Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wolf's Rain - Limited Complete Collection|
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
There is an old legend that speaks of a hidden paradise on Earth that only wolfs can find. Thought to have been extinct, wolves still walk the Earth? hidden among mankind. A group of wolves set out to find Paradise with ea... more »
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One of the best and most different Anime series ever!
D. Allen | Sparks, Nv USA | 09/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are one of the types that only likes streightforward, continuous action anime, this series is probably not for you. This is probably one of the most beautifully told stories ever to hit Anime, though rather drawn out. Well worth watching (after you get hooked, you need to watch the entire series a few times to get all the subtle happenings), this series has some of the best animation (as far as television series go), best storytelling, some of the best charactors and an absolutely outstanding sound track by Yoko Kano.
The story centers around four wolves and their search for a fabled paradise. As told in "The Book of the Moon", when the world comes to an end, paradise will appear on the earth, but only wolves will be able to find it. At the center is Kiba, a white wolf with a mysterious past, who, for unknown reasons, is pushed to find paradise. Along the way, he finds a pack of wolves drawn to follow him in his quest...Tsume, a punk who uses Humans to revolt against the nobels (the disalusioned warrior), Hige, the careless one who's in it for the adventure, and Tolboy,the once domesticated pup searching for companionship.
But wait...this is not a Di$neyesque story about animals...you see, wolves were supposed to have gone extinct 200 years ago. But wolves have survived...they have learned to cast a spell making them appear as humans (one of the only regrets is that they never explain how they do this in the series). Entangled in this adventure is the relentless wolf hunter, Quent. Wolves, as he thinks he saw, were responsable for killing his family and burning his village. Now Quent is out to erradicate every last wolf from the face of the earth. The wolves have found some human (and supernaturl) allies as well. While sniffing out the scent of lunar flowers, Kiba is captured, during which we meet Cher, the scientist, and her ex-husband, detective Hubb Labowski. Hubb has become intangled in the mystery of the wolves, as his ex-wife, Cher, is trying to untangle the mystery of Cheza, the maiden created by Nobles from lunar flowers...the maiden that is said will lead the wolves to paradise. All this, and a dark nobel named Darcia who intends to find paradise on his own.
Complicated? Indeed. That's why it takes 26 episodes to unwind this tale. It's not highly action oriented, but so well done, it's hard not to get compleatly drawn into. The last two disks (final 8 episodes) are the absolute best, but I must warn you, wind up like a Greek tragity. If you don't shed a tear (or several), you have no feelings at all.
POSITIVES: Excellent story telling, great charactors and charactor developement, and a phenominal sound track.
NEGITIVES: The ending of the story seems a bit pushed, some aspects of the story are not adiquately explained (how the wolves use magic to dusguise themselves, why sometimes they leave human tracks and others paw prints, and how sometimes, disguised as humans, they seem to be able to use hands in ways impossible if the human form is just an illusion). Also, the quality of animation seems to wane near the middle of the series, but regains the high quality toward the end.
Finally: IF you followed my disk-to-disk reviews, I mixed up disk issues 4,5&6. I was writing the reviews based on both the Adult Swim initial screenings and a friend's downloads direct from Japan. I did not realize disk #4 was a 4 episode rehash of the first 3 disks The reviews of disks 4 & 5 should have been for 5 and 6 respetively. Also, after multiple viewings, the ending does seem more compleat, though I'm still yearning for a continuation, directly from where it ended.
OVERALL: This series is well worth the money...you won't regret it. Still, if you want to collect disk by disk, skip disk #4. Disk #5 continues directly where disk #3 ended. IF you can afford it, collect both original sound tracks as well!
Random person | USA | 08/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Entire 26 Episode TV Series, 4 Bonus OVA Episodes, and Wolf's Rain Original Soundtrack CD
Quality Above and Beyond Most...
A. Schneider | 11/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This anime series is probably one of my all time favorites. An amazing storyline, creative ideas and unbelievably memorable characters will leave you buying this box set shortly after renting or somehow watching the series.
The only thing I can say I absolutely didn't like was I believe DVD 7, which was a useless fill-in episode (there has been much debate on in fill in episodes so I'll spare you the reader all of that silliness). Anyhow, I'd have to say that's where all flaws get thrown at the door.
With an intriguing opening, you'll probably be hooked after the very first episode (and if you aren't this series probably isn't for you). Unfortunately coming in the middle of the series might be too confusing which is why I suggest watching it from the beginning if at all - once the series unfolds though, you'll see why each and every episode was important.
With beautiful artwork and creativity on the part of the movie's back-story (literally the history behind the post apocalyptic world in which the series takes place), an anime enthusiast will immediately soak this series up for all it's worth.
I'm going to have to warn you though that this series is extremely addicting and not exactly fast paced - though into action animes should stay away from Wolf's Rain, as it is more of an artistic expression via visuals, music, character design, and story design rather than a "fun" anime to sit around a watch with your friends (this is also a warning against younger audiences watching Wolf's Rain, as it is an action/drama and unless you like those sort of things, this might not be for you).
Again: amazing series, a must for any fan of anime!!!"
Wolf's Rain - One of the few anime series worth watching
P. Hardy | USA | 12/24/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
Being a long time lover of Wolves, Bandai's "WOLF'S RAIN" seemed like an ideal way to go to watch wolves since you could never really get close to them in real life. However, I had been weary of the series ever since its debut on Adult Swim - having serious doubts about the integrity of that television block on Cartoon Network (despite the fact that THE BIG-O and BIG-O II were featured in its block). I even kept my sister from watching due to most of the content in the series and ADULT SWIM itself. Somewhere in the summer of 2005, I decided to take a chance and watch this series little by little with rental DVDs. As of December 24th 2005 - I've completed watching the series: It is now one of the few favorite Japanese cartoons I watch and enjoy.
STORY: The storyline for Wolf's Rain is not so much as complex as it is unexplained throughout the overall series: The story takes place in an almost always used post-apocalyptic time when much of the world has been ecologically devastated and most people live in poverty. A legend is told in the Book of the Moon that wolves are mystical beings who came to the world from a place called Paradise, at the dawn of time. It is also said that, in the future, wolves will, with the help of a mysterious woman called the "Flower Maiden" (a being created from the essence of lunar flowers), find a way to return to paradise and in doing so, bring about the end of the world. This legend is difficult for most to believe though, because wolves were thought to have been hunted to extinction nearly 200 years ago. However, the truth is that the wolves have just become very adept at hiding themselves in human society, with the ability to appear human, including the abilities of speech and manual dexterity, while still retaining their lupine senses, agility, and natural weapons. This seems to put the show in the realm of werewolf fantasy, but the wolves' human form is portrayed as more of a mental effect than shape-shifting.
A young White Wolf named Kiba searches for the now "mythically regarded" world that is Paradise: He finds his way into a run down city, badly wounded. It is there he meets another wolf in disguise - Tsume, a ringleader of a human gang. Elsewhere a Hunter and his Dog Blue travels into a town one day, searching for wolves due to a tragedy that happened earlier in his life concerning wolves. Since no one believes in wolves, many take Quent Yaiden for a binge drinking crazy wielding a shotgun, never to be taken seriously. Upon traveling through the city he encounters a large White Wolf (Kiba) limping through the city. From there the storyline takes off with several other characters: Hige and Toboe who accompany Kiba, along with Tsume. All four wolves escape the city to find Paradise, and perhaps the Flower Maiden that will lead them there. Many things in Wolf's Rain is left unexplained or never properly explained. A prime problem that seems to plague the fictional history of what happened to the world and the background history on the Wolf characters and Human's alike. Most say the series ended quite abruptly leaving most things undone and out in the open. While I agree with most of the things mentioned in the comment, I actually liked the way the series ended. It gave no feeling that there was going to be a a SEQUEL whatsoever. It was a nice ending in my opinion. 4/5
ANIMATION: The animation for the show is top notch for a series created in 2003: The running animations for the wolves is simply amazing and realistic given the technology used nowadays. Wolf's behavior was strongly studied in development. The four legged canines act and sound more like their real life counterparts as opposed to how they've usually been portrayed in cartoons in any country. Regular human movement was also studied a lot more in this cartoon but still retain the cartoonish movements as expected. The sparsely used Computer Generated images were thankfully, bearable, in this cartoon unike most Anime series which have adopted the CGI ways and animated in everything from machines, buildings to Environments. 4/5
CHARACTERS: The Five main characters, Kiba, Hige, Tsume, Toboe, and Blue all have uniquely developed personalities while retaining the stereotyped "Follows his instincts and never gives up" - "Happy-go-lucky" - "innocent and optimistic" - "Tough guy, soft heart" - and "Outcast/half-breed" - which is never indulged. The wolf guises were basically an another drawer to the show for me. While the human forms were for ease of watching the show so it didn't end up feeling like a "talking animal" show, I found myself wondering why the human guises got more screen time than the Wolf's guises did. Other characters like The Hunter, Cher, Hubb, and Cheza, are nice fillers for diversity in different points of the storyline, which does slightly focus on Cheza later on. The villains are the usual philosophized, prophesied searching for Paradise as well. 5/5
ENVIRONMENTS: The wilderness backgrounds are probably the best part of the environments in this series. From the forests, Iceland's, and deserts, the landscape is excellently painted and look very natural as opposed to their futuristic cities that look the part of almost every futuristic city in Anime cartoons. In other words the earthly backgrounds are the better. 3/5
MUSIC: I never really listen to reviews or read anything on overrated COMPOSERS of any kind, the two most overrated composers being John Williams and Yoko Kanno who did the score for Wolf's Rain (among others). The music is not half bad, the almost foreign sound to the instruments and the way most of the music is utilized plays nicely within the series itself. The score overall could've been done far better. Most of the music sounds out of place in most episodes, mostly the vocal songs. Speaking of which, the themes used (Opening, insert, and ending alike), are nicely written and performed. This is probably most catchy the songs performed by Steve Conte - via "Stray" and "Heaven's not enough." The songs performed by Maaya Sakamoto, being "Gravity" - "Tell Me What the Rain Knows," retain the melancholy emotion carried in a dramatic song. Most of the time "Gravity" gets a bit tired at the end of all 30 minus episodes. 3/5
VOICE ACTING: Bandai has once again supplied another one of their animes with excellent US voice acting. Ranging from talents from the children's anime "Digimon" - Joshua Seth (Hige) and Mona Marshall (Toboe), "Outlaw Star"'s Robert Bucholz (Hubb), and Toonami's T.O.M. Steven Blum (Lord Darcia). Kiba is thankfully voiced by a talented actor Johnny Young Bosch (Vash the Stampeed, in Trigun) who's demeanor reminds me of David Boreanaz of Joss Whendon's Angel, only with less brood and more life to it. Kari Wahlgren provides an edge and character to Cher Degri who would normally be the boring ex-wife to Hubb, with a soft voice. Crispin Freeman, like Bosch, is a relatively new voice actor to me, therefore I cannot comment on past works he's done. He played Tsume with convincing charisma that would usually fall on deaf ears with too gruff of a voice if another actor was chosen. Thankfully Freeman manages to sound not so tough and human for at the same time. Lastly Tom Wyner has an excellent 'old man' voice for Yaiden. The other English va's Sherry Lynn (Cheza) and Jessica Straus (Blue) are convincing female voice actors for the limited character's their given, especially Lynn who speaks Cheza's airy-like voice with little or no annoyance (US voice acting 4/5). As for the Japanese actors, their not horrible, if anything their on par with the main US character voice actors. However, listening to Japanese gets really tiresome along with reading subtitles after a good while. Japanese audio is only good to listen to every once and a while (Japanese voice acting 3/5).
DVD: The 1st DVD contains Japanese advertisements and TV spots as well as interviews with the Japanese cast (which was rather boring in all honesty). Almost all seven DVDs contain five episodes if I remember correctly and contain all the expected anime trailers and DVD credits section that Badnai has on all their DVDs. The 5.1 Dolby digital sound for English and the 2.0 Japanese audio is excellent, never sounding dull or unbalanced for a moment. Subtitles as usual are available for the Japanese or any other language you happen to purchase this COMPLETE COLLECTION in. The animated menu featuring the Book Of The Moon was a nice touch one a last note. It all in all has a good presentation and a scores a point higher than Gundam Wing's DVD features do simply because of the content on the first DVD. 4/5
OVERALL: Wolf's Rain is an excellent anime series that was thought out pretty good considering its source in all honesty. Its something I would wanna own personally, and for someone who paid $200 dollars for a Gundam Wing BOX SET, $134.95(?) dollars is chump change when I happen to have that much in my pocket. ------- [a 4 out of 5]"