Continuing a beloved series and making it greater or just as great can be a challenging task to take. This is not much of a problem for anime that are step-by-step adaptations of any type of original source medium. Spice and Wolf, if you don’t know, is one series that won me over from the previous season. Likewise, I was hoping that this 2nd season would have the same positive impact that the 1st season did for me. While it is not better than the first season in many aspects, it definitely possessed the same fascinating qualities that the 1st season had, with a few improvements to the original.
It is impossible to review a the sequel to a show you’ve already reviewed before without writing similar thoughts on certain aspects. For the sake of being thoughtful, it is important to note these aspects from the previous title and determine whether they improved overtime or not. These include how the character progression has matured over time and if the plot arcs are just as entertaining or thought-provoking as before.
To start out, our lovable duo, Kraft Lawrence and Holo, continue their journey in order to besting the world of mercantile and business ventures in order to survive the political landscape. In the beginning, we see these two start out their relationship as people who don’t immediately have one that is romantic. It was one that still had a sense of distrust, but they still wanted to have a friendship in order to work out each others’ problems they are having. Now with the 2nd season, with the amount of development both Kraft and Holo had together, they flourished into blossoming partners that have a great connection to one another. It all works because the pacing of their growth is logically slow and based on realistic expectations.
That connection seems inseparable in hindsight, due in part with the brilliant dialogue both Holo and Kraft share between one another. Then that connection soon fades when, in one plot arc, they go there their separate ways because of a fierce argument amidst each other. What makes this significant to bring up is the fact that the relationship is powerfully written that when you see these two break off from that connection, you can feel nothing but despair watching it fold through. Emotional investment from observing characters in a show growing into fleshed-out characters is important to achieve when you want the audience to care for them in the first place. Spice and Wolf did it brilliantly in the first season, and yet they managed to mold it into something riveting that pulls our emotions without the need of manipulating them.
As far as the plot is concerned, there is no sense of improvement or decline in quality in terms of writing. In season 2, there are definitely higher stakes in the amount of depth they put into the troubles of mercantile that Kraft has to face head-on. Kraft uses language that people, who are not necessarily experts in economic lingo, might have some trouble wrapping their heads around. It is here where we finally see some critical progress towards a romance in Holo and Kraft’s relationship. The only negative that came of this is how they executed it in a rather out-of-character moment that didn’t feel in line with the tone of the show as a whole.
Yes I know, this review ends on a rather short note, but that is only because of the fact that I reviewed the first season in great detail. So it would be pointless to rehash similar arguments I have on the art and music because they have no change in quality whatsoever. In other words, they are all magnificent to experience whether you started on the 1st season or not. However, you obviously have to start with the 1st season to gain any sort of preconceived notion of what is going on. That is, unless, if you want to watch it for the glorious Holo cuteness, which I can’t blame anyone who has that reason.