What a ride it’s been these last six years! It’s bizarre to think I’ve reviewed almost 300 unique anime over the years. I must admit, this year has presented its difficulties in continuing the reviews. It seems the whole world is shut down due to COVID-19, and even though it feels like this would be the perfect opportunity to crush through anime, life has other plans. I am going to continue posting anime reviews, and hopefully I will be able to return to the regular weekly posting once the world returns to normal. I always like to thank everyone who is supportive of the website, and this year is no exception. I have certainly learned to be grateful for the good things in life lately. Thanks to all the family and friends that support Fragglepuss.com through reading the posts. Thanks to everyone that attends our panels at the various nerd conventions we attend. Thanks to everyone that reads and posts on the anime reviews. A special thanks to Breanne for always being supportive of the Fragglepuss way. Enough about me though, on to what everyone really came here for, nerd talk on anime things!
Spice and Wolf / Ookami to Koushinryou
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Historical, Romance, Bartering
First Aired: Winter 2008, 13 episodes
Summary: Kraft Lawrence is a mid-20s, low-level traveling merchant. He makes enough through wheeling and dealing to get by, but by no means is he rich. While traveling through the town of Pasloe he comes across Holo, a 600-year-old wolf goddess with the appearance of a young girl with ears and a tail. She claims to be the town’s goddess of harvest, but the farmers have become less reliant on her over the years. The two strike a deal that Kraft will take Holo to her northern home, Yoitsu. In exchange, Holo will partner with Kraft while traveling, attempting to broker better merchant deals along the way.
Spice and Wolf throws an anime spin at “The Odd Couple” situation. An unlikely pair end up together and must learn to focus on their similarities and strengths, rather than their differences and weaknesses. The contrasting personalities of the two protagonists are fun to watch unfold. The careful and calculating Kraft must learn to accept the wild and charismatic Holo, which is a risky maneuver. Sometimes Holo’s outgoing personality pays off with excellent deals, while other times it is a hindrance. I am surprised I enjoyed this series as much as I did. I read the synopsis about a traveling merchant making deals and thought they just threw in a fox girl to “spice” it up, but that was not the case. The episodes remain interesting throughout the series and the medieval-style trade deals are fun to watch.
You might enjoy this if: You want to watch a bunch of medieval-style deals go down. It’s a fictional world reminiscent of medieval Europe, but of course with the anime flavoring added to spice it up.
You might not like it if: You want a fox girl centered story. While Holo is a main part of the show, her fox-like characteristics are secondary for the most part. She does have a luxurious tail though, if I do say so myself.
Note to the Viewer: Spice and Wolf is based on a light novel series, not a manga like most anime. The series consists of 21 volumes and counting and is written by Isuna Hasekura.
AMV – Thousand Years by Daniel Smith