I recently finished two animes, Ookami-san and Her Seven Companions, and Wolf’s Rain. I’ll start with the shittier (for lack of a better word) of the two. Both of these are about 90% spoiler free, I haven’t revealed anything major so it shouldn’t ruin anything for you.
Ookami-san and Her Seven Companions (2010)
My original reason for wanting to watch this was because in the dub version, Briana Palencia (dub voice actress of Holo in Spice and Wolf), also voices another “wolf,” Ookami-san, the main character. At times she sounds like Holo, and at times she sounds like Ciel from Black Butler. Her sounding like Holo at times was really what kept me going… what else am I supposed to do when I have no season 3?
Anyway, the anime is about a girl nicked-named Ookami (wolf), her friends, and the club they’re all in. They do favors for kids around school with the promise that they’ll be repaid. Every character is based off someone from either a European or Asian fairy tale. But they didn’t go so in depth that them not “getting everything right” pissed me off. It was pretty nice to see the twists they put on it and try and catch all of the references. Although I still don’t get little red riding hood/the wolf/the hunter all being friends.
I got the initial impression that’d it’d be a cute/funny, but short (12 episodes) slice of life anime. For the most part it was, but then some serious drama/post traumatic stress syndrome started coming up, more specifically attempted rape. It was handled pretty well, but it still bothered me and clashed with the humor. That aside, this anime features an awesome narrator that makes fun of the show (save during the serious parts). However, if you’re watching the sub version, it’s a little harder to pick up on because she talks over the characters and you have to be able to read quickly. It’s not a problem with the dub version, but the voice of the sub narrator is a little better suited for the role.
Why You Shouldn’t Like This:
- The main character is pretty cool, except for when she’s being tsundere or having mental break downs from PTSD.
- The main guy could be cool if they didn’t force him to be the stereotypical sweet husbando with some embarrassing issue. In this case, he’s pretty weak and freaks out when people stare at him.
- The ending didn’t feel like a true ending, which makes sense because the series is based off of light novels which have yet to be concluded. But I still wish it was a bit more conclusive, or that there was a second season.
I’d say watch it if you’re into fairy tales and don’t want an anime you have to invest a lot of time into. That, the narrator and Ookami occasionally sounding like Holo are really the only things that make it worth watching.
Now onto a much better anime…
Wolf’s Rain + OVA (2003)
I decided to give this anime a go because I saw it listed as being “similar” to Spice and Wolf. The synopsis said it was about a wolf Kiba’s search for the flower maiden that would lead wolves to paradise. Male wolf and a girl in search of a destined homeland of sorts? It sounded close enough to Spice and Wolf for me to give it a try. And at 26 episodes, plus 4 OVA episodes, I figured if it was good I’d be glad it was longer than Spice and Wolf.
It takes place in some nasty (80’s feeling) post apocalyptic type world, it reminded me of Road Warrior or Escape from New York a little. Everything’s gone to shit, people have broken down cars and guns, while the rich people (nobles) have all the “real” technology. You can’t tell exactly where it takes place, at first I thought it was in Japan, but later it seemed like it was taking place in the American south west. It’s believed that all wolves are dead, but they’re really still around and have been using “magic” to appear human. Legends say that when wolves find paradise, the world will end. It sounds depressing, but you really find yourself rooting for the wolves to get there.
The character interaction and development is great, and the show is full of surprises. The dub voices are good for the most part, I was only annoyed with one of them. I can’t say anything about the sub since I was only able to find the dub. I also like how the show handled romance, there are places where you feel like they could be forcing it, but they don’t. The bonds the characters share go deeper than just “kawaii” romantic attraction, and there’s no fan service. Even the music was different. I didn’t really like the opening and ending theme songs, but the music that ran throughout the anime was great. They had a mix of American, South American, European and Japanese artists contribute.
Why You Shouldn’t Like This:
- It doesn’t get good until the seventh episode, and there are four recap episodes after it starts getting really good.
- They don’t really stay true to wolf pack mentality
- Parts of it were confusing, they were explained down the line, but the (true) OVA ending was somewhat confusing. I think I’ll need to read the manga or consult the internet for an explanation.
- The villian(s) didn’t have much character development. There was some, but I wish I knew more about what their motives were.
- The OVA was really (almost senselessly) sad ;__;
If you’re looking for an anime that’s different and doesn’t fit the usual mold, watch this. It’s interesting and unique in so many ways that I can’t describe them all. If you can make it past episode 6, you’re in for a great anime.