|“||Two years have now passed, Chirin has changed from a determined lamb, into a fearsome beast.||„|
|~ The Narrator (about Chirin).|
|“||So then Wolf I am no longer a weakling sheep instead of fangs I have horns which are just as sharp, my hooves are harder that the rock, and it has become my nature to fight without fear of death.||„|
|~ Chirin to the Wolf|
Chirin is the main protagonist of Takashi Yanase's cautionary tale of a children's book Chirin no Suzu which was adapted into the 1978 anime film Ringing Bell (Chirin no Suzu). He used to be an innocent white lamb whom lost his innocence after a wolf killed his mother. He then set out to avenge his mother's death by trained under Wolf King's titulege that eventually led to his transformation into a fearsome black-furred lamb.
As he and the Wolf goes to hunt some sheep in a meadow, his tragic past began to haunt him when he sees a mother sheep whom tries to protect her lamb, resulting him turned against Wolf King and killed him. Sadly, the whole meadows sentenced him for exile for the rest of his life due to his quest of vengeance has reduced him to neither wolf nor sheep, but rather an abomination.
In the book and the film, Chirin was a white lamb that lived in a meadow with his mother and other mother sheep that had lambs of their own, one day Chirin's mother warned him about the Wolf King and to never go pass the fence, Chirin listens to his mother and does not go pass the fence.
The Mother's death and Quest for Vengeance
As seasons go by to fall on one night Chirin is sleeping in the barn with the other sheep as then barking and yelping wakes them up as the Wolf busts in and strangles Chirin's mother to death as she was protecting him. The Wolf runs off as Chirin starts crying because he realised the Wolf had killed his mother, he then sets off to the Rocky Mountains to become the Wolf King's apprentice.
Becoming the Wolf King's Apprentice and Transformation
When he finally met the Wolf King, at first the Wolf shows no care for Chirin but as time goes on he then realises how much he wants to become a wolf. The Wolf then decides to make Chirin his apprentice, as Chirin grows older into a ram he says to the Wolf that his plan was to gain strength to kill the wolf that killed his mother but could never get the courage to.
Redemption and Exile
One night the Wolf and Chirin decide to kill the sheep in the barn and that Chirin needs to kill the dogs that are guarding the barn, he kills them and breaks into the barn, he sees a mother sheep jump on her lamb to protect it as he is then reminded of his past, and he does not want to kill the sheep, the Wolf tries to kill the sheep since Chirin won't do it, Chirin than kills the Wolf and wants to live in the barn. The other sheep do not allow him to come back as he runs off to the mountains and is never seen again and everyone forgets about him, but when a huge blizzard hit, they could hear the faint sound of his ringing bell.
When he was young, Chirin was used to be a cute-looking lamb. This however, ultimately changed where after his rigorous training by Wolf King, he grew into a horrifying tall and muscular ram with long, sharp horns and demonic-looking yellow eyes.
- Chirin's backstory is similar with Simba, Bambi, and Littlefoot because they lost a parent whom they cared about, only for such similarities diverges at the point of how they would cope with it: Unlike either of them whom managed to lead the fulfilling lives, Chirin was consumed by vengeance that turned him into an abomination he unvortunately became.
- The only character whom similarities very close to Chirin was Simba, as both confront their parent's killer (Wolf King for Chirin and Scar for Simba) and the said killer eventually met their ends. However, while Chirin personally killed Wolf King, Simba chooses to banished Scar instead(though the fight between them resulting hyenas whom used to worked with Scar murdered him instead).
- Anakin Skywalker of Star Wars fame also has some similarities with Chirin, notably as the two were driven to evil by the loss of their mothers.
- Chirin could have been identified from the bell he still wore around his neck, as stated in the Japanese translation.
- However it is possible that the sheep were too terrified to get a closer look or care.