Spice & Wolf: Complete Series (BLU-RAY)

Spice & Wolf

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It’s not often that I am completely put off by an anime out of the Funimation camp. Sure, there are titles that I didn’t particularly like, but never one that failed to entertain me even in the slightest. That is until I watched Spice and Wolf.

The story of Spice and Wolf revolves around a traveling merchant trader named Kraft Lawrence. Lawrence enters a town on the eve of their traditional festival where they honor a spirit that enables their harvests to grow plentiful. It’s here we meet Lawrence’s love interest as well as the spirit of the fields named Holo, a young woman with ears and a tail that has been looking over the towns fields for a long time, making sure their wheat grows bountiful. Lawrence learns that Holo isn‘t from these parts and wants him to take her along on his travels back to her homeland of Yoitsu. It’s a great start to your usual fantasy anime.

As the story progresses it begins to grow more dull. The core theme behind the anime is business. Selling, buying, currency topics, the state of the people of wherever having been influenced into certain actions by the economy of their land. If Christopher Nolan ever decided to direct an anime, this would be it.

I’m not sure how many people in the world that love anime have ever stated, “Man, I wish anime wasn’t so strangely bizarre and full of impossible things that boosts my imagination to impossible heights. I just wish they could illustrate the comings and goings of congress and maybe put a foxtail on Mitch McConnell and talk about the U.S. Dollar for hours upon hours.” For me, this is what it was like. Even though there was some action, romance, and some suspense, the series was a deviant entity in a world that welcomingly doesn’t make sense.

Like the story, the picture quality for Spice and Wolf leaves a lot to be desired. Definition is pretty solid, I’ll give you that, but the illustration designs for the show seem a bit under whelming. For example, while being chased through city streets by an angry Mob Lawrence and Holo rush past almost faceless abstract background city residents who look sloppily drawn in and without individual personality. I know, there not even slightly side characters, but the Blu-Ray features that the series brings along with it are purposeless against this type of careless illustration. Color feels zapped for most of the series. Towards the back end of the series it gets a bit better. It reminded me of my experience with the series Fairy Tail. The first half of that anime began a bit zapped of color, but in the second half it got better. Not significantly better, but it was an improvement. The same can be said here about Spice and Wolf.

Audio. As always Funimation does a fantastic job in creating a marvelous home theater experience as far as sound is concerned. I can’t recall coming across a release from this company that didn’t impress me in the sound department.

~Studying With Holo
~Stretching with Holo Yoitz style
~Textless songs
~DVD and Blu-Ray versions


AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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