Spice and Wolf LN Vol. 1 Review

This took me a month to read. It was sort of my backup. But I finished today an been mulling over what to say without gushing like I did with Kieli. I am too biased for the job of reviewer. OTL

Story: Kraft Lawrence is a travelling merchant who happens upon a beautiful young girl with the ears and the tail of a wolf. She claims to be Holo the Wisewolf, god of harvest. Seeing a profit to be made, Lawrence allows the girl to trvael with him as she tries to reach her homeland in the north. I’m not sure how far we got in covering the episodes (even though it would be episodes covering the book…) but I think we did good. It didn’t drag on. I hate that. When a manga (okay, so light novels and manga are that comparable but still) drags a arc on forever. I can see that in a manga and I wouldn’t expect (okay, I’d be shocked) the manga adaption to be less than two volumes of this arc. Basically what you saw in the anime. The beginning is a little different but possibly even makes more sense. Possibly. Flows along nicely and doesn’t really drag. My only complaint was that the gap in time during their travelling is never stressed. Lawrence and Holo become incredibly close with only an assumed amount of time between them. I mean I can assume they spent a bit of time travelling to the Church where they meet Zheren and from there to Pazzio but it isn’t stressed. That can be a bit more ignored in the anime but just irked me here. Just a teeny complaint though.

Characters: Holo and Lawrence are portrayed in an entirely new light. Okay, not entirely. It’s just in text we see their actions clarified and thought out a little more than in the anime. For instance, during the first chapter, before Lawrence meets Holo, I learned a little bit more about Lawrence that fleshed him out for me. I mean that isn’t to say he didn’t already have character. Holo is Holo. She’s mischievous and playful. She seems a little more haughty in her actions but it’s probably because we aren’t treated to her cute face. Errr… that’s a terrible way to phrase that. We are also treated to more insight to her actions and thoughts as well. Which was interesting but did not bring as much light to her character as it did Lawrence. Her transformation in the sewers, I should note, sounds different than it was portrayed in the anime. Lawrence seems less scared beyond all believe as well.

Art: Juu Asakura is wonderful. We can all agree this, no? I’m lucky to have gotten the collectable cover with the original art (which is fortuitous indeed seeing as I thought my acquiring it was unlikely to near impossible). The art adds to the charm as it should in a LN. The drawings are sleek and filled with emotion. I, for one, prefer the images in black and white to the coloured ones. Also, hate to nit-pick, but doesn’t Holo’s neck look slightly odd on the cover with the original art?

Overall: I wish I had read the novel a little more quickly (although not as much so as Kieli in which I seemed to almost waste the book in reading it in an hour or two) so that my impression was still freshed. No, it still made an impression. It was easier to understand the mechanics of the economic parts of the story in text rather than having them explained. This was a highlight. In fact, I rarely noticed any hardcore economic discussions. The dialogue isn’t as (dare I say cheesy?) strange as the dubs (although I still love that) but still fitting with the mood. Yes, the world around them and their superstitions and stories are emphasized more heavily than the power of the church. Although their are still arcs to come that will do that. What else can I say other than the novel is much more charming than I expected? Ah but I’m a total Spice and Wolf fan no matter what. ;) (and the title actually makes sense now to me!)

Story: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Art: 8/10

Fang’s Rating: 9/10


  • Nopy

    March 5, 2010

    Some of the economics in the anime was a bit confusing to me, maybe I’ll get the light novel too to clear things up.
    .-= Nopy´s last blog ..Nyantype Magazine Vol. 3 =-.

  • zjhentohlauedy

    March 6, 2010

    Hehe i read the online translation of the 1st book in bakatsuki and it was really good :3

    maybe i’ll try to get a copy myself XD

    oh and early Happy birthday fangy XD

  • Fang-tan

    March 9, 2010

    Yeah, the novel was much clearer. At least in my opinion.

    I think Yen Press did a good job (cover aside)so I’d advise picking it up~
    (and thanks!)

  • FlareKnight

    April 19, 2010

    Yeah I also checked out the online translation. Obviously kind of prefer it since that used the more comfortable Horo spelling.

    But really besides the cover it’s still worth checking out for fans.

  • Fang-tan

    April 22, 2010

    Yeah, I would recommend it to fans or not. The story is great and the cover really shouldn’t matter. Even if it is a little weird to walk around with.

    The first volume of the manga was just released by Yen Press and i hope to get it soon so there will be a review of that up shortly as well.

  • anime

    November 7, 2010

    I think Yen Press did a good job (cover aside)so I’d advise picking it up~

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