This has a very unusual plot line without a doubt, however, I am of the opinion that if the plot had not been as unusual as it was (wolves appearing as humans, searching for paradise) that viewers wouldn't have gotten quite the same feeling from the show, it's sort of hard to describe. I went into this thinking I would be watching an unusual action flick that simply wanted to grab audiences by saying: "look we have wolves in our story!", thinking I would be forced to give up from the awkwardness of having "wolves," and that that the writers wouldn't be able to correctly compensate.
I was, to say the least, extraordinarily surprised.
Throughout the series the characters are truly easy to connect to. They all interlace and mesh, they fit together well and are somewhat of polar opposites, which makes for a great altogether feeling. In the beginning of the series I felt a little bored, but only for a little while. As soon as the second episode ended I was craving for more. The storyline is not for everyone, some would get bored with it. However, the fair amount of action coupled with the short (essentially 26 episode) series means that you wont be dealing with monotonous amounts of action. Overall the story is VERY original and definitely interesting, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like stories that can truly cause an emotional response, then this series is for you. It is extremely moving and deeply intense in its imagery.
The story manages to stay simple, while explicating something extremely different than the norm. All while doing so using characers that could not possibly be easy for a writer to accurately carve. I mean, what would a wolf be like in humans form? really? You wont find any dull or pointless characters here-I think they nailed it personally.
About halfway through the series you really start feeling for the characters, its then that you realize that the characters have really gotten to you-they actually mean something.
As the end draws closer, you really begin to feel the darkness and dreariness of the close. Then, as the end collapses, I can say that I for one shed a tear, and not because the series ended. I believe the series was a perfect length (30 episodes, a storyline lasting for 26 with 4 recap episodes-bleh). The storyline progresses well and there are not lulls where the characters are running around the country doing nothing useful, they are always going for their objective. As suddenly as you begin to become interested and pay attention, the action starts, and then all of a sudden you're at the end of the series-crying for each one of the characters. Its like a well written book, its not too long, its not too short, but just right, it tells the story and then ends.
A MAJOR contributor to the series was the audio/soundtrack, it truly made for a more than just wonderful experience, it made me *feel* the emotions of the story. I have only come across a few audio tracks that rival the ones in this series, those written by John Williams, (Star Wars, Harry Potter, and others), and the soundtrack from 3:10 to Yuma. The soundtrack from this was just simply staggering. I actually downloaded it right after hearing the "heavens not enough" song near the end of the series.
The art portrayed in this can be at times simple and yet beautiful. Overall the art throughout was very consistent and well made, I'm not going to say that it was unbelievable, but it was rather good. Although, the picture of the arctic wolf laying in the snow with its eyes half opened was simply amazing, and I wish I could get hold of a high quality version for use as a wallpaper. (edit: I actually got a hold of a high quality version, google images!)
I would like to note: if you watch this series, the original series was 26 episodes, then the studio released 4 extra episodes on DVD. These extra episodes were to make up for 4 episodes that were put into the series which were simply recaps of the past events in the series-a complete waste of time. If you watch this series, you MUST watch the 4 episodes released onto DVD, you will not have truly experienced this series until you have watched the last 4 episodes.
Thanks to the simple yet deep characters, the secrets kept about each up until the end, the few number of main characters (protagonists-8), the unbelievable mind-blowing soundtrack, and the rather good art, this series was an overall stunner and will be recommended by me to everyone I know. I'm giving it 9*, I was going to give it 8, but I have just realized that I haven't seen anything that quite matches up, so it gets a 9.