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Spice and Wolf: Season 1

4.7 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Dec 07, 2010)
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Viridian Collection ed.
(Dec 22, 2009)
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$13.65 $16.54
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Lawrence, a traveling merchant searching for profit, finds a naked girl with the ears and tail of a wolf asleep in his cart. Her name is Holo – a harvest goddess with an untamed beast lurking inside who longs to return to her beloved northern home. Armed with his street smarts and her animal instincts, a simple peddler and a forgotten deity begin a journey through the wild countryside. Along their path, the riches of happiness shall be reaped, even as the bankruptcy which dwells in the human heart is exposed.

Stills from Spice and Wolf: Season One (Click for larger image)

In the fantasy-adventure Spice and Wolf (2008), Craft Lawrence, a young peddler in a realm that suggests Renaissance Europe, finds himself caught up in a pagan ritual come true. For ages, the farmers of one region believed the wheat harvest was ensured by a powerful wolf-spirit who periodically appeared in the form of a beautiful young woman. As he leaves the region, Lawrence discovers a naked girl with furry ears and a tail sleeping in his wagon. The girl declares she is Holo, the wise and powerful wolf; now that people no longer believe in her, she wants to return to her home in the far north. How wise she is may be open to question, but she's definitely a fussy wolf, endlessly berating the long-suffering Lawrence. Although he's supposed to be a capable trader who buys low and sells high, Lawrence's fortunes take a decided downturn when Holo joins him. A scheme involving currency speculation blows up in his face, and an attempt to deal in armor leaves him bankrupt. Lawrence and Holo wander from town to town, but they don't get much of anywhere: this set could end two episodes earlier or later without affecting the minimal plot. The humor runs to heavy drinking and reverse sexism, with Holo repeatedly declaring, "men are fools!" Her ears and tail give the fan service nudity an unwholesome tone that suggests Spice and Wolf was designed for adolescent furries. (Rated TV 14: nudity, violence, alcohol use, risqué humor) --Charles Solomon

(1. A Wolf and One's Best Clothes, 2. A Wolf and a Distant Past, 3. A Wolf and Business Ability, 4. A Wolf and a Helpless Partner, 5. A Wolf and a Lover's Quarrel, 6. A Wolf and a Silent Farewell, 7. A Wolf and a Tail of Happiness, 8. A Wolf and a Proper Scale, 9. A Wolf and a Shepherd's Lamb, 10. A Wolf and a Whirling Conspiracy, 11. A Wolf and the Greatest Secret Plan, 12. A Wolf and a Pack of Youngsters, 13. A Wolf and Setting Off on a New Journey)

Special Features

13 episodes on two discs
Textless songs

Product Details

  • Actors: Jamie Marchi, Brina Palencia, J. Michael Tatum
  • Directors: Justin Nordell
  • Format: Animated, Color, NTSC, Widescreen, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Funimation
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 2009
  • Run Time: 312 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,984 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Spice and Wolf: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Spice and Wolf sounds, by the description, like a typical sudden-girlfriend-appearance anime. Indeed, there are similar "boy meets cute Goddess girl" series out there, like Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens. Spice and Wolf, however, is nothing of the sort.

It is, instead, a very interesting and well-thought out period piece. The antiquated European setting is ideal for the true essence behind this anime--economy. Lawrence and Holo make a cute pair, to be sure, but this first season only hints at a romantic development between them. Instead, the focus is on a sort of budding professional relationship. The two explore the world town by town, with interesting glimpses into different trading practices, different currencies, and different cultures. The religious presence of a Catholic-esque Church is especially intriguing. They are corrupt in trading methods but effective at spreading faith, something wholly believable.

Simple observations like this are one of the things that make this series so great. Its compliment are the characters. Lawrence and Holo are always interesting, and usually funny. Holo's flirtation and Lawrence's inhibitions make for a comedic formula that rarely gets tiring. The best part about their relationship is that, unlike most anime, the audience is not forced to believe in it. The anime takes things slow, letting their relationship build like real ones do--by shared experience. Their frustrations, fears, dreams and humor are all allowed to develop naturally. This may make it seem like there is little character development throughout the series, but there is enough to keep it going.

The series of light novels, off of which this anime is based, are still being published. As such, the episodic nature of the show seems to make it come to an abrupt end.
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Format: DVD
Length: 4:03 Mins
Gina from Haunted Flower reviews "Spice & Wolf Season One", an anime series about a magical wolf goddess, Holo who takes on the form of a woman to seek out the help of a traveling merchant named Lawrence to get back home to the North. Features the english dub voice acting of J. Michael Tatum and Brina Palencia!
6 Comments 52 of 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Like many, the first time I was exposed to Spice and Wolf, I had my immediate doubts. Girl with ears and a tail traveling around with a random guy and occassionally appearing naked? No, thanks. But I gave it a shot (because I really enjoyed the opening song, ahaha), and was thusly rewarded for giving this highly original show a chance. Come for the winning platonic chemistry between the two leads and stay for lessons on the value of currency and the perils of buying on credit! Seriously -- if you come into S&W expecting some sort of moe hijinks, you'll be sorely disappointed, but if you want 12 episodes of something that's not going to insult your intellgience and leave you feeling full and satisfied, it's a safe bet.
3 Comments 47 of 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Spice wolf is a story about a traveling merchant, and the a god he meets along the way and makes a special promise too. What its not about is magical/destiny bound/alien/robot high school students from japan who fight a Satan allegory, which to me, is a breath of fresh air in the anime world.

The animation is clean and nice to look at, not a lot of laziness or short cuts at all. The story is exciting if not odd, at times as it centers itself around the dealings of merchants in a preindustrial world and the emergence of organized religion, and likes to explain how these things work, its a previously unexplored world i would say. What really makes it though is the God, Holo the wolf, her out of touch interactions with these settings is what you stay for.

Overall, i recommend it if you are looking for a unique show to add to your collection.
2 Comments 19 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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You won't find giant monsters or evil tyrants here, this is an atypical anime that doesn't quite fit into any existing sub-genres. Its relaxed pace with emphasis on nuanced dialogue will bore someone who's looking for power-ups or panty-shots, but delight those of us who appreciate a good character piece from time to time.

The story is one of trade, commerce, and a growing relationship between two unlikely protagonists. In a nice change of pace the storytellers here let the characters evolve on their own in a slow progression that feels natural and keeps you interested, rather than through forceful direction. Fans of verbal sparring will love the banter between Holo and Lawrence, and econ majors will feel right at home during the trade deals. I've used 'relaxed' and 'slow' to describe the general tenor of this anime but don't misunderstand, you won't find yourself bored and in fact the episodes will seem to be over all too quickly!

Now I have nothing against dubs in general, it's just that I rarely find any to be on par with the original Japanese audio. Even if the main characters are well done, the overall dub is often brought down by terrible supporting performances. That's not the case this time as I genuinely enjoyed and felt they honored the stellar performances of the original cast. While I still prefer Ami Koshimizu portraying the wise-wolf, Brina Palencia did an outstanding job with the role (and considering how picky I can be that is high praise). I'm actually looking forward to watching the series multiple times with both voice casts and enjoying each on their own merits.

If you enjoyed works such as Haibane Renmei or Kino's Journey, Spice and Wolf will fit right at home in your collection.
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Topic From this Discussion
Brina Palencia as Horo. Does anyone like this choice for an actress?
she was juliet in Romeo x Juliet
Pricilla in Claymore
Miharu in Nabari no Ou
Mikoto in School Rumble

shes been in alot of stuff, shes good so i think its a good choice for Horo. She can have that bubbly personality too.
Oct 27, 2009 by anthonyq |  See all 15 posts
Chances of a Blu-Ray
Send them feedback at and let them know you'd buy a Blu-Ray of it if they made one. Blu-Ray releases for anime all depend on if they sell well as regular DVDs.
Dec 13, 2009 by GuardianSoulBlade |  See all 5 posts
Super Expensive for just 13 episodes on standard dvd.
The Amazon video-on-demand and download of the series is the way I went. discs are becoming obsolete, just as cassette and vhs. I spent about $21 for season 1. Though I do admit it would be nice to have them on DVD for collection purposes, and I just might considering its about $60 (not too bad).
Jul 29, 2010 by Micah P. |  See all 5 posts
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