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EP. REVIEW: Wolf's Rain


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LightningCount



Joined: 04 Mar 2018
Posts: 161
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:54 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
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 think this is part of it. As a Gundam fan, I've been watching episodes from different series over the last few months over again from different eras, and there is a lot of difference in the pacing and in the art direction. Sometimes older animation had more artsy shots rather than going for the most utilitarian camera angle and lighting, and sometimes it sort of let the viewer "live" in the world and its conversations, versus just getting on with the meat and potatoes.

Wolf's Rain took me a second try to get into--I dropped it when it was on Adult Swim for some reason--but I've watched it twice on DVD and it was a real treat. I particularly love the scifi elements in its fantasy world. And that's the thing, as another poster noted, Wolf's Rain comes down to getting down with the world and emotions and just letting the story take you away. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you want, and some series can't pull it off. But Wolf's Rain was able to make it work for me.

As my memory recalls, the next few episodes are some of my favorites.

Confession: I never watched the recap episodes all the way through, because I heard they were made not by choice but necessity due to global health matters. Maybe it's time I checked them out.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3598
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:37 pm Reply with quote
KitKat1721 wrote:

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).

What's funny is that I usually love sinking my teeth into series that go all-in on complex world-building and plot developments, but that's not something I've ever really felt the need to do with Wolf's Rain. Maybe part of it is how I discovered the series, during the very first fumbling days of my foray into anime. I started watching at what I later found was just before the end, so I was immediately hit with that wave of raw, wrenching emotion and beauty, and that's what immediately drew me to it. I'm glad you mentioned Haibane Renmei, because that's another show I dearly loved, and you're right that it operates on a similar primarily-emotional wavelength. There are background mysteries in its world, and you can work out at least some of them, but they're not really the focus.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3851
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:04 pm Reply with quote
Does anyone else think that Quent was based on Quint from jaws. they look similar, their names are almost the same, they are both alcoholics and they even act similarly. Like one moment they are both very aggressive and angry and then they are very calm and snarky.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3598
PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:46 pm Reply with quote
Seeing the Quent and Hubb Show get put down saddens my heart. Sad
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8960
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 4:44 pm Reply with quote
Nobumoto seems to be fascinated by faux Native American mysticism. She did the same thing with Laughing Bull in several episodes of Cowboy Bebop.

I'm sorry James doesn't like this more (I've been waiting to see just how hard he'd cringe over these episodes), but reading his take has been very entertaining. Smile

And again, if you've got time, watching the recaps is interesting. You can ff through stuff you've seen, which is most of it, but there are some small nuggets of new characterization tucked away in there that I think are worth it if you're a fan. ymmv
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:27 pm Reply with quote
I know that everyone approaches pieces of entertainment in their own ways, and what works for one viewer may not always do so for another...but for the life of me I'm not sure I've ever seen someone completely overlook the heart and soul of a series as much as James's reviews have. Like, to suggest that Keiko Nobumoto, easily one of the most talented writers to ever work in anime, is just throwing elements in because she saw them in a Hollywood movie and thought they looked cool is just...I don't know. After reading this I can't even tell what James wants the show to do that it isn't doing. Does he want a more conventional narrative flow, or more direct exposition, or what? He has to realize by this point that this isn't really what this series is going for, and that looking for it is just going to keep frustrating him.

And poor Quent is being done so dirty here. He's a man so broken by what happened to his family and so consumed by revenge that there's nothing else keeping him going. And the tragic part is that he's already been given more than one chance at a small bit of redemption...but he keeps pushing it way and falling deeper into self-loathing and despair, because he can't bring himself to seek that redemption. There's something devastatingly human about that. I truly believe that one of the main reasons he's so dismissive of the idea of this mystical wolf-opened Paradise is because he feels that, even if it were real, he'd never be found worthy of such a place.

I know this is hardly constructive criticism and I'm probably not being all that fair, and I'm sorry for that, but it's my honest reaction to the past few weeks. At this point I don't know that I want to keep reading, because I shudder to think of James's take on the climax will be.
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MysticGon



Joined: 29 May 2020
Posts: 5
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 7:20 am Reply with quote
I agree with the above poster. I don't think this show was meant for people with sensibilities like his and that is okay. The show is niche for a reason. Not everyone is going to like it.
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cyborgkiddo



Joined: 04 Jan 2018
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:25 pm Reply with quote
It's a very weird experience to watch the episodes every week and be like "wow that was really good, I love this story" and then come on and read James rip into it haha. While I dislike Quent, I do understand that he's a man destroyed by revenge. It seems like he's so far gone that he feels like he'd be betraying himself by actually forgiving/trusting the wolves, which is an interesting story to see rather than the expected "wolf was nice to me once so now I'm gonna forget my years of hatred".

Also did James skip a bit in the middle or? He keeps talking about Blue maybe being dead but we straight up see her with Cheza in the middle of ep16?
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James_Beckett



Joined: 23 Nov 2015
Posts: 200
Location: USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 7:25 pm Reply with quote
cyborgkiddo wrote:
It's a very weird experience to watch the episodes every week and be like "wow that was really good, I love this story" and then come on and read James rip into it haha. While I dislike Quent, I do understand that he's a man destroyed by revenge. It seems like he's so far gone that he feels like he'd be betraying himself by actually forgiving/trusting the wolves, which is an interesting story to see rather than the expected "wolf was nice to me once so now I'm gonna forget my years of hatred".

Also did James skip a bit in the middle or? He keeps talking about Blue maybe being dead but we straight up see her with Cheza in the middle of ep16?


Anything from Eps 15-18 was skipped over due to those being recap episodes, so if new tidbits or scenes were included there, I've not seen them. I was merely reacting to the line of dialogue about Blue that Hige had, which I felt could be interpreted as him saying/thinking Blue was dead.

And FWIW, I'm usually the first person to line up for a dreamlike narrative that doesn't rely on strict realism or a straightforward plot. I just think the way that Wolf's Rain has been approaching that territory has been pretty darned ineffective. Quent is a perfect example of this; maybe all the good scenes of his people keep referring to are coming up in future episodes, but nothing we've gotten from him so far has worked beyond providing a surface level imitation of tropes that have been done much better in other stories. He's neither a well-devolped and nuanced human being nor an interesting, abstract use of an archetype. He's just an aolcoholic in a trenchcoat that grumbles about women for reasons that seem at-odds with the glimpes of his backstory we've gotten, and he wants to kill the wolves really badly.

That being said, I *am* enjoying the show so far, and I think my generally positive reviews of the episodes stand by that. It's entertaining, it contains nifty imagery and some solid character moments, and I'm literally *always* down for some Good Wolves Being Friends. It's my job to explain my opinions as clearly and (hopefully) entertainingly as possible, though, and it's often the case that solid-but-overambitious shows get dissected even more thoroughly than straigh-up-bad ones, because there's a lot more that needs to go in to explaining why it isn't working as intended. This is all just my opinion, though!
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animefan1238



Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 252
Location: Ma
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:47 pm Reply with quote
Pidgeot18 wrote:
Wolf's Rain is one of those anime I keep thinking about rewatching... but then I remember the ending and go "I don't want to through that again."


Same here but I know at some point I'll cave and rewatch it.
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