The end of the final episode of Wolf’s Rain left me rather confused after having watched the series for the first time, but after watching the anime for a second time, I think I have found a fitting explanation for the final scene. Now let me share it with you.

SPOILER WARNING: Don’t read this post until you’ve seen Wolf’s Rain (including the four OVA episodes!) to the end, otherwise there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

For those of you who would like to see the final scene again:

Some claim it was an open ending, but for me it wasn’t. I see this anime as the narration of one stage in an endless cycle.

In the world of Wolf’s Rain it is believed that wolves have gone extinct about 200 years ago. Kiba and his pack, however, are proof that wolves still exist and that they live among humans, fooling them with their human appearance. It is explained that wolves can open up a Paradise, but in order to do so they need the ‘lunar flower’. The pack of wolves find Cheza, who is a lunar flower, and with that they are very close to opening Paradise. But they are thwarted by Darcia, who wants to make Paradise a place for him and his beloved, Hamona, to live in.

At the very end of the series we see what seems to be Kiba walk around in a rainy, urban environment. On his way he passes what seems to be Tsume, Hige and Toboe. But… aren’t they all supposed to be dead, and that’s it? Isn’t that what the ending is all about?
Maybe it isn’t.
I have a feeling that the Kiba, the Tsume, the Hige and the Toboe we get to see in the final scene are not the same people (or should I say wolves?) as the ones we get to see throughout the anime. By that I mean that they are essentially the same as before (they look the same, they act the same), but somehow it seems that they don’t remember what had happens to them before that (this is proven by the fact that they don’t recognize each other).
Therefore I am likely to think that they are reincarnations of their former selves: they look the same and possess the same personality and characteristics as before, but they have to start their lives all over again because they don’t remember anything about that fateful day when they couldn’t open Paradise. I remember Kiba talking at the beginning of Wolf’s Rain about him feeling a strong will to search for the lunar flower and to find Paradise. Maybe the only thing that remains in the reincarnations of themselves is exactly this: a feeling to come together and to find the lunar flower and to open Paradise. Maybe this is exactly what is needed to succeed in their mission.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that the four wolves were in the same city. I think this is one of the things that are necessary to succeed in finding Paradise: the four wolves have to find each other and form a pack. Maybe at the point of the final scene they were already searching for each other.

But then the question of why they couldn’t open Paradise still remains. After all, they fulfilled all the requirements: the four wolves were together, they had found the lunar flower (Cheza). So why did it fail? Surely not because of Darcia?
Maybe they don’t just have to succeed once. Maybe they have to repeat this same process over and over again, and every time they succeed they get a little bit closer to Paradise, until finally they find it. This time they were successful: they defeated Darcia and should therefore have been able to open Paradise. Tsume, Hige and Toboe sacrificed themselves in order for Kiba to be able to find Paradise. But they did not know that they were still not close enough to finding it. They have to try anew, and again and again until they are finally able to open it.

And what about Cheza? Did she die? I believe so. She herself said that she was only one of the many lunar flowers that were created. So I think that she sacrificed herself in order to bring the wolves a step closer to opening Paradise. I don’t think that the flower that is shown in the final scene is Cheza (as many people seem to believe). I think it’s just a sign of hope, a proof that lunar flowers are still out there and that Kiba and his pack should try and find them.

So, in conclusion, my interpretation of the ending of Wolf’s Rain is this: the four wolves and Cheza sacrificed themselves in order find Paradise, but, despite defeating Darcia, could not open it. They are reborn, and have to repeat the same thing over and over again in order to get close to Paradise again, until one day they might truly find it. Therefore the ending of Wolf’s Rain is an open ending in the sense that we don’t know when or if they eventually succeed in their quest. But it’s also a finished tale, in the sense that we get to know that they were successful this time, and that they can move on to try again.