I think I'd like to share my favorite anime with you all. I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE A CERTAIN SOMEBODY I'm lookin' at YOU Juke! hasn't seen it yet!
Wolf's Rain takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where humans have made new civilization in old cities. Technology belongs to those who are only of nobility, science, or riches.
Wolves are considered to be highly spiritual creatures in this world, but humans hunted them all into extinction. We, the audience, know that this is not true, and that wolves (being the spiritual creatures that they are) have developed the ability to create an illusion, disguising themselves as humans and living among them.
Our main wolves, Kiba, Tsume, Hige, and Toboe, do have a main quest in all of this. They seek out a place called Paradise (yeah I know, Johnny Bosch is just looking for Paradise again, big surprise there). In order to find this place, they need to follow the Flower Maiden, Cheza, who has to ability to lead them to it. However, the main baddie, Lord Darcia III, wants to destroy Paradise because of his family history. BIG SPOILERS ABOUT DARCIA FAMILY: Lord Darcia I is thought to have created Paradise since he is the reason for the creation of Cheza, the key to opening the gates of it, and ended up disappearing into Paradise himself along with a wolf. His entire family was cursed with "Paradise Sickness" after that, leaving all to have an obsession and desire to find it, which ultimately leads to their deaths. It is not limited to family members through blood, but anybody who becomes part of the Darcia family. Lord Darcia III's beloved, Lady Hamona, fell sick because of this family curse, and died. It is said that Paradise Sickness does not kill you, but instead steals your spirit. It was possible for Darcia, or so he thought, to reunite her body and soul if he brought her to Paradise. However, Lady Hamona is murdered before he can bring her there. This drives Lord Darcia III into a rage and urge to destroy Paradise because of the misery it has placed on his family and loved ones.
The anime is full of action and adventure, lots of metaphors, a bit of romance, and heart wrenching scenes that make me cry my eyes out like a baby every time I rewatch this series. I highly recommend it. You can watch it in English or Japanese, I happen to think both dubs are fine. It's one of the better ENG-dubbed anime out there, and probably better without subs.
There are 30 episodes, 26 season episodes and 4 OVA's that are still part of the actual story. I would suggest keeping a box of tissues close for the final episodes if you cry easily during sad or happy anime scenes.
The final ending of the show is nice, and it ties in to the whole "creating a new world" thing that the show subtly hints at. A very good series, and it saddens me to know it didn't get more popular. You can expect to find analogies and metaphors like those you'd see in NGE, but not as biblical or overly dramatic (NGE took it really far, Wolf's Rain sort of has it's own lore that it follows involving mankind and animals, and plants creating all life; some environmental awareness as well, since technology/War is what destroyed the planet in the first place, and humans hunting most animals into extinction, or leading animals to develop into monstrous creatures built to survive in the brutal world humans created for them).
The episodes go by fast. There's some comedy here and there, mostly from our comic relief characters. Lightens the mood a lot in this anime (we pretty much needed it, trust me, it's in all the right places). There's definitely going to be characters you hate, and ones that you never want to see leave. I'd fangirl about Wolf's Rain all day if I could!
Oh, and did I mention that the music is just lovely?