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Wolf’s Rain: The review of a misunderstood masterpiece

Image of a Wolf from the Wolf's Rain Anime - Animated Apparel Company

(Copyright by VizMedia) 

In the world of Japanese animation, there are all kinds of series. Each genre has special characteristics that appeal to a certain type of audience, and classifying an anime is sometimes easy, due to the trend of its creators. This makes it possible for lovers to know in advance if they will like a series and won’t consider many others that don’t fit their liking or opinions.

But many animes and mangas cannot be segmented within a genre because they mix a bit of all, becoming a series that is more real than any other story and usually cannot be understood by a simple mind that only wants to see people slamming each other for no reason. These kinds of animation pieces are undervalued by many; when in reality, they keep within themselves great ideals that cause a total change in the lives of those who understand them.

And this is the case of the anime Wolf’s Rain; created by the author of Cowboy Bebop, Keiko Nobumoto and broadcast in early 2003. An anime that didn’t reach much popularity in its time and that, today, has been almost forgotten by the audience; with a complexity difficult to find in current productions and which is far from being a favorite of the masses.

What is Wolf Rain?

Image of a Wolf and his human form from the Wolf's Rain Anime I Animated Apparel Company

(Copyright by VizMedia) 

Wolf Rain is set just before the total apocalypse of Earth; which is completely devastated and only a few cities are standing. Its population, with the hard task of surviving, have lost all hope of the future and knows that the end is approaching slow and painful to take away the only thing they have left: their lives.

In such a deplorable world, there is a legend that almost everyone has forgotten. A story that talks about how the wolves will return and, with the help of "the flowers lady", they will open the doors of the Paradise that will reset everything created.

And no one believes it since wolves became extinct more than 200 years ago and the earth they know is slowly fading. This hopelessness comes to an end when Kiba, an arctic wolf, appears on the scene and meets three subjects of the same species who have developed the ability to hide in society with a human form that allows them to live without being discovered. Tsume, Hige and Toboe connect (although not immediately) with Kiba's great desire to find the Flowers’ Lady that will take them to Paradise where only wolves can enter and that will start a new world.

But this won’t be so simple since the greatest enemies of this ideal are human beings; who will do the impossible to exterminate them and seize the paradise that belongs to them.

How was it?

Image of the Human Form of the main characters in the Wolf's Rain anime - Animated Apparel Company

(Copyright by VizMedia) 

In my honest opinion, Wolf’s Rain is not an anime that falls into the category of the ordinary. Although it’s difficult to understand at first, in the moment we realize that the human point of view will not help us to connect with the characters, because the whole story is told from a canine point of view, it’s when we really begin to pay attention to what really matters: ideals.

Since it was issued, it has caused some discontent for not being a common Shonen; Well, his fights, although frequent, aren’t as graphic. And although the slow development of history seems accidental, it’s so arranged; clinging to the way in which humans consider that animals understand and act.

The marked personalities of the main characters also pleased me a lot. It’s curious to see how the characteristics of a race as imposing as wolves are implanted in humans and how they connect with the world around them and with other races, including people.

Watching this series, I could feel the great hatred that exists between humans and animals; not only for the fight for survival and territory but also for the supremacy that we have appropriated simply by having tools to subdue. It’s perhaps one of the most painful aspects presented in the anime; which is not understood by many and that is the real cause of the impending apocalypse that affects the universe of Wolf’s Rain.

Many other profound themes, such as loneliness, loss, conformity, abandonment, betrayal, and greed are covered in just 30 anime chapters, which gives much to think to who really enjoys an enriching plot; not only at the entertainment level but also at the philosophical level.

What about production?

Image of Two Wolves from the Wolf's Rain Anime - Animated Apparel Company

(Copyright by VizMedia) 

In relation to production, the most outstanding aspect of Wolf’s Rain is the soundtrack. Not only the opening and ending have been composed perfectly, but the entire OST; with a balanced synchronization with the most important episodes in the best style of the 90s.

On the other hand, the animation has been excellent. Created by the animating house Bones, responsible for other great animes such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Mob Psycho and Noragami; the visual work has been developed based on the strokes presented in the manga, focusing on giving life to even the smallest character and creating an environment that contrasts between the beauty of living beings and the desolation of the world. They based realistic human dimensions and when drawing wolves and other animals that influence the story, they paid much attention to their facial expressions and body language.

Although the battles don’t have much definition or frequency, they stand out by far with the static and symbolic scenes that take place; beautifying the plot and giving more life to the circumstances of the characters.

What does it represent?

Image of Wolf Laying in the Snow from the Wolf's Rain anime  - Animated Apparel Company

(Copyright by VizMedia) 

Wolf’s Rain is a special anime and although it may not be considered the best of all according to the conception of many; maybe for not having too many battles, suspense, nudes or surprises. It is a series that will touch the deepest part of you thanks to the natural connection that human beings have forgotten and that unites us with other living beings and nature.

If you are thinking it’s a good idea to watch it, I definitely said yes! It’s an epic anime with lots of deep secrets. I’m proud to say that Wolf’s Rain is one of my favorites.

 


Kevin Tanza

Kevin Tanza is a Venezuelan writer who fell in love with stories, music and soccer/football when he was a child and since then, he hasn’t stopped writing about them. He has been published in multiple websites in both Spanish and English. You'll find his work at MusikHolics, Good Comis to Read, Gemr, The Busby Babe, Chiesa di Totti, La Soledad del Nueve, Sail Away, Colgados por el Fútbol, Genre, United’s Red Rain, Mariskal Rock, Sugati Fashion, Indie Artists Go and Music Existence. He has also published a series of short stories. Feel free to use the links provided below to follow Kevin on social media. For business inquiries, please contact him via email.

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