Also known as Ookami to Koushinryou.
That anime I watched long before I started this blog. Thanks to Arkada‘s review, by he way. And I guess it will make a good change to talk about something nice, to make you forget about the horrors of Wicked City, that we discussed last time.
Spice and Wolf is a 13 episodes long series produces in 2008. The anime takes place in some world, that looks like medieval Europe. And it tells a story of a merchant, Lawrence who once met a wolf. Well, in fact he met a girl, who as he soon learn is in fact a wolf. She was living near a village, helping people get good harvest (such are er powers) but she decided to go North, to her home. And Lawrence decided to help her, as long as his business won’t get harmed by it.
And the name of the girl is Holo (in some fan translations Horo, which I like too). And it turned out that she could be of help. Being smart, attractive and talented in many ways she was a big help for Lawrence. And yet, sometimes she was a source of problems too. And with both Lawrence and Holo having interesting personalities it was very interesting to watch them dealing with these problems they encountered.
The story feels a little bit like a fairy tail, or like a strange medieval merchant slice of life type of thing. A lot of time is spent talking about monetary local politics, about making profit of different kinds of bargains and so on. And while I am not at all sure that all that talk had a solid economic basis behind it, it was still creating a pretty good atmosphere.
What else was creating a good atmosphere was music. Spice and Wolf has one of the best soundtracks among short anime series that I’ve ever heard. The music does feel old (maybe not medieval, but quite old), the instruments, the way of playing, all feels genuine, all fits the show very well.
One of the reasons I like this show as much as I do is how they mix real and not real elements of in it. Most of the time the show is a step away from being a period piece about medieval Europe. But there are a few moments where they shatter that, introducing Holo’s abilities. And because those moments are so rare the impact is very strong. And those moments leave deep impression. Not so many shows do that, even though it is a classic idea in story telling.
The animation was decent. The way they draw characters, you have probably seen it in other contemporary shows. Looks good. There isn’t much action in the show, though when they do come to action, it is quite awesome.
I think one of the strong points of the show is that it is short. We have no time to learn all there is to learn about the world. We walk through the series, stepping on one mystery after another and that creates an atmosphere, this air of a fairy tail that I mentioned.
I recommend this show to everyone. I probably must warn you that there is some nudity in the first episode, though the animators made it as mild as possible. So even kids should be fine. As for violence, it is nothing that you have not seen in Naruto or whatever shonen you name.
Hope you like this anime. See you next time (^_^)/