Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Wolf's Rain

We finished watching Wolf's Rain yesterday. It's the story about the end of the world, and, uhm, wolves. You see, the world has fallen into ruin and mankind ekes out a living in huge domed cities, ruled by Nobles. Nobles are the inheritors of the secrets of alchemy, and they have stuff like funky weapons and airships.
We meet Kiba, who is a wolf. Actually, he is some sort of shapechanger: he can appear as a human or as a wolf. We never get to see the actual transformation, but it's pretty much instantaneous. He meets up with three other dispossessed wolves and they form an impromptu pack. They set out to fulfill the ancient prophecy: that at the end of the world, a paradise will open up, and that only the wolves will know the way.
Along the way, they meet Cheza, a 'flower maiden' -- she's the product of some impressive alchemy: a plant in the form of a woman! They take her with them, but they are chased by the forces of Lord Oakum (including Cher, a woman scientist whom we meet in the beginning of the series), Lord Darcia (whose grandfather created Cheza and wrote the Lunar Tome, which contains the prophecies), Lady Jagara (who collects and kills all the wolves in the world), Quent (who believes his family was killed by wolves) and, indirectly, by Hubb (Cher's ex-husband, who is chasing after her and, by extent, after the wolf-pack).

The atmosphere is put down pretty good: you really get the feeling of weary decadence, of the ruin of the world -- especially in the island-town along the railroad, where they meet another pack of wolves. The characters are also decidedly wolf-like: they pick on the small one, they jockey for position in the 'pack', they're bloodthirsty and brave too.
At the end, the plot becomes rather tangled and frantic. It was only at the end that I really started caring about the characters and whether they would succeed. Upto episode 24, it was all... I don't know. Perhaps lacking in narrative thrust.

Good points:
- Character designs. If you liked the look of RahXephon, you'll like the look of this series too;
- Atmosphere;
- Music by Yoko Kanno and ending theme performed by Maaya Sakamoto;
- Character traits and quirks are pretty amusing.
Bad points:
- The four flashback episodes in the middle: too many!
- Lacks narrative direction, the plot becomes apparent too late in the show;
- The "Mr. Mister"-like opening theme (sung by Steve Conte).

Overall, I'll give it a 6.5. Perhaps lower than others would give it -- technically, it would score much higher, but I just couldn't care about the character until at the very end.

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