Alas, Poor Scrappy: Hyena, seeing as he dies right after he discovers his courage and proclaims a HeelFace Turn. In the latest series named Ginga Densetsu Noah, it is revealed that he survived. He simply lost his memory and got a new owner, who gave him the name Noah. So he is the title character and has a completely different personality, due to his kind owner, he has become like a role model for youngsters. He gives valuable advice to Weed's son Orion who suffers from depression from the events of The Last Wars.
Ass Pull: Ben regaining his sight in the Wolf Arc. To recap, he got hit in the head by Mukonga's Geki Sentsuhi Battouga, an attack that works by destroying the victim's body tissue, and it somehow made his eyes function again.
Likewise, "Shouri No Uta" (Song of Victory), which plays twice in the series, first in episode 9 and then at the very end, the lyrics also doubling as a Tear Jerker. note [...] Face the bad things, in the distance. The time is now, the wind has died out. The fighters in battle are a powerful thing. And their hearts are burning. Oh my friends, listen. To the solid friendships. Song of the distance. The only thing you live for is tomorrow. So live with all the bravery you have. So live with all the bravery you have. Oh my friends, my comrades. Today's victory for sure was a song of the distance. As you all risk your lives. It's all for this very day. It's all for this very day. [...]
The beautiful, soothing ending theme deserves a mention too.
Takeda Gohei naturally receives some hate for his cruel methods of training bear hounds. Others agree it'd be unacceptable in real life, but acknowledges how it actually works in the Gingaverse, and likes him for the badass bear hunter he is. Plus, despite his methods, how many people would go to the lengths of cutting off their leg in order for their dog to live?
Daisuke to a degree as some people just finds him annoying.
Broken Base: The Finnish Dub. It is among the most polarizing discussion between fans. Many fans dislikes the dub due to belief that the acting is bad, among couple of other issues. There are also many fans who like it for many reasons, including the voice actors sounding pleasant and sense of Nostalgia, and also saying it's not really that bad considering it was dubbed in 1989 with just 3-4 actors (which may surprise some because most characters sound very distinct) and with limited resources which included every actor being in the recording room at the same time due to the scenes having to be done in 1 single take. Information: https://thehande.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/translater-silverfang/
At the end of the ninja dog episode, a fairly random dog comes out of nowhere to throw the evil ninja dog boss' puppy off a cliff, with Cross throwing herself after to save it. The puppy is saved, Cross lives, and both the baby-killer dog and the puppy are 'in quest' as the narrator put it by the next episode, and Wilson's baby-killing antics are never mentioned again. Possibly a case of Values Dissonance. Possibly.
A case of the anime omitting why Wilson tried to kill the baby. Simply put, Kurojaki had killed and eaten both Wilson's son and mate. Thus, he wanted revenge.
Ear Worm: Plenty of synthesizer tunes repeated during the course of the series until they're stuck in your head for the rest of your life.
Ensemble Dark Horse: John and the Kai brothers. And Riki. To this day he's still considered the most memorable and badass bearhound out of all the generations.
Gateway Series: To Scandinavian viewers this was the gateway to anime.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While the series didn't receive much attention in either Japan or America (due to animes starring animals not being very popular), it became a hit within the anime fandom in Scandinavia and Finland, even having the show being dubbed into each of the languages, released on video (though majorly censored), and the manga translated into Finnish. This might be a bit of Fridge Brilliance considering animal series in general such as the Donald Duck franchise are also very popular in these areas.
A while back the author himself became aware of this to the point he went and visited his fanbase in Finland.
It did however, win the 1987 Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen series in Japan. It's more in later times that it's not remembered much in its respective country.
Harsher in Hindsight: Gohei's comment about how "Great men don't want an audience when they die", referring to why he won't tend to the dying Riki. Skipping the "great men" part, many dogs in real life actually don't want an audience when they die, which is why they'll often run away from their home when they feel it's their time.
Ho Yay: It's brief, but the direct Japanese lines where Gin and John part ways has John telling Gin "my heart sometimes beat faster upon meeting your gaze". Gin is really touched and they say goodbye while looking fondly at each other. It might not do much since they're dogs, but had that scene played out with humans fangirls would likely have gone mad.
Memetic Mutation: Ben's non-explanation regarding why the Kai brothers are so badass ("They fear nothing. That's why they are so fearless!") from the Finnish dub which is more or less beloved by the local fandom. It is often speculated that it was an error made by the actor due to possibly mistaking it with the word "Persistent" which is almost identical to the word "Fearless", while others believe it was a translation error though it's less likely due to being translated by a professional translator.
Narm Charm: All the Nordic dubs are weird and funny listening to, to varying degrees. Examples includes females being voiced by males in the Danish dub, characters speaking with thick dialects in the Swedish one and having lots of Ham and Cheese performances, both the Finnish and Swedish one having occasional voice changes to some characters, and the Finnish and Danish ones having some slightly flat performances occasionally (quality of the acting varies ocasionally) and the Norwegian one, while having less Narm than others, has its own moments. With characters making over the top guttural sounds, and awkward crying noises, among others like names being mispronounced hilariously in the first film. However these imperfections are simply displaying how dubbing was different back in the days, and many fans prefer to watch them rather than have them redubbed.
Periphery Demographic: The reason we got this show in the west to begin with. The series is shounen, but most of its (western) fans are women/girls.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The bear with harpoons stuck in its back, who tries to join Akakabuto's forces. After its rather terrifying backstory and demonstrated toughness, it is simply killed off by Akakabuto to show how much stronger he has become while the dogs were gathering their forces.
It's not hard to mistake Smith for a female at first due to his voice being somewhat high-pitched. The sequel series thankfully gave him a much deeper, unmistakably male voice. Get even more confusing in the Finnish dub, where he is first clearly male then suddenly turns into clearly female.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: While the series is Shounen, the company releasing it in Scandinavia and Finland did nearly every possible edit they could think of to make it as child friendly as possible (apparently not getting it was for teens) including removing three entire episodes and editing how Akakabuto is defeated, making it seem like he died from a gunshot by Gohei when really he was decapitated by Gin.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: After the original uncut version came to Finland and Sweden in 2003, they later arrived in Denmark and Norway in 2006. The difference was, that the 2 latter were re-dubbed. However compared to the dubs made originally to the cut versions, these dubs were of unusually low-quality. Naturally fans of the original ones were not happy at all and severely criticised it.
They included fully overlapped voice performances which meant that the Japanese audio could be clearly heard, Very Bad Acting with the actors simply speaking loudly or shouting all the lines in an attempt to hide the Japanese track. Some of the lines haven't even been translated due to this. The lip-synching is also completely off and makes it even more distracting, even the music disappears due the yelling being so loud that it mutes it. Fans of the original dubs have since ignored the re-dub and simply watched it in Japanese or the original dubs. Watch the comparisons here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu-AgmbxANk