The first season of Ookami to Koushinryou, or Spice and Wolf, came from absolutely nowhere. It had the worst possible staff you can imagine (outside of the team that’s been animating Ikkitousen and Queen’s Blade, perhaps) and yet it came and delivered an incredibly solid series about merchants during the medieval times. Its second season takes this formula, and only improves on it.
It may seem like a given, but sequels don’t always surpass their original. This however is far from the case in Spice and Wolf. The second season is overall a lot darker than its predecessor, and it really made use of the fact that the characters have already got a season’s worth of development in them. It consists out of two big arcs, each in which Lawrence is trying to strike a very, very risky deal. They’re all very intelligent and well-fleshed out, full of surprises and with a very good conclusion.
You can really see that this is a series that’s based on a light novel series, rather than a manga. Just like the first season, the dialogue is deep and meaningful, and you really have to pay attention to keep following it. Horo and Lawrence love teasing each other with smart and witty remarks, and together they develop into quite a memorable couple. There are some great romantic scenes during the quiet parts in this series, that really gets the best out of both of them.
For the second season, the animation has been taken over by Brains Base, and if you pay attention then you can really see that the graphics have also gotten an upgrade, especially the background art looks gorgeous because of it. Overall, the second season is a bit less whimsical than the first one, but it makes up for it by a couple of well built-up and written arcs.