Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wolf's Rain - Leader of the Pack |
Actors: Steve Blum, Bob Buchholz, Arisa Ogasawara, Unsh˘ Ishizuka, Kaho K˘da
Director: Tensai Okamura
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Infinity Resources Inc Release Date: 06/22/2004 Run time: 125 minutes Rating: 13up
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Does paradise really exist?
Joana Madrid | King City, CA USA | 05/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wolf's Rain takes place in a futuristic, apocalyptic society. Humans have devastated the Earth, destroying what little remained of nature. Many species of animal are either extinct or on the brink of extinction. Domed cities are sprinkled over the desolate surface of the Earth. Humans have been divided into two main groups; an aristocracy called the Nobles, and the rest of the commoners, many of which have become outlaws. There is a legend of wolves appearing just before the end of the world to lead everyone to Paradise. No one believes these legends, however, because they believe wolves have become extinct over 200 years ago.However, wolves do still live and thrive, and only are able to do so by developing a special ability to manipulate people's minds so that they see the wolves as humans. In this way, the wolves can co-exist with humans with the humans being none the wiser. Many wolves integrated themselves into human society, becoming common workers, gang members, and even lowly street dogs. Many who had once desired to seek paradise had lost interest in doing so, settling instead to live among the humans.The four wolves, Kiba, Tsume, Hige and Toboe, all have their own individual goals, but all desire true freedom, away from the humans. They are searching for the mythical Paradise, but in order to do so, must find the Flower Maiden. However, they have much opposition, in the form of Quent Yaiden, the hunter who wishes to eliminate all wolves from the face of the Earth, and his dog Blue, who helps him locate the wolves. There are also the detective Hubb Lebowsi, and the various research scientists, including Cher Degre, who wish to prove the existence of these wolves. Yet another obstacle is the mysterious Darcia, who kidnaps Cheza, the Flower Maiden who can sense the wolves' emotions and pain.Myth has it that only the wolves will be able to find the way to paradise, but does paradise really exist?"
These raindrops keep gnawing at my head
Del Keyes | In the middle of the Sunshine | 04/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wolf's Rain: does the title alone, by any chance, mean that the wolves are crying for some reason? To tell you the truth, the show makes me want to cry. The way to describe Wolf's Rain is "Stand By Me" hosing it down with "Balto" to the R-rated capacity with a hint of "Animorphs". These descriptions didn't get to me at first, but there were other reasons why I think this anime is so involving. Sure, "Last Exile" may have the stunning technical art design and "Witch Hunter Robin" has a complex storyline with a lovable main character, but this is one of those rare animes that, for lack of a practical term, has heart and soul.The story takes place in a hostile future, where the people in urban-lifestyles believe that wolves were at the existent level as the Dodos for 200 years. Not exactly. Kiba, Hige, Tsume, and Toboe are few of the wolves that are still among the living, but in human incognito. Kiba couldn't stand to be amongst human beings, so later when he joins the other three wolves, respectfully, he followed his nose to the flower scent as the wolves drift into the open cold field to find their eden, their "Paradise". But later, when they found and join the flower girl Cheza to go along on their search, their one-way road trip would experience some pot holes on their way, such as a mysterious syndicate run by Darcia, army corps, and a hunter with his trusty dog whose job is to exterminated these "devils", as he calls them.Characterization is the one thing I like so much about Wolf's Rain. The wolves each have their own personality: Kiba is the serious, ambitious type; Hige is the laid-back, class clown of the group; Tsume is the type that doesn't care much about anything; and young Toboe is the naive type that see Tsume as his idol, as he sees him like an older brother. Though what they are makes them distant to each other, as they travel to find Paradise, they learn how important it is to depend on each other to survive, and builds up on an interesting companionship which helps them build self-confidence and trust, which I think is what relates to the movie "Stand By Me." While there were other characters that also play important roles to this series, Cheza is the one character that really got me looking on the greener side of the grass. She was this angelic, calm force of nature(and literally, she IS part of nature), and she did her best to support and care for these wolves as if she was a mother to them, and I normally don't say this kind of optimism to any female anime character. Now don't worry, this anime isn't all about one endless conversation after another, episode by episode. Wolf's Rain has plenty of action to go well with its drama.Did I mentioned that the people that made "Cowboy Bebop" also took part in making Wolf's Rain? With CB's Character Designer, Producer, and Composer involved in this anime's production, these people alone are enough to convince fans to watch it. And if it wasn't for them, Wolf's Rain wouldn't have such a wonderful constructive art design with the use of colors that add the mood to the environment and stunning wolf designs, and an eloquent musical score to top of the emotion scale. I manage to check out the first episode dubbed, and surprisingly, Bandai did right with the casting. Johnny Yong Bosch as Kiba, Crispin Freeman as Tsume, Joshua Seth as Hige, the English actors were on key to their Japanese counterpart. I was skeptical when FLCL Haruko's Kari Wahlgren is going to play as the more serious Cher Degre, but after checking her vocal performance, she actually pulled it off. When Cowboy Bebop had a great dub cast, expect the same thing here.When people are going to see this, most are going to ask, "How can these wolves fool humans to think they are human?" I asked myself the same question after watching half of the entire series in Japanese. To me, after thinking about it, I don't think the question was meant to be explained, and I don't mind, because Wolf's Rain has such great qualities to consider it to be one of the best animes around. It's not just a well-produced anime, it's also very engrossing and rewarding, too. If you're looking for something atmospheric with heart-warming entertainment in the world of anime, you should not pass this one up."
There Is No Place Called Paradise
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 12/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In a dark apocalyptic world where cities are domed or walled, the is little left except the struggle for existence. If this is difficult for humans, imagine how it would be for the wolves, their hunting grounds gone, they have come to the worn down cities where they have hidden for 200 years, masquerading as humans, shorn of much of their pride and strength. To one such place comes Kiba, driven on by his dream of Paradise, a place that only wolves can find, and only when the world begins to end.
His arrival seems to upset a delicate balance he scents the presence of Cheza, whom he calls a 'flower.' She has been unconscious for years, but Kiba, in his struggle with Tsume, the city's dominant wolf, somehow wakens her. She is whisked away by a noble, and in the ensuing uproar Kiba, Tsume, the selfish Hige, and young Toboe flee. The search for Paradise goes on, but the first stop is a city almost as dark as the one they fled. One where wolves pretend to be work dogs scrabbling for scraps of food.
On first sight this is a bishonen (pretty boy story) with Kiba and Tsume the classic antagonists. But as the other characters gather about them it becomes clear that, while having roots in this genre, the writers intended something more exceptional. The human forms, of course, are only illusions that cover their wolf bodies, several of the images are non-traditional, and the characteristic 'posing' is lacking from everyone except Tsume. This suits Tsume well, since he is the most concerned with his image, using it to mask his true nature.
To a degree the anime reminds me of Saiyuki, especially in its habit of genre busting. But Wolf's Rain has more continuity between its episodes. The characters are stronger, better developed, and the tone is much darker. The do share a level of artistic excellence which it hard to come by in anime, where writers often rely too much on stock situations, and artists pay less attention tp atmospheric effect than they should.
I was surprised how good this set of episodes was. Too often this series is billed as an ecological sermon and I dislike being preached at. But the disastrously ruined world is only part of the story, most of which manages to by an extremely believable story of the wolves and their legacy. Very much worth viewing."
An Anime Favorite!
Shannon Haskins | Coupeville, Washington | 08/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watching one episode of Wolf's Rain automatically got me hooked when it first aired on Cartoon Network a few months back. And thankfully, the series is coming out on DVD!
The first volume (included with the series box, etc.) contains episodes 1-5 (there will be 6 volumes in all). In these first 5 episodes, you meet our heroes: Kiba, Tsume, Toboe and Hige - teens who are only human in appearance. You're also introduced to other characters who play a key role in the story; Cher, Hubb, Quint and his dog, Blue, and of course, Cheza.
Seeing this anime from the beginning is key, because if you come in even a few episodes in, you're sure to be lost. A definite must-have for anime fans everywhere, or anyone who has an obsession with wolves. ::winks::
Also included is the series box (so you can convinently stash your DVDs in one pretty place), a Kiba plushie (which is adorable), and the first Wolf's Rain soundtrack, put together by the fantastic Yoko Kanno. If you can, I'd recommend looking elsewhere, due to the price. But, I will say it's worth the money if you're a dedicated fan."