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Wolf’s Rain – Review

Wolf’s Rain is a 26-episode, and 4 OVAs, anime series, created by Keiko Nobumoto (who helped screen-write Cowboy Bebop and Tokyo Godfathers), directed by Tensai Okamura and produced in late 2002 by the studio Bones, then in January 2003. Later adapted in a manga by the same creator following a slightly different plot. Wolf’s Rain follows the story of a white wolf named Kiba on his quest for paradise, yep, the paradise, a.k.a Rakuen.  How poetic is that? But wait it gets more poetic.  His search can only be attained by finding a flower named Cheza who is the only guide to Rakuen. On his quest he joins up 3 other wolves, Tsume, Toboe and Hige, along with other supporting characters such as Blue, Hubb, Cher and Quent. All united by one objective, Kiba reminds them of the pride being a wolf and its ultimate goal, both being things long forgotten for said characters.

The journey isn’t dandy nor easy, as mysterious aristocratic lords called Lord Darcia and Lady Jaguara, try to kidnap Cheza on more than one occasion and deploy everything within their power to terminate our struggling wolf pack.  All of that and more conceived in a rarely gorgeous animation quality considering the time slot it was produced and released in. As the story goes further and further, you can’t help but cry your eyes out, have the most spontaneous laughs and smiles, not be able to decide which your favorite is and feel as if you’re part of the pack seeking Rakuen yourself. Wolf’s Rain was so well received that it won the 2004 Anime Company of the Year Award for Bandai.  While being wildly acclaimed is a factor, nothing compares to your personal experience of it. I remember when I watched it I felt that I want to be just like Kiba, with his early 2000s jacket, his resolve, his light spirit that envelops everyone around him. I remember Tsume with his leather-jacket, being thick-minded at first, but not less the badass motherfucker of the gang afterwards.  Also, you know the hard-cut characters are always the best, but that’s a matter of debate. I remember Hige with his joking goofy spirit and his cursively-written X simplistic collar, being all sarcastic and friendly with the gang, developing some kind of relationship later with another interesting character, I’ll leave it to you to know who that is. I remember Toboe with his silver bangles, being the innocent spirit, light joy and hard glue of the pack, everybody else being a stuck-up at some point, he maintained them together. It’s a bit shameful to admit, but what I remember the most is how much it made me cry.

Each character is primordial and very lovable in their own right.  You can’t help but be drawn even to the noble antagonists with their controversial motives and subtle charisma. Nostalgia and melancholy are predominant themes of Wolf’s Rain, adorned with an alternation of sorrow and joy and sometimes anger, relief and despair. The music of the series is composed by my all-time favorite Japanese composer, Yoko Kanno, and sang by a variety of vocalists, of which majorly the angelic voice Maaya Sakamoto. You’ll come to really adore the soundtrack as you notice how each and every piece was meticulously made and brings out the right emotions whenever executed, befitting the moment’s theme and hitting the spot. The ending, a 4 OVAs grand finale, is grand and final in every way.  It’s heart-wrenching, adrenaline pumping, loaded with action and emotion and with a closure you’ll never ever forget in your lifetime. Wolf’s Rain is and will always be one my all-time favorites and a classic. I promise you an unequaled experience watching it and I promise no less than that.

Wolf’s Rain gets a 10/10 rating from me, for it is so uniquely conceived that once finished, you’ll be left in the fetal position on the ground grasping for anything that could fill the gaping hollow Wolf’s Rain left. Don’t worry though, even though it’s quite difficult to compensate for, I’ll try to fill that hollow in my next articles because I don’t lack masterpieces to write about, stay tuned.

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