~Wolf's Rain~

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REVIEW BY MYSTFIRE

Title: Wolf's Rain

Translated: N/A

Form of Anime: Series

Released in U.S.: No

Ryo Dark says: I also enjoyed this one.  The characters have depth, the animation style is absolutely stunning, and the concept is original, dark, and thought-provoking.  I have yet to see the ending, however.  Kiba is a total hottie and wolves are just uber incredible creatures.  Blind flower girl equals cool.  On to Rakuen (Paradise)!

I thought that this series was really cool. A sort of alternate reality/future, this show takes place in Russia (of all places! I know! But whatever ^.^), in a time when wolves have been 'extinct' for about 200 years. The truth of the matter, however (as we shortly discover) is that wolves aren't extinct -- they have figured out how to give themselves the appearance of a human, to fool humans and live side-by-side with them. This appearance does not fool dogs (or, I'm guessing, other animals), and if a wolf were to touch someone, that someone would feel the claws or teeth of a wolf.

The story centers around four young male wolves: Kiba ('Fang') is the leader -- an enigmatic white wolf, who in human form is an absolute bishi *.* -- dark hair, blue eyes, good fashion sense... ^.~ He comes into Freeze City (the starting point of the series) later than the others -- in wolf form, because his pride won't let him become human at that point -- searching to go to Paradise (more on that later) and is shot and captured by the humans, who put him in a cage in the main building of the city. Tsume ('Claw') is a tough guy. As a wolf, he's grey, and as a human, he's kind of like a hot biker ((ok, who am I kidding? They're all bishi!!)) -- short white hair, tall guy who wears a lot of leather and chains. He tries so hard to keep up the 'uncaring, cold, tough guy' pose, but you can tell it's hard for him at times. He and Kiba are the most martial of the group... and there was a lot of butting heads between the two of them at the beginning! Both are very alpha males, but they seem to share the leadership duties. Hige ('Whisker' or 'Muzzle') seems younger than the previous two, and thinks himself quite the ladies-man. In wolf-form, he's tan, and as a human, looks almost like a younger, brunette Spike (from Cowboy Bebop). Hige is the one who discovers Kiba, and persuades him to try human form to escape from the cage. Hige wears a collar around his neck with a strange symbol on it, which becomes important in later episodes. Toboe ('Howl'), the last of the four, is often called 'Chibi,' or 'Runt.' He's definitely the youngest, and a bit of a sissy/girly boy, but he's cute nonetheless. He looks rather girlish in human form, with semi-long red-brown hair and a girlish face. As a wolf, he's reddish brown. He wears a set of bangles on his wrist -- apparently a gift from the old woman who found him as a pup and raised him (which leads to more insults from the other four as to being 'raised'). He's the most timid throughout the series, and is very loyal to the others -- especially Tsume, who saved him from a wolf hunter when they first met.

Now, about that Paradise deal... In this world, there is a book of prophecy called 'The Book of the Moon,' which states that Paradise will be at the end of the world, and the wolves will be the ones to find it. Someone called 'the Flower Maiden' will join with the wolves and lead them there. Now, coincidentally, in Freeze City there is a girl, called Cheza, who was made from something called a moon flower. She is the subject of many experiments -- she's not really 'alive' at the beginning, rather she's in a glass dome filled with some sort of green fluid. The only thing she had responded to had been wolf's blood two hundred years earlier (apparently, she's older than she looks!). Her maker, Darcia -- who may or may not be evil -- comes and steals her away... only to have her leap out of the spacecraft and descend to earth, where the wolves find her, and begin their journey towards Paradise.

Music: 4 stars out of five! (All of the songs are in English, interestingly enough, but they're pretty catchy)

Animation: 5 stars out of five! (very interesting style)

Plot: 5 stars out of five! (very complex -- it would take a while to explain the whole thing, but it really grabs you and draws you in right from the get-go!)

Character Development: 5 stars out of five! (My favorite is the development of Toboe from a timid, young wolf to a more confident one)

Overall: 4.75 stars out of five! (I really loved this series!)