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Last checked: May 21, 2015
Wolf's Rain (ウルフズレイン, Urufuzu Rein) is an anime series created by writer and story editor Keiko Nobumoto and produced by Bones Studio. The series was directed by Tensai Okamura and featured character designs by Toshihiro Kawamoto with a soundtrack produced and arranged by Yoko Kanno. It focuses on the journey of four lone wolves who cross paths while following the scent of the Lunar Flowers. They form a pack and decide to seek out the Flower Maiden in order to open the way to Paradise. Along the way, they must avoid a fanatical wolf hunter and the nobles who wish to use the Flower Maiden to create their own Paradise. The wolves have an advantage in the form of a curious ability to take on a human guise, but this power brings its own complications when it gives rise to entanglements in human society.
Wolf's Rain spans twenty-six television episodes and four original video animation (OVA) episodes, with each episode running approximately twenty-four minutes. The series was originally broadcast in Japan on Fuji TV and the anime CS television network, Animax. The complete thirty episode series is licensed for Region 1 release by Bandai Entertainment, in Region 2 (Europe) by Beez Entertainment and in Region 4 by Madman Entertainment. The series was adapted into a short two-volume manga series written by Keiko Nobumoto and illustrated by Toshitsugu Iida. The manga, which was released while the series was airing, is a retelling of the story rather than a straight adaptation. It was originally serialized in Magazine Z and has been released in North America by Viz Media.
According to an old legend, when the end of the world comes, Paradise will appear; however, only wolves will know how to find it. Although wolves are believed to have been hunted to extinction nearly two hundred years ago, they still exist, surviving by taking human form. Freeze City is a northern human city in a world where the majority of people live in poverty and hardship.
Kiba, an injured lone white wolf, goes to Freeze City following the scent of the Lunar Flower, which is the key to opening Paradise. There he encounters Tsume, Hige, and Toboe, three other wolves who were drawn to Freeze City by the scent of the Lunar Flower and are now living in the city. The wolves encounter Quent Yaiden, a former Sheriff of Kyrios who is obsessed with hunting down wolves, and his dog Blue. Cheza, the Flower Maiden who is destined to lead the wolves to Paradise, is being studied at a laboratory under the care of Cher Degré. She is awakened by the smell of wolf's blood. As Kiba and Hige approach the lab to find her, she is stolen away by Lord Darcia the Third, whose people created Cheza.
With the Flower Maiden gone, the wolves have no reason to stay in the city. Despite some initial misgivings and suspicions, they decide to stay together and follow Kiba in his search for the Flower Maiden and Paradise. As they pursue Cheza, the wolves travel through various cities and the remnants of former habitations. Cher joins the city's army to try to recover Cheza, while Cher's ex-husband Hubb Lebowski searches desperately for Cher, and Quent continues his relentless pursuit of the wolves. When Blue eventually encounters Cheza, it awakens her wolf blood from dormancy and causes her to leave Quent and take on her own human illusion. She joins Kiba's pack and travels with them for a while, developing a relationship with Hige. After she becomes separated from the pack, she travels with Cher, while Hubb finds himself traveling with Quent, who is now searching for Blue as well as the wolves.
The wolves and the humans come together in Jaguara's city, where the captured Cheza is being held. In attempting to rescue the abducted Cheza, Kiba, Tsume, and Toboe are captured. Tsume and Toboe are thrown into a dungeon with Hubb while Jaguara attempts to use Kiba's blood to force Paradise to open. Blue and Cher also make their way into the Keep, as does Quent. Darcia interrupts the ceremony as Kiba and the other wolves break free and rush to free the Flower Maiden. Darcia battles Jagara along with Kiba, and finally slays her as the keep begins to collapse. The wolves and the humans barely escape with their lives, and Quent is gravely wounded saving Blue from an oncoming vehicle after escaping from Jaguara's city.
The wolves, now accompanied by Cheza, Cher, Hubb, and Quent, continue trying to make their way to Paradise, pursued by the now insane Darcia. A combination of environmental factors and Darcia's hostility cause most of the characters to die, leaving only Kiba, Cheza, and Darcia alive at the place where Paradise can be opened. Darcia is killed when he attempts to enter Paradise, and Cheza's body disintegrates into seeds. Fatally wounded, Kiba concludes that his quest has failed, but as he lays dying, rain begins to fall and Cheza's seeds grow into thousands of lunar flowers. Kiba is then plunged into the waters depths as he dies, the blood red moon turning back to its normal color.
At the series' close, Toboe, Tsume, Hige, and Kiba are in a modern city. They appear to be human (Reincarnated); Tsume is riding a motorbike and Toboe is holding a small kitten (some speculate that this may be Blue). Hige is eating a hotdog while walking down the street. Kiba, walking down a busy sidewalk, begins running faster and faster. Near by a lunar flower in a puddle (Cheza) waits, waiting for wolves to search for paradise once again.