Anime Review · DVD Review

Spice and Wolf (Season 1)

Headline: Not too Sweet, but not too Sour

3/5 Stars

Originally posted August 8, 2014

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful

Before buying this series on Amazon, I had previously watched all of the episodes online. My views on it were mixed, but I felt it was a good enough series that I wanted to buy and keep it.
One of the things I like about
Spice and Wolf is its setting. Unlike most animes that take part in the present or near/distant future, Spice and Wolf appears to be set around the late 18th or early 19th Century – or possibly even longer back. Everything from the background scenery, to the money that’s used, to the clothes that people wear, really helps to give an olden times feeling that’s almost spiritual. Which goes well with Holo being something of a spirt/god herself.
Speaking of Holo, I find her to be the most memorable character in the series. As well as being a “
wise wolf” she can also be playful, aggressive, witty and often unpredictable. Every time she’s on screen I can’t help but feel anticipated over what she’ll do or say next. Some of her dialogue is so clever that it makes me want to hear her words over and over again. The accent that Brina Palencia (English Dub) plays her with is just perfect.
If there is one criticism I would give
Spice and Wolf it would be its complexity. The series is heavily based around marketing, sales and profit. Unless you’re a merchant like Lawrence, or know that sort of thing like the back of your hand, then you have to pay really close attention to what’s being said at all times – otherwise you won’t understand half of what’s going on.
Also, the progression of the series can sometimes feel slow, with numerous episodes focusing around a single plot, and not much happening in between. You could literally cut the two halves of the series into separate stories that have no connection with each other – other than Lawrence and Holo.
I would recommend this series to anyone who’s a big fan of
Funimation Entertainment, or anyone who’s looking for a change from their usual ‘science fictional, big fight scene, horrific monsters are trying to take over the world’, animes that they’re so used to. Spice and Wolf focuses on people and their choices, with the fantasy element of a half-wolf/half-girl to be the helpful partner and annoying nuisance. If you’re looking for something romantic, this might not be the series for you, because Lawrence and Holo’s relationship is mostly a professional one – at least in this season. Some people may also be slightly offended by the fact that Holo is sometimes depicted nude. But other than the opening credits, it isn’t seen as often as you might think.
So buy this series if you want to see something charming. But also be prepared to listen to everything.

Unlike my previous reviews, this was the first time I wrote about an anime I’d seen more than once. This meant I had a much clearer idea of the series and what I wanted to say.
Reading it back now, I don’t think everything in the review makes the best sense. Some parts definitely could’ve been worded better. Also, today I’d mention the anime’s title in the first paragraph – before calling it this series – and go into more detail about the episodes and characters.
However, I think what I do mention summarises Spice and Wolf reasonably well. I wanted to emphasis just how different it was compared to other animes I’d seen, so I focused on its setting and genre. This was also the first time I mentioned specific voice actors and the dubbing company, Funimation – since their work on the series was too good to ignore.
To top it all off, I gave the review a creative headline which would stand out to readers whilst expressing my overall opinion of the anime.

Let me know what you thought of this review in the comments below. Also, see my review of Spice and Wolf (Season 2).

(Image courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Spice_and_Wolf_episodes)

 

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