Have you ever watched a show that played with your heart so much that you actually cried when watching it? This is what happen to me when I watched Wolf’s Rain. Now before I get pegged for saying that it’s the best show ever, that is not the case. While I love most of the concepts and ideas, followed by music and characters, the show does have one or two downfalls that keep me from saying it’s the best. The story is very slow and almost always seems to go one step forward and two steps back in many different places, leaving you feeling like you don’t want to watch anymore once in a while. I warn people that this is not exactly the show you want to be marathoning, especially if you have a tendency for feeling too much for a character or get to involved in the show.
The characters are almost all wonderful and fleshed out with their pasts, and they even explain their pasts instead of saying, ‘go read the manga’ which is good because when it came out, there wasn’t really any manga on the shelf. The manga only got out just as the show was in completion. Something most people don’t get out of the show is that each of the main characters (the wolves anyway) is actually supposed to symbolize a different type of wolf that is actually endangered.
Kiba is an Arctic (Tundra) wolf, a very beautiful white wolf. He is my favorite of the pack for he has a rather strong will about him. He’s proud of his wolf heritage to the point that he hates showing himself as a human though he does to survive. I consider him much more spiritual and idealistic of the wolves for he seems to always look for a reason why he exists. Most of the time, he seems lost in thought and rather disconnected from everyone else except for Cheza whom he stays very loyal to. Now, still I have one or two nit picks about his character. You would think that threw a long series like this, he would grow to trust and change a bit more then he does, but yet near the end, he seems to still be exactly the same as he was in the beginning. The journey doesn’t really change him in any way and I feel it makes him seem like he was a little to perfect.
Tsume is a Gray wolf with a large scar across his chest from his old pack. He’s untrusting of both human and other wolves for much of the series, ready to snap at a moments notice when something happens. He’s always on edge, and with turn away from almost anyone, except Toboe. I can see why there are so many people out there that have paired him up with Toboe in a romantic way for he always seems to be more protective of Toboe then any other. Although I fall into the wishing to god that the romance were there, I can see what actually is there. I believe that Tsume protects Toboe more for the fact of almost protecting his own ‘innocence’ and love that he lost long before the series even started. Toboe being a pup means he never got to deal with the heartache of being betrayed by his pack. He looks at him more like a brother then a lover (Sorry fan girls). In my opinion, Tsume seems to be the one that grows the most out of any of the wolf characters.
Now, speaking of Toboe, he is my second favorite character of the whole show! Toboe is a Red wolf, and the pup of the group. Tsume always calls him the runt because he’s a bit smaller of the group and acts the most immature of times. He had a sort of sheltered life being brought up by a old women he called Granny so he’s rather friendly to people, even trusting them enough to sometimes show what he is. For most of the show, he does act rather whinny and childish, although he grows as the story goes on making him a bit stronger as a ‘person.’ He stops wanting to rely on others and tries desperately to be on his own, though he looks up to Tsume a lot for his strength. Again, people may see this as a romance between the two but I see it more as a little brother looking up to his tougher big brother more.
Hige is a Mexican Wolf who seems to be the most laid back of the group. He’s flirty, eats a bit more then the others considering how chubby he is, and just goes with the flow most of the time. He’s also a rather interesting jokester, being quick to poke fun at a situation. He also doesn’t really change like Kiba, though he does fall in love with someone and gets the reason he needed to protect them.
All I can say about the next wolf is that it’s a black wolf dog but if I said anymore, it would be a spoiler.
Then we come to the main villain of the show, Darcia. He is one of the nobles somewhat responsible with the ‘extinction’ of the wolves. He searches for the flower maiden for his love, Hamona, who was stricken with an illness that her soul was taken to Paradise and she had fallen into a coma. After a while, Darcia is driven insane by the act of wanting to go to Paradise to be with her.
Now, I have one thing to say about the ending, DEPRESSING! And yet I really want more! It may be a spoiler but I want to see what happens after. I wish it had a second season to it or a series that happened after.
The animation is rather beautiful yet dark, keeping a rather steam punk and post apocalyptic look. The animation is pretty fluid, with nothing really being comical. Actually, if it had anything comical in it, it would destroy the feeling of the show. Everything has a gray filter over it and keeps it dark to where sometimes I had to pop up the brightness a tad to see things.
The instrumental is beautiful monotones and almost music box like. It’s gentle and keeps the sad slow tone that the show has within itself. The opening song ‘Stray’ has a rather dreamy like quality that gives it an almost hunting feeling while staying rather energetic. On the other hand, the ending song ‘Gravity’ is a more slow, sad song that has almost a sleepy tone to it. The difference in both of these songs mimics well to how energetic the show is, to how slow it gets in the middle, and then the climax will have you grasping your seat to see what will happen.
The voices in the English dub are awesome! Johnny Yong Bosch perfectly betrays Kiba better then I think most of his other roles in how almost dreamy his voice is. It’s done as though you’re walking in a daydream looking for something but never finding it. On the other hand, Crispin Freeman gives a perfect contrast as Tsume with his rather brash and almost barking attitude. Unsurprisingly, Mona Marshall is the voice of Toboe with his rather childish personality and girly looks and voice. Now, though they play these roles so well, that I didn’t even notice who was playing the characters because I was two into the characters!