English: Wolf's Rain
Synonyms: Wolf Rain, Wolfs Rain
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 7, 2003 to Jul 29, 2003
23 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.971 (scored by 62161 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action adventure drama fantasy
SynopsisIn some distant future, it's common knowledge that all wolves have been extinct for 200 years. However, it seems this is false as wolves have not disappeared but rather have taken human form. Kiba, a lone wolf, wanders into a city, trying to sniff out the Lunar Flowers that are supposed to lead whoever follows the scent to paradise. The source of the smell is Cheza, a girl who sleeps in what appears to be suspended animation in a lab. She and the wolves are drawn to each other, and Kiba hopes to find paradise once he finds the source of the scent of Lunar Flowers. However, once Kiba finds Cheza, she is kidnapped by a mysterious person called Darcia, and his search begins anew. Before he leaves the city, he meets 3 other wolves, Tsume, Hige and Toboe. All four wolves have very different personalities and ideas, and their friendliness towards each other is a little rough around the edges. However, they soon band together to continue to search for paradise.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Wolf's Rain
Sequel: Wolf's Rain OVA
Characters & Voice Actors
Wolf's Rain was, to say the least, and interesting, but not overly involving anime. Although I liked the concept, setting, sound and art direction, I could not find myself getting attatched to the characters or involved in the plot.
When I look back at it, I honestly believe that the characters just followed common stereotypes, and really didn't evolve throughout the plot. The supporting characters were able to garner a little interest from me, but the lead was dull and drab, and the only dialogue I can remember from him is "we have to get to paradise". A lead character is supposed to get a viewer emotionally attatched, not bore the viewer to tears.
Then there is the plot. Basically it follows a rather dull and drawn out journey to find the wolves "Paradise", with a few twists and turns along the way. As the characters personalities barely evolve through the course of their journey, the plot becomes tedious, and I found myself not caring at all about the characters and their journey after a few episodes.
Then, there is the final act. To me, the last few episodes feel rushed and poorly thought out, and the story reaches a conclusion where there is no reward for patiently watching the show in its entirety. The show ended on a very vague and sour note, and had kept me in an irritated state for a fair while.
Despite not enjoying the overall plot and the characters, the sound and animation quality of this anime is great. I still find myself listening to pieces of the score to this day to fuel my imagination, which I am very grateful for. I watched the dubbed version, and the voice acting throughout was done well enough. I still despise that opening song, Strays, or whatever it was called, just not my cup of tea.
In conclusion, if more thought was put into the character development and plot, Wolf's Rain could have potentially been a great anime in my eyes. The shows concept really interested me, and I wanted to like the show, but it sadly didn't work out the way I wanted it to. read more
::Note:: This review includes the OVA. Those final 4 episodes were supposed to be included with the original TV airing run but had to be delayed because of a SARS outbreak in Japan at the time so they aired a few recaps. Note that this review ignores these recaps because it's fucking 2013 and if you watch recap episodes then it's your own bloody fault
It used to be the case that if you wanted to start a fight in an anime clubroom, all you had to do was stand up and proclaim “Wolf’s Rain is pretentious” and watch the chaos unfold. Fandom has since moved on. Now they get fights about whether Madoka Magica is a deconstruction or not. I’m going to see if I can rekindle a few of those old flames by calling Wolf’s Rain a load of pretentious old twaddle. Also Madoka Magica is a deconstruction. Also also Lelouch is not the cart driver.
Wolf’s Rain is set in the pre-apocalypse where the world is being slowly destroyed by oppressive grey screen filters. The story follows a bunch of boys as they track from city to wilderness in search of a nebulous concept called ‘Paradise’. The boys are actually Wonderful Outstanding Lovely Fellows, or W.O.L.F’s, who have deceived humanity into believing the W.O.L.F’s all look like humans because otherwise humans are just too jealous of the W.O.L.F’s so they try to wipe them out. Along the way each of the W.O.L.F’s go on a voyage of self-discovery while meeting a variety of interesting characters trying to work out why the world is ending.
Despite my snarky tone, there is a lot of good things to say about Wolf’s Rain. The characters are well-rounded and flawed in interesting ways. My favourite characters were normally the humans because the four main W.O.L.Fs didn’t act very human. Which might be intentional, but in particular with the poster boy Kiba it was very hard to get invested in his story when he felt so inhuman with his actions. It was more like he was a robot following a programme in his brain than someone governed by emotions. The humans were way more interesting because you actually understood why it was they were going to the great lengths they did. Some of my favourite episodes were when it was just two of the humans chilling out, chatting with each other. One that sticks out in my mind was when the alcoholic wolf-hunter and the divorced husband spent an entire episode driving across the wasteland. It allowed the anime to show a rare sense of humour while also giving us plenty of time to get deep into these character’s minds.
On a slightly less positive note, while the animation is certainly impressive, the grey landscape on grey buildings on grey characters makes the show very repetitive and dull. 2003 was around the period TV animation started to get to grips with fully digital animation and no longer look universally awful, and Wolf’s Rain is one of the most technically proficient anime from that year. But it’s so grim and grimy and endlessly grey that it’s boring to look at. There’s no stylised decay in the style of Casshern Sins. This is the realistic concrete building apocalypse. It may be intentional, but that doesn’t stop it from being boring. Similarly with the W.O.L.F characters. They are supposed to not feel quite human in their actions and thoughts. It’s a plot point that they act like there’s a radar in their mind governing their actions rather than logical or emotional thought. But that still means they are difficult to have any emotional attachment to. It makes their actions feel like tools to move the plot along rather than that of people.
The tone of the overall story is…I’m not sure if there’s a word in English for it. Full of itself? Head jammed firmly up its own arse? Chuunibyou? Imagine a man wearing a trenchcoat indoors just hiding an Iron Maiden t-shirt with sideburns and a neckbeard. Or a lady with badly dyed purple hair, trousers with 50 million chains and pockets on them and wearing black eyeliner. Or just imagine the early-mid 00′s emo culture. Imagine someone like that watching this show and explaining to you:
“You just don’t understand man. The wolves are, like, misunderstood by society just like me. Other humans just don’t understand them so they have to isolate themselves from the scum. But that’s OK because they are the ones that will achieve paradise when everyone else succumbs the capitalist materialist apocalypse. It will be the noble wolves that reach paradise. I identify with the wolves because society doesn’t understand me so I deceive everyone into thinking I’m human but actually I’m a wild beast who is just searching for paradise. Oh please take me away wolves where I can’t be persecuted hey listen to my poetry about how I became a wolf and got a sexy wolf wife and then we hey wait where are you going pah just another person afraid of my inner wolf.”
The story is supposed to be about the world being reborn to wipe away sin, but humanity doesn’t appear to have committed any sins. The biggest sin they appear to have committed is not have the luck to be born as a W.O.L.F. There’s this over-arching story about how this noble tried to become a wolf, which is far and away the stupidest part of the whole story with the most embarrassingly awful dialogue and dumbest plot twists, who again seems to be only punished because he’s not a W.O.L.F. My snarky W.O.L.F. thing is because there’s no reason as to why wolves are the creatures that open paradise, beyond idk wolves are cool animals. While I thought the anime was generally serviceable throughout the airing run, by the time it reached the end I was starting to realise the whole thing barely had a purpose. The final episodes were just ‘everyone dies in melodramatic fashion’, but I got no sense as to why they had to die so the whole thing felt pointless.
Which leads me to my big final point: Wolf’s Rain is pretentious. It’s plenty ambitious and got loads of highfalutin but no over-arching theme to back it up. ‘Everyone must die for their sins for the world to be reborn and also wolves are cool’ appear to be the extent of the themes. Elfen Lied was also really big around the same time, so I’m just going to blame Wolf’s Rain’s popularity on the emo culture that was hip with nerds at the time. read more
Both shows begin in a post-apocalyptic world. Both shows' characters are on a journey to a destination which they know nothing about. Both are relatively dark shows, but do not shy away from humor occasionally. Both have action in them, but only when necessary, and the action isn't overdone. Both have fantastic endings that leave you thinking.
Both have very similar atmosphere of adventures.
Similar theme, world on the edge of destruction where human and robots/wolves live together. Some characters discovers in both titles their true self too.
Great animation, post-apocalyptic world with a prophecy, dark, gritty action.
Both are post-apocalyptic anime with the main sub-plot of searching for a brighter future and a better place out of darkness. They both have philosophical and supernatural themes and have some action involved.
The world is ending , it's granted. In both shows we can see struggle and surrender. Different attitudes in face of extinction. There is also a pressure on philiosphical aspects such as "Who am I" , "Where is my place on Earth" , "Where do I go" which are important part of plot.
Both of them have beautiful, more serious art styles that lean more towards dark and subdued tones, and they are animated wonderfully. Both stories are philosophical and inspirational, and they both involve a small, unlikely group of heroes who travel through a post-apocalyptic world in search for answers in life. They both have great fight sequences and a wonderful score. However, Ergo Proxy is even darker than Wolf's Rain, and the storyline is a little slower and harder to get. If you are patient and pay attention however, you will be rewarded with a satisfying ending.
Aside from complex and beautiful story with mind-blowing ending, imo, the two shows are examples that anime is not just for "kids".
Some characters are very similiar (Proxy / Darcia - looks , Cheza / Proxy - role of chased escapee, Raul / Quent - hunters), with a bit of sci-fi / supernatural, but most of all, all of the characters develop themselves in a really awesome/unexpected way, sending you chills down your spike!
Settings of both anime are very similar - dark, post apocalyptic outside world, with people in despair and insecurity of the future and neat cities full of "robots". Mysterious aspects (proxies/nobles) as well as unclear history...
Action is not the main point, so there is not many, however the fights are really incredible. And I think you will not forget them for a long time.
Animation is pretty much the same (awesome), but Ergo Proxy is generally darker and sometimes harder to grasp whats going on.
Both involve very dark settings, both in animation and themes where the world is dying and in both series, the protagonists travel across the world in search on answers on how to save it.
Vincent and Kiba are trying to hard to change their future, both have to take pass full of danger and unknown stuff. However the main unknown stuff is the purpose of their journey while it is still questionable if it exists, but despite this they do their best to reach the end. You will notice a bit darker atmosphere in Ergo Proxy, but Wolf's Rain involves more action and fights.
Also made by Studio Bones. Has a similar concept of social outcasts (Contractors/Wolves) of whose existence the general public is unaware, posing as humans and trying to survive any way they can.
They are both dark anime,and in both of them,races with supernatural powers,hunted by the normal humans, are trying to find their benediction.
In Darker than Black,they are the contractors,that need to go to the Hell's gate,and in Wolf's rain,they are the wolfs,that are searching to find their own paradise.
Police is also related to both anime,as well as mystery and experiments.
It is only that Darker than black is more ''light'' mooded,it even has some comedy at times,when in Wolf's rain that doesn't exist.
Bones made both of these animes with about the same depressing, slow-moving tone. The major difference is that DtB is very episodic and Wolf's Rain tends to just wander all over the place. The protagonists, Hei and Kiba, are practically the same character.
Very similar styles of exposition, in that there is very little blatant expositional spouting; you have to think and pay attention to really get what's going on. Both are mostly serious shows with some humor.
Opening Theme"Stray" by Steve Conte
Ending Theme#1: "Gravity" by Maaya Sakamoto
#2: "Tell Me What the Rain Knows" by Maaya Sakamoto (ep 26)
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Kaminari [Kaminari] (Brazilian Portuguese)
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