Spice and Wolf II anime review

Spice and Wolf II anime review
Continuing where the first series left off, it follows Kraft Lawrence a experienced traveling merchant and his sharp tongued wolf god companion Holo on their journey to return to Holo's home to the north called Yoitsu. A tender relationship has blossomed between the characters, as they make deals, travel between cities, encounter religious fanatics or vice versa and mostly just do what a traveling merchant has to do to get by.

Spice and Wolf II follows in the precedent set by the first series, naturalistically telling a series of business-oriented stories. In many ways it’s the same series, but I feel the story arcs are less interesting because the focus is shifted toward the business deals and away from the characters.

The first half of Spice and Wolf II is set in Kumerson, a pagan town. Holo catches the eye of Fermi Amati, a young merchant from the same guild as Lawrence. Acting on brazen impulses, Amati and Lawrence enter into an agreement where Amati pays off Holo’s debt, and gains the right to ask her hand in marriage. At first, this deal seems one-sided. Lawrence will make a large profit while it is virtually ensured that Holo will not marry Amati. However, Holo stumbles upon some information about her homeland that shakes her loyalty to Lawrence.

This story arc gets off to a slow start, but climaxes in a way that struck me deeply. The third episode ends on a scene that devastated me. I had built up such a sympathy for Holo from the first season that seeing her torn down was shocking and hurtful. But that right there is the problem. Basically this plot line gets dropped, and I don’t like the logic behind it. This story is too personal, and the consequences are too profound, for everything to just bounce back to how they were. It worked for Spice and Wolf because the stakes were different. This arc assails the foundations of the relationship between Holo and Lawrence, and it’s not something that a writer should just turn away from.

The second half is set in Renos, a town where many fur merchants are trying to establish their trade. This story arc is almost entirely mired in business dealings, and introduces Eve Bolan, a potential business partner for Lawrence. Here too I felt that the writers concentrated on the wrong things. The story thread about the fur merchants is dull at best, and Eve occupies far too much screen time for a guest character. It sacrifices the series’ most important asset: the subtle drama between Holo and Lawrence.

Spice and Wolf II fancies itself to be a show about business, but doesn’t find a way to make the subject interesting. The first season sidestepped that by building a witty, humorous romance between Holo and Lawrence. I feel that relationship did not get its due in the second season, and the show as a whole suffered for it.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Spice and Wolf II. Watch it now:
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