Wolf’s rain was my thing in middle school. I can remember reading the manga, watching the anime when I could and reviewing the episodes with friends at school. I totally just dated myself seeing how this anime originally aired in 2003.
This anime takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the human race has been forced to live in domed cities and wolves have been extinct for 200 years. There is a prophecy in this anime that when the world comes to an end paradise will appear on the earth, but only wolves would be able to find it.
Everything starts when a white wolf comes to a city that smells of Lunar flowers. His name is Kiba. He causes a bit of a stir in the city when he is wounded and captured by local police. After breaking out with another wolf they run into the fabled Flower Maiden and their journey begins.
Kiba is a guy of very few words, so you know that when he says something he means it. When they group meets back up with the Flower Maiden she is the only thing Kiba sees. You could say he’s head over paws.
Joining Kiba on his quest for Paradise is are four other wolves. The first to join is a brown wolf called Hige. Hige runs into Kiba in the police department where Kiba was injured in a cage. With his help both boys bust out. He is known best for the collar he wears, but Hige is a wolf who loves food, girls and complaining on occasion.
When Kiba first wanders into town he crosses paths with Tsume. A tough grey wolf who was leading a gang of humans that preyed on the Nobel’s supply lines to survive. When his gang turns on him he leaves the city with the rest using the excuse that the town had gotten boring.
If Kiba is the Alpha of this rag-tag pack then Tsume would be the second in command. There are more than a couple of occasions where Tsume steps up to lead when Kiba has gone missing.
The runt of this pack is called Toboe. I swear for the longest time I insisted he was a girl. His hair is more styled,he wears a dark pink shirt and has bangles. I take it back Toboe.
You find out quickly that Toboe is the reason you shouldn’t keep a wolf as a pet. When he was a pup an old woman found him at the gate of the city. She brought him home and they lived together until she passed away. The journey to Paradise is a chance for Toboe to grow up and become a fine wolf.
The final wolf joining the pack is a she-wolf called Blue. For the first part of the anime she is working with a human to track down the wolves. However after meeting the Flower Maiden she get separated from her partner and ends up switching sides.
Now this anime isn’t just about the wolves, there are a few more important characters to introduce. The most important I would say is the Flower Maiden, Cheza. Without her there wouldn’t be a story.
Cheza is the product of an ancient alchemy to create a maiden out of lunar flowers. Together with the wolves the Flower Maiden will open paradise for the dying world. When the wolves catch up with the kidnapped maiden the real journey begins. She smells of the Lunar flowers she’s made of, survives on sunlight and water and when she sings all the wolves feel at peace.
There are some humans in this anime too, and it wouldn’t be the same without them.
The first one you meet is Blue’s partner Quent Yaiden. Before taking up the hunt for wolves he was the sheriff of a town called Kyrios. When the town burned, leaving him and Blue as the sole survivors, he saw this family being eaten by wolves in the flames. This determined old man is out for revenge.
Quent and Blue arrive in the domes city the same time that Kiba does. And it’s because of Quent that Kiba was injured. If there is nothing he loves more than hunting for wolves and Blue, it’s his love of Vodka.
Cher is a strong-willed scientist that was observing Cheza before she was kidnapped. She leaves the city to track down and retrieve the Flower Maiden.
Now you can’t have a strong-willed woman without a guy chasing after her. In Wolf’s Rain that man is Hubb. Once upon a time Cher and Hubb had been married but it hadn’t worked out; that didn’t stop him from loving her. So when a large white dog shows up at his police department and an old man toting a shot-gun start spouting off things about wolves, his world changes drastically.
The journey to Paradise would be too easy if there wasn’t a group of humans who want to take it for themselves. These people are called Nobles.
Lord Darcia plays the largest role for a noble. It was Darcia’s family that created Cheza three generations ago. He is the one the kidnaps Cheza and fights the wolves for the final right to Paradise in the end.
Lady Jagura is a minor snag in the road compared to Darcia. She is the twin sister to Darcia’s deceased love, Hamona. Jagura wants Paradise so she can finally be together with Darcia. A slightly twisted love story but an understandable motivate.
Both the anime and the manga are enjoyable. I personally love the musical score for this anime. The opening “Stray” by Steve Conte along with “Heaven’s not Enough” are my go to songs.
I might suggest that viewers and readers be able to handle mild language and the sight of blood in battle. I don’t me pink-sparkly-let’s-water-this-down-for-the-viewers or black ink, but thick blood on occasion. Don’t let that deter you though. This story deserves a three episode trial and then you’ll fall in love with it.