In a dying world, there exists an ancient legend: when the world ends, the gateway to paradise will be opened. This utopia is the sole salvation for the remnants of life in this barren land, but the legend also dictates that only wolves can find their way to this mythical realm. Though long thought to be extinct, wolves still exist and live amongst humans, disguising themselves through elaborate illusions.
A lone wolf named Kiba finds himself drawn by an intoxicating scent to Freeze City, an impoverished town under the rule of the callous Lord Orkham. Here, Kiba discovers that wolves Hige, Tsume, and Toboe have been drawn in by the same aroma. By following the fragrance of "Lunar Flowers," said to be the key to opening the door to their ideal world, the wolves set off on a journey across desolate landscapes and crumbling cities to find their legendary promised land. However, they are not the only ones seeking paradise, and those with more sinister intentions will do anything in their power to reach it first.
An Ode To A Classic: A Review of “Wolf’s Rain”
Inventive, evocative, and profoundly haunting, “Wolf’s Rain” is one hell of an animated spectacle you cannot afford to miss. Directed by the critically acclaimed Tensai Okamura and produced by Bones Studio, known for their outstanding works like “Fullmetal Alchemist” and “My Hero Academia”, “Wolf’s Rain” is an introspective journey that will have you captivated from beginning to end.
In the decay of a dystopian future, mankind survives in a divided society within domed cities, where nobles indulge in a life of luxury, while others endure a harsh and brutal existence. Amidst this harsh landscape, secretive creatures hunt in the dilapidated ruins of civilisation – wolves, thought to be extinct by the majority of humankind. Existing on the fringes of society, these wolves blend into human society using illusionary techniques. The story follows four such wolves, who are led by an enigmatic and beautiful white wolf named Kiba. These wolves are driven by an ancient prophecy which promises the return of a utopian paradise known as “Rakuen”.
The journey is difficult and fraught with peril, and during their quest, the wolves come across various characters, both human and animals, confronting existential dilemmas, societal clashes and the sheer persistence of the human (and animal) spirit.
“Wolf’s Rain” champions in terms of storytelling, sweeping a narrative that guides the viewers across a barren land rife with allegory, existentialism and complex character relationships. The plot, shrouded in cryptic mythologies, tension, betrayals, and heart-wrenching sacrifices, is like a well-crafted puzzle, each unveiling one essential piece at a time. It pushes the boundaries of classic anime storytelling and injects a heavy dose of raw emotion and complex thematic thought. It may be slightly dense sometimes, but it offers a rewarding and unforgettable experience.
The animation is, in a word, enchanting. Each frame seems to be hand-painted with the brush of a master artist. With their fluid movement, finely detailed environments, and stunning color palette, each scene is a tapestry woven with care. The series capitalizes on its desolate setting, portraying bleakly beautiful landscapes that take your breath away. It treats the darker aspects with tactful discretion, while simultaneously using them to portray a stunningly melancholic beauty. The distinct character designs too, complement their personalities and add depth to the narrative.
Sound design is no less stellar, matching perfectly with the series’ tone. The haunting melodies composed by Yoko Kanno encapsulate the series’ melancholic yet ethereal essence. The voice-acting is praiseworthy, attributing an uncanny realism to our misfit band of wolves and the host of multifaceted characters they encounter.
“Wolf’s Rain” is an emotional odyssey that grapples with profundities of life, death, and paradise, akin to a distressing yet beautiful lucid dream. Pushing the limits of anime, it captures the wild untamed spirit of its lupine characters, while narrating an echoing tale of longing and survival. In a nutshell, it is a timeless piece of emotionally resonant and beautifully crafted anime that deserves to be experienced by every anime enthusiast.
So, whether to rent, buy or stream? The answer is whatever allows you to watch it. Wolf’s Rain is a must see, and it belongs in the library of every serious anime fan. So, don your cloak, howl at moon, and plunge into this otherworldly tale that is sure to leave an imprint on your heart.
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