Spice & Wolf (Season One)

On the road again…
Having always dug the concept of wandering around the Earth in search of nothing in particular; I’d already liked Spice and Wolf before I had a chance to watch it. There’s something about being able to wonder around freely and choosing your own destination, free of modern life’s hardships (bills, jobs, family). However, a bit of irony usually turns up when some of the companions you meet along your adventures usually become your “family”. TheSlayers anime was a good example of this, and to a lesser extent, so is Spice and Wolf. The original concept behind these types of travel shows varies greatly, but the series usually tends to lean toward the many adventures (or miss-adventures) the characters have along the way. Spice and Wolf is a very grounded, easy-going blend of a Business/Fantasy anime. That’s right, Business/Fantasy. At least that’s the tool used to weave some of the relatively low stakes throughout the series. The only characters really ever changing in this series are the small contingent of characters in addition to the two leads.
What’s the deal…?
Spice and Wolf is a very well made, “contract/pact” anime series. And by that I mean the show’s lead protagonist makes a deal of some kind with an otherworldly being and the resulting series chronicles their travels and adventures. The show’s hero, Kraft Lawrence, is a traveling merchant in what looks like a fictional 16th century. Lawrence is a young, upstart looking to save enough coin toward his life-long dream of opening up his own shop.  One night, outside one of the cities he’s been doing business in, Lawrence finds a naked, “wolf-deity” resting in his horse cart. Upon awakening her, he learns that she is the god of harvest for the village he was trading in. However, she feels as though the villagers have lost faith in her, so she makes a deal with Lawrence to allow her to accompany him on his travels. The reason this “god of harvest”, named Holo, wants to travel is to see how much the world has changed since she had remained in one village for over 600+ years. The rest of what follows can only be described as a weird, romantic, fantasized, business endeavor. Actually that’s not fair; the series is actually a great deal entertaining, even with the lack of any shonen-style action. There’s even a relatively low fan service factor, sort of. Okay, not really. She is a hot fox god, after all. And she is a smartass.
Who’s in it…?

Jun Fukuyama as Lawrence

Ami Koshimizun as Holo, the wise wolf

English Dubbed Version:
J. Michael Tatum as Lawrence
Brina Palencia as Holo, the wise wolf

Worth the ride…?
It’s a very well made series that kind of grows on you as it progresses. I wasn’t completely sold on the “business” stichk used throughout the series, but the way Takeo Takahashi(director) has the show running makes the whole merchant aspect a bit less boring. Which is always a good thing, especially for someone whose favorite anime shows are Cowboy Bebop and Detective Conan.


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