spice and wolf, history and wolf

“You should know by seeing the quality of my ears and tail, what an amazing wolf I am.”

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This second episode of Spicy Wolfgasm (or Tradegasm, I’m down with either meme) focuses more on the tenuous beginning of Horo’s and Lawrence’s relationship. They’re feeling each other out (not literally, much to the audience’s disappointment) and adjusting to each other’s company. The trading activity is still percolating and hasn’t really developed yet, but I’m entertained just the same with Horo’s and Lawrence’s banter (top notch, even without the nakkidness). Horo and Lawrence talking about potatoes trumps Konata and Kagami discussing choco coronets, that’s for sure.

Market Report and Wolf

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UP Mathematics… “I’ve choked on potatoes in the past.” + “Men are potatoes.” = !!!

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UP Horo… “Human throats are so inconveniently narrow!” I’m having too much fun with her dialogue. Horo does have some very interesting lines, and she has a very interesting thought process. I like her comebacks, like when she rebutted Lawrence on her “burns” and when she fended off Zeiren, and I like her teasing style, like when she used the highest honorific for a husband on Lawrence and when she, uh, shook that tail. On numerous occasions. Yes, definitely… would… enjoy skinning that pelt… oh wait, am I thinking out loud again?

UP Hoodies… I think Horo’s hooded cloak is very pretty. I also think with her conservative dress style and her intelligence, she’s roughly 1,000 times more fit to lead Azadistan than Marina. Horo’s roughly 10,000 times more fit to lead the United States than W, but that’s a whole other political fantasy.

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UP Baked potatoes… they had cheese on toast in the manga, and I’m wondering what was the food item that was in the original light novel. There’s ten good-sized baked potatoes there. I don’t think I can eat five in a single sitting, and, judging by the speed and efficiency at which Horo wolfs them down, are we sure she doesn’t have a bit of pig in her?

(I did enjoy her face in this screenshot. I’d say it’s more of a “Wait, wrong place!” kind of face. I’m sure my readers have their own suggestions.)

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DOWN Ruined for economics… will I ever be able to look at another balance sheet or invoice against without serious (but nippleness) nudity involved? That’s the questions and dangers and thrills of watching anime, I suppose.

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DOWN IMAGIN… series like Mushishi and Spice and Wolf are top tier story material. Even if the animation studio bombs it, it’s not going to be horrible, just “Oh what could have been?” angst develops. The series can still be good, just don’t think I won’t be pining for a Doumu remake.

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DOWN Outsourcing… is Korea so expensive now that the anime studios need to outsource production to Vietnam? There’s a sequence this episode, from about 6:00 when Lawrence starts talking to about 6:42 where the camera just pans backgrounds. There’s a little bit of head movement when Lawrence talks, but most of this sequence is just the mouth being redrawn. It’s basically 3 frames and some fire effects for over 40 seconds. Try to find 40 seconds of stale animation in Clannad, Moyashimon, or Minami-ke.

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EVEN Wolfu Waifu… well, the introduction of Chloe produces a nice plot weakness in that Lawrence goes around pretending that Horo is his waifu, but wouldn’t people pass this knowledge back to Chloe somehow? Just because they don’t have MySpace, Facebook, text messaging, or ICQ, it doesn’t mean that they can’t gossip. I’m also wondering why does Lawrence pretend Horo’s his wife anyway? I mean, eventually he’ll meet up with people who knows him well, and, eventually, he’ll have to meet those people again after Horo leaves. (Unless Horo’s adventure is like Luffy’s…)

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UP Lawrence… he’s definitely bit off more than he can chew. On one hand, his life is more interesting with Horo in it; on the other, it’s horribly more complex. But the plethora of wolf tail fanservice pushes his market status to a strong up. (Why is he staring at a potato and not Horo? Is he part of the medieval Celestial Being?)

DOWN Zeiren… sometimes minor or lesser characters don’t get the same animation treatment as normal characters. Zeiren gets like no animation love. I like how they make him squinty-eyed so he doesn’t have to blink. He’d fit in perfectly in Kimikiss.

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UP Lover’s quarrel… when Lawrence and Horo were discussing the wolves’ appetite for humans, it led to their first lover’s quarrel. How sweet! The wolven (or would it be “wolvan”) theory of eating humans to steal their powers… I remember that from Princess Mononoke. Moro tells Ashitaka at one point that the monkeys started eating humans to gain human powers, but it didn’t work that well. Does Spice and Wolf‘s world work like a cross between Catan and Mononoke? I hope so.

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DOWN US economy… I heard “stagnation” for the first time in like forever on the news tonight. High inflation and zero economic growth isn’t the worse case scenario either. Just because the stock market started off the year worse than the previous thirty years, recession seems near, and inflation is rampant, it doesn’t mean doom and gloom. Actually, it does. My favorite part about this downtown are the huge amounts of people rushing off to buy gold pushing it to record highs. Well, like tech stocks and real estate, when people start buying something for the purpose of flipping it, it’ll eventually collapse like a house of cards. “Precious” commodities like gold are ripe to be the next domino to fall. For people who think gold is a “safe” investment, I hope your Horo ears are up and paying attention.

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UP Gorbash Kazdar…

Gorbash Kazdar: Am I the only one who keeps mentally referring to this as “Cataan: The Anime”? I keep waiting for someone to offer sheep for bricks…

Great comment. Don’t worry, the girl who hasn’t been introduced yet but is in the ED is a sheep trader. I’m definitely rooting for sheep for bricks.

tidal: I swear the japanese will make an anime out of anything. board games? done that. Card games? more anime than needed. And now economics? That is actually interesting? And it comes with nekkid foxgirls?

You make it sound like a bad thing. I like anime because it has no bounds… American TV is nothing but a cesspool of lame sitcoms, cop dramas, lawyer dramas, and reality TV. Anime has diversity, and I like that. It also teaches me a few things. For example, economics = delicious wolf tail. Fermentation = hawt lesbian action. I’d say win-win all the way around.

wp: I agree that the animation is a little lacking. I also dislike how they messed with the source material and took out all the coy teasing that Horo does with Lawrence (”Please be gentle”).

I may have to revise my anime production house power rankings™ to lump IMAGIN with Artland. Egads. Can you imagine Spice and Wolf by Doumu? Or Mushishi by Bones? Or Umisho by Shirogumi? I feel like all three of these series haven’t reached their potential, and it’s sad as a genuine fan of anime.

(Umisho would probably benefit the most from a studio change. If Shirogumi can turn an anime about bacterial into something epic, I can only imagine what they can do with a swim team. Though Spice and Wolf by Doumu would be interesting just because I think a lot of people would want to see Horo’s Bible Black face. Spice and Wolf by Kyoto wouldn’t be bad either, though I’m scared if they casted Taniguchi as Lawrence. That would be… interesting.)

Pakxenon: I’d put my seeds in her if you know what I mean….

Yep, these are my readers.

18 Responses to “spice and wolf, history and wolf”

  1. More tail stroking then in Utawerumono

  2. Banter’s the word – it seemed to me that the back-and-forth between Horo and Lawrence pulled this episode along, much like Lawrence’s horse keeps that cart moving. (I’m no animal expert – but how come that horse is already accustomed to having a human-wolf-spirit-thing sitting behind it?)

  3. did i make it sound like a bad thing? my bad then. I appreciate my giant mecha over squabbling house tenants or really bad singers getting flamed by some britisher.

    Anyways i’d still rather have my toast…potatoes just isnt hawt enough when consumed.

    p.s. Correction to Wolfgirls.

  4. Before you know it, this series will start having the expansion packs for Catan like Cities and Knights…actually I don’t mind having that either lol.

  5. I’m wondering what was the food item that was in the original light novel.

    Potatoes (but only 5, with Horo taking 3) and goat cheese.

  6. If I remember correctly, sheep was always considered the less useful of the commodities, correct? Its been awhile since I’ve played….

  7. If you have four sheep you can compress them into a brick without getting any other players involved in a deal.

  8. The wolven (or would it be “wolvan”)..

    Lupine.

  9. Sixten: </strong“If you have four sheep you can compress them into a brick without getting any other players involved in a deal.”

    Being the shrewd trader that he is, I’m sure Lawrence will wait until he arrives at the nearest port city and can make a brick out of only three sheep.

  10. You’re all assuming that the sheep will survive Horo’s appetite. That’s not a given.

    http://danbooru.donmai.us/post.....ep-spice-a

  11. “I may have to revise my anime production house power rankings™ to lump IMAGIN with Artland. Egads. Can you imagine Spice and Wolf by Doumu? Or Mushishi by Bones? Or Umisho by Shirogumi? I feel like all three of these series haven’t reached their potential, and it’s sad as a genuine fan of anime.

    (Umisho would probably benefit the most from a studio change. If Shirogumi can turn an anime about bacterial into something epic, I can only imagine what they can do with a swim team. Though Spice and Wolf by Doumu would be interesting just because I think a lot of people would want to see Horo’s Bible Black face. Spice and Wolf by Kyoto wouldn’t be bad either, though I’m scared if they casted Taniguchi as Lawrence. That would be… interesting.)”

    It’s always fun to play the “if only” card, but there reaches a point where you have to take a look at the original and ask yourself if anything really needed changing. I can certainly see where Umisho (or Spicy Wolf) with better animation (or nipples) would be a good thing, but I have to disagree on Mushishi. I think the somewhat sparse yet still beautiful animation of that series fit perfectly with the laid back style of the source material. And one thing you always have to worry about, especially with any of the larger animation houses, is some hotshot director coming along and deciding he has to put his imprint on it.

    The greatest things about Umisho and Mushishi were their source material, and their respective studios succeeded greatly because they stuck very closely to it both in content and in feel (except for the whole “second season in an ED” on the last ep of Umisho, which we will mention no more). Even though there are some successful examples of great source material being “embellished” for the anime version and still being very well-received (Haruhi, Moribito, FMA) it largely fails, even when done by top-tier studios, and tends to be less successful the better the source material, or especially, the more that it diverges.

    It all boils down to one of the oldest axioms in the book. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Minoru Shiraishi as Lawrence is exactly the kind of thing we need to avoid. Hell, I think I can avoid “Taniguchi” for the next couple years and be happy after the overdose I got from Lucky Star. Outside of his contractual obligations for the next Haruhi adaptations, of course.

  12. Cataan is always more interesting when you play with someone who has an unnatural predilection for sheep. Better or worse, I’m not certain, but definitely more interesting.

    Now, I’m on board with a wolfgirl living in a sheath of grain, but what’s stretching my sense of disbelief is that the stodgy old church in the show managed to steal converts from the naked wolfgirl fertility goddess. Given the option, I’d stick with being an Orthodox Horoist any day of the week.

  13. Any bets on if/when Horo discovers the “proper” use of table edges?

  14. Being the shrewd trader that he is, I’m sure Lawrence will wait until he arrives at the nearest port city and can make a brick out of only three sheep.

    That’s true. Although there is a place farther up the coast where you could make a brick out of two sheep, if only someone would establish a settlement there.

  15. But Lawrence and Horo need to watch out for robbers.

  16. Two episodes in but I still can’t make up my mind about this show. Perhaps because I’m still in the dark about the theme of the show, except that they may be intending to take a journey north to Horo’s homeland (and they arrive in the last episode).

    Also, I still can’t get over Lawrence’s Zero voice. It might be a bad thing when he wondered whether the guy was speaking truth or lies, I muttered “why don’t you just whip out your geass powers?”

  17. As much as I enjoy this show, I have one quibble: Horo pets her tail backwards, from tip to base, which would ruffle the fur.

    On the other hand, I was amused and touched by Horo’s annoyance with herself for seeking comfort in a mere human.

  18. I was just looking for something to watch, checked up on wiki for a synopsis and dove in when I heard there was a girl wolf diety. After checking out the first episode I was hooked. The dialogue (when a good fansub is on it) is absoulutely amazing. And I agree, Horo and Lawrence have the best dialogue ever. Personally though I’m against nippleless nudity. Either you tease us with perfectly drooping hair, or you just let it all hang out. But throwing barbie boobies at us is just plain wrong. Like when watching Ai Yori Aoishi, my eyes burned with rage…

    Aside from that, if you’re up for long dialogue and not too much action, and a lot of subtle sexuality.

    On a side note though, Horo is enough to make me drool stupidly. She’s brilliantly sexy, and knows how to play around a guys heart. Ending song, should have been sung by a natural english speaker… somehow it fits though, although the “7 seeds planted inside of me” line made me think nothing but perverse procreational activities with Horo. “Yeah baby, I’ll plant some seeds alright..” xD

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