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Spice and Wolf (both seasons).


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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 1669
Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:55 pm Reply with quote
[NOTE: Discussion of Season 2 episodes begins with this post.]

Spice and Wolf

First episode has recently aired and subbed. Thought I should start a topic and stop being neglecting to talk about great anime like I did with Mononoke in 2007.

Andrew Cunningham reviewed the original light novels a while back on his website. Click here.

As for my thoughts so far:

Very fun first episode! Even the fanservice didn't annoy me.

Horo definitely is an entertaining character, and even early on it's easy to see why fans of the light novels regard her so highly.

Production values are nothing special, though the backgrounds are pretty nice.

And Chris Mosdell is involved somehow?! Saw his name in the credits I guess that would be the ending theme's lyrics, which are quite whimsical and humorous.

So that would make it... at least four anime he's written lyrics for: Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex, Texhnolyze, Wolf's Rain, and now Spice and Wolf.

Looking forward to more.

Edit: I see what you did there, Tony. Appreciate it.
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Aromatic Grass



Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Posts: 2424
Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:47 pm Reply with quote
A good first episode.

This was subbed rather quickly! Guess it has that good appeal. I just watched it a few minutes ago and was quite surprised at how easily I was drawn in. The animation was okay, but I was focusing on the music. The music and Horo, who really stole the spotlight. Now I want to know all about her.

A lot of scenes made me jump just as much as a horror movie. And the world itself seems pretty mythical. The great background music only added to that fantastical~ness. Oh, and I liked the theme songs as well.

I felt that Lawrence's voice should have sounded "older" than it was, but it's not really that big of a deal. I didn't really notice that much fanservice either...

Anyway, I shouldn't be watching so much at once, but whatever. It's really good!
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Samurai-with-glasses



Joined: 17 Aug 2005
Posts: 628

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:47 pm Reply with quote
I love the ED. Anime smile It's one of the few really bad Engrish that somehow didn't grate on me. I'm sure the quirky little song will grow on me as time goes by.

I've been meaning to start a thread about the show. Glad somebody else did the work for me, heh.

Anyway I have to agree with you guys. This seems like it's going to be the Seirei no Morobito of the season, though not as serious or high-budgeted, but still likely to be highly enjoyable.

The wolf spirit sure got spunk. She gets herself a place right beside him right away while the other Horo failed.

Aromatic Grass wrote:
I didn't really notice that much fanservice either...

There's a bunch of scenes where Horo (the wolf) is naked, and a scene where Horo (the merchant girl) tries to seduce Lawrence. But I find neither to be, well, fanservice-y. More like "natural" or "plot-related."
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Skys



Joined: 04 Dec 2007
Posts: 101
Location: Minnesota

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:58 pm Reply with quote
The first episode was pretty good. The opening has a rather tranquil feel to it and the song is nice; I enjoyed it more than many other openings I have seen. This episode does a fairly good job of describing the characters and the beliefs of the world. The plot seems rather basic, but some of the underlying elements, like religion, seem like interesting issues in this anime.

As for some other aspects of this anime, I found the animation to be acceptable; nothing spectacular, but nothing horrible. I would have to agree with Aromatic Grass in regards to the background music. It did really have a fantasy type of feel to it. One scene in particular I remember is when Lawrence first gets into the town into Pasroe and is talking with the villagers, the music then really does have a festival kind of feel to it; really enjoyable to listen to. As for fan service, the only scene I can really recall that I consider fan service is when Lawrence is with Chloe discussing her proposal, and even then the fan service there is used in regards to the dialogue. I agree with Samurai-with-glasses in regards to Horo(The Wolf). I do not think the scenes of her being naked were meant to be fan service but more to show Horo as different than a human.

An interesting idea that I found was brought up in this episode is that of a god's importance. It seems, in the beginning the people of Pasroe found it necessary to rely on the Wolf God Horo for a good harvest, but as time passed and the people of Pasroe learned better farming techniques, their reliance on Horo began to dissipate to the point where some people begin to say there is no need for her any longer. I found it rather interesting how Horo was used like morale support till times got better in the village and belief in a greater power became less necessary for survival. It is a curious way of portraying human nature.

Overall, it was a good introductory episode. I will be looking forward to the next episode.
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Aromatic Grass



Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Posts: 2424
Location: Raleigh, NC

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:23 pm Reply with quote
Samurai-with-glasses wrote:
There's a bunch of scenes where Horo (the wolf) is naked, and a scene where Horo (the merchant girl) tries to seduce Lawrence.

Like you, I don't really associate that with fanservice, although in the end it kind of is... just involuntary? If anything, Chloe to me was the only fanservice, and even then it wasn't all that bad; it was also rather realistic for the moment. ("Plotwise," as you put it.)

@Skys: I like your use of the word "tranquil" although not just for the OP theme. The whole series has this tranquility about it. And I also think it's interesting what you said about he people and their relying on Horo...

Ahh, I just hope the novels are brought over. Smile
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Murasakisuishou



Joined: 22 Jun 2006
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Location: NE Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:44 pm Reply with quote
I ah, just watched this because Aromatic Grass said it was good (hey, we have similar tastes :p) and I actually liked it quite a bit! The story is intriguing, and I really like the idea of "what does a god do when the people feel like they don't need her anymore?"

I have the feeling that the ending theme will get stuck in my head over and over to the point where I may as well like it. At least it's cute Engrish and not "...excuse me, what?"
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countchocula86



Joined: 26 Oct 2007
Posts: 159

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:11 pm Reply with quote
Cool first ep, dunno if Im quite hooked yet.

The op was meh, but I love the ed very much! Lol

didn't notice fanservice in the ep, but then I think of fanservice as unnecessary sexuality.
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Westlo



Joined: 03 Oct 2002
Posts: 1681

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:31 am Reply with quote
I was also thinking of making a thread for this but was too lazy to get around and do it so thanks Hellkorn for that. Anyway I'm been eagerly awaiting this show since I saw Andrews thread for it on AOD, and lately I've read 4 chapters of the manga which I've really enjoyed too.

The anime adaption covered the first 2 chapters of the manga (which I'm told is faithful to the novels) and also included quite a lot of new stuff (Chloe) as well which really fit well with what I've read so far.

Horo is an awesome character and will probably be the "it" girl of the season, I'm very happy with Ami Koshimizu's Horo, I've been a fan of her since I heard her Anemone in Eureka Seven and I liked her Horo.

Anyway needless to say this lived up to my expectations and I'm looking forward to more of this. Also while its became obvious to me with this thread... just to make sure, Aromatic Grass = Pastachan on AOD?
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frentymon
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Joined: 27 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:27 am Reply with quote
Agh I'm kind of disappointed actually.

First I don't like Lawrence. He's like your averagely sarcastic main character, but he doesn't really do anything unique and his reactions and responses to everything seem so typical and...scripted. His obvious spoiler[dodging of the issue of Chloe's growing up and his GO AWAY GO AWAY reaction to Horo's sleeping in his wagon felt kind of...forced.] Also the development of his relationship with Horo seems kind of rushed and seems to progress too far in too little time.

I also don't really like Horo as much as I thought I would. Her accent kind of (really) throws me off as it's like that of a stereotypical anime old lady talk (reminds me of a Hokkaido accent too, although I'm really not familiar with that) coupled with spoiler[the fact that she's a 250 year old God] which coupled with her eccentric behavior and "deep talk" somehow gives off the feeling that Lawrence is travelling with an old old lady who just happens to have the appearance of a 15-16 year old girl. That spoiler[crazy unattractive howl was also kind of a Shocked moment for me].

I'm not quite sure of the direction the series is going to go after episode 1 either. I see it as potentially turning into an episodic bit-by-bit journey type of uninspired series, or a predictable "crises back at home" kind of deal after travelling a bit, or something to do with wheat and ancient magic and the village's history or something mysteriously happening to Horo which makes her all mysterious-like and super quiet all of a sudden...all these things seem pretty likely and I'm not particularly keen on any of these things to happen, so I hope the series steers in a different direction, does something I wouldn't have expected, and hopefully I like Lawrence and Horo more as the series progresses.

So far, I'm not thrilled about the show. Guess I'll have to wait and see how it goes before saying anything more though.

P.S. I usually like Rocky Chack, but I really didn't like the ED song this time around. Really enjoyed the OP though.
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Ramadahl



Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 325
Location: MK, UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:54 am Reply with quote
frentymon wrote:
I also don't really like Horo as much as I thought I would. Her accent kind of (really) throws me off as it's like that of a stereotypical anime old lady talk (reminds me of a Hokkaido accent too, although I'm really not familiar with that) coupled with spoiler[the fact that she's a 250 year old God] which coupled with her eccentric behavior and "deep talk" somehow gives off the feeling that Lawrence is travelling with an old old lady who just happens to have the appearance of a 15-16 year old girl. That spoiler[crazy unattractive howl was also kind of a Shocked moment for me].

I actually quite liked how they did that. It really emphasises the point that she's not human... not just some girl running around naked with a tail...

I'm not blown away with the series yet like some people seem to be, but I think it's got potential (which is more than I can say for lots of new shows -.- ). It seems like it could too easily fall into the trap of "new village evey week, hijinks ensue", which would kinda suck. Certainly worth watching a few more episodes to see how it progresses though.
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angel_lover



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 645
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:42 am Reply with quote
A promising beginning, although a few scenes from the OP were a little worrying. What with the emphasis put on spoiler["pagan religions vs the One True God", I hope it doesn't turn into something like Princess Mononoke meets Witchfinder General.]
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LuckySleven



Joined: 13 Mar 2007
Posts: 426
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:11 pm Reply with quote
I guess the first episode was alright. I found that Lawrence's voice does not suit him, I imagined a voice with more depth and boldness but I'll see how it turns out later on. As for Horo's voice... well I'll just leave it as satisfied. I noticed it was a little different from what I've read in the beginning but this new introduction makes more sense. The OP and ED songs where quite enjoyable, I really liked the whole apple theme with the ED animation part. I'll continue watching the series as it contains some sexy economics...and such.
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selenta
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:25 pm Reply with quote
I too was impressed with the first episode. Maybe that had something to do with the quality of the previous season in my mind, but this first episode was just about everything I could have wanted. Personally, it seems like I liked it for all the reasons that frenty did not, some of which Ramadahl mentioned already.

I really like that they treated Horo like a non-human, it's clever; it's like she's trying to fit in as a human by wearing the clothes and acting like a sexy female, but it's so glaringly obvious that she's not. On a side note frenty, he is traveling with an old lady. Wink The howl was another high point for me because it showed that the series was taking itself somewhat seriously and that the show wasn't going to be designed around Horo being eye candy. OK, so maybe it could still go that way, but it's considerably less likely now.

As for Lawrence, I don't really have an opinion on him yet. He seems pretty straightforward and stereotypical except that he's a 'genuinely serious guy trying to hold back on his personal wishes for probably realistic enough reasons' instead of a 'super pervert who just pretends to be serious'. Either way though, it seems fairly obvious that they avoided developing his character too much in the first episode because it would distract the viewer from the more important aspect in the first episode: taking in the world and the characters in the first town. They can always develop his character more, but the characters and people from the first town (who will clearly be important later) needed to be focused on now.

Also, I read the first two chapters of the manga before I saw this, and I thought it compared rather favorably myself.
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Jadress



Joined: 08 Oct 2003
Posts: 802
Location: Seattle. It purdy and nerdy!

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:41 pm Reply with quote
I've been looking forward to this series, if not only because I'm weird and I love wolves and the idea of a story of an ancient wolf-goddess is instantly appealing to me. The first episode didn't disappoint me. I agree the animation was average, but I thought everything looked really pretty. I don't have much of an impression on Lawrence yet, but I agree with Aromatic Grass that I really want to know more about Horo. Also I think I'm really obsessed with the opening song, and I look forward to getting my hands on a long version of that song (I love dramatic mix-gender duets, like Yoko Kanno's "The Garden of Everything"). I have a question- I thought that the series was originally a light novel and not a manga- or did a manga come out after the novel and THEN came the anime?

I may have to cosplay as Horo someday.. I heart wolf-girls!!
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HellKorn



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
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Location: Columbus, OH

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:56 pm Reply with quote
Re: Fanservice

It's not all that much, considering the direction the anime could've gone, but there are too many convienantly-placed shots and pans.

But not to the point that I'm complaining. It's pretty much a given.

frentymon wrote:
[Horo's] accent kind of (really) throws me off as it's like that of a stereotypical anime old lady talk (reminds me of a Hokkaido accent too, although I'm really not familiar with that) coupled with spoiler[the fact that she's a 250 year old God] which coupled with her eccentric behavior and "deep talk" somehow gives off the feeling that Lawrence is travelling with an old old lady who just happens to have the appearance of a 15-16 year old girl.


Actually that's her appeal for me (wolf ears and tails for others). She is a 600 year old deity, and it's obvious that she would speak with experience and an accent (which is why I'm a bit disgruntled that they opted out for a more stereotypical "anime" voice).

Andrew Cunningham mentioned this in the AoD:

Andrew Cunningham wrote:
Right, she speaks an old dialect, specifically that of the Oiran.
Of the top of my head, Watashi -> Watchi, Kure -> Kuryare, Arimasen -> Arinsen.


Jadress wrote:
I have a question- I thought that the series was originally a light novel and not a manga- or did a manga come out after the novel and THEN came the anime?


The series is originally a light novel. I'm guessing that since an anime production was planned they decided to also create a manga adaption to bring in more of an audience.

Anyhow, glad that the response is overall positive.
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