Spice and Wolf

Hey everyone, it’s Atlas, back again for my second review with Glamour and the A Hatter of the Details team.  First off, thanks for all the kudos, likes and what not on my first review!  Now I know most comments on my Fate/Stay Night review were over clothing and random changes of apparel.  I mentioned that there’s a time and place for things like that.  Well this installment covering Spice and Wolf is the perfect example of what I mean when it comes to fan service fitting into the plot.

Synopsis:  Kraft Lawrence is an up and coming traveling merchant.  On one of his stops he decides to stick around for the local harvest festival which centers around the legend of the pact made between humans and an ancient wolf spirit.  Little does he know it, but the very wheat that he buys in the town holds Holo, the wise wolf.  Lawrence doesn’t even realize his cargo until after leaving the village when he discovers what appears to be a naked woman curled up in his cart of wheat and furs.  After finally waking her, she reveals her identity and eventually the two make an agreement that she will travel with him.

From there, we follow Lawrence and Holo on their journey from town to town and the interactions they have with other traders, guilds and even the church itself.  They experience betrayal from former friends and find allies in the least likely of places as they learn to trust and play off one another’s strengths to make the next big sale.  Ultimately, their journeys together culminate in their travels north so that Holo may return to the place of her birth, but a lot can change in 500+ years and its definitely not an easy path.

The Good:  Hands down, the interactions and character development between Lawrence and Holo are what makes this series.  The fact that the story doesn’t heavily rely on action, but instead focuses on guile and wit to hold your attention was also refreshing surprise.  The combination of these two things is what kept me watching.  As a side note, this is the perfect example of what I mean when I talk about character apparel changes.  Multiple times in the beginning you’ll see Holo nude, because being a wolf, she doesn’t particularly understand the concept of clothes, but as the story progresses, she learns and adapts to human culture.

The Bad:  While the story does center around the development of the relationship and the trials and tribulations of a traveling merchant, I think they spent too much time on the second season repeating things that grabbed us in the first, leading up to what seems like a rushed, incomplete finale. While it was good, I think it could have been better if allowed to resolve over one more episode.

The WTF?!?:  The writer of this series clearly doesn’t like organized religion.

Final Verdict: If you’re looking for a series laced with high brow humor, wit overcoming brawn, well hidden sexual innuendos and an occasionally naked wolf-lady, this series is for you.  This series was definitely not what I expected it to be and ended up being something I don’t think I ever would have expected in an anime.  With that, I leave you to form or share your own opinion.  Until next time readers!

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