From the director who bought us such fantastic films as The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars come a new anime ‘Okami No Kodomo Ame To Yuki” ( The Wolf Children Rain and Snow ), slated for release in July 2012. Mamoru Hosoda has had an excellent track record so far and I really look forward to catching this.
Details are scant but from what I gathered from the official website and some Japanese interviews I read online, the story revolves around two wolf children called Ame (Rain) and Yuki (Snow), hybrid offspring of a 19 year girl named Hana (Flower) and a wolf man. The central theme of the film is ‘Mother and Child” – Hosoda-san explained that many of his friends are married with children, and that he was inspired and moved by the gentle and loving relationship he saw between mother and child.
When asked about the choice of “wolf children” and not simply the children of humans, he explained that he was keen to explore the fantasy aspect in the fusion of the two, and that it might just make for a more interesting story. ( The 2nd part of his answer might sound vague and wishy-washy but its common for Japanese sentences to end with a hint of open-endedness to soften the speaker’s stance. )
The geographical setting of the film begins in the city of Tokyo, but moves to rural areas of Fukuyama because “it is just not possible to raise wolf children in the city.”
“The fact that I was born in Fukuyama and have a sense of affection for it might also have influenced our choice.”, Hosoda-san mused.
If you can read Japanese there is more information to be gleaned from this interview with the director here.
Some of the key creative personnel include concept/character designer Sadamoto Yoshiyuki ( of Evangelion fame ), who also worked on both Tokikake and Summer Wars, as well as Takaaki Yamashita as animation director, and art direction by Ohno Hiroshi. Production will not be handled by Madhouse this time, but a brand new studio called Chizu ( meaning map in Japanese ) formed by Hosoda-san and Yoshiyuki-san.