With The Wind Rises marking the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki, 56-year-old director Mamoru Hosoda is being anointed as the new sensei of anime.
Easy to see why: clocking in just shy of two hours, Wolf Children is a painterly animation that recalls Studio Ghibli in its blend of the fantastical and everyday, the micro and the cosmic.
It tells of a young woman (Miyazaki Aoi) who marries a wolfman but must raise their two children alone, and it nimbly addresses such heavyweight themes as love, loss, motherhood, adolescence and finding your way in the (natural) world.
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