Silver, from the moment he was born, was destined to be a hunting dog. Named for the silver stripe on his body, his fate is sealed when his father is killed by the ferocious bear Akakabuto -- to be the one who kills Akakabuto. From that moment on, he vows to grow up, to become a strong enough dog, to slay the bear who stole his father's life.
Since this is my first review ever, I thought I should start with an old favorite of mine! That Would be Silver Fang (Ginga Nagareboshi Gin in japanese). SYNOPSIS The anime centers around Silver (Gin in japanese), an Akita Inu pup who is born in a small village, and lived for some time in the village with his young master Daisuke and Daisuke's grandfather Gohei. As mentioned he only lived with them for a while until he ran off with a pack of wild dogs. This pack are gathering as many dogs as they can to defeat the series main villain, the huge and deranged bear Akakabuto accompanied by his ever growing army of you guessed it, bears. Silver as a newly born pup, cute right? STORY While the story looked at from afar might not seem like much else than "get stronger and beat the bad guys" like we all have seen before, it is actually executed very well. There are several archs, some better than others. The first arch is basically the human arch. It is a decent arch, but it really only serves as a build up for the plot, other than that it takes care of quite a bit of introductions. However, it is after this arch that things get exciting. This is when Silver leaves his master and everyone else he knows to join a pack of wild dogs who he had been getting several glimpses of when they were wandering around the area. After proving himself to the wild dogs they felt they had no choice but to let him join them despite the fact that he was still a only a pup. This was not the only pack though, their leader had split them into smaller packs and sent them to search for more dogs in different parts of the country in hope of finding dogs willing to fight for their cause (I will talk more about their leader in the character section). From there on they encountered many different groups of dogs. This is one of the anime's strong points, it is always exciting to see the pack encounter new dogs and see them apply different methods for recruiting. Some join rather easily and some does not give in without a fight. This is very much what drives the plot, new arch, new different dogs, big fight or no fight and if there will be any bears. One arch with super agile dogs using traps involving 2 dog clans opposing each other, another one with a big ass dog and his pack fighting out of anger and misunderstandings, just to mention a couple. All this adds more than enough variation to the "meet and recruit" formula. This all leads up to one big epic arch to end the series. ANIMATION It might not have been when the anime was realised, but today the animation in this anime can easily be considered the weakest part of it. Since the anime is so old a lot of the movement looks stiff. Some argue that the dogs move in a very weird way, they were not exactly the easiest thing to animate at the time. Still, it's not bad. The fighting scenes which there are plenty of actually looks OK, and are very exciting even with the lackluster animation. There were also a couple of episodes the quality of it all were set down quite a bit, it looked like shit during those episodes, luckily there are only a couple of them. The art on the other hand looks pretty nice. Even if you mostly watch modern anime you will eventually get used to it, maybe even enjoy it like i did. This show also has quite a lot of blood and some rather brutal deaths, both on the dog and bear side. Even with the pretty stiff animation the deaths often look great and can pack heavy emotions of both joy and sadness depending on the character. Silver after joining the dog pack SOUND This is where Silver Fang truly shines. It has a rather long soundtrack consisting of about 30 tracks, all of them ranging from decent to incredible. There are a few rock tracks here and they are all great, one of them being the opening. The opening is flat out awesome. It has nice colors, cool fighting and a kick ass song. The opening always gets me pumped (it does however require a particular taste to be truly enjoyed). The ending is on the less special department, it consists of a pretty and relaxing song with some nice, but recycled scenery and a few pictures of Silver. The rest of the soundtrack mostly consists of atmospheric and fighting tracks used to emphasise the different things happening on screen. A lot of them are actually really pleasant to listen to on their own. Though, in these days the most important thing this soundtrack does is lift up the fighting scenes. These tracks makes up for a lot of the lacking animation and give fights kind of an aura that makes it all very exciting to watch. I have watched the english sub and can say right now that it is great. When someone is angry you can hear they mean business. When they are determined you can feel it on their voice and when they are sad or cry you can clearly hear it on the voice acting. It does have some weak voice acting like many series does, but it is outweighed by the better voice acting. CHARACTERS The characters sway a bit both ways, though the majority of those that get regular screen time are good characters. So far I have been kind of holding off on the characters since I wanted to talk about them here. Silver Fang: Silver is easily the strongest character in the show. He is motivational, a born leader, nice, has a strong sense of justice and is one of the stonger fighters in the show. All this form a pup. Because he is so young he tends to be very eager and curious about things. He is often like this "we should go over there!" "what is that?" and such. Overall he is a very likeable character that evolves quite a lot as the show progresses. Riki: Riki is the leader of the dog pack. He does not search for dogs with the others though, he stays in the mountains to fight off the bears all by himself, waiting for the other packs to return. He is also Silver's father. Silver confrontetd him calling him father in front of all the others. Riki did not recognise him though. He had gotten amnesia after being thrown off a cliff early in the show. Riki is an incredibly strong fighter and can take down bears all on his own. Personality wise, he is a caring and determined leader. You get the feeling he has a bit of a stiff personality, but that is probably because he has to stand forth as a leader. Ben: Ben is the leader of the pack Silver is a part of. He can be very much like a hardened soldier, both when he talks to someone hostile and when he fights. Speaking about fighting, this guy is extremely hard to kill, crushed under big objects, stomped on the head or overrun by enemies, it does not matter, he just keep getting back up. When he is set on something he is very serious about, nothing can change his mind, not even his boss Riki which he respects a lot, can stop him. Him and Silver has a strong relationship and they are both the strongest in their group. Ben gets a woman in the middle of the show, which leads me to my next character. Cross: Leaving her master after a tragic loss she ended up joining Ben and the rest of his pack somewhere before the anime even started. So she was there when Silver joined. She is a good hunting dog and is also very nice with everyone. She is very caring and quickly took a liking to Silver, she almost acted like a mother to him. Like I mentioned above, she got together with Ben like a couple somewhere in the series. Minor characters: The three brothers of kai: three brothers hunting together in the mountains until they met Ben who they eventually joined. They are very strong fighters both by themselves and together. Moss of misty mountains: a VERY big and strong dog, rough on the outside, but kind on the inside. He is basically kind of a Tsundere. Benizakura: "The worlds stronges dog" is what he is called in the show. Fighting in a ring is what he has done for the most of his life until he decided to join Ben and Silver after he got persuaded to join their cause. Daisuke: He was Silver's master until Silver ran off with Ben and the others. Daisuke was always nice to Silver. He hates bears and can be pretty hot headed. Overall he is an ok character, but not much more than that. Takeda Gohei: He is Daisuke's grandfather and a skilled dog trainer. Silver was getting very tough training from Gohei, it did prove to be a big help for Silver as he would have been dead without it. As you might have gathered, he loves dogs. Gohei shows very little emotions other than anger, he does however show nicer sides to dogs once he is done training them. Sniper: Sniper is the character that is almost impossible to like, he is just a huge dick. He is second in command, Riki being over him. Both Ben and Silver get attacked by him several times, definitily not a Tsundere since he is as much of an ass on the inside as his attitude and actions portrays. CONCLUSION So who would I recommend this anime to? I would recommend this anime to people who likes series with animal protagonists. For those who wants something you may very well never have seen before. Silver Fang remains one of my favorite anime series for a reason. Just keep your mind open and dive in when you are ready. The only reason the show get's a 7 is because of the animation, so if you can look past that you are in for a good time. That brings my first ever review to a close. I am looking forward to be making more reviews in the future.
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