|“||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 protagonist villain of Takashi Yanase's children's book Chirin no Suzu, and its 1978 anime film adaptation Ringing Bell (Chirin no Suzu). Once a carefree young lamb, he lost his innocence after a wolf killed his mother. He then set out to avenge his mother's death by training as the apprentice of the very wolf who killed his only relative. This 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 killing him. Sadly, the other sheep sentence him to exile for the rest of his life, for his quest of vengeance had reduced him to neither wolf nor sheep, but an abomination.
In both book and the film, Chirin was a white lamb that lived in a meadow with his mother and many other sheep. There was only one rule in his peaceful existence; never go past the fence, for fear of the Wolf King.
Mother's death and Quest for Vengeance
Chrin's idyllic world would soon be shattered. At night, the Wolf King attacked the barn where the sheep shelter. The wolf charged at Chirin, but his mother sacrificed her life to save him, being savagely bitten to death by the wolf. The wolf retreated as Chrin became apoplectic with grief. Driven by a mad desire for vengeance, Chrin followed the Wolf King.
Becoming the Wolf King's Apprentice and Transformation
When Chrin finally met his mother's killer, at first the wolf showed little regard for him. In a psychological change born of trauma, Chrin tells the wolf that he wishes to become his apprentice, so that one day he may grow stronger than the Wolf King and kill him. Consistent with his Darwinistic philosophy, the wolf accepts. Chirin grows older into a demonic ram. Atop the rocky mountains, Chrin tells his master that, though he once plotted to kill the wolf, he now has a deep respect and admiration for him. Overtaken by a peculiar form of Stockholm Syndrome, Chrin is now completely loyal to the Wolf King.
Redemption and Exile
Chirin's final test was to return to his birthplace, and help the Wolf King slaughter the sheep. 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. His appearance changed drastically after his rigorous training under the Wolf King, he grew into a horrifyingly 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 they cared about, only for such similarities to diverge at the point of how they would cope with it: Unlike either of them who managed to lead the fulfilling lives, Chirin was consumed by vengeance that turned him into an abomination he unfortunately became.
- The only character whose similarities is 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 the Star Wars universe 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.