Pursuing the tall, enigmatic loner in her college class, sunny-spirited Hana soon discovers she has fallen in love with a man who is half-wolf. Undaunted, she marries him and gives birth to a daughter Yuki and son Ame. When tragedy strikes, she must care for her part-wolf progeny all on her own. Hana’s experience is patiently and elborately illustrated as she moves from the city to the distant countryside, trying to accommodate her children’s unusual needs. Hosoda’s animation is often breathtakingly photographic, just as his semi-supernatural tale grounds itself in the conundrums of modern reality with its many allusions: the struggles of single motherhood, ever-fluctuating and confusing teenage emotions, and the inability to conform to societal or institutional standards as a child or as an adult. Devoting her life to her children, Hana must eventually let them decide whether they will follow a conventional path or disappear into the wild where wolves can run free.
Age recommendation: 14+