Spice and Wolf Season Two anime review

Spice and Wolf Season Two anime review

Lawrence is a traveling merchant who until recently didn't factor anything more than profit and loss into his calculations. His life changed, however--he has added the whims of the fun-loving displaced wolf god Holo to his balance sheet, as he travels with her to her distant northern homeland of Yoitz.

When they stop in the town of Ruvinheigen to enjoy a festival and gather information on the location of Yoitz from a heretic chronicler, Lawrence's smooth romantic course hits an obstacle when the dashing, successful young merchant Amati becomes smitten with Holo and openly challenges Lawrence for her affections. Later, in the river port of Lenos, the mysterious merchant Eve offers Lawrence a deal profitable enough to make his dreams of settling down with a shop in town come true, putting the end of their journey suddenly in sight.

Spice and Wolf was one of the biggest surprises I've had as an anime fan last year, where the producers took a medieval society and mixed it up with what more or less amounts to furrydom and pretty much punched the living crap out of my expectations. Spice and Wolf was fun, intelligently written and just plainly worth every second I spent on it... and will continue to spend on it when the DVD set crosses the release date threshold and starts making its way to my mailbox. So, as soon as it was announced, it was clear that the second season had something to live up to.


Most of this can and will be credited to the surprisingly strong main cast. Lawrence Craft is still an intelligent young man, even though he's generally older than most anime male leads. But his general intelligence is what makes him such a good match for Holo, who is older than your average human being, and by a good margin at that. He still has his dream of owning his own store, but it's slowly becoming clear for him that it's not going to be easy -- if it's possible at all -- to include Holo in that dream.


Holo, for her part, is still as cool as a cucumber. She still loves to tease Lawrence about his generally weakness for helpless girls, even if she's gradually lessening that urge through her actions and the strength of her personality. She's also still suffering the inconvenience of her origins, since she can't really be sure who to trust with keeping that secret. Even if various circumstances has forced her to reveal it in the past, usually with the consequence of having to leave the village they were staying in as fast as they could.


And this is where my question is so swiftly settled. Like the first season, this show is divided into two main story arcs, the first one being a tense dramatical piece that asked Lawrence how he'd feel if he actually lost her. This happens when Lawrence and Holo's cover story backfires on them when Amarti, a young trader, challenges Lawrence to a merchant's duel with Holo freedom as the price. Things quickly escalate when Holo learns that her homelands might very well be destroyed, which she naturally takes very badly. The whole event then turns into a desperate race for time and trust, and even with the expectations I had thanks to the first season, this arc was not easy to get through. The ending to it made the journey worth it, though, even if it made me feel like a complete ass.


Furthermore, the second season -- much like the first -- has a fairly conclusive ending, even if it's an open one. As of this moment, a third season of Spice and Wolf isn't confirmed. Seeing as the show has gained a devoted fan following, though, I'm being optimistic about it. Also, the second season, while still centered heavily around trading, is somewhat less theoretical about it. This does help the show being more bearable, given that it's still not based on any historical events as much as just using it for a framework. The Church is, once again, partially being used as a villain, though less directly than in the first season. (Though one might argue that this aspect is more centered around people using Christianity to bolster their own lust for riches and/or power, which is certainly the way I saw it.)


Despite the change in animation production companies, the show still looks pretty much the same qualitywise. There is a good bit less action in the second season compared to the first, but the show makes up for that by throwing you into a festival of harvest taking place in the first story arc, with all the swinging and dancing to go with it. But Spice and Wolf has generally been a calm, if tensely so, show, and I don't think that will necessarily change much in the future. Then again, that's probably the reason why the show is as good as it is, and it's also why it still comes heavily recommended.

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