Posted by psgels on 27 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


For the past few days, I’ve been in the strange mood to compare animation-companies. Don’t ask me why, I’m not sure myself. In any case, Spice and Wolf (or Ookami to Koshinryou) has been produced by Imagin, whose only previous work basically consisted out of a bunch of notoriously bad fanservice-series (Hit wo Nerae, Cosprayers, Love Love?), so no, I can’t really say that I was anticipating this release. Turns out that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Or in this case: an old wolf.

Even though it may not look like it, Spice and Wolf is what you’d call a smart and down-to-earth series. The two main characters are surprisingly deep for only thirteen episodes. Their motivations are well-motivated, much more than what you’d see in usual anime, and they have a lot of different and complex sides. They both start to travel together, in a setting reminiscent of medieval Europe, though this isn’t a story about knights at all, it’s about merchants.

And this series really makes use of this, by showing us the ins and outs of the life of a merchant, while both Lawrence and Horo (the two main characters) provide critical commentary and analysis to the things that they run into. The dialogue is of a really high-quality, and it’s no wonder that the light novel that this series was based on won an award. This becomes especially apparent when the major female side-character gets introduced: I was really convinced that the show would turn into a cheesy love-triangle at one point, but it’s the opposite! Her appearance and use in the story is carefully explained, as well the relation that she has between Lawrence and Horo.

As for the bad points for this series – if you plan to watch this, you really have to be interested in merchants. Otherwise it’ll just bore the heck out of you. Aside from the side-character mentioned above, the other characters in this series also pale in comparison to the main cast. Sure, their motivations are explained well enough, but it feels like they could have been used and fleshed out much better than this series did.

The highlight of this series is definitely the final three episodes, where everything comes together like a charm. In one word, these episodes are fascinating, and close off the series without leaving a bad taste whatsoever, and still leaving space open for a possible continuation. The first arc may feel a bit lacking, but this is still another great series from the past winter-season.

6 Responses

  1. trellisaze says:

    I loved this series. The main characters were great. The ending was great. It’s great that an animation studio like Imagin could honor the source material whereas other studios would’ve dumbed down the story. ….If only Claymore could’ve had such a satisfying ending.

  2. Papilo says:

    I agree with trelisaze. How they come with a great history about merchants? Surely amazing. Also, you can learn stuffs with Spice and Wolf, such as the Coin System. I hope for a continuation, I want to know how the story ends.

  3. ryvrdrgn14 says:

    Another example of how, just sometimes, people get things done right. ^_^

  4. Aki says:

    Amazing series. Possibly one of the best seasons of 2008. A must-see for fans.

  5. Sammi-San says:

    Ok, Im probably ganna get some shi* for this but I just wanna say it to some of the fans of Spice and Wolf. Has it occured to anyone that Wolf is not a wolf? None of the features match up, the tail is mutch to bushy and the ears much to pointed. Even the coleration is wayyyy off. Shes more of a fox than anything.It frustrates me that the wolf would be pushed in with an animal such as the fox, but other than that minor annoyance I will say that Spice and Wolf is a good series with intreiging charectores and a nice plot.

  6. Topaz says:

    @Sammi-San, I am a fan of Spice and Wolf, and that was what I was thinking about the entire time “this wolf looks like a fox.” Aside from that, I really liked this series, especially how it makes you think with all the different trades the merchants do.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 09:02 PM)
    Last of my worries are online interactions. I could give two shits about what people think. Personal attacks are not cool, that’s why I backtracked. I just want a good discussion, but people got nothin to offer, even when I try to instigate them they just back off. Gimme some counterpoints for chrissake! Maybe Mario will, after he’s done watchin.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 08:56 PM)
    The problem is I don’t notice anymore when I’m out of line. I use to have a good compass, but been erratic as of late. Talkin mostly about life stuff tho. I cheat, I lie, walkin around with a sharper tongue than usual. I need to retreat into Yosemite or Big Sur for a week maybe; use up that paid leave.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 08:52 PM)
    @K-off: good to hear at least you’re doin we’ll budd. Don’t get too caught up in that office huddle bustle tho, we all need room to breath. Manhattan is a crazy spot to hang your hat tho. You’re still young, better enjoy it now I guess before you’re fed up with it.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 08:46 PM)
    @Bam Meh, toxicity is inevitable for both sides when you have a circular discussion so it’s not about who’s more irritable, I certainly get riled up about certain topics as well.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 08:42 PM)
    @Bam Coming back to NYC I lost contact with a lot of my old m8s who sold mdma (from my community college days) and none of my longtime friends or fellow government coworkers deal, so I suppose that means I’ve stepped up in the world.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 08:35 PM)
    Too much stress building up tho, gym and booty ain’t doin it for me. In your opinion do I seem more harsh or are people just way too sensitive these days?
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 08:33 PM)
    Bein from the middle east I do miss some good old Oppie. Oxy and Vicodin don’t do it at my tolerance level, plus all the extra acetaminophen in them is very liver toxic. All they have in Cali right now is black tar, and fuck that noise.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 08:30 PM)
    @K-off: haa! Sounds like ya miss it a bit tbh. It’s too risky m8. Just do some good Molly if you feel the monkey crawling back on. Very hard to build a dependency to that. Also Xanax is safer and more pleasurable imo. Nothing beats a blunt after a hard day of work tho.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 08:24 PM)
    “K off a friend.” Huh, maybe that’s the subconscious meaning behind my username, not K-On.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jun 28. 2016 08:23 PM)
    @Bam For the hell of it, never consistently. Some guy would happen to have it at a club and I’d often be drunk off my ass. K + booze is a bad mix and my most recent trip after 3rd year exams, I blacked out with a decent line after scoring some k off a friend while drunk as hell.

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