would have to be either the old man helping Hana grow the crops after seeing her struggle so hard after failing time and time again. Or when Ame and Yuki fight in the kitchen, because it’s a real turning point between the two of them. Choosing their paths. And I loved Yuki’s narration.
The Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa)
Takao, who is training to become a shoemaker, skipped school and is sketching shoes in a Japanese-style garden. He meets a mysterious woman, Yukino, who is older than him. Then, without arranging the times, the two start to see each other again and again, but only on rainy days.
Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended
Story: 75% Acting: 80% Characters: 80% Dialogue: 85%
Drama: 90% Style/Sound: 95% Visuals: 100%
This a real short one about 46 minutes so it won’t be a big loss if you don’t take to it. This is a really weird love story, in many aspects. Right from the offset they don’t get together and nor should they based on their ages, that aside they do get close and it’s a really sad but fascinating relationship to watch. According to the director (Makoto Shinkai) in Japanese “love” was written as “lonely sadness” and this was his basis for the films relationship, which is definitely what you get. I couldn’t quite figure out why it was only 46 minutes long until the first few scenes played out in the rain, boy those visuals must have cost a fortune to make, that and a lot of time. Worth it though, the visuals are just stunning, some scenes look like real photographs.
Trailer (Couldn’t find dubbed):
My favourite scene would have to be when Takao sees Yukari as a teacher at the school; my brain froze for a moment because it really came at me from nowhere. I even had a theory she was a ghost or something. Embarrassment aside it was fascinating because clearly they had never met at school because they both skipped the same rainy days. Funny but sad scene, wow should have seen that coming.