Wolf & Spice (series)

All posts tagged Wolf & Spice (series)

The main male protagonist is at the bottom left (his back turned to you), while the main female protagonist is at the bottom right. Only one screenshot are taken when watching this anime, so please forgive me about the lack of pictures in this blog entry.

Just like what I have mentioned in my last review, the next three anime titles that will be reviewed here are 2009 titles. After watching (and reviewing) all three titles, I will then pick one of them to become the first anime that will assume the mantle of being the holder of ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ title, and get listed on the side-bar at the right. The three titles that will become the provisional candidates for the title is the second season of the Wolf and Spice series, the much overhyped K-On and the mahjong anime Saki. I’ll get started with the sequel of the current Anime of the Year 2008 Wolf and Spice, and lets see whether this anime has a better luck than the sequel of Nodame Cantabile, which is not as good as the first one.

The two main protagonists continues their journey north, after the events that unfolded at the end of the first season. There are two more story arcs that happened in two different cities, as the main male protagonist helps the main female protagonist returns to her homeland (did not arrive yet).

The continuation are done seamlessly, with necessary flashbacks from the scenes happening in the first season being shown sparingly. The two story arcs in this second season are similar to what you may seen in the first season. The first arc is solid, it is almost like a mind game instead of your usual merchant trading stories that you can see in the first season. Plus, the first arc also helps advance the main storyline quite a bit. The second arc meanwhile, is a little bit meh, and this will have its own repercussion later on. The plots in each arc flows smoothly with good pacing with the exception of the second story arc, and it will be explained below.

The part where the second season really regressed is the ending. Just like the first season’s ending, the one in the second season opens up the possibility of a third season. The problem is, compared to the first season’s ending (which is excellent), the ending in the second season is poorly formed and presented to the audience. This was partly influenced by the poor plots in the second story arc, but more importantly, the last 2 episodes in the anime seems to be rushed. I think this happened because the anime is running out of airtime, and an extra episode may have helped the plots in the second arc develops much more naturally, just like it is in the first arc and the ones in the first season.

The lackluster ending was offset by the improved character developments in the second season. If there is one thing the two story arcs this second season has, that would be the excellent character developments that has surpassed the efforts done in the first season. The director builds on the excellent foundation already laid out in the first season and improved it much further in the second season, especially in the first arc.

Note to Japan: Can we have a 24-episode run in the third season? 12 episodes per season doesn’t give this anime justice. I want more alcohol-guzzling wolf-girl! :mrgreen:

Character Design:-
My comment from the first season still applies.

Voice Acting:-
My comment from the first season still applies. The voice acting from the two protagonists are excellent in this dialogue-heavy anime.

The OP/ED themes in this second season are nowhere as good as the ones in the first season, but the OST has improved markedly.

The animation and choreography in the second season is the same as in the first season. The directing has improved, and there are no more DVD-only episode it seems.

10 out of 10,
although its position is less tenable than the first installment of this series. Nevertheless, this score should put Wolf and Spice 2 in the pole position for the ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ title. K-On, which will be next in line, and also Saki will have their work cut out for them if they covets that particular title.

Shortlink: http://wp.me/prgSo-bu

Our main female protagonist and also the one of the best characters in this series.

It is about time that I give H2O footprints in the sand a new challenge, and it comes in the form of a very Nodame Cantabile-esque title, Wolf and Spice (or Spice and Wolf). No need to keep you guessing whether Wolf and Spice will dethrone the former that has kept the throne for 3 months, because they have done exactly just that. Read on to know how this excellent series managed to do it.

In a setting that looks like Europe in medieval times (thus I will not complain about lack of black hair whatsoever), a merchant encountered a she-wolf that used to be worshipped by local villagers before the arrival for a certain organized religion. She asked the merchant to accompany her to her homeland in the north, and from there on they travelled together as the merchant is doing his merchant thing while avoiding the church from discovering a cute demon in their midst.

This anime reminded me of Nodame Cantabile a lot, particularly the synergy in the relationship between the two main protagonists. In fact, they are very similar to the protagonists in Nodame Cantabile, with only some minimal differences. The character strength for both of our protagonists here is what makes this anime very appealing, despite the character development that isn’t exactly spectacular like the one in Nodame Cantabile.

The story by itself is not as good as Nodame’s, but the structure is eerily similar. Just replace the classical music elements in Nodame with merchant trading skills, plus throw in a female protagonist that can do supernatural things the way her compatriot in Inukami did and you got Wolf and Spice. The story flows smoothly with decent pacing despite the gap left by the mysterious episode 7 that isn‘t released yet, before arriving at an excellent ending that is superbly executed. That scene where the main male protagonist outwitted the main female protagonist when the clock tower rang at 7 in the morning is very inventive and capped a good way to create a closure. Plus, the ending opens up the possibility for a second season, which I will definitely watch.

With only 12 episodes (not counting the unreleased episode 7), this anime has barely showed the potential that its story has. This is why, even when I say that the story is not as good as Nodame Cantabile above, that fact will not count negatively towards this series. As long as a second (or more) season comes out and we got to see what will happen to these two very lovable main characters at the end of their journey, it is fine by me. This anime is just too good not to be given a second season unlike for example, that awful Hatenkou Yuugi.

Character Design:-
A positive point of this anime, the character design is simply excellent especially for the two main protagonists. No complaints about the lack of black hair (some bystanders have them though) because of the medieval Europe settings.

Voice Acting:-
This is the part where this anime is not a match for Nodame Cantabile. The voice acting in this anime is great but nowhere near the awesome Tomokazu Seki/Ayako Kawasumi combo in Nodame. Then again that combo will be hard to be defeated.

The OP/ED themes are good but not so for the OST.

This 2008 anime surely has very good animation which is not affected by fast-paced scenes. The choreography is quite decent too, but the directing is not exactly outstanding. At least he/she keeps the story flows very well but whoever decides that the episode 7 has to be released in DVD must be shot.

Midway during watching the series, I decided that this anime will get a 9, but after seeing the strong ending, I changed my mind and gives it a perfect score, 10 out of 10. With this, Wolf and Spice will take the Anime of The Year 2008 title from H2O footprints in the sand. Plus, a new tag ‘perfect score’ will be added to all anime rated 10 out of 10 from now on. The move to wordpress really paid off.

To the main male protagonist, if you want to persuade an impressionable young oppressed naive lady to do one of the most heinous crimes in the eyes of the Church, you probably do not want to do it in the open where a lot of people gathers. You know, like open-air bars that served alcohol in daylight? Who knows, the Church may have eyes and ears in places like that. And having your partner to accompany you when all she is doing is chugging beer usually will not give a good impression either.

Shortlink: http://wp.me/prgSo-4G