Based on the light novel series (11 volumes) by Isuna Hasekura (writer) and Ju Ayakura (ill.)
Rating: PG-13 (A little bit of wolf-girl nudity, and a little bit of violence)
There are two kinds of werewolves in the world. The ones we are most familiar with are the kinds that are people first, cursed by fate or a bite or any number of "causes" these people transform from human into animal and wreak havoc on others. The second kind of werewolf is a different thing altogether a wolf who, through magic or kindness or age or wisdom or courage (there are a lot of stories), becomes a human in order to assist humanity in some way. Sadly, we don't see very many depictions of these kinds of werewolves, but there are cultures (surprisingly, or maybe unsurprisingly, because of isolation and turmoil, my Appalachian culture is one of them) who look to these werewolves as kindred spirits and protectors. I love stories about these kinds of werewolves, so I actually write about them a lot.
The wolf in Spice and Wolf is a god. Holo, the wise wolf, has been blessing the town of Pasloe with abundant harvests of wheat for over 600 years, but times change. Old gods fall, and new religions arise, and new technologies come into play. When the story begins it seems that the need for Holo's blessings have fallen to the wayside and the town of Pasloe is held in suspicion by the new Christian Church for it's pagan ways. Holo knows it is time to go. She sheds her wolf-skin and sneaks her way into the back of a travelling merchant's cart where Kraft Lawrence discovers her, looking all of 16 and naked but for her tail and ears.
Overall, I'm going to say the story is good, but Holo is weird. And bossy, and drunk, and naked, and kind of all...naughty for apples.
And Kraft Lawrence is a little strange too. He's a shifty merchant with a heart of gold who I am supposed to feel sympathetic towards. He does seem like a gentle guy, but he's also a bit of a con-man who takes advantage of his customers and his fellow merchants.
|Holo has a thing for apples.|
|Don't you try that innocent look with me.|
But, the animation is pretty, and the series wasn't a total bore. Plus there's the fact that the closing credit song is perhaps one of the cutest I've ever heard (and it's a total earworm). It could be vying with _Furubu_ for cutest ending song ever. Just...just, hit play:
Did you hit play? Okay. Now, can we talk about this? OMG, I KNOW, RIGHT? Supercute! Done.
All in all, I don't know that I'm rushing out to watch the second season, named Spice and Wolf II, but I will share the trailer. The second season aired last summer on the Funimation Channel.
I wish it were meaner werewolves.