Region: 2 - UK
Volume: 2 of 7
Length: 100 minutes
Subtitles: English, French, Dutch
English Dolby Digital Stereo
Wolf's Rain is set in a bleak future where wolves live, disguised as humans, amongst people who are struggling to survive. Very few people know of the existence of wolves, partly due to their disguises and also due to most believing that wolves are now only a legend. In the second volume of Wolf's Rain the wolves leave Freeze City and carry on with their journey to find Paradise, causing them to cross paths with another pack of wolves. Meanwhile Darcia has escaped after kidnapping Cheza, but Cher and a rival task force are hot on his heels as they set out to retrieve the flower maiden.
The second volume of Wolf's Rain sees the four wolves having left Freeze City. The opening scene of episode five has the wolves discussing what they each think Rakuen (Paradise) is like and their different motivations for wanting to go there. It soon becomes apparent that this Paradise isn't as easily recognisable as it once seemed, and the journey continues to be difficult and danger lurks round every corner.
The city that the wolves find themselves in reveals both the good and bad points of each wolf's personalities, and therefore fleshes out their characters much more. The episodes within the second volume may not be outstanding action adventure, but they maintain the same level of quality as the rest of the show. They further develop both the personal stories and personalities of the characters, while also furthering the storyline as we realise that there are in fact three parties interested in Cheza.
Darcia has kidnapped Cheza because he believes that she might be able to save his love Hamona. Cher is determined to retrieve Cheza, but has issues with the people she is assigned to work with. The wolves however sense that Cheza will lead them to Rakuen. Hubb, Cher's ex-husband, and the old sheriff Quent are also making their own investigations into the existence of wolves. The episodic nature of the wolves' journey allows for all these things to develop over time without being confusing, as there is a fair bit going on, and also ensures that the story isn't repetitive.
As usual Wolf's Rain has stunning visuals despite the surrounding of the cities all being grey and brown, and the constrast to the colourful natural environments outside the cities is quite beautiful, especially as they all blend together seamlessly. The soundtrack is also another quite breathtaking aspect of Wolf's Rain and also fits wonderfully with the scenes, so fans of Yoko Kanno should greatly enjoy it.
The only downside of Wolf's Rain for me was the dubbing. Though most of the voices are fine, some just don't seem to fit, such as Tsume's. Though Tsume is a gruff character, his dubbed voice makes him sound much older than he really is. Also Quent's voice didn't sound quite world weary enough, but it's not bad. However most of the other characters voices are fine, it is just that some of the characters don't sound quite right.
Wolf's Rain is a highly enjoyable adventure with an impressive story. The plot is complex, intelligent and quite a cut above the rest, with an intriguing and varied cast. Wolf's Rain is an anime that hooks you right from the start and keeps you wanting more throughout the course of the anime. It is definitely a must watch anime.