|An Odd Recipe; A Great Dish||3 out of 3 users found this review helpful.|
The two largest ingredients to this peculiar, but enticing anime is an interesting wolf girl by the name of Holo that, in this universe, is the god of the full harvest and the character Lawrence who is a peddler/traveling merchant and brings to the show an interesting dynamic of mercantilism and business interactions. Another underlying dynamic of the show is that Holo is a pagan spirit and if her identity were found out by the right people, zealots of the christian church would burn her at the stake. Lawrence and Holo travel together with the overall intention of returning Holo to "The North," where Holo is from. Along the way Lawrence does what he does best and make deals, sells good, buys information, and even gets swindled by other merchants which gets the duo into trouble.
So beneath all of this strange Wolf Girl Magic and merchant talk is a relationship between Holo and Lawrence that is almost ALWAYS one line of dialogue away from being a romantic relationship. The back and forth of frustration and fondness is entertaining and it feels genuine. Holo's emotions are odd, but not so odd that they seem forced. She reacts in the way that you would think a Wolf Girl harvest God would, which is to act strangely.
I really loved the music. The intro to each show is interesting but not memorable. The ending song, however, is the most charming thing I have heard in an anime for quite some time. The entire show is filled with certain segments that are used in each episode, but are good enough that it blends into the background. Pan pipes and stringed instruments are primary arrangement, which are fitting for the 14th century Europe vibe that the whole show has. Overall, though, the ending song is the best. It is so cheery. The only thing I can think of that was more lighthearted and cheery was the intro song for the melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.
There are other characters in the show but none are more, or even equally important as, Holo or Lawrence. The entire show focuses on the relationship of Holo and Lawrence and their interactions with other characters. These characters aren't too terribly deep or interesting but are more like plot devices but that isn't to say they are bad characters. There are betrayals, but would be more meaningful if the characters were just "Red Shirts." Honestly, if you are coming to this show for a wide cast of characters that you will fall in love with then you are in the wrong place. This show is about Holo and Lawrence. I can't stress this enough. It's almost a romance show.
There isn't much action, but I'm not a jug head that has to have action to be entertained, so if you are a jug head then steer clear. There are some scenes where Holo turns into her wolf form to fight a few enemies, but the action isn't very engaging or interesting. If you are interested in a show like Black Lagoon and like the relationship between Rock and Revy then you will love this show because the banter and attitude is the same (but without all the violence and swearing.)
I give this show 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really liked the show but there are some things that hold it back. The biggest thing is that Holo's whole objective to get to "the North" is almost tertiary. There could also be more variation in the music that is played in each episode. Regardless of these things, I loved this show.