Monday, June 28, 2010

Spice & Wolf Season 1

Kraft Lawrence is a traveling merchant constantly moving from town to town buying and selling everything from pepper to armor. On his way out of Pasroe village, he finds a strange girl hiding in the back of his cart. When he interrogates her about her name and purpose, she claims that she is Holo, a wolf deity who was once called upon by the village of Pasroe to help their wheat crop to grow. In the many years since then, she feels unneeded by the village and wishes to return to her home in the North. The unlikely pair strike a deal and set off together towards the North.

Along the way their journey and partnership are continually tested from outside forces as much as from within by Holo's pride and arrogance. Soon after they begin traveling together they hear of a plan to turn a profit using silver coins--which is only the first of many ventures in their partnership together.

Spice and Wolf is a spectacular series that I fell in love with from the first episode. Holo and Lawrence make an excellent partnership, amusing and enchanting viewers with their witty banter while still striking a chord with poignant moments of drama.

The art in the series is crisp and clear atop beautiful backgrounds and rounded out by impeccable animation. The music is pitch perfect throughout complementing the series beautifully, and reminding me of a renaissance fair. The opening and closing songs reflect the dramatic but playful nature of the series. J. Michael Tatum (Lawrence) and Brina Palencia (Holo) are well cast in the series as the title characters. Overall this series is one of the best that I have seen in years.

It is a series that is definitely for adults; Holo bares it all, though tastefully, in the first episode and a few other times as well. It also features a lot of economics as Lawrence is frequently explaining to Holo how different aspects of the merchant's life are, which I thought was interesting but won't fascinate everyone.

The series is based on a series of light novels, novellas, by Isuna Hasekura and also has a manga series as well, which is amazing as well; both are put out by Yen Press. Spice and Wolf Season 1 is put out by Funimation and can be found on the VBPL catalog.

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