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DVD Review

DVD cover

Spice and Wolf
Season Two Collection


Starring (voice): Ami Koshimizu, Jun Fukuyama and Daisuke Namikawa
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 12
Available 06 August 2012

Kraft Lawrence is a young man who travels the land peddling his goods, always moving from town to town in an effort to earn enough to open his own shop. When he passes through Pasloe he meets Holo, a 600 year old wolf girl, who has spent her time tending the countryside. However, as time has passed the townsfolk have lost interest in their protector and she has become frustrated with the monotony of her life. She jumps at the chance of leaving with Kraft on his journey, to see and do new things...

Spice and Wolf is an anime, directed by Takeo Takahashi. The show is based on the manga and light novel created by Isuna Hasekura. The series originally ran between 09 July and 24 September 2009.

The colour pallet is autumnal, with lots of soft browns, greens and muted primary colours; this gives the anime a distinctive look, which is in keeping with the idea of a wolf girl who is part of the natural world. Holo is a god who has chosen to take the form of a wolf girl, this often has her naked, but even here there is no evidence of fan service as she is devoid of nipples and female genitalia.

Titillation is not the point of the show, its focus is on the growing relationship between Kraft, or Lawrence as he is usually known, as the two travels across the land, all the time Lawrence’s feelings for Holo continues to deepen.

The show is not without its action, although this is limited to affairs of the heart and commerce. The first six episodes contains a single story which has Lawrence desperately trying to make money from selling Pyrite in order to save Holo from the amorous advances of a mage. The remaining six episodes also contain an on-going story, similar in tone to the first. I found that it was best to watch each story in its entirety; it makes for a long movie, over two hours, but a more satisfying experience.

Disc one contains seven episodes, as the first is 00, which acts as a catch-up on what had happened in the story so far, useful if you missed the first season. Disc two contains the final six episodes as well as the extras. Studying with Holo (2 min, 07 sec), which is a short piece about what the characters eat and drink, with shots from the show. Stretching with Holo, Yoitz Style (3 min, 54 sec) which is, essentially, an exercise video. The disc also contains the textless opening and closing sequences.

The disc has a very reasonable English 5.1 surround sound audio dub as well as the original Japanese 2.0, with English subtitles for hard core fans.

Overall, it’s a more contemplative show, which makes a difference to the endless ‘fight of the week’ fare which seems to make up the core of shows shipped here. Well worth a look if you’re looking for something slightly different.


Charles Packer

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