As a child, Chirin the lamb is taught by his loving mother to be wary of leaving their pasture; wolves and other predators are a constant threat, though the naïve Chirin believes they would never eat his kind. But when a wolf breaches the perimeter and kills his mother while she protects him, Chirin decides he must do the unthinkable: find the wolf and demand that he trains Chirin to be strong. Chirin must undergo rigorous conditions and be the very thing that he despises so that he may have his revenge, but will he lose himself in the process?
Both are older anime that feature an animal protagonist (a lamb in Chirin no Suzu, a bear cub in Yamatarou Kaeru). The mother of the protagonist dies at the begining in both anime. Also, both anime are rather sad (though Chirin no Suzu is somewhat darker than Yamatarou Kaeru). If you like one, then you may like the other.