May 07, 2010
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Title: Spice and Wolf II
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Thriller
Rating: 8.8/10

Summary: Continuing where the first series left off, it follows Kraft Lawrence a experienced traveling merchant and his sharp tongued wolf god companion Holo on their journey to return to Holo’s home to the north called Yoitsu. A tender relationship has blossomed between the characters, as they make deals, travel between cities, encounter religious fanatics or vice versa and mostly just do what a traveling merchant has to do to get by.

Review: Spice and Wolf II was an improvement to say the least. The art and soundtrack were the same. The opening and ending theme song changed, but they held the same values. The opening theme was slow and melancholy (possibly more than the first), while the ending was jolly.  The major difference was the shift in focus in the storyline. While the first season kept most of the issues business related, the second moved more toward romance. Blushing and cute expressions weren’t a rare occurrence in this season. The relationship between Holo and Lawrence dramatically changed, and it soon felt like I was watching another romance comedy. The thrill of problematic business transactions was still there. If anything they only got better because of how personal the deals got. The dialogue improved as well. I enjoyed the small conversations Holo and Lawrence had while walking to dinner or sitting in the hotel room. The unexpected twists were clearly explained and amusing. It is possible that actually understanding what was going on made the season more thrilling. According to a couple sources, a season three is already in planning. Unfortunately it is up to the rating Gods of anime to determine if an official release will happen. *crosses fingers* Here’s hoping to a full season three, not just OVAs.

Final statements: Other than the change from business to romance, the season was equivalent to the first. I was really happy with the direction the series was taken. They had a couple filler episodes, but those were used to improve Lawrence and Holo’s relationship. The thrill of deals dramatically improved as well. This is a definite watch if you enjoyed the first season. High priority watch.

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