22 Jan 2013

Spice and Wolf

Spice and Wolf, or Ookami to Koushinryou is an anime about a merchant, trying to make his way in the world and earn a tidy profit. Lawrence is nothing special, except for his incredible business sense. One night in a quiet town, a beautiful girl appears in his cart. She is Holo (or Horo); a wolf god. Her role is to ensure a good harvest for the villagers. With her job completed, she commandeers Lawrence to travel home with her. Despite how uninteresting this anime may sound, it's actually pretty good if you can wrap your head around the first few episodes and get into it.

Probably the only time you will see her without clothes.

Lawrence is a smart peddler, and his goal is to earn enough to start his own shop. While Holo doesn't know much about trading, she's incredibly intelligent and often provides advice and thinks of solutions nobody else could. Learning about the intricacies of buying and selling goods for a tidy profit can be fascinating at times, and the bond between Holo and Lawrence makes their conversations easy to listen to.

For a god, Holo is surprisingly childish at times. On the other hand, she has a tail, wolf ears and also transforms into a giant doggy. I like her character, she's not much of a tsundere. She picks up everything Lawrence throws at her without trouble, and is incredibly loyal. Oh, and she eats enough apples to kill a whale.

Lawrence, just your average guy.

Lawrence is nothing special. But that's part of his charm. He's spent years traveling and mastering his craft. He knows how to make money, although he has the worst luck and ends up losing his profit due to unforeseen circumstances. With Holo at his side, they make a great team. With the church after Holo for unspecified reasons, you can see the dangers they encounter slowly taking a toll on Lawrence.

As their journey continues, you will find yourself more ensorcelled by the plot. Lawrence encounters endless amounts of setbacks on his journey, yet he struggles onward and always has a solution to make the most out of his losses. Holo gives him the strength to carry on, and pulls them out of a bind or two herself.

Holo enjoys disguising herself in fancy clothes.

I know stocks, insider trading, loans and every kind of economic you can imagine sounds boring. But if there was ever a time it was bearable; Spice and Wolf is that time. You might start watching it for the adorable Wolf girl, but you'll be starved from fan service- and fed with knowledge and witty profiteering. Fuck fan service anyway, it kills good anime.

The anime is painfully short, even with the second season. It's a shame, because for once it's very original. However, the plot did dip at times and the only reason I continued was because I knew it would pick up again. That, and I'm a sucker for romance which seems to be budding between the couple. That aside, I felt really smart when I finally grasped some of the trading concepts and tricks employed by Lawrence after listening to his explanation a few times. Just don't bother watching this anime if you don't like the sound of it. Because it's nothing more than what I've explained so far.

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