Spice and Wolf’s second season was one of the shows that I was looking forward to the most. There are two things that I really enjoyed about Spice and Wolf: the huge role that economics plays in moving the plot and the verbal sparring and conversations that Lawrence has with Horo (which might explain why I love Bakemonogatari so much). The first season left us with a fairly open end to pave the way for more adventures.
In anticipation for the second season (and because of boredom commuting to work) I decided to go through the light novels that Baka-Tsuki had translated. As it turned out, this was just volumes three and four. As per my expectation, volume three was animated and we got to see Amati get pwnt in his smug face. Not as planned was the absense of volume four in favour of some other volume that I’m not familiar with.
I’m not sure why everyone’s so disappointed over the new OP. Personally, I think it’s great and it goes particularly well with the scenes in the OP. I can understand everyone’s discontent with the loss of SEVEN APPLES ON THE WITCHES TREE, but it’s like losing Dango Daikazoku – unfortunate, but they probably didn’t have a choice.
I can see why Brains Base decided to go with not volume four as the second arc. If we consider the entire season, it seems like the entire thing was focused on developing Lawrence and Horo’s relationship. Volume four was more about finding Horo’s hometown and more about her origins. That is, it was more focused on the journey than on their relationship.
It was interesting seeing their interactions in the second arc after the material from volume three. Volume three was about Lawrence’s and Horo’s trust in each other. The second arc shows us a Lawrence and Horo who aren’t quite jabbing at each other in the same way as at the start of the first arc. And in the second arc, we see them putting their trust to work in selling Horo to make the deal work.
Unlike the first season, where we saw them ride on a cart off into more adventures, the second season has much more closure. Well, Lawrence’s and Horo’s journey continues and we have no idea where they’ll be next, so it’s still open in that sense. However, their relationship is a lot less vague. Their relationship has been developed to a fairly concrete point by the end of the season.
And so we come to the end of a very solid season. At this point, there’s almost no uncertainty that we’ll be seeing a third season some time. And I’ll be waiting there again for more long, entertaining conversations and saving the day with the power of commerce.