Review: Wolf’s Rain


I got to admit. The reason why I took a chance on this Anime, it’s because of Yoko Kanno. She is a Japanese music composer. First time I heard of her music was on another anime which is from Ghost in a Shell. Ever since, I’ve been researching about her as I tracked her on some other shows such as Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo etc. But, this post is not about her. Maybe, I’ll blog about her next time.

This post is about this show which I’ve been watching years ago but never got to the end. It’s not that I got lost interest midway. It’s just that usually, some other engagements will just butt into my schedule or I’d lose internet connection as I usually stream anime or movies online. But now, I just finished with the volunteering projects. There are some on going but it’s easily manage. Blog posts assignments are also done. Though there are some pending but I can just park it for the meantime. I committed myself to have this one finish until the end. I got a free time, maybe at least for today.

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So what’s this Wolf’s Rain? It’s an anime series created by writer Keiko Nobimoto and produced by Bones Studio. It was directed by Tensai Okamura and featured character designs by Toshihiro Kawamoto with a soundtrack produced and arranged by Yoko Kanno. It focuses on the journey of four lone wolves who cross paths while following the scent of the Lunar Flower and seek for Paradise.

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The story is one of the most unique and very compelling. It’s a very complex fantasy world. At the start of the series it will leave you a lot of questions and as the story goes on details will reveal itself. Same as the characters of the story are complex themselves. They show very little and telling far less that really forces you to think and catch fine details in order to understand why wolves are considered divine, what makes the nobles different from normal human beings, and most importantly, just what happened 200 years ago to make the world what it is in the story.

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Wolf’s Rain is an allegory, whereby most everything is actually symbolic of something else. Pilgrim’s Progress was a religious allegory, The Little Prince was a sociological allegory, and Wolf’s Rain is both, but not as obvious as either of them. The show cross-references several religions and mythologies to portray a unified theme. The wolves face trials of doubt, despair, mistrust, confusion and even a false paradise that offers bliss in exchange for identity, and this is in addition to the villains that hound them. The humans in the story struggle with issues of self-worth, denial, choosing comfort over facing the truth, etc., all leading up to a whizbang climax featuring one noble’s idea of the “perfect city for humans.”

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Simply put, Wolf’s Rain is powerful and it will make you think, but you’ll get even more out of it if you’ve say, read Revelation or know anything about Shinto animal symbolism, but the writers don’t expect you to. I learned a lot more about the show after I did some research, but I only researched because it was already fascinating.

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The only problem with Wolf’s Rain, it’s the recaps. There are recap series which I always skipped every time. And yes, you can definitely skip it as there’s not much new info you’ll get from it anyway.

In the end, though, even if you want to turn your brain off and be a little confused while you watch, the outward beauty and emotional resonance of the series cannot be denied, even in its fairly controversial conclusion. It may not be perfect, and I can’t promise you’ll like it but it’s magic, it will make you cry, but I hope in the end you’ll be howling-happy.

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