Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wolf's Rain

I would like to share with you a wonderful Anime TV series which I just finished this evening. First, here's the description of Wolf's Rain:

In a post-apocalyptic future where humans live in domed cities surrounded by wasteland, wolves are assumed to be two hundred years extinct. Yet wolves do walk among them, disguising themselves as humans in order to survive in the human world. Now four young wolves will follow the scent of Lunar Flowers on a dangerous quest to find that which legend promises them: Paradise.

Wolf's Rain is a beautiful anime with tremendous production values and great artistic merit. The music, composed by Yoko Kanno who also is responsible for Witch Hunter Robin's music, is an equally gorgeous blend of blues, Spanish guitar, and haunting ballads. Not only is it moving visually, it is intensely emotional. The series moved me to tears several times in its 30 episodes.

I fell deeply in love with the characters, and I felt pain when they struggled in their pursuit of Paradise. There are moments that are not easy to watch -- in real life I really do love wolves profoundly -- and the wolves in this show endure a lot of physical abuse and heartache.

I rented Wolf's Rain from Netflix. First only one DVD, just to check it out. By the time I was into the second DVD I couldn't get them to arrive fast enough. Soon I had devoured all seven DVDs and, like any truly great story, I just wanted the story and characters to go on forever.

This is not a typical anime. In fact, it's not a typical story in any sense -- yet it is profoundly rewarding. It's challenging to the viewer in many ways -- in order to appreciate Wolf's Rain fully, you must really pay attention, you must be able to survive seeing characters you really care about suffer terribly, and, most of all, the ending is far from a typical Hollywood "happy ending". I'm not saying the ending is terrible or disappointing -- in fact, you'll find that to some extend you've been made a part of the story as the ending will depend on your interpretation and feelings as well.

Words fail me at the moment to describe the sheer beauty and majesty of this anime. Even the theme of Wolf's Rain has profound philosophical and spiritual implications that may move you to think deeply.

I hope that you can carve out the time to watch this amazing piece of animated art.

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