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WOLF'S RAIN #1 - - Special Review

Stellar animation to sink your fangs into.

At last, I’ve gotten around to the show that launched 10,000 ridiculous AMV’s...

And I certainly understand now why this was such a popular choice for amateur, semi-creative re-editing on YouTube. My jaw’s still hanging over the animation. Hands down, it’s some of the best I’ve ever seen in any show. What’s the deal? Was this the passion project of one of Studio Bones’ higher-ups? This is the sort of the rendering that isn’t even on a “high-end expensive” level anymore - - it’s on a “do this or else you get fired” level.

This being another show that I’ve been peripherally aware of for a while, I’ve carried a lot of funny misconceptions about it. Honestly, the prospect of a show about wolves doesn’t exactly leap up and seize my interest in its jaws. I’d figure it’d be somewhere on the banality scale between an animated WHITE FANG and sketchbook drawings from somebody wearing one of those “Three Wolf Moon” t-shirts without any sense of irony.

Granted, I never talked trash about this show, but if I did, I’d be eating my words, because it’s actually a pretty cool set-up. I don’t know what the business with the girl in the water tank was about, and the notion of a bunch of “secret werewolves” running around is just a whisker or two away from being utterly cheesy - - but the execution and storytelling was surprisingly compelling.

I accrue more and more bits of Japanese culture throughout the course of watching these shows, and I’m really finding some more resonance here, now, knowing that wolves factor so importantly into Shintoism. I’m not going to pat myself on the back for noticing that - - the trite observation that is - - but I do get some enjoyment over realizing how this fits into some greater thematic latticework with the otherwise disparate likes of OBLIVION ISLAND and JIN-ROH.

What do you think, kids? I’m going to have a spot for W&L open soon. Is this a series worth seeing through?

Watch this episode, "Street Corner Of Howls” here and decide for yourself.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

sickVisionz moderator on Nov. 12, 2012 at 11:49 a.m.

I thought it was good. The ending theme is great and they weave it into the final moments of many episodes to great effect. The girl in the tank's reveal and role is kinda cheesy on paper but they pull it off pretty well. The actual end of the series is pretty amazing as well, but you're probably aware of the type of endings I like so take from that what you will.

thekokapellion Nov. 12, 2012 at 12:39 p.m.

This is an excellent show, one of my favorites, although if you do continue with it I highly recommend you skip episodes 15, 16, 17 and 18 because they are four completely useless recap episodes. Seriously, you don't need them. Honestly the beginning starts off fairly unambitious, but over time it evolves into sociological and religious allegory with characters that begin as stereotypes and become multi-layered (the Bebop approach, which incidentally had the same writing staff and the same head writer), although you REALLY have to pay attention to every detail. It's one of those stories that says, "Oh, you weren't paying attention to that small detail that may have been vaguely hinting at what happened two hundred years ago to make the world into what it is now? Oh well, you're screwed, you will miss the entire point." Some people understandably find this cryptic approach and its religious themes somewhat alienating, so it's definitely not for everyone, but it's still a great show.

zaldaron Nov. 12, 2012 at 1:14 p.m.

Only vaguely aware of this show mostly for the music which is freaking outstanding. You did notice that right?

jj_jacksonon Nov. 12, 2012 at 2:24 p.m.

The music and epic moments made this anime one of my favs.

GokaiRedon Nov. 12, 2012 at 5:13 p.m.

This is one my all time favourite anime's and a greatly realised modern fairy.

@thekokapelli said:

although if you do continue with it I highly recommend you skip episodes 15, 16, 17 and 18 because they are four completely useless recap episodes. Seriously, you don't need them.

The funny thing about that is that it's the exact same amount of episodes as the OVA which is the true (reboot) ending, and I hated watching it

So sad , to this day I can't take it :'(

Soundtrack is excellent an there's a particular favourite of mine, think it's when they get to the desert or something.

thekokapellion Nov. 12, 2012 at 7 p.m.

@GokaiRed: ah, yes, it was sad, and yes, I am a twenty-year-old woman who first watched this when she was sixteen and cried. You won't catch me crying at Titanic, but at an animated fantasy about wolves? Absolutely. But personally, though I totally understand what you're saying, the last four episodes are my favorite part of the whole show, and I thought the ending was very thought-provoking and fitting. Not LOLdeep, but you know, "Wo, this is deep, man." That's another reason a lot of people find themselves more alienated by its more stylish and inviting cousin Cowboy Bebop, (which I also love) but it is a bit of a downer. Although that is also something to be said for the ending; you may not have liked it but you'll never forget it. I mean, could it really have ended any other way?

Also, it REALLY might help you to understand everything better if you know a bit about Shintoism and its animal imagery, and also if you happen to have read Revelation, but you can still get a lot out of it if you haven't. I love that it's not heavy-handed, it's (GASP!!) subtle!

Donwunon Nov. 13, 2012 at 6:49 a.m.

Loved this series...except those repeat episodes...cut them out and its a 26 episode series anyway

STRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAY

GokaiRedon Nov. 13, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.

@thekokapelli: That damn ending was such a tease, I said to myself

"Whoa wait, they gave away the ending with the bloody intro? Crafty gitts!" :P

But yeah subtlety was the series strong suit, just about everything that happened and the symbolism was relevant to it's inevitable end.

thekokapellion Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:04 p.m.

@GokaiRed: I guess they figured we needed all the help we could get, considering how damn confusing it is.

Dig Deeper into Wolf's Rain

When wolves are supposed to be extinct, they actually still live among humans in disguise. One group of wolves comes together in an attempt to find the paradise promised to them by legend.

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