Author: Mamoru Hosoda
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Fantasy, drama, romance
Hana, a 19 year old student, falls in love with a man that joins her college lesson despite not being part of the school. As their relationship develops, he reveals a secret to her that is to turn her life upside down – he is half wolf and the only surviving descendant of the now extinct Japanese wolf. However, this doesn’t deter Hana’s feelings and she soon becomes pregnant and has her first child Yuki and soon after, her second, Ame.
Life for Hana and her part wolf family takes a turn for the worst when her husband is found dead in his wolf form after being out hunting for food for his children. Now that she is raising the children alone, Hana feels at a loss having not learnt enough from her husband at how to raise wolf children. Desperate not to be discovered, she takes Ame and Yuki and moves to the countryside to rebuild their lives away from prying eyes.
I have never been a fan of anthropomorphic anime/manga and believed I would hate this but the story is so heartbreaking and beautifully drawn that I almost forgot about my dislike for animal-humans. Hana’s desperation to protect her children and give them the best upbringing she can is truly inspiring.
She faces the troubles of her children wanting to do ‘normal’ things such as play with friends and go to school but ultimately in the end has to ask them whether they want to live as wolves OR humans. Let me just say, the ending is a pretty sad one….
Review by Lauren (RGM admin)