animefringe september 2003 / web showcase
Animefringe's Web Showcase:
Lioncrusher's Wolf's Rain

Welcome back to the Animefringe Web Showcase! First things first, let's give Steve a round of applause for filling in for me last month! Now onto this months website, we'll be checking out a fansite devoted to the newest form of beasty and bishounen, the highly anticipated Wolf's Rain. Take a walk on the wild side and watch out for these wee little... doggies.

First impression...
I just have to mention that this site isn't like the average fansite hosted on a domain, as the creator of this website actually has a domain of sites for... you guessed it, wolves! Wolves and hyenas and all that stuff totally unrelated to anime, which is really refreshing :) Ok, back to the site. Lioncrusher's Wolf's Rain opens up with a captivating image of the main characters in their wolfie forms. Oh yeah, the show is about wolves who can take human form by the way, for those who want to pay attention. The layout itself is easily navigable with the links from the navigation bar on the left, and the site fits snugly into a resolution as small as 800x600. The site is very straight and to the point, and touches only on the important things one should know about the show.

Let's get down to business...
I was really impressed with this site because it didn't include any of the silly things that fansites these days have been including. It has the basic information to introduce you to the series as well as the hardcore episode summaries if you really want to sink your teeth into the show. I didn't have to read any page-long conversations on whether a character's hair was better in episode 6 or 13, just the facts! The summary of the series is an easy way to inform a person like me who hasn't had any actual exposure to the show without spoiling anything. If I did get really interested, there are very detailed summaries of the first 9 episodes to read through.

The information on the series tells us that the show was created by, designed by and produced by the same crew that handled Cowboy Bebop, so the expectations for the show are pretty high. And, oh yes, Yoko Kanno is on board with the music. The character bios are short and sweet which is just what you want, with a small image of each character. For those interested in the material side of things, yes there is a page about merchandise and DVD's related to the series, but it's hidden at the bottom of the "series information page" so just take a close look for it. The site also sports wonderful screenshots of each of the episodes and the opening and ending themes. These are high quality shots for anybody interested in making art from these babies, or anybody who just wants to ogle. The webmaster offers us his own review of the series as a fitting farewell from one who has so much to say in the episode summaries, and gives us some information on the good and iffy about the series. As a final touch, there is a generous links section that provides a gateway to other quality sites related to this series.

In the end...
Overall, for what it offers, this site is very good. One problem I had with it was that there wasn't any easy way of knowing when the site was last updated or if it would be updated again. The episode summaries are far from complete, so one could assume there will be more updates but there's no way to know for sure. The link to the 9th episode summary was also broken, so there is some incentive for the webmaster to update again. An interesting thing I enjoyed about this site was that it felt removed from the frequent habit most webmasters have of putting personal opinions EVERYWHERE. This site felt like a return to the facts for a modern show that has everybody (or will have everybody) buzzing.

Think you know a website that deserves some publicity? Read on.
This is a shout-out for anybody who believes they know a site that deserves to be the next Animefringe Web Showcase. If you think you have, or know of a website that could be the next one, email Danielle and include the website's name and url. Who knows? Maybe it'll be next month's feature site.