DVD Review: Spice And Wolf Season One Collection
Hunting riches more precious than gold!
Japan has a rich history of worshipping fox deities, and in Spice and Wolf, the villagers of an old town are ravaged by a wolf that eats all their corn, so that they have nothing when it comes to their harvest at the end of the year. The villagers and the wolf decide to come to an arrangement once they know she is actually a corn goddess, if they pray to the wolf for a good harvest, then the wolf will only eat a small amount of corn, leaving the rest to them. After several years of plentiful corn, the villagers grow careless, and stop praying to the goddess, called Holo, and she decides she might be appreciated more if she leaves for another village.
When a merchant, Kraft Lawrence meets her, he is amazed at finding a naked woman with wolf ears and a wolf’s tail in his cart, and he doesn’t want anything to do with her until she tells him she can grant him his deepest wish. Of course, Holo wants something from him too, and asks to go with him when he leaves the village. He reluctantly agrees, and that is the start of an excellent friendship, and it seems a rather interesting anime series.
There is a good amount of comedy in this series, as well as fan service. The fan service is for both genders, for the men, Holo has a bad habit of getting naked, but it’s tasteful as her long hair covers her boobs, while Kraft shows his chest off at times.
The series has the two of them travelling from place to place, Kraft trying to make as much coin as he can on his journeying, while Holo goes with him and protects him from any who would do him harm. Its setting seems to be in medieval England, where farm workers from another village are in scorn over a certain village praying and feasting to a wolf deity. They, it is easy to assume are godly types who loathe the idea of idol worship, and view it as heresy and witchcraft, but it is so far from the truth that it in itself is funny. The villagers actually create a huge corn wolf covering it with garlands of flowers, and set up loads of food and drink until the early hours in remembrance of the great harvests they have got from the wolf. Even though they aren’t praying to her anymore, it doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate her help.
Spice and Wolf is more of an emotional drama than a fast-paced action fantasy that many have come to expect from Manga Entertainment’s range of series. It is rather slow, but the pacing is fine if you think about how they travelled by cart in medieval times. They would have taken a long time to get from place to place and do business with other villagers. The story is more than just Kraft doing trade with others, it is about the way humans are, and subjects of religion, avarice, loneliness, cruelty and such crop up in the series with alarming accuracy.
Label: Manga Entertainment
Release date: 18th June 2012
Running time: 325 mins
Director: Takeo Takahashi
Sandie has a keen interest in Anime, Manga and all things Japanese. Her interests other than reviewing are Japanese Language, dress and culture, liking Harajuku Girls, Gothic Lolita, folding some neat Origami, drawing her own Manga characters, writing her own Manga stories and everything in between.