Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A-
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: B-
- Age Rating: 15 & Up
- Region: 2 - Europe
- Released By: Beez
- MSRP: £19.99
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Wolf's Rain
Wolf's Rain Vol. #2
By Paul Jacques
February 09, 2006
Release Date: December 12, 2005
Wolf's Rain Vol. #2
What They Say
With the wolves continuing their search for Rakuen they quickly encounter great hardships as well as joys at the start of their journey. Kiba, Tsume, Hige and Toboe first find a way through a city where wolves work like dogs- but not before trying to instil some wolves pride into these fallen wolves.
Elsewhere- Darcia may have stolen the flower maiden from Freeze City before the wolves could get her but her previous owner orders a retrieval team including Cher, the Scientists in charge of studying Cheza to open fire on Darcia’s aircraft. Cheza seizes this chance to fall to the surface where she encounters Kiba and the rest of his group. With a whole retrieval team of soldiers chasing the flower maiden though, the wolves have no time to celebrate finding Cheza.
Meanwhile, back in Freeze City, Cher’s ex-husband, Hubb Lebowski, worries when Cher suddenly disappears so sets out on a journey of his own to find her…The Review!Audio:
I listened, alternating between Japanese and English audio with each episode change. Both provided a solid and fault free stereo, but not much is the way of left or right directional sound, it all comes from the front. Either sound track is good, so you pays your money and takes your choice as it’s a win-win option.
Opening song is called Stray
and is a really great track, lots of toe tapping beat. The closing song is called Gravity
which is gentle and soothing.
An additional note here is that I just love the incidental music, really different, really interesting (must be Ms Kanno ;-).Video:
Video was very good, with the 4:3 aspect looking very good on my TV and the PC, although the colour palette is a little dull- I suspect this is deliberate, in order to show what sort of world they live in. I don’t know if this was transferred over from the master or it’s an R1 translation but nothing appears to have been lost in the process, and no artefacts were seen, and the characters and scenes appear with good lines and edges.Packaging:
Excellent packaging with a bred-green double-sided cover (in transparent box). The front cover is adorned with a scene of Cheza curled up between her wolves. On the back we have 4x stills plus the technical details. On the inside of the cover we have Chapter listings. Inside the box we have a small 2x page insert, which also doubles as a mini poster. And the disc itself has a wolf howling on a blue-green background.Menu:
The menus are excellent. They must have put considerable effort into making them look good, and it shows, with good (and different) incidental music to accompany the animated hot links. All the links worked quickly and no dead ends were encountered.
Additional points to Beez for producing the sound AND menus in their respective European language- nice one guys.Extras:
In the extras section of the disc we get a clean Op and Ed, plus character bios which do contain spoilers…. so you have been warned. Also we have promo trailers for Gundam Seed
, Stratos 4
and Witch Hunter Robin
It must be noted that the Extras on this volume are exactly the same as volume 1.Content:
(please note that content portions of a review will contain spoilers)
Episode 5 starts with wolves finding a ruined citadel, by the ocean. Only far from being abandoned they find inside wolves. Kiba thinks that the city holds some clue to the Lunar flowers he can smell, so they stick around to learn more about what’s happening.
The city wolves are led by Zali, who works as an intermediary with the humans. After a while it becomes obvious that the city wolves are completely disillusioned and have accepted a life of servitude- their pride gone.
The next episode continues this particular storyline, with Kiba seriously hurt and the others unsure about what to do next. While Kiba recuperates he tells Tsume about his past and why the Lunar Flowers mean so much to him.
Back Freeze City Hubb Lebowski avidly reads through the book Cher left him, “The book of the Moon”. And soon, he begins to understand that there is indeed more to the world than has been contained in his philosophy.
Hige’s nose gets him into trouble, and he is captured by the humans and it’s a race against time to find him before the worst happens. In the end it is Kali who helps rescue Hige, he also shows them in which direction they should travel next.
Episode 7 starts with a little back plot of Lord Darcia, a flashback to the happy times he had with Hamona. Of course they happy times came to an end as Hamona succumbs to the clan curse and so falls into a deep sleep. It’s Lord Darcia’s hope to use Cheza, in some way as yet unspecified, to bring his love back to consciousness.
Back in the present Lord Darcia is pursued by Cher and her assault force gunship, and they are very intent on getting Cheza back. Only Cheza has her own ideas and manages to bail out the aircraft during the battle.
Kiba and the wolves pick up her scent and run to catch up with her. But they aren’t the only ones, as Cher and her assault team are also tracking Cheza.
Cheza and wolves meet and she gives them a tour of the ruin that was once Lord Darcia’s lab, the lab in which she was “born”. Only they don’t have time for sight-seeing as the human assault force corner them and begin to open fire.
The final episode on this disc Cheza and wolves play a game of hide and seek with Cher’s assault force. And to calm the situation Cheza sings them a song of sleep, which has a very soothing effect on our company of wolves.
While they lay low from Cher’s every probing radar, Hibe and Toboe sneak into town to pick up some supplies and along the way they meet a strange old woman.
Later the old woman turns up again and wishes to speak to Cheza as she has something important she needs to do and she has been waiting a very long time to do it.In Summary:
This volume is starting to pick the story up (and run with it) quite nicely now. Although not exciting, it is intriguing as we slowly begin to learn about events of the past.
Japanese Language DD 2.0,English Language DD 2.0,French Language DD 2.0,English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Dutch Subtitles,Polish Subtitles,Character bios,Clean Opening,Clean Ending
JVC 28" Pure Flat Wide Screen TV, Pioneer 454 Progressive Scan code free DVD player, Logitech Z-680 THX DD/DTS receiver & Speakers. Secondary equipment, 19” SM930bf LCD, ATI X700 & PowerDVD v4, Creative Audigy 2 & headphones and a duck.