Fleeing a violent thunderstorm, a young goat named Mei becomes separated from his tribe and takes shelter in a cabin. He soon is not alone, as another creature limps inside. In the dark ... See full summary »
Fleeing a violent thunderstorm, a young goat named Mei becomes separated from his tribe and takes shelter in a cabin. He soon is not alone, as another creature limps inside. In the dark they cannot see each other, both have colds and cannot smell each other, but in conversation assume they are of the same kind for they have much in common even apart from a shared fear of thunder, having been taught by elders to run fast to survive and to value loyalty and friendship. They agree to meet the next day for a picnic, with the words "stormy night" used to identify each other. Getting past their initial shock at seeing each other in the daylight, their friendship grows even though they were born enemies, as a goat and a wolf. They continue to meet secretly with Gav fighting off his natural predator tendencies. One day Gav helps Mei escape a wolf hunt, and they are observed together. The other goats demand that Mei use his friend to get details of the wolves plans or be exiled. Gav is ... Written by
'Arashi no yoru ni' is a beautifully rendered animated film. It's a modern fable about wolf and a goat who overcome their natural enmity and become the best of friends.
On a stormy night, (the English translation of the title) Mei, a goat, and Gabu, a wolf, seek temporary shelter in the same barn. The inside of the barn is too dark for them to see each other. Mei thinks Gabu is a goat and, conversely, Gabu thinks Mei is a wolf. They strike up a friendly conversation and find they have very much in common. They agree to meet for lunch the next day at the same place. When they do meet in the light of day, the truth of the matter becomes mutually apparent. Instead of letting their instincts take over, they have a laugh about the mistake and agree to go to lunch together anyway.
As animation goes, this is a top-notch production. The backgrounds are colorful and detailed. More remarkable, the moving foregrounds are also detailed and rendered with subtle shades. As a story goes, it is a better than average presentation of the "your enemy isn't so bad if you get to know him" theme. There is a slight problem with the scenario, however.
Whenever the two meet, they tend to show great interest in each other. It's an attempt, within the short time constraints of the film, to depict how a strong friendship can develop between traditional enemies. From a child's-eye view, the connection between the two can be seen at face value--the two become good friends. From the perspective of a more jaundiced adult, the friendship seemed to me to have an unintended layer of sexuality. For me, it got in the way of the story.
Nonetheless, this is an excellent effort well worth watching. Presently, it is available on DVD in Japan without English subtitles. Keep your eye out for a US release of a film entitled something like, "On a Stormy Night." I give this film a 7.
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