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Wolf's Rain: The Complete Series
Confession time; I love Wolf's Rain
Perhaps the best way to describe Wolf's Rain
Spread across a melancholy landscape of inhospitable wastelands and windswept deserts, civilization is scattered across territories ruled over by ruthless aristocrats known as Nobles. The bitter atmosphere and degradation of the planet acts as a catalyst to the extinction of all wolves. Wolf sightings are equated to delusions though a myth persists that they still exist. Unbeknownst to most, a handful of wolves remain, living amongst humans, having learned to take on human forms.
The central hub of Wolf's Rain
On his travels, Kiba crosses paths with various other lone wolves he meets who are drawn in by the allure of Paradise. Tsume is a cynical alpha male, Hige is a smooth-talking wolf always sniffing for a bite, and Toboe is an innocent and naïve pup determined to be the rock that holds the foundation together. Later the group is joined by a wolf-dog hybrid named Blue whose adopted family was murdered by wolves.
Having tracked the scent of located the lunar flower to a Noble's laboratory, Kiba finds an odd-looking girl named Cheza. Bred using alchemy by the Nobles, Cheza is the living embodiment of the lunar flower. After a heated pursuit, the pack with flower maiden in tow set out on their journey to locate Paradise. With the world falling further into decay, Kiba and company find themselves in a critical race against time to locate Paradise while evading a contingent of scientists, soldiers, and Nobles set upon claiming paradise for themselves.
Unfortunately, there is one minor hiccup in the form of a four-episode recap that brings the series momentum to a grinding halt. Even more aggravating is the point in which these episodes are shuffled into the series, coming right after a climatic confrontation with the Nobles.
The evocative visuals of Wolf's Rain
The score is composed by the brilliant Yoko Kanno of Cowboy Bebop
Video and Audio:
Funimation's rerelease of Wolf's Rain is a solid effort. The series has never been released on blu-ray, even in its native Japan. The company claims this is not a simple upconversion and that it worked with Bones in using the masters. Despite mild instances of blur and static animation, this is the best the series has looked.
The English dub succeeds largely on the merits of its cast, featuring alumni from Cowboy Bebop
Funimation's blu-ray release ports over all the on-disc extras that accompanied the Bandai releases, preserved in standard definition. We get the usual clean opening and closings along with a bevy of trailers, and the Japanese promo used to pitch the series. Sadly, the release did not merit a special edition in the vein of Escaflowne