Ruth's Diary


I think I finished watching Wolf's Rain a week ago...

Ugh, I really don't want to review it. It's not bad, I mean, this was studio BONES first anime production and there was a reason they snagged the stupendously popular Fullmetal Alchemist.

I suppose the main problem of this anime was that I didn't care about any of the characters. They were just too dull and felt too inconsequential to everything, even though Kiba was spotlighted from the very beginning to be the chosen one or whatever. Saying that though, I will admit Quent Yaiden was a very interesting character, I actually cared a lot about his relationship with Blue.

OK so the plot is this: this world is slowly dying and the people are falling further into poverty, with supplies drying up and yadda yadda. In this world, there are wolves, who can disguise themselves as humans. We follow 4 (later 5) of these as they try to reach and open Paradise. Oh yeah and this world has nobles in it, who lead each of the regions and cities.

I might as well just spoil the ending because the ending just solidified why the entire thing felt wrong and didn't fit together. It's one of those stories where everybody dies. The main characters at least, because I find it difficult to accept that ending as well. The idea is that we are actually witnessing the fall of the first civilisation and that paradise is actually meant to be our current civilisation and world, except it is obviously not perfect. The reason being that when the pure blood of a Wolf's merged with that of a Flower Maiden's (she is a flower in human form - I am not kidding), new flowers spring to bring forth fresh life; said life being poisoned by the abandoned Wolf's eyeball of a nobleman that tried to open the gate himself. Before his death, the nobleman (who had created the Flower Maiden by the way) revealed that wolves were actually the first sentient race and that humans were actually an alternate form they could take. Humanity is, in fact, Wolves who have forgotten how to turn back. Final note, the end of the anime shows that each of the main cast are reincarnated into modern day, which finally connects anime with the images seen in the introduction sequence.

Oh God, where do I start with this pile of nonsensical BS? OK, how about the bridge between the 'Wolf Civilisation' and ours? Considering the lack of deterioration of the corpses, dropped book and abandoned eyeball during the 'New Earth' restoration sequence, it is suggested that the new fields of flowers sprouted in the span of a few hours. This suggests that the new humanity was sprung up within the remains of whoever was left alive in the first place. This begs 2 questions: 1) Why haven't any more Wolves (who can change into humans) appeared in 'our' civilisation? 2) How did we lose all the technology from the previous civilisation? Like seriously! The previous civilisation had technology such as airships, satellites and the ability to completely create new life! While I can understand the latter being lost, how the hell does a satellite get lost? Oh and they never did specify what their actual energy source was. And if they were so advanced in that particular area, then why was gasoline relied on for cars and trucks?

And then this opens up a mess of biological questions e.g. if this was the first civilisation, then why are all the people basically white? Well except for that Native American tribe, but the fact that a tribe exists with Native American customs opens its own can of worms. Speaking of homo sapiens, why didn't anyone notice that there were entire strands of wolf DNA within humans all this time? But if there aren't any Wolves appearing in the modern world, does this mean that evolution somehow bounced from monkey to...wolf?

And then we look at culture. All the architecture and building style seen in the anime is very bizarre, not to mention utilitarian. It gives off the strange vibe that hardly any of the towns or cities our characters visit, are actually lived in. I can buy that maybe this first civilisation's set of ruins are buried very deep down but how can any archaeologist have not discovered any of the technology yet? Some of which is exactly the same as our own? Oh and all the writing is modern Russian...sure...

This is the ultimate problem with science fiction: if a story requires its audience to accept an unlikely or illogical scenario, it has to present its argument and ground it into something tangible. I saw Mad Max: Fury Road yesterday and here, it was done excellently. Can we really imagine the remnants of humanity, living in a post-apocalyptic desert post nuclear fallout, being forced to fight each other for scant resources, all the while constructing absolutely insane cars and costumes? Honestly, I don't think so (for one thing, that version of the apocalypse sounds like too much fun). And yet, this movie succeeds in making the viewer believe that this world can exist and is lived in. We can accept that out of the fleet of battle cars, manned with soldiers who ignore seat belts and 'stand' on car roofs as if on ship helms, there is a vehicle stacked with amps, for the sole purpose of the drummers drumming and a guitarist playing his double electric guitar that can spout fire. Why? Because using loud music to intimidate the opponent or target is, in actuality, a very old tactic and...very human. We can relate to this, in some strange way. Plus the movie makes a lot of effort in showing details: what some living rooms look like, the role of the gangs of boys, machinery, the fact that the town we start in has crops and collects power from wind and slave labour. The level of detail is crazy and the way all characters act and even speak feel like there is an historical precedent. In Wolf's Rain...there is nothing like this.

The plot, on its own, is technically fine I suppose. But the pacing is rubbish (it took five episodes for the world to finally die), the creative choices are strange, the majority of characters are uninteresting, nothing is properly detailed or fleshed-out. Anything good about the series? Well, the music is excellent.

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