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EP. REVIEW: Spice & Wolf: merchant meets the wise wolf


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Key
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2024 3:29 pm Reply with quote
I also lambasted the new episode 6, though more from the POV about how poorly it delivered on impact compared to the original adaptation. (I can't fault it much for bringing out Holo in wolf form, because what's the point to having a character who's the avatar of a giant wolf if the wolf never appears?) My biggest beef aligns with one point Steve raises, about how Holo sometimes looks like a cute pet dog rather than an intimidating wolf. She was much fiercer-looking in the original adaptation.

Minos_Kurumada wrote:
Not gonna lie, I found the drama a little manufactured, Holo leaving but then staying and then buying the most obvious stuff in the universe to let a bill on Lawrence's name that screams "Holo was here, come and get me"

Oh, that was certainly her exact intent. Yes, she really did need clothes at that point, but it was also a test to see if she really had scared him off or not. The near-perfect timing is simply ordinary plot contrivance.

Quote:
Besides, did Holo killed those men?

Sounds like something hard to hide from the authorities.

If you go back and watch that scene again, she wasn't biting or trampling anyone; she was roughly knocking them aside and scaring them off. Definitely some bruises, maybe a few broken bones and/or concussions, but no fatalities.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 12292
PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2024 10:55 pm Reply with quote
Nothing more romantic than being on the run and fending off thugs together. Particularly when Holo scares off some hounds.

Friendship with Yarei officially ended, Lawrence is all in on the Holo relationship (and staying true to his contract with her). Yarei was still talking smack about gods when he was the one who drove Holo to this point. He still got what he wanted but still fell short next to Lawrence.

Ami Koshimizu's performance when Holo saw Lawerence gets stabbed and when she's regretfully transforming in front of him was very effective.

Wolf Holo in this version was surprisingly cute and noble.

Even if one business deal doesn't pan out...don't forget the other business deal!

No man has ever been more happy to receive an invoice than Lawrence when he realizes it means Holo is sticking by him. And no matter how much they coat their relationship in business terms, their true feelings and desire to be by each others' side stands out. Also just imagine Holo buys more outfits just to give her more of an on-paper reason to stick with Lawrence.

"Spice and Wolf" indeed.
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Minos_Kurumada



Joined: 04 Nov 2015
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2024 2:44 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
I also lambasted the new episode 6, though more from the POV about how poorly it delivered on impact compared to the original adaptation. (I can't fault it much for bringing out Holo in wolf form, because what's the point to having a character who's the avatar of a giant wolf if the wolf never appears?) My biggest beef aligns with one point Steve raises, about how Holo sometimes looks like a cute pet dog rather than an intimidating wolf. She was much fiercer-looking in the original adaptation.

Minos_Kurumada wrote:
Not gonna lie, I found the drama a little manufactured, Holo leaving but then staying and then buying the most obvious stuff in the universe to let a bill on Lawrence's name that screams "Holo was here, come and get me"

Oh, that was certainly her exact intent. Yes, she really did need clothes at that point, but it was also a test to see if she really had scared him off or not. The near-perfect timing is simply ordinary plot contrivance.

Quote:
Besides, did Holo killed those men?

Sounds like something hard to hide from the authorities.

If you go back and watch that scene again, she wasn't biting or trampling anyone; she was roughly knocking them aside and scaring them off. Definitely some bruises, maybe a few broken bones and/or concussions, but no fatalities.


Yeah, yeah, she was leaving bread crumbs for him to follow that's obvious, I just find kinda boring that he found her immediately.

One episode apart to show how each one realise just how lonely they were without each other or a little dramatic chase would have been nice.

Like, Lawrence buying a horse in the spot and making a run for the city's door and catching her, nothing big.
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2024 3:14 pm Reply with quote
Minos_Kurumada wrote:
Yeah, yeah, she was leaving bread crumbs for him to follow that's obvious, I just find kinda boring that he found her immediately.

One episode apart to show how each one realise just how lonely they were without each other or a little dramatic chase would have been nice.

Like, Lawrence buying a horse in the spot and making a run for the city's door and catching her, nothing big.

That wouldn't have fit, though. This is a series about economics as much as it is about the Lawrence/Holo relationship. What more fitting way to wrap up their first big crisis than by couching it in economics terms? You could also look at it as being a way to sidestep that neither is yet willing to define their relationship in romantic terms.

Besides, this is only episode 6. You'll get something closer to what you want before this two-cour run is done.
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Minos_Kurumada



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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 7:10 pm Reply with quote
What a weird composition during the table scene...the whole scene was directing you to the balance, not just the scammer asks Lawrence if he had one, but the camera makes sure you notice there are 2 of them, but the trick was in the table whom which we had 0 information...
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Covnam



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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 7:15 pm Reply with quote
Loved the details this week with the animation, especially the little things like Holo's ears moving under her head kerchief.
I'm surprised Lawrence doesn't have a pair of weights (or something) to test scales considering his profession. Sure, it might affect trust, but you never know when it's someone new.

re: Episode 6, Holo definitely came off as more dog than wolf and lost a lot of the fear/horror the probably wanted to go for.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 8:15 pm Reply with quote
I don't think I understand how the scale scam was supposed to work. It seems to depend on the seller not noticing that the starting point of the pans is not even, and unless the seller is really green or super trusting, they would notice the needle was not centered. Except that Lawrence didn't, which is pretty unbelievable.

Also the amount of bias the buyer could put into this setup without it being obvious seems so little as to not be worth the risk of being discovered. If you're talking about something as valuable as gold, then I guess an accurate weight would be more critical, but even though the pepper is quite valuable, a small error in the weight would probably not matter so much.
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MFrontier



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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 9:33 pm Reply with quote
Holo is both a style icon and a master actress. She can play the cute town girl or the tipsy drunk amazingly while still retaining her razor-sharp wits and ability to suss out subterfuge.

That holy saint was lucky to get bitten in the arse by Holo. Some would even pay for that.

Holo has found her natural enemy as a wolf...a shepherd. And as a woman, seeing how Lawrence reacts to her.
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Aerdra



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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 10:05 pm Reply with quote
The current adaptation skips an episode, though the skipped episode also wasn't broadcast in 2008 but was added later in the DVD release.

Unlike the first six episodes, episode 7 feels quite a bit different from episode 8 of the 2008 series, though some scenes still feature the exact same lines.

Gina Szanboti wrote:
I don't think I understand how the scale scam was supposed to work. It seems to depend on the seller not noticing that the starting point of the pans is not even, and unless the seller is really green or super trusting, they would notice the needle was not centered. Except that Lawrence didn't, which is pretty unbelievable.

The table is slightly tilted, so the scale placed on the table is slightly tilted, which means it'd appear perfectly balanced when one side is actually slightly heavier. By the way, I think the anime depicted the scale backwards: the pepper should've been placed on the lower side.

Gina Szanboti wrote:
Also the amount of bias the buyer could put into this setup without it being obvious seems so little as to not be worth the risk of being discovered. If you're talking about something as valuable as gold, then I guess an accurate weight would be more critical, but even though the pepper is quite valuable, a small error in the weight would probably not matter so much.

Traders profit on the margins, so even a small error may be a large proportion of profit.

Minos_Kurumada wrote:
What a weird composition during the table scene...the whole scene was directing you to the balance, not just the scammer asks Lawrence if he had one, but the camera makes sure you notice there are 2 of them, but the trick was in the table whom which we had 0 information...

I think misdirection may be part of the scam. The dishonest trader draws his counterparts' attention to the scales and away from the table. Even if Lawrence had his own scale, it wouldn't have balanced properly on the tilted table.
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ScruffyKiwi



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PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2024 10:21 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I don't think I understand how the scale scam was supposed to work. It seems to depend on the seller not noticing that the starting point of the pans is not even, and unless the seller is really green or super trusting, they would notice the needle was not centered. Except that Lawrence didn't, which is pretty unbelievable.

Also the amount of bias the buyer could put into this setup without it being obvious seems so little as to not be worth the risk of being discovered. If you're talking about something as valuable as gold, then I guess an accurate weight would be more critical, but even though the pepper is quite valuable, a small error in the weight would probably not matter so much.


I’ve used these types of scales before. Without anything on the scales the starting point means nothing as it just flops back and forth. You put your item to be weighted on one side of the scale and then slowly add your special calibrated weights with tweezers so that you don’t touch them to the other side get the scale to finally tilt back to zero. If the whole thing is on a slope that zero point is incorrect, hence the scam.

NOTE: The expensive thing about scales like this is not the scales, but the weights. I think you can see the stamp on the weights. They are calibrated and would have come with some certificate that the merchant would show. I don’t think a travelling merchant would have their own weights as they don’t travel very well.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2024 7:50 am Reply with quote
Aerdra wrote:
The table is slightly tilted, so the scale placed on the table is slightly tilted, which means it'd appear perfectly balanced when one side is actually slightly heavier.

The weight of the pans is irrelevant. What matters is the zero point in the center between them. If the table isn't level, the needle won't point to zero from the start. I don't know if this scale is so refined, but I would assume that honest merchants would have scales that have a built in zero adjustment (essentially a tare capability) rather than depending on a level table.

ScruffyKiwi wrote:
You put your item to be weighted on one side of the scale and then slowly add your special calibrated weights...to the other side get the scale to finally tilt back to zero. If the whole thing is on a slope that zero point is incorrect, hence the scam.

But just tilting the table would put the zero point visibly off center before adding any weight to either side. If it's not enough to be visible, then the gain isn't worth the risk to your reputation anyway unless you're dealing with something so valuable a gram or less in your favor is worth a lot. If you're going to be dishonest, then falsely calibrated weights would be the way to go.
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blahmoomoo



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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2024 8:38 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Aerdra wrote:
The table is slightly tilted, so the scale placed on the table is slightly tilted, which means it'd appear perfectly balanced when one side is actually slightly heavier.

The weight of the pans is irrelevant. What matters is the zero point in the center between them. If the table isn't level, the needle won't point to zero from the start. I don't know if this scale is so refined, but I would assume that honest merchants would have scales that have a built in zero adjustment (essentially a tare capability) rather than depending on a level table.

ScruffyKiwi wrote:
You put your item to be weighted on one side of the scale and then slowly add your special calibrated weights...to the other side get the scale to finally tilt back to zero. If the whole thing is on a slope that zero point is incorrect, hence the scam.

But just tilting the table would put the zero point visibly off center before adding any weight to either side. If it's not enough to be visible, then the gain isn't worth the risk to your reputation anyway unless you're dealing with something so valuable a gram or less in your favor is worth a lot. If you're going to be dishonest, then falsely calibrated weights would be the way to go.


I think the show implied that Holo detected the intent for fraud when the trader went for a different scale than the closest one to him on the shelf. I'd guess that he has a scale where the zero point is slightly but not obviously off center (at least when observed from a moderate distance) that can be used with the tilted table. Then the other scales could be used on a side table or something that is level when he wants to do legitimate business.

But yeah, having incorrectly calibrated weights would be the far easier way to do it. But then there isn't a way for Holo to dramatically reveal the fraud. That's probably the actual reason why this is convoluted.
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Hiroki not Takuya



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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2024 10:51 pm Reply with quote
I know I'm way late on this and people will ignore, but having avoided the original to this date as it seemed from reviews to be very much not "my sort of show" I have to say that Ep1 is thoroughly charming. Also, CR presents a unique opportunity to compare the two productions side-by-side and I also have to say that the direction and acting on the new Ep1 is significantly better in subtle ways and the new musical score as well sets the tone better than the original. I look forward to watching more...BTW J. Michael Tatum in both versions sound so much the same it's remarkable for a 16 year gap...
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Minos_Kurumada



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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 12:46 am Reply with quote
Quite frankly, the trick its nonsensical.

I am sure Lawrence knows how many grams of pepper he bought, lets say he bought 5kg, in order for the trick to be worth the risk it would need to be like a 5-10% difference.

You telling me that if Holo didn't realice the problem Lawrence is just going to accept that between 250 and 500 grams of it just disappeared?

Even if he only bought 1kg we are talking 50 to 100 grams, that's actually a lot since pepper is quite light...

Dunno, the series has been decently smart until now, but I feel it dropped the ball here, had I written the scene I would have made Lawrence exchange black pepper for another good.

"I will give you 50 grams or myrrh for each 100 grams of black pepper" or somethin like that, now the tilt is useful since Lawrence thinks he is getting 2.5kg of myrrh instead of 2.25kg.
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ScruffyKiwi



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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2024 6:37 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Aerdra wrote:
The table is slightly tilted, so the scale placed on the table is slightly tilted, which means it'd appear perfectly balanced when one side is actually slightly heavier.

The weight of the pans is irrelevant. What matters is the zero point in the center between them. If the table isn't level, the needle won't point to zero from the start. I don't know if this scale is so refined, but I would assume that honest merchants would have scales that have a built in zero adjustment (essentially a tare capability) rather than depending on a level table.

ScruffyKiwi wrote:
You put your item to be weighted on one side of the scale and then slowly add your special calibrated weights...to the other side get the scale to finally tilt back to zero. If the whole thing is on a slope that zero point is incorrect, hence the scam.

But just tilting the table would put the zero point visibly off center before adding any weight to either side. If it's not enough to be visible, then the gain isn't worth the risk to your reputation anyway unless you're dealing with something so valuable a gram or less in your favor is worth a lot. If you're going to be dishonest, then falsely calibrated weights would be the way to go.


There is no ‘zero point’ without anything on the pans. As I commented earlier, the pans move freely up and down without anything on them. You can’t tare these scales with no weight.
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