Forum - View topic
EP. REVIEW: Wolf's Rain


Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8969
PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2020 2:34 pm Reply with quote
Do I love Wolf's Rain? Well this has been my desktop for the last ten years, so I'd say yeah. Smile



And Tsume is my Best Good Boy. From the moment he first appeared on screen.

Favorite song is Tsume No Suna. (many spoilers in YT comments)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
Posts: 161
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:17 pm Reply with quote
Along with stuff like the underappreciated RahXephon, this was Studio BONES at their peak. Yes the work gets a little tangled in its own ambition, but despite those imperfections--or maybe because of them--anime like Wolf's Rain are a cut above. They dare to go to the heights, even if they come up short at times. When it's running at full speed, it's one of the best; and as a whole, while not nearly my favorite, I would hold it as one of the best anime. I'm going to sound nostalgic here, but they don't craft them like this anymore. This kind of character design and attention to detail is sorely missed, too, IMO.

You know how people talk about Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, and Outlaw Star as a group? I like to think of Wolf's Rain, Ergo Proxy, and Witch Hunter Robin as a group. Tonally, artistically, and existentially, they just seemed to link up for me, despite their differences.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
donhumberto



Joined: 19 Jan 2017
Posts: 558
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:29 pm Reply with quote
LightningCount wrote:
Along with stuff like the underappreciated RahXephon, this was Studio BONES at their peak. Yes the work gets a little tangled in its own ambition, but despite those imperfections--or maybe because of them--anime like Wolf's Rain are a cut above. They dare to go to the heights, even if they come up short at times. When it's running at full speed, it's one of the best; and as a whole, while not nearly my favorite, I would hold it as one of the best anime. I'm going to sound nostalgic here, but they don't craft them like this anymore. This kind of character design and attention to detail is sorely missed, too, IMO.

You know how people talk about Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, and Outlaw Star as a group? I like to think of Wolf's Rain, Ergo Proxy, and Witch Hunter Robin as a group. Tonally, artistically, and existentially, they just seemed to link up for me, despite their differences.

+1000 about this being Bones at its best. For me the triad Wolf's Rain, Rahxephon and Kurau (all of them done within the 2002-2004 period) is lightyears above anything else the studio has done ever since. I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion among many fans but there's no way in hell stuff like My hero academia or Mob Psycho can even begin to compare to what they did all those years back.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
meggu



Joined: 11 Nov 2014
Posts: 34
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:54 pm Reply with quote
Heart literally leapt out of my chest when I caught a glimpse of Kiba Wolf's Rain in 2020. (Brain immediately went: "Sequel? SEQUEL???" as IF this show even needs one)

I saw WR when it first aired on Adult Swim, and haven't been as emotionally moved by another anime since. Listen to the OST on the regular. Rewatch it at leats once a year. So... yeah, I think it's neat.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
Posts: 161
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:04 pm Reply with quote
donhumberto wrote:
LightningCount wrote:
Along with stuff like the underappreciated RahXephon, this was Studio BONES at their peak....

+1000 about this being Bones at its best. For me the triad Wolf's Rain, Rahxephon and Kurau (all of them done within the 2002-2004 period) is lightyears above anything else the studio has done ever since. I know this is going to be an unpopular opinion among many fans but there's no way in hell stuff like My hero academia or Mob Psycho can even begin to compare to what they did all those years back.


Yeah, never seen Kurau, but Wolf's Rain and RahXephon are off the charts. It was basically like all the Studio Sunrise energy and skill built up from the talent at BONES working on already legendary things like Gundam 0083 and Cowboy Bebop hit a culmination point.

In terms of BONES as a whole, they still do good work, but it's not overall what it used to be. I feel like Eureka Seven was the tipping point. Wolf's Rain and RahXephon had more of a realistic art direction that echoed Sunrise's finest, and it seems like they took on the style that would ultimately define their works with Eureka Seven--a style that is a bit more influenced by the 70s rather than the 80s/90s. So, stylistically, Eureka Seven started to move toward later BONES works, but it still had a lot of depth and panache and ambition. I didn't like it as much as Wolf's Rain and RahXephon, but it's still quite notable, especially in retrospect as a transition piece.

The real tragedy is...I'm not sure there was a strong market for showpieces like RahXephon or Wolf's Rain. It may even be possible that the design work for these series looks "off" to people coming into anime now. I feel like it's another reason BONES has shifted gears some and was forced to work on more commercial works more often.

I have to say, though, that the spirit of what BONES was doing with RahXephon and Wolf's Rain has carried on into the Fafner franchise in recent years to some extent. It's still saddled with Hisashi Hirai character designs that can give the wrong impression, but starting with Fafner Exodus (and now it seems the ongoing The Beyond season), that franchise is really an ambitious prestige franchise that has largely gone unnoticed outside of Japan. I'm curious how the final Manglobe piece, Genocidal Organ, turned out too, as that looks promising and evokes some Wolf's Rain vibes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8969
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:35 am Reply with quote
LightningCount wrote:
Yeah, never seen Kurau

You should correct this right away! Very Happy

Quote:
Something I like to track is when and why the show decides to depict the wolves as animals, instead of their human guises.

One of the things that always drove me nuts about this was their tracks. There's no consistency. Half the time they leave pawprints, half the time they leave sneaker treadmarks, and it doesn't matter what form they were in when they left the tracks we're shown. So I could never decide if the human form was an illusion or a shape-shifting. (I figured the shadows were more about symbolism than actual shadows, but that's all over the place too)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jdnation



Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 1279
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:37 pm Reply with quote
LightningCount wrote:
I have to say, though, that the spirit of what BONES was doing with RahXephon and Wolf's Rain has carried on into the Fafner franchise in recent years to some extent. It's still saddled with Hisashi Hirai character designs that can give the wrong impression, but starting with Fafner Exodus (and now it seems the ongoing The Beyond season), that franchise is really an ambitious prestige franchise that has largely gone unnoticed outside of Japan. I'm curious how the final Manglobe piece, Genocidal Organ, turned out too, as that looks promising and evokes some Wolf's Rain vibes.


I didn't like Kurau. But RahXephon was excellent! It does come off as an Eva Me-too, but it cements its own identity. I never really got into Fafner either. As for Genocidal Organ, the whole Project Itoh trilogy project was great sci fi, especially Harmony, which is quite relevant topically considering the whole pandemic experience. But Genocidal Organ is very different from Wolf Rain. Though if you like dark political sci fi, you'll like it. I'd compare it more to Ergo Proxy, but with more accessible themes that are rooted more in post 9/11 topics.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Stelman257



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Posts: 63
PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:59 am Reply with quote
ajr wrote:
Quote:
Don't think I don't see you trying to sneak in some not-at-all-subtle wolf imagery, Wolf’s Rain!


Oh snap, I didn’t see that at all until I moved farther away, nice.

Where is it I have no idea! It just looks like a normal shot to me?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1598
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:13 am Reply with quote
At the risk of being off-topic without ever seeing the anime, I also picked up the RahXephon OST's second hand.

If anyone gets the chance to visit Japan again, it's worth going to Book-Off, Mandarake and similar stores in all parts of Japan for soundtracks and OP/ED/INS singles.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8969
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:52 pm Reply with quote
Stelman257 wrote:
Where is it I have no idea! It just looks like a normal shot to me?

I think the cannon-looking thing is the nose and the pyramid shapes are ears and maybe the steps are like muzzle whiskers? I can't find eyes though, so beyond this, you're on your own. Smile

If this was supposed to be a review of 5 and 6, the ratings widget for 6 is missing, and it's not mentioned in the title.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tuor_of_Gondolin



Joined: 20 Apr 2009
Posts: 3386
Location: Bellevue, WA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 6:08 pm Reply with quote
In response to the review, I'll just say that Quint, Blue, and Hubb all have important roles to play in the story, so keeping tabs on them isn't a wasted effort by the series.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail My Anime
eyeresist



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 994
Location: a 320x240 resolution igloo (Sydney)
PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:14 pm Reply with quote
I don't know what the reviewer is criticising in the writing for Wolf's Rain. Is it not thuddingly obvious enough?

This is a great show with a unique atmosphere. I even like the recap episodes. They may be clip shows, but they are well written and show the characters in an interesting light.

Unfortunately it is business-as-usual for a great anime series to end in mystical nonsense, but I would say Wolf's Rain does this less offensively than most.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message My Anime
Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3606
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:00 pm Reply with quote
From the tone of James' reviews, I'm starting to worry that the series just isn't going to click with him. There was a fantastic column posted on the site a few years back about how Wolf's Rain embodies the literary tradition of Romanticism. (Massive spoilers in there, so only click if you've finished the series.) The gist of it is that Wolf's Rain is a series which was written to operate more on an emotional, mystical level than a rational one. That's not to say that there aren't explanations given, or that backstory isn't revealed, because they will absolutely come in time (and the human characters will have a big part in it), but the series is never going to provide straight-up exposition, because that's not its focus. I can't help but feel like trying to over-analyze and rationalize every scene just rips the soul out of what's going on. At its core, Wolf's Rain is about longing, a longing that stretches beyond the end of the world, a longing so deep you feel it in your soul and will do anything and everything to chase after it.

Case in point: that scene where Cheza floats down toward the wolves in the field of flowers like a petal on the breeze is one of the singularly most beautiful moments I've ever experienced in an anime series. I'm not someone who gets emotional over what I watch at the drop of a hat, but I well up like a baby every single time I watch it. It's pure emotion, pure joy, portrayed masterfully. That's what this series does for me.

(Also I don't think that aerial battle was remotely as dire as you made out. Yes, it is every bit circa-2003 TV-budget CGI, with everything that implies, but it definitely wasn't awful for its time, and it never stuck out enough to me to make a lasting impression either way. I've certainly seen worse-integrated work in series more than a half-decade later. Looking at you, Gonzo...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
KitKat1721



Joined: 03 Feb 2015
Posts: 334
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:43 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
The gist of it is that Wolf's Rain is a series which was written to operate more on an emotional, mystical level than a rational one. That's not to say that there aren't explanations given, or that backstory isn't revealed, because they will absolutely come in time (and the human characters will have a big part in it), but the series is never going to provide straight-up exposition, because that's not its focus. I can't help but feel like trying to over-analyze and rationalize every scene just rips the soul out of what's going on.


First off, I really like your comment, and I too love this show for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. I'm not totally surprised by the reviews because Wolf's Rain always seemed to have pretty split opinions from fans, understandably so. The show invites tons of speculation about its more obtuse world-building or allegories (while not really making those discoveries easy), but is incredibly upfront with its character stakes and emotions. You can get invested pretty easily if those elements are what you tend to latch onto in stories, but its also easy to get distracted by how closely it holds its cards to its chest in other aspects. Its such a unique dichotomy of a series (I think another show with a similar story structure/tone would be Haibane Renmei).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8969
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:10 pm Reply with quote
I have to wonder if James hasn't gotten used to the faster pace of anime over the last decade or so, when the vast majority of series only get 12 episodes if they're lucky (unless they're shounen action and even those are often chopped into 2-4 episode arcs) and have to tell their stories as efficiently as humanly possible, often suffering from the compression. When series routinely ran for 24-26 episodes, they took their time to let things unfold. It didn't seem slow then (for most). It might seem too slow now (for many). It's just right for me. I even enjoyed the recap eps, since they included some new footage and povs. And all the doom and gloom was so totally in my wheelhouse. Very Happy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group