[Review] Spice & Wolf (Season 1 and 2)

As previously mentioned, I’ve also recently (not really anymore haha), finished watching Spice & Wolf (as well as Season 2, and OVA), and it’s about time to throw some thoughts down for it!

Holo from Spice and Wolf

Holo from Spice and Wolf

Alright, here we go..

Oh if you don’t want to read any further – tl;dr: watch it, it’s fabulous 😛 (see tl;dr section at the end of the post).

The first season of this anime was produced by IMAGIN, the second season and the OVA were produced by Brains Base, both which I’ve never heard of. Neither have I watched many animes from either producer (IMAGIN supposedly only has like 3 animes produced under them).

But moving along.. the reason I got into Spice & Wolf was because of a comment from AnimeTake – “..this FABULOUS series” yes, in RAINBOW. Because it was, I was like “Dayum, this MUST be good.” Also – the main female lead is a friggin’ fox! Who wouldn’t be intrigued?!

Alright, here’s the synopsis from MAL:

The peddler Lawrence Craft travels through the world selling all kinds of things. After visiting a village he discovers a sleeping girl under the hay. She has wolf ears and a tail. The wolf girl explains that she has been called a “God” but her name really is Holo and nothing else. Lawrence teases the girl a little, but after hearing more of her story is moved and decides to accompany her further north. On their travels the two have all sorts of adventures & often get into trouble but slowly the bond between them grows stronger.

One of the first things I loved about this anime was the setting and context. It’s a fictional setting, but fairly heavily based around the Medieval time. It’s fairly rare to see a context like this in anime I reckon, especially a good one.

Plots – In short, the plot structure for both season kind of goes like this:

  • Character Development.
  • Minor Problem.
  • Character Development.
  • Minor Problem.
  • Character Development.
  • Major Problem.
  • Resolution.
  • Character Development.

Looks kind of plain? Not really, it’s quite a solid structure I think. There are not many characters, well, not many important characters anyway. You have your Lawrence and Holo, and really, that’s all that matters. It was just lovely watching the two of them grow and travel together. That’s why I felt there was a large focus on character development, which I love. Because animes like this; adventure.. travelling.. self discovery or whatever, development is almost essential. It was executed well.

It also heavily focused around economics and merchanting, trading and bartering. Concepts of basic business which are still applied today – this added an extra touch to the anime, it was well done and interesting.

But be warned, the anime is very dialogue heavy, sometimes you’ll need full attention to understand certain concepts. But that’s also props to translators for doing a good job!

Characters – I normally don’t use this section, but for this anime I will, just because Holo is such an awesome character. Firstly, she’s voiced by Ami Koshimizu who also did the voices of:

  • Stadtfeld, Kallen – Code Geass.
  • Hirose, Takuma – H2O ~Footprints in the Sand~.
  • Yatsushiro, Nanaka – Myself; Yourself.
  • Tsukamoto, Tenma – School Rumble.

She did an excellent job at Holo, no doubt.

Holo is an interesting character, because she’s a God deity, but at the same time, she’s also just a female. You get to see her strong front, covering the brittle, insecure inner Holo which she protects. She’s wise and she’s cunning, but she definitely adds the spice to this anime.

But of course, without Lawrence’s character, I don’t think Holo would be like that. Lawrence plays a very large role with her growth, then again, so does Holo for Lawrence. That’s why, after awhile you just love seeing them together.

Sound & Animation: I’ll put these two together because they weren’t as appealing as the story/characters themselves.

Honestly, I can’t remember much of the music. Voices were very well done, especially for Holo – as mentioned, very fitting.

Animation, well there’s not much to comment on it given this anime was heavily relying on fantastic animation (neither did it need it). So at least nothing was wrong with it :P.

Appeal: Well.. let’s put it this way – I want to see the next season (I hope there will be one..).

TL;DR – OK I know this is probably kind of long, so as a summary:

  • Plots – Season 1, great. Season 2, even better.
  • Characters – Holo = awesome.
  • Sounds & Animation – Music not as appealing, voices well done, animations were fine.
  • Appeal – Season 3, please.


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