With many of the newest titles from Japan I've come across, there have
been dating sim spinoffs, series sequels, shows milking off the moe
craze, or titles that reuse plot elements commonplace in its specific
genre. Here in Spice and Wolf, there's a focus on medieval times with a
mixed emphasis on mercantilism and pagan deities. Enter merchant Craft
Lawrence and wolf deity girl Horo the Wise. Horo travels with Lawrence
to return to her homeland since the village she used to occupy no longer
depend on her presence for harvests.
Spice and Wolf's main
focuses are the character chemistry between Horo and Lawrence and the
world of merchants that Lawrence serves. First, I'll focus on the mercantilism theme. I have heard some bloggers found it difficult to
love or hate Spice and Wolf mostly due to the heavy focus on mercantilism. As his life profession, Lawrence has to constantly make
sure he makes the best profit possible out of any items he buys or sells
or contracts he agrees to from trading companies. He has to always be
watchful of whatever he acquires or gets involved with as getting
involved in the wrong decision could put his social status as a merchant
or life at risk. Enough discussion is made on the value of specific
currency or items and any activity that is connected to the Church. With
Horo by his side, Lawrence gains a partner with centuries of experience
in persuading other merchants or customers to get anything off him or
for him for the best profit possible. It was often hard for me to follow
some of the discussions, but learning more about medieval economics was
quite interesting for me to see out of this series.
character chemistry between Horo and Lawrence also caught my interest
with this series. There was a mix of humor and bonding between the two
as their journey pressed on. The humor came off of the difference in
personalities between the two as Lawrence often criticized Horo's
haughty attitude while Horo thought Lawrence was too soft and
inexperienced when it came to hard decisions as a merchant. The
loneliness of the two from their different lifestyles bring the two
closer together. The series often hinted the possibility that the two
could become more closer as their journey pushed forward.
journey of the two was left unresolved. But this was one of the better titles I could enjoy out of 2008 thanks to the original premise and the character chemistry of Holo and Lawrence.