Wolf's Rain

Wolf's Rain
Wolf's Rain Region 2 Volume 1.jpg
Cover of the anime's first Japanese DVD volume
ウルフズレイン
(Urufuzu Rein)
GenrePost-apocalyptic,[1] supernatural,[2] tragedy[3]
Anime television series
Directed byTensai Okamura
Produced byMasahiko Minami
Minoru Takanashi
Go Haruna
Written byKeiko Nobumoto
Music byYoko Kanno
StudioBones
Licensed by
Original networkFuji TV
English network
Original runJanuary 6, 2003 – July 29, 2003
Non-broadcast releases:
January 23, 2004 – February 25, 2004
Episodes30 (List of episodes)
Manga
Written byKeiko Nobumoto
Illustrated byToshitsugu Iida
Published byKodansha
English publisher
DemographicSeinen
MagazineMagazine Z
Original runJuly 23, 2003February 23, 2004
Volumes2
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Wolf's Rain (Japanese: ウルフズレイン, Hepburn: Urufuzu Rein) is an anime series created by writer Keiko Nobumoto and produced by Bones. It was directed by Tensai Okamura and featured character designs by Toshihiro Kawamoto with a soundtrack produced and arranged by Yoko Kanno. It focuses on the journey of four lone wolves who cross paths while following the scent of the Lunar Flower and seeking Paradise.

Wolf's Rain spans twenty-six television episodes and four original video animation (OVA) episodes, with each episode running approximately twenty-five minutes. The series was originally broadcast in Japan on Fuji TV and the anime CS television network, Animax. The complete thirty episode series is licensed for North American release by Funimation, in Europe by Beez Entertainment and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. The series was adapted into a short two-volume manga series written by Keiko Nobumoto and illustrated by Toshitsugu Iida. The manga, which was released while the series was airing, is a retelling of the story rather than a straight adaptation. It was originally serialized in Magazine Z and has been released in North America by Viz Media.

The anime series was well received in Japan, being the third-ranked anime series in its timeslot while airing on Fuji TV. The Bandai Entertainment English-language release sold well in North America. It helped Bandai gain the 2004 Anime Company of the Year award from industry news company ICv2 in the ICv2 Retailers Guide to Anime/Manga. The manga adaptation was selected as one of their top ten anime products of 2005 and sold well in North America. Reviewers of the series gave it high marks for characterization, visual presentation, narrative and its soundtrack, while disparaging the existence of four recapitulation episodes in the middle of the series. The manga adaptation also sold well in North America and received good reviews, though reviewers felt its short length resulted in a rushed plot and neglected supporting characters.

Plot

According to an old legend, when the end of the world comes, a place known as Paradise will appear. However, only wolves will know how to find it. Although wolves are believed to have been hunted to extinction nearly two hundred years ago, they still exist, surviving by casting illusions over themselves to make them appear human.[4] Freeze City is a northern human city in a world where the majority of people live in poverty and hardship.

Kiba, an injured lone white wolf, goes to Freeze City following the scent of the Lunar Flower, which is the key to opening Paradise. There he encounters Tsume, Hige and Toboe, three other wolves who were drawn to Freeze City by the scent of the Lunar Flower and are now living in the city. The wolves encounter Quent Yaiden, a former Sheriff of Kyrios who is obsessed with hunting down wolves, and his dog Blue. Cheza, the Flower Maiden who is destined to lead the wolves to Paradise, is being studied at a laboratory under the care of Cher Degré. She is awakened by the smell of wolf's blood. As Kiba and Hige approach the lab to find her, she is stolen away by Lord Darcia the Third, whose people created Cheza.

With the Flower Maiden gone, the wolves have no reason to stay in the city. Despite some initial misgivings and suspicions, they decide to stay together and follow Kiba in his search for the Flower Maiden and Paradise. As they pursue Cheza, the wolves travel through various cities and the remnants of former habitations. Cher joins the city's army to try to recover Cheza, while Cher's ex-husband Hubb Lebowski searches desperately for Cher, and Quent continues his relentless pursuit of the wolves. When Blue eventually encounters Cheza, it awakens her wolf blood from dormancy and causes her to leave Quent and take on her own human form. She joins the wolves and travels with them for a while, developing an intense and close romantic relationship with Hige, and meanwhile Hubb finds himself traveling with Quent, who is now searching for Blue as well as the wolves. Hubb eventually finds Cher and from there they continue their pursuit of the wolves to find Cheza.

Together the wolves reach Darcia's keep after Kiba goes off on his own. Hubb, Cher and Quent arrive in the keep, and Tsume, Toboe, and Hige find Kiba, Cheza and Darcia during a sword fight between Darcia and Kiba. The reunion is short-lived however because Jaguara's troops attack, destroying the keep in the process. The Noble's troops capture Cheza, Hubb, Cher and Blue during the raid, and the wolves get separated from Kiba. After finding Kiba, the wolves continue their journey to rescue Cheza from Jaguara, while Cher rescues Blue and manages to find Cheza with help from Hubb, but Jaguara's troops instantly recapture Cheza, taking Hubb with them and forcing Cher and Blue to find Cheza on their own.

The wolves and the humans eventually come together in Jaguara's city, where the captured Cheza is being held. In attempting to rescue the abducted Cheza, Kiba, Tsume and Toboe are captured. Tsume and Toboe are thrown into a dungeon with Hubb while Jaguara attempts to use Kiba's blood to force Paradise to open. Meanwhile, Hige and Blue are reunited outside the Keep, where Hige remembers that he had once worked for Jaguara and decides to go rescue his friends, but not before telling Blue to stay outside and promising her that he will return to her no matter what. While waiting for Hige, Blue is reunited with her master Quent and meanwhile Darcia, having survived the attack on his keep, interrupts Jaguara's ceremony as Kiba and the other wolves break free and rush to free the Flower Maiden. Hige is wounded during the fight against Jaguara and Kiba arrives after Darcia is poisoned by the Noble. Darcia battles Jaguara along with Kiba and finally slays her as the keep begins to collapse, ending the anime's original 26-episode run.

As the original video animation (OVA) episodes begin, the wolves and the humans escape Jaguara's city, which has fallen into chaos. Quent is gravely wounded saving Blue from an oncoming vehicle, but he and Blue are found by Hubb and Cher, and subsequently by the wolves and Cheza. Together, they all continue making their way to Paradise, pursued by the now insane Darcia. As the Earth begins to fall into destruction, Cher dies when the car falls off of a cliff. And soon after, Toboe is accidentally shot by Quent when he tries to shoot Darcia who in turn kills Quent. Hubb tries to keep up with the remaining wolves climbing up a mountain, but falls to his death. Darcia attacks the remaining wolves killing Hige, Blue, and Tsume, leaving only Kiba, Cheza and Darcia alive at the place where Paradise can be opened. Darcia and Kiba battle over who will open Paradise, in which Kiba is fatally wounded. Darcia dies when he attempts to enter Paradise due to not being a true wolf. Kiba finds Cheza as she dies and disintegrates into seeds. Dying, Kiba concludes that his quest has failed, but rain begins to fall and Cheza's seeds grow into thousands of lunar flowers. As he dies, Kiba falls into the waters depths but sees the blood red moon turning back to its normal color. Cheza's death causes Paradise, as well as the world, to be reborn. However, Darcia's corruption can be seen taking root in this new Paradise.

Changes in manga adaptation

The two-volume manga adaptation includes some of the core events of the anime series with few changes, but as a whole the manga veers greatly from its anime inspiration. Many events from the anime do not occur in the manga, and some of the events from the anime that are presented in the manga are completely different in terms of dialogue, chronological sequence, and final outcomes.[5] In particular, the second volume tells an almost completely different story, with Darcia recruiting Blue to help him open the door to Paradise with her blood. The wolves must go to Darcia's keep, rather than Jaguara's, in order to free Cheza, with Kiba missing but appearing at the end to make the final rescue effort. At the end of the manga, the four wolves and Cheza are sitting on a rock as the clouds break and sunlight streams through for the first time. The world rejoices the end of the Ice Age and rumors that Paradise has been found abound.[6]

In the manga most of the characters are similar in appearance and personality to their anime counterparts, but some characters seen in the anime do not appear in the manga, including the Noble Lord Orkham.[5][6]

Other Languages
català: Wolf's Rain
čeština: Wolf's Rain
Deutsch: Wolf’s Rain
español: Wolf's Rain
فارسی: باران گرگ
français: Wolf's Rain
italiano: Wolf's Rain
Latina: Imber lupi
lietuvių: Wolf's Rain
монгол: Чонон бороо
日本語: WOLF'S RAIN
norsk: Wolfs Rain
português: Wolf's Rain
română: Wolf's Rain
русский: Волчий дождь
svenska: Wolf's Rain
Tagalog: Wolf's Rain
українська: Wolf's Rain
中文: 狼雨