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This is a list of the major characters featured in Wolf's Rain, a 26 episode anime series and four episode OVA created by writer and story editor Keiko Nobumoto and BONES and directed by Tensai Okamura. It was later adapted into a short 2 tankōbon manga series with illustrations by Toshitsugu Iida.

Wolves

The wolves in Wolf's Rain use illusions to give themselves a human appearance, enabling them to blend into the human world and escape detection. The wolves always retain their true nature, neither thinking nor acting as the true humans in the world do.[1]

Kiba

Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano (Japanese), Johnny Yong Bosch (English)

Kiba (キバ(牙)?, lit. "Fang") is a white wolf who follows his instincts towards Paradise. When he was young, his pack and family were slaughtered when the forest where he lived was burned to the ground[2] by Jaguara's troops. He was then raised by a shaman[2] who told him that he had a purpose, explaining why the forest had sheltered him from the flames. The shaman told him that he would have a great journey ahead of him, and that journey was to find Paradise. Kiba begins his quest for Paradise in the hope that there he will find "a future". It is revealed later in the series that he is in fact the chosen one who is destined to find and open Paradise. Kiba tends to be impulsive and thinks with his heart rather than his head. He tends to be distrustful toward humans, and in the early episodes his pride as a wolf makes him reluctant to disguise himself as a human,[2] but that changes when he meets Hige, who tells him that his pride won't count for much when he's dead. He's also utterly devoted to Cheza and constantly risks his life to protect her and steal her back from the nobles. After Earth's regeneration, Kiba is seen at a city in his human form.

His voice actor Mamoru Miyano felt Kiba was a "wolf of few words" and that his quiet nature made it hard to know what he might be thinking. Though Kiba is rarely bothered by events, Miyano did not think this was an indication that he was strong, rather he felt Kiba was attempting to hide his insecurities. In depicting the character, Miyano found it most difficult to voice the initial scene of the first episode, in which Kiba lies dying and in voice over saying there is no Paradise and that there is nothing at the end. He was so nervous about shooting the first scene, he had trouble getting the lines and voicing correct, eventually freezing up completely before he was able to calm down and complete the scene.[3]

Tsume

Voiced by: Kenta Miyake (Japanese), Crispin Freeman (English)

Tsume (ツメ?, lit. "Claw") is a grey wolf with a white scar on his chest and is the second wolf introduced in the series. At first he was living in Freeze City where he leads a "pack" of human thieves. He clashes with Kiba over the latter's claims that Tsume has lost his pride as a wolf for living with humans as he does. Later, he connects with Toboe, a young wolf who also lives in the city. Though Tsume claims he has no need for friends and that he wants nothing to do with other wolves, he comes to Toboe's aid twice and shares a meal with him. Though he doesn't believe Kiba's stories about Paradise, he decides to leave the city with him to search for the place under the excuse that he is tired of the city.[4]

Tsume is depicted as a "a stereotypical angry anime loner"[1] and an "emotionally distant hottie"[5] who is confident, and at times arrogant, but keeps himself distant from his allies.[5] Though he and Kiba continue to come into regular conflict, Tsume eventually comes to believe in their goal and becomes a loyal pack member. It is eventually revealed before moving to Freeze City, he had lived in another location with a large pack of wolves. Jaguara's wolf hunting troops attacked the pack, killing most of his family and friends. As Tsume attempted to flee from the battle, he was cast out by his pack and the alpha male attacked him, leaving Tsume with a large X-shaped scar across his chest.[2][6] Tsume eventually traveled to Freeze City where his self-loathing over his actions caused him to refuse to befriend others.[6]

Of all of the pack, he is closest to Toboe, whom he refers to as "runt." After the young wolf is killed by Quent, Tsume cries over his body.[6] Tsume is the last of the pack to remain standing with Kiba in the final battle with Darcia. He is killed after Darcia rips open his side and legs. Before dying, he whispers to Kiba that "we shall meet again.... in paradise." At the end of the series, Tsume is seen in his human form riding a motorcycle in a city.[7]

Voice actor Kenta Miyake felt Tsume was all about appearances and notes that Tsume always speaks in a harsh manner such as talking down to Kiba, casually dismissing Toboe, and seems to ignore Hige all together. However, he also felt that despite Tsume's seemingly tough nature, that he was the most naive of the pack and the most timid. Miyake felt as if he was Tsume's father, "kindly watching over him" and he used those feelings to guide the way he depicted the character.[3]

Hige

Voiced by: Akio Suyama (Japanese), Joshua Seth (English)

Hige (ヒゲ(髯)?, lit. "Whisker") seems to know how to function the best in human society. He tends to use his intuition more than the others, but only when he is not thinking with his stomach instead. Hige is something of a womanizer and is always on the look-out for a female companion. He starts off as a laid back joker, though he matures as the series goes on. His scenting ability seems to be the best of the pack. Before Hige met Kiba, he was brainwashed into being Jaguara's lapdog by hunting and leading troops to wolves. The collar that he wears is actually a tag/transmitter that allows him to wander through Jaguara's city and is always under surveillance. It also appears to be the thing that controlled him or reprogrammed his memories, as he was trapped in an endless migraine before it was shot off by a soldier. 22 other wolves were collared in this way (a soldier inspecting his collar refers to him as "Number 23"), and many, if not all, of the others were killed after returning to Jaguara's city. He holds a very close relationship with Blue. At the end he is fatally wounded by Darcia. While dying he convinces Tsume to put him out of his misery. He tells Tsume, "I'll see you in paradise." After Earth's regeneration, Hige is seen at a city in his human form eating a hot dog in symbol of his characteristic hunger. {Note} It is never really confirmed if Hige intentionally leads the pack to Jaguara's city or if his subconsciousness was manipulated by the collar, which only revealed the manipulation to Hige once he was inside Jaguara's city. Also, Tsume ends up making a number of direct and indirect remarks about Hige being a traitor after Jaguara's troops capture them.

Voice actor Akio Suyama notes that Hige is a humorous character whose actions and lines often break the tension in an otherwise serious series. This made it fun for him to play the character.[3]

Toboe

Voiced by: Hiroki Shimowada (Japanese), Mona Marshall (English)

Toboe (トオボエ(遠吠え) Tōboe?, lit. "Howling") is the youngest of the group, often acting more like a puppy than a wolf. Toboe was raised as a pet by "Granny", an elderly woman, whom he accidentally killed in an unrestrained act of playfulness. The silver bracelets are all he has left of her. Toboe maintains an affection for humans that none of the other wolves can understand (with the exception of Blue). On one occasion Toboe saves Quent from freezing to death in the snow by sharing his body warmth with him, and is later grateful to discover that Quent has survived despite the fact that Quent immediately tries to shoot him. Toboe looks up to Tsume and usually follows him when the group splits up. He also seems to have the best hearing out of all of them. He often is more shy than bold, although when the pack is in dire threat his rage can stand beyond his timid nature and propel him ravenously into battle. An example of this is when the pack are crossing an ice floe and are attacked by a giant walrus. At first, Toboe is frozen in fear, but when it seems that the others are about to be killed Toboe suddenly attacks the walrus himself and manages to defeat it despite almost drowning in the process. Though he still acts like a puppy in some ways, the others now consider him an adult, and a valuable fighting partner. In episode 29 Toboe unsuccessfully attempts to protect Quent from Darcia and both he and Quent are mortally wounded. Realizing that it was Toboe who saved him previously, Quent finally understands that wolves are not evil and comforts the dying wolf as his own life ebbs away. As he dies Toboe has a vision of Paradise in which he is reunited with Granny and able to run and play as a pup. Later Tsume spends some time alone with Toboe's body and drops his tough facade to weep for his friend, and even confesses the truth about his scar. After Earth's regeneration, Toboe is seen at a city in his human form.

Hiroki Shimowada, who voices the character, felt that though Toboe was "young and inexperienced", he also acted as the go between for the other three, giving them a buffer or a bond as needed. He suggests that the other wolves keep him around because they view him as a kind son.[3]

Blue

Burū (ブルー?)
Voiced by: Mayumi Asano (Japanese), Jessica Straus (English)

A wolfdog who was a pet to the family of Quent Yaiden. After the destruction of her home and family in the village of Kyrios, she travels with Quent' hunting wolves under the belief that they were responsible for the tragedy. She lives her life as a pet dog, unaware of her wolf bloodline. Upon meeting Cheza, the wolf in her is awakened. Unable to continue hunting her own kind, she leaves Quent to travel with the pack to Paradise. She grows especially close to Hige, and later tells him she will follow him wherever he goes. Near the end of the series, after Quent's death, Blue is killed by Darcia while trying to protect Hige and Cheza.

Nobles

Jaguara

Jagara-kyō (ジャガラ卿?)
Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (English)
Part of one of the three feuding Noble Families. She fell in love with Darcia to the point of obsession but was rejected by him for her younger sister, something which she never forgave Hamona for. She began to set up an ancient spell used by Lord Darcia the First to create a 'Noble's Paradise' to please and lure Darcia to her, abducting Cheza from Darcia's Keep. In the process, she ordered the murder of Hamona and soon struck out to eliminate the wolves, who were heading to her domain. But her plan ended in failure when her plans were thwarted by the wolves. She was slain by Darcia while her city fell into chaos.

Darcia

Darushia (ダルシア?)
Voiced by: Takaya Kuroda (Japanese), Steven Blum (English)
The third generation of the Darcia family of Nobles, who were said to be cursed after Darcia the First disappeared into "Paradise". Due to his grandfather's curse, Darcia is now plagued with the eye of a wolf. He seeks to use Cheza to somehow revive his lover Hamona,[2] who has been stricken with "Paradise sickness", in which her soul is "taken by Paradise", causing her to fall into a coma. But Hamona's death changes that plan, with Darcia mysteriously disappearing after the destruction of his keep until he resurfaces at Jaguara's city, the loss of Hamona driving Darcia mad. Eventually after avenging her death, he discards his love for Hamona, saying that "she is nowhere now", and assumes the form of a giant wolf, revealing his clan to be descended from wolves that chose to become completely human. After killing all of Kiba's pack, he walks toward what he believes to be paradise but is then incinerated, leaving only his wolf eye.

Others

Cheza

Cheza (チェザ?)
(pronounced chez-ah) Voiced by: Arisa Ogasawara (Japanese), Sherry Lynn (English)
The Flower Maiden (花の少女 Hana no Shōjo?), a girl who was artificially created from a lunar flower[2] by the noble Darcia the First using the lost art of alchemy. She was in a state of suspended animation in a scientific research lab, and was awaken by the smell of wolf blood spilled in the brief fight between Tsume and Kiba. She shares a special bond with the wolves, especially Kiba, and is the key to opening Paradise. It is said by Darcia the Third that she is blind. This appears to be borne out by a scene in which she almost walks over the edge of a cliff but regains her footing apparently by touch. Her eyes are bright red.

Cher Degré

Shēru Dugure (シェール·ドゥグレ?)
Voiced by: Kaho Koda (Japanese), Kari Wahlgren (English)
A scientist involved in studying Cheza.[2] She is fascinated by Cheza and desires to understand her and her purpose. She and Hubb were once married, but divorced after her work with Cheza became more important than her marriage. In episode 27 Cher dies when the cliff she is on breaks off and she falls to her death. Snowflakes fall as Hubb holds her dead body and weeps.

Hubb Lebowski

Habu Ribōsukī (ハブ·リボウスキー?)
Voiced by: Mitsuru Miyamoto (Japanese), Bob Buchholz (English)
A police detective and ex-husband of Cher Degré. He is still very much in love with Cher and seeks to protect her, often half-jokingly asking if they still have a chance together. After Quent had shot Kiba, he was detained and questioned by the police, including Hubb, at which point Quent said that the animal he had shot was no mere dog, but a wolf. After hearing this Hubb began to obsess over the matter, and once he was given a copy of the banned "Book of the Moon" by Cher after she leaves to hunt Cheza with a commander of the army employed by Lord Orkam, he became completely and utterly enthralled with them, teaming up with Quent as he continued his search for Cher. His death occurs when he allows himself to fall while climbing up a cliff in the next to last episode. He is seen with a cigar in his mouth and inhailing the scent of Cher's scarf in his final moments.

Quent Yaiden

Kuento Yaiden (クエント·ヤイデン?)
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka (Japanese), Tom Wyner (English)
An ex-sheriff from the town of Kyrios.[2] The destruction of his village and the killing of his wife and son Russe by what he thinks was a pack of wolves have led to his deep and abiding hatred for wolves,[2] which is rivaled only by his perpetual desire for a stiff drink. He lives a life on the go with only Blue to keep him company and aid him in his pursuit of wolves to kill. After Blue discovers her relations to the wolves, Quent's suspicions are confirmed, and as he still struggles with his hatred for wolves, he decides that she is not his dog any more, but eventually accepts it towards the end as he learns his family's murderer was Darcia before he was killed by him.

Reception

The characters of Wolf's Rain have received praise and criticism from several publications for anime, manga, and other media. Sci Fi Weekly's Tasha Robinson initially found the interactions between the wolves to be tiresome and repetitive. However, they praised the series for having the wolves clearly act as wolves, noting that "lot of the series' most interesting dynamics come from wolves behaving like wolves in human environments—breaking up into packs (complete with obvious hierarchies), challenging each other for dominance, fighting to defend their turf and so forth."[1]

See also

  • List of Wolf's Rain episodes

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Robinson, Tasha (2004-07-12). "Wolf's Rain Anime Review". Sci Fi Weekly. Sci Fi channel. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 McCarthy, Helen (2006-01-01). "Non-humanoid & Semi-human Heroes and Villains". In Carly Madden. 500 Manga Heroes & Villains. Hauppauge, New York: Barron's Educational Series. pp. 274–275. ISBN 978-0-7641-3201-8. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Miyano, Mamoru (Interviewee), Kenta Miyake (Interviewee), Akio Suyama (Interviewee), Hiroki Shimowada (Interviewee). Originally filmed in January 2003. (2004-07-06). Wolf's Rain: Cast Interviews 1. [DVD]. Cypress, California: Bandai Entertainment.
  4. "City of Howls (咆哮の街角 Hōkō no Machigado?)" (in Japanese). Director: Tensai Okamura. Wolf's Rain. Fuji TV. 2003-01-06. No. 1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brenner, Robin (2007). Understanding Manga and Anime. Westport, Connecticut: Libraries Unlimited. p. 44. ISBN 1591583322. OCLC 85898238. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "High Tide, High Time" (in Japanese). Director: Tensai Okamura. Wolf's Rain (OVA). No. 29.
  7. "Wolf's Rain" (in Japanese). Director: Tensai Okamura. Wolf's Rain (OVA). No. 30.
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