Spice and Wolf: A Quick Review

I took my time watching this series because it just didn’t really grab me and I’m honestly unsure what, if anything, I can say about it after finishing the two seasons on Hulu. It’s the subbed version on Hulu only. Season 1 essentially consisted of the same plotline of the main character, Craft Lawrence, getting into trouble from economic debt schemes involving the Church or guilds and his companion, Holo the Wise Wolf, using her wits and giant wolf form to get him out of it. The micro-economics of a Medieval European setting seem to be presented incredibly well and it certainly is engaging from that standpoint. However, I felt that I slowly lost interest in both Craft Lawrence and Holo over time, because their dialogue consisted of too much sophistry on both hiding their feelings through sarcastic quibbles. I enjoyed it at first in Season 1 as it felt refreshing, but soon enough it felt tedious and annoying, even when it was clear that they were growing closer together.

I can’t be sure if it was the medieval setting or Holo’s centuries old age or a mix of the two (I think the Second Season implied it was a mix), but I just don’t understand how she doesn’t get mad when Craft Lawrence chooses a very sexist viewpoint when gazing at her. Admittedly, this is explored and Craft Lawrence becomes ashamed of himself near the latter-half of Season 2 with scenes like Holo just giving him a look and him apologizing after he stupidly asks how many men that she’s been with. I just don’t really get why Holo didn’t talk back in these parts, but the story does give the very believable reason that Holo has been living for centuries and had relationships with other men in the past and eventually the memories just fade away from living so long. The only stupid part of the story was Craft Lawrence being more concerned with Holo fucking another man when Holo learned that she was the last of her people, she had no home to go back to, Lawrence refuses to have sex with her due to her state of mind, and Craft Lawrence was helping her out of pity. Holo figures out that Craft Lawrence had learned rumors that Holo’s home was gone from her interactions with him earlier prior to her reading the letter confirming it from the town Chronicler. It just seemed really stupid that Craft Lawrence was more concerned with Holo sleeping with other men and not . . . Holo’s state of mind after learning that she’s literally the last of her people. The story just drops that whole idea and Holo goes back to her sarcastic self without much explanation. It’s a real shame; it was the most interesting part of the entire series and the issue is just dropped without explanation.

Overall, I don’t know what to think of or rate this series. It’s very different from most others; it focuses more on economics, witty banter between the two characters, and economic get-rich-quick schemes that either do well or get Lawrence plunged into dangerous scenarios. The closest thing I can think of to this series would be Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, which probably borrowed ideas from this anime. The only other thing I can think of to bring-up is that watching on Hulu was a pain because sometimes the video didn’t have the video bar vanish so that the full picture could be shown and I could see the text of what they were talking about at the bottom. Apart from that, I just can’t think of much else to say on this show.

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