29 October 2011 | griz1-199-491493
A superior work of anime, both visuals and story
If you've like the Disney adaptations of Rudyard Kiplings works but wish they had delved deeper, this series is for you. It takes it to the next level, opening up a depth in the various characters that makes one wonder why this series in English has remained so rare and hard to find. Young Mowgli, adopted by the wolves and never knowing anything of himself save as a wolf, learns to live according to the Laws of the Jungle; struggling with the fact that he is also "a hateful human". A fact apparently backed up in the few humans he encounters. Yet are all humans mean and hateful? Mowgli is a human with a human heart that the animals often don't understand and he lives in peace with the Jungle according to its laws. He finds that his lack of claws and fangs and speed is more than made up for by his inventiveness and ingenuity as he rises to become one of the Jungle's greatest hunters and champions.
A wonderful tale of self-discovery, community, honour, duty, coming of age, and coming to terms with the darker sides of the Human Condition. A warning to parents of younger children: the show depicts fluffy animals being taken down in hunts, main characters getting hurt, and even the death of a beloved main character. But it is skillfully done. The intent is to gently teach young minds and not to shock or sensationalize/desensitize. While it does come out of a different time and culture that is very patriarchal and the series is most definitely "shonen" it is wonderful to see a female wolf as one of the pack's most promising hunters and a female wolf leading one of the packs encountered. I heartily recommend to both the young and the young-at-heart.