Anime Review: Wolf’s Rain

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Genre: Fantasy/Sci-fi

Studio: Bones

Distributor: Bandai

No of Episodes: 30 (note: 26 TV episodes and 4 OVA)

Suggested Age: 13+

My Rating: 8/10

Summary: Kiba is a wolf who has the ability to pass for a human.  He meets several others and together they form a pack with one goal: to find paradise.

Review: Wolf’s Rain was one of several titles I caught when Adult Swim was in its heyday.  I think it’s one of Bones’s best titles. In fact, Bones is a studio that I have yet to be disappointed by.

Kiba is a great hero. I love how he inspires others to follow him. The others often bicker, but they stay together. He’s practically their glue.

Tsume is the resident lone wolf (sorry, I had to). He actually had a pack of his own at the start, but there was something he saw in Kiba that made him decide to leave it for his. He’s not even sure Paradise even exists.  He’s the one who seems to cause the most trouble.

Hige is the wolf who seems to function the best among humans.  He tends to joke around a lot and fancies himself a ladies’ man.  He’s often criticized, especially by Tsume for thinking with his stomach rather than his head.

Toboe was raised by humans and still harbors affection towards them, much to the chagrin of his peers, who often chastise him for not being a true wolf.  He seems shy at first, but has courage underneath.

Finally, there’s Blue. At the start of the story, Blue is actually owned by a hunter named Quent.  Her village was terrorized by wolves, and she wants revenge. She is one of my favorite characters. I like how unsure she is of herself.

Perhaps the most interesting character is Chesa, the literal “flower girl”.  She speaks cryptically, and in third person. However, she doesn’t refer to herself by name and instead calls herself “this one.”  She has a sympathetic connection to the wolves. They are ecstatic when in her presence. (in one episode, Tsume says he “just want(s) to howl his head off”) Like flowers, she doesn’t eat and instead receives nourishment from the sun. She’s another favorite character just because she’s so odd.

The show has some flaws.  An outbreak of SARS hit during part of the show’s production and delayed episodes.  To compensate for this, four recap episodes, each from a different POV were made. The additional four OVA’s were made to give the show a more proper ending. Other than that, the show is worth a look.

Sub/Dub: The dub is one of the best ever.  Kiba is one of Johnny Yong Bosch’s best roles (he cited it as a favorite in an interview with Internet reviewer JesuOtaku).  Crispin Freeman is at his usual best as Tsume. Wendee Lee plays Blue very well, capturing her uncertainty perfectly. And Steve Blum is deliciously suave as the evil Darcia.

Music/Score:Yoko Kanno composed the music, so how can it be any less than awesome? But seriously, the opening and closing are very good and among my favorites. I also like the song “Heaven’s Not Enough”, which is heard several times in the show, so I’ll share that one as well.

Violence: (6/10) This is a somewhat bloody series. But then, wolves are by nature a rather violent species.

Language: (4/10) Tsume loves to use sailor talk.

Sexuality: (0/10)

Nudity: (0/10) Well, the wolves are naked when in their “natural forms”, so yeah. But I’m not counting that.

Religion: (3/10) It’s implied that the Paradise could be Eden.  The anime itself has a spiritual feel to it, but doesn’t seem to favor a particular religion.

Related Media: Viz published a manga based on the series.

 

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