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Spice And Wolf- The Complete Series Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Review

Spice and Wolf- The Complete Series Blu-ray-DVD Combo Pack

“Spice and Wolf” is a unique short-lived anime series.

In the two seasons of “Spice and Wolf,” viewers are introduced to lead characters Kraft Lawrence (a roaming fur and wheat merchant) and a wolf girl named Holo over the course of 25 episodes and an OVA. Together, Kraft and Holo conduct business deals, meet fellow merchants (such as Fermi Amati) and travel around towns such as Pasroe, Patzuille, Poloson, Kumerson, and Renos. Other key storylines include Kraft and Holo searching for Holo’s hometown of Yoitsu, pyrites, alchemists, Sheppards, traders, and, of course, other wolves. The series is based on the Japanese light novel series.

“Spice and Wolf” is the type of anime series that is both fascinating and frustrating. On one hand, the series is decidedly different than the average anime series as this character centric show feels more like an RPG game than anything else. On the other hand, the RPG esque storytelling style holds the series back a bit as the story doesn’t move forward nearly enough. This is especially evident in the apparent final season of the show (season 2) which ends just as events start becoming truly interesting for both the viewers and the main characters. Granted, I know shows are cancelled and cut short all the time, but it feels especially aggravating here as we are only getting part of the story. On the plus side, however, fans of “Spice and Wolf” can get more of the story in the light novels and manga to see what the story is building to.

While the show does feature a lot of wasted time and filler, it doesn’t impact the overall enjoyment of the series. At its core, the tension and friendship/relationship between Kraft and Holo drive the series. They make you invest in the series as you (the viewer) feel as if you are on embarking on a journey alongside them.

Equally impressive here is the animation by Imagin Animation. The detailed and picturesque interior and exterior imagery is divine. The natural environments look particularly impressive as they draw you into the world these characters inhabit.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? In season 1, the  hi-def transfer highlights the flaws of the  animation work. Thankfully, season 2 is far better looking thanks to a crisper transfer and improved animation quality.

Audio Tracks: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. How do they sound? The English track is lively and features serviceable voice work. The Japanese track is a bit mellow with a 2.0 track instead of a 5.1 track, but the voice cast is certainly stronger here.

Extras:
* Trailers for various Funimation titles.
* Textless opening and closing songs for season 1.
* Tetxless opening and closing songs for season 2.
* “Studying With Holo”- A short in which Holo blabs about wine and bread.
* “Stretching With Holo, Yoitz Style”- Holo gives instructions on how to perform a number of stretches.

Overall: “Spice and Wolf” is an incomplete series (in terms of story) which may turn off some viewers. If that doesn’t bother you, you might find much to enjoy about this anime show.

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June 1, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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