Ookami to Koushinryou II Episode 12 Discussion
Sep 25, 2009 8:53 PM
Like Spike made people add +1-2 points to their Cowboy Bebop ratings, she makes me add points to my S&W ratings.
Funny, because Horo actually started to lose me in the second half of this season. During the first half I was all wound up to see more Horo! She was brilliant, Lawrence was a dumbass, hooray for maintaining the status quo! Then she started to go NUTS. He fell in love with her, and she didn't want to him to. Despite all the playing around it turns out shes "scared" of them falling in love. Awesome! Now we have to endure more of her teasing while he stumbles around trying to discover why she's so scared (she's clearly not to say anything herself).
But that's alright, because overall the story and characters have become even MORE interesting to me. For Horo to be this cowardly and oblivious to her surroundings there must be a reason. It's just a shame they couldn't at least HINT at a valid reason: her explanations seem like cheap excuses to me. She's no longer "cute" to me, but she's genuinely "interesting". If they play things straight, she has the potential to be the most endearing female lead I've ever seen. It also doesn't hurt that Lawrence is finally at the stage where he can actually help us crack the mystery that is Horo. He's transformed himself from "boring, easily-teased merchant" to "confused Horo tamer". Not bad for a single season's worth of character development.
If I had to rate the season, I couldn't go lower than 7/10. The story is clearly difficult to animate without pacing issues, and it's still a fun watch (and often moving). It's tough material, and it seems like the show has a painfully low budget. It's a slight improvement over the first season's animation quality, and the voice acting and character interactions are still top-notch (just hard to follow at times). The sound and music are otherwise still as good as they were, without yet suffering from overplay. The pieces still "fit" well enough to rank quite highly.
Unfortunately I can't go any higher than 7/10. They didn't seem to try pacing the show too much. As a result the action and explanation sequences seemed confusing and hokey, even contrived. Sure, the main focus of the show should be on Lawrence and Horo's relationship, but not at such a high cost that suspension of disbelief is completely lost. There were also animation issues galore, although I don't care too much about that because the voice acting is really why I watch the anime version of Spice and Wolf. But it does hamper things a little more than I expected; upon second viewings where I wasn't reading subtitles furiously I occasionally cringed at how off-model the faces were rendered.. eew.
So here's hoping season 3 kicks it up a notch and elevates this from being "interesting yet plodding" into something that's truly memorable.
Modified by BashZeStampeedo, Sep 25, 2009 8:57 PM
Sep 25, 2009 9:07 PM
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Sep 26, 2009 8:47 AM
Heh.. I can't resist but prolong the conversation :) Shows you how interesting the story is; it's been many a year since I got this involved, let alone for a "romance" story.
Horo in the OVA was clearly more forward thinking romantically than the Horo of S1.
Yeah, that was likely when she started to realize that she was falling in love with him (the OVA seemed to push that angle more than the novels). It's also likely the reason that she was so shadowy and devious in Kumerson, and why she ultimately accepted Lawrence's stupidity (not that she wasn't partly to blame herself for being so damn cryptic and playing so terribly with Amarti in the first place).
But it also clearly showed that she had severe issues with the idea (her nightmare sequence in the anime leads you into thinking that she's only worried that he'll eventually die, but I don't think the novels ever mention what her nightmare was about, only that she dreamt of home and wheat fields).
Horo even told Lawrence not to get involved [in more dangerous business] for no reason.
He had enough smarts to know what he valued more, yet he still let himself use her for money - idiocy at its finest.
That's completely unfair, because Lawrence DID avoid getting involved (because she told him not to). He even reported everything to her, justifying why he didn't want to do it. She basically used every possible argument to persuade him to do it anyway.
She played on his greed and over-confidence in the room, and attacked him with some ruthless "you are not a real man" implications. He backed off until later when he figured out that it was a dangerous situation and still didn't want to do it. She told him she would beg him to do it if she had to. Then again in the last episode, just before he sold her, he made it clear that he still didn't really want to do it and she slapped him hard in the face.
Can you really blame him for doing it in the end? If she's that resolved to leave him, why press the issue anymore? He had given her every chance to avoid it, and every sign that he didn't want to do it. She practically made the decision for him. Hell, even after he came into the room after buying her back, she assumed it was because he'd failed and was trying to get her to "save the day". He had to actively defy her, then spell it out for her, then take a vicious punch to the face before she finally understood what was going on (more on this shortly).
During the episode where Horo revealed she wanted to break up their partnership out of fear and the two were talking together on the same bed, I was waiting for Lawrence to grab her wrists like in episode three (/doujin time), force her down for a second and, looking straight into her eyes, confess his feelings.
Although the poor ending suggested otherwise, it seemed clear to me that if he'd acted manly there [when she decided to break up] - like Horo loves males to - she would've stopped the silly talk and given in.
Maybe, but I highly doubt it. Short of declaring his love, that's basically how he responded. She admitted in that scene that she was scared that he accepted everything she did. If he just told her he loved her, albeit forcefully, that wouldn't change anything. He had to prove his resolve and actively DEFY her before she would wake up.
In the end, he had to risk his life, ruin her plans, give up his dream (temporarily), stand up to her physical and emotional abuse, declare his love, counter her pessimism with optimism, and on top of that accept that she might never even reciprocate! It wasn't until he spelled all of that out that she finally broke down in tears and accepted that she couldn't chase him away. Which is why, frankly, that episode nearly moved me to tears. The dude's really fallen hard for her if he's that willing to put up with her.
As for the overall story and characters improving, I'm unsure how you can say that.
I was referring to Lawrence and Horo specifically. The side characters never really come into the equation, although in Abe's case there is a chance of eventual growth if she reappears in the next series, but who really cares about Abe? This isn't that kind of story.
Lawrence really grew a lot this season. He realized that he had a new "dream", and shelved the one he had been working on for 7 years. He started to truly affect Horo profoundly, not just with his kindness but his newfound ability to sometimes come up to her level. He also managed to start showing his true feelings, even when they were negative, and to stand up to her. Like you said, she's a 600-year-old wolf goddess, and here is a guy that can honestly and sincerely stand up to her. I no longer feel sorry for Lawrence, I think he's come into his own as a character.
Horo was a mixed bag, but I see some definite growth there. She clearly has fallen in love with Lawrence yet can't express why she isn't reciprocating. She's no longer just a cute and convenient deus ex machina to solve all of Lawrence's problems. She's a deeply troubled, possibly damaged, character who is relying more on Lawrence than she lets on. Rather than seeing the same courage I saw in the first season, I see her getting scared and making some very poor judgment calls. It's not nearly enough growth, but it's growth in a direction that defines her as a more "realistic" character.
I completely agree, however, that the second half of the season was poorly realized. You really have to dig deeply and pay close attention to understand what's going on, and frankly if the novel translation was available I'd have read it instead starting at about episode 9.. it just got too confusing too quickly. And that's the reason I also felt season 2 was inferior to season 1. It was.. unbalanced.
When you see why Lawrence didn't french kiss Horo, you'll sh*t bricks.
Bricks were being sh*t as I watched him move in for the kiss.. thankfully averted!
Sep 26, 2009 9:57 AM
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Knowing how many volumes are left to be covered, it makes me worried.
That makes two of us, but they are proceeding at a rapid-enough clip that it should be able to conclude in 2, maybe 3 seasons at the rate they are going, depending on how many of the volumes remain to be published, and how many can be skipped or turned into OAVs safely.
What I want to see the most is if Horo is as open about her feelings as she was in the OVA and if she didn't react to Lawrence's kiss like in the anime (assuming the kiss happened at all).
So far the novels are from Lawrence's perspective, aside from two chapters from her POV (the second OAV covers one of them, I haven't read the other). So far, there is no major difference I can recall up to the second half of this season (which I haven't read).
I guess Horo doesn't act so much like she's in heat as she did in the second OVA, but it's been a while since I read it.
I've heard on a forum somewhere that this episode's kiss may not be in the story, or that it wasn't necessarily meant to be a "kiss" (which makes sense).
Lawrence has to take a lot of the blame for restricting himself and getting over-confident.
Horo used Amarti to see how much Lawrence truly cared for her, so yes - she did it out of love.
That's true, Lawrence was a total idiot that whole sequence. But I can't be unkind to him and kind to Horo. She acted just as stupidly as he did the whole time. I'm also not 100% that she did it out of "love", but I'll tentatively buy it because I'm not that willing to vilify her.
It all started because Horo decided to test Lawrence. Up until that point he didn't even know he had deeper feelings for Horo. So she set up an elaborate game that he would surely fail unless he already loved her. He failed it. Then she accidentally tore a strip out of him and put him into an emotional state that few guys can cope with. He misinterpreted her apology, and ran off sulking.
She realized he misinterpreted her, yet she couldn't bring herself to give him a simple, direct sign of emotional support. She was too proud for that. Instead she concocted a bunch of elaborate clues that he could even more easily misinterpret. She got really lucky that Lawrence found emotional support from someone else. Even so, she could not accept any responsibility. Rather than apologizing for putting him through hell, or thanking him for trusting her in the end, she bit his hand and treated it as though everything was his fault (knowing full well that he would believe her).
That doesn't sound too loving to me? But even so, I understand that her pride is more important to her than Lawrence, and I'm also willing to write her mistakes off as her just not knowing how to be direct and come down to Lawrence's level. I found it hilarious that even Deanna seemed to want to punish her for her pride and insane expectations of Lawrence :)
Lawrence made the first error - a big one - by not saying no straight away [to Abe/Eve's proposal of selling Horo off]. Instead of refusing to even consider the idea, he slept on it, sweating away through the night, and then told Horo.
I agree with you there. But he's not superman, he has greed issues that both of them are well aware of. It makes no difference in the end, does it? He had nightmares over it, and made his choice. So why did Horo decide to drag him through the mud over it? He clearly took a big step there by not letting his greed win for a change, and instead of being happy about it she convinced him that in this case he should be selfish and that his greed was good. Mixed messages, anyone?
Anyway. The whole plan was stupid. He took Horo to people he hadn't dealt with before, not knowing if they were going to give money or kidnap her once they entered (it was possible Abe had made a deal for Horo at that stage). Why go that far when they didn't need the money and were traveling? Like Horo pointed out when they first entered the town; it wasn't necessary to get involved.
I agree that the plan was stupid, but Lawrence still only did it after she pressured him into it. Every time he learned of yet more risks and flaws with the plan, he expressed his desire to opt out. But she kept pushing him into it.
Horo's behavior was also a complete 180 to what she said when they entered the city.. you can't fairly consider it when she basically tells him to ignore it. She asked him not to get involved, and he wasn't getting involved. Then she forced him to get involved.
Finally, you have to consider that he won't be at the top of his game this time.. he has a lot on his plate because Horo is leaving everything up to him. He even asked her twice for advice, but she didn't give him any (possibly missing his cues or something).
Even if he WAS at the top of his game he's never done anything like this on his own. Horo is always helping him, and even then he routinely screws it up. For her to leave him to his own devices and expect him to pull it off is monumentally stupid. It also explains why he'd miss her possible advances, even the ones just before she dumps him.
That's why, had Lawrence been aggressive instead of acting like his normal restrained self at that moment, I think he would've won over Horo there and then. She was as unstable as ever, on the verge of leaving, and required Lawrence to show her how much he wanted her. They were alone in a room at night, they mood was good and, unlike with the rebellion drama part, I think she would've responded in that situation.
Time and time again, Lawrence came close to stroking Horo's hair while she slept, with her acting like she was asleep and waiting, but he never made a move. If not for his hesitant actions, they more than likely wouldn't have lived together for months and done nothing.
There are several major problems with assuming this; first, it's totally against his character to be that aggressive. Second, she's trained him into thining that every vague bit of innuendo she throws at him is actually a tease (whether or not that was her intent). Third, she knows he is interested (she's noticed it several times) yet she always seems to back off rather than coming on stronger.
So, given that, why not train him a little differently? Is she hoping that one day he'll stumble on the answer himself and snap into "dominant alpha wolf" mode? If that's the case, then it's really her fault. Why not jump into his bed like in the first season? Why not use more direct language or push a little harder? She's as much to blame as he is.
Besides, even if we ignore all of this and blame Lawrence I'm still not convinced that it would have ended out well. Based on her explanation for dumping him, she needed a lot more than a little sex and some possibly sincere "I love yous" to keep her around. She was *scared* of his love. It took everything he had to stand up to that fear and force her to accept it.
In other words, I still don't think this was a simple "I don't think you're serious, so I'm ending this relationship" misunderstanding. I honestly think he got lucky and stumbled into the right solution to the puzzle in the end. But Horo being Horo, she just can't bring herself down to his level and must rely on random chance to show Lawrence the light between her confusing mess of mixed signals.
Deep down, Horo is very insecure, despite her lengthy life and all of her experiences. She needs Lawrence to protect her on an emotional level; giving her love and preventing her from the loneliness that had consumed her.
I agree, and he relies on her being there to remind him that he's both useful, and worth someone else's love and attention. They are both tragically lonely characters who don't really know what they are doing.
Modified by BashZeStampeedo, Sep 26, 2009 7:33 PM
Sep 26, 2009 7:58 PM
Sep 26, 2009 8:16 PM
yowza just read through all that..
Heh.. I just replied to your post on another forum, but I'll paste it here as well.. too tired to re-read it though..
Before I start, note that I haven't read this volume of the novels. Still, I think you are right. He hasn't wanted to go through with the plan from the start, but Horo keeps pushing him for some reason. She did a total 180 and confused the hell out of him. She played every angle she could to get him to do it: attacking his pride and abilities, using the "do it for me" excuse, practically begging him to do it, and finally slapping him in the face.
I think that whole scene was just him pointing out to her that she's put him in a position he doesn't want to be in, and giving her one last chance. He honestly thinks she doesn't really want him to do it, and it takes a pretty hard slap in the face to convince him to do it. He seems very upset that she's willing to go this far to reject him, when she obviously doesn't want to. So he goes along with it, possibly to give her time to think about how stupidly she's acting.
It makes their next scene much more memorable, because in the end she's pissed off not because he's in love with her, but because he DEFIED her so openly and daringly. He's willing to openly take the plunge and declare that he loves her. Even if she never reciprocates. What he declares is almost purely unconditional love, in fact, he just wants to be with her until they get to Yoitsu. When she realizes that there is nothing she can do to convince him otherwise, she breaks down and cries (I liked the attention to detail there, when she was shaking out of what I presume was a mixture of rage and utter terror at his kindness).
What remains to be seen is what Horo is REALLY afraid of. She clearly isn't afraid of his love, or any of her other lame excuses (like being worried that their relationship will become "less fun"). She's clearly scared of some hidden consequence of their love, but she's so cowardly or proud (or both) she can't even tell him that much. Thankfully, he's now in a position to stand up to her and eventually crack the case, because it seems she'll never tell him on her own. Hopefully that will be the least we get out of season 3 :)
Another interesting thing is that she mentioned TWICE that she expected him to "take responsibility for what happens from now on". This is one of the signs I'm using to guess that she's worried about the consequences of them falling in love. Is she a praying mantis or black widow or something?
I'm definatly with Bash on lawrence really coming into his own here. Theres a lot of haters out there who complain about him but honestly Horos the one that was being dense and childish here IMO. Lawrence pretty much layed it all bare, and yet shes the one dragging her feet and still refusing to really reciprocate. Shes the one still playing games
I consider him a great character partly *because* people are so polarized by him, yet they still watch the show and comment about it. If you can identify with a character so readily they must be pretty good. But yeah, I do agree that he routinely gets a bum rap and Horo is always given a free pass.. that's just the nature of being the regular human next to a moe wolfgirl deity :D
Sep 27, 2009 6:04 AM
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Joined: Mar 2009
the novel is longer than this
in the novel they must choose between thier furture or love by the fate
so if they would make a anime seson of all that
it s 7of 2 left
i am going to be the i the one with the biggest manga pocket collgection
Sep 29, 2009 9:21 PM
Sep 29, 2009 9:32 PM
Also do you think there was a reason they had to play down the scene in which they finally kissed? >>
On several forums I've read several opinions. The consensus seems to be that it wasn't really a kiss, or at least it was intended as more a tease than passionate kiss. IIRC, some of the possible reasons were that:
- he had blood in his mouth, so frenching her might not end so well..
- she had just kicked him in the chest, and he was sarcastically counter-attacking her in Lawrence-fashion
- he was daring or challenging her, by giving her a small taste of what she could really have
- he was playing it safe, while making it obvious that he wanted more
Of course it might be all four. Personally I think the second is most likely, but that's just my $0.02 since I haven't read the novels and I'm going by Mazui's sub and the expressions on their faces. I recall someone mentioning that the kiss wasn't in the novels (at least not as a kiss).
Sep 30, 2009 2:57 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
give me that kiss scene pic...^^
Oosran delivers, here you go : )
Although Lawrence's mouth looks strange
You call that a kiss?! XD
Not really, but it's the only one that's in there : O
not look like a kiss,,but thanks
Looked more like a little sniff..
Sep 30, 2009 7:25 AM
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Oct 1, 2009 9:35 AM
Whew.. Frostii's anti-Lawrence bias really comes across in episode 12 doesn't it? It's like they are actively trying to make him look bad. I wonder who is more correct? If Mazui's subs truly are more literal and "accurate", then Frostii's are starting to look like a parody by comparison.. (not that I didn't enjoy them)
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SFW's subs of this ep are finally out, and I have to say that either theirs or Mazui's are my preferred subs for the season. Frostii's are almost as good, but they portray Lawrence as having less confidence and a strangely "cruel" vibe that makes this season less bearable to me. It seems odd to downplay and trivialize his character's growth while such pains were obviously taken to show that Horo has become unstable... I wonder if that's why some people didn't like the season as much as others?
Oct 16, 2009 2:36 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
In my opinion this season should be re-aired with more episodes like Haruhi did. It felt unfinished and incomplete but it was really, really good. 12 episodes just wasn't enough.
what? and have another endless eight? i think we know the horrors that'll lead us to
now i can read some moontalk, who is this Ami person who played holo? what else has she done?
Oct 17, 2009 1:56 PM
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Oct 17, 2009 3:25 PM
Did they even kiss?
Not this again ;)
I still say he was just giving her a proper tease, and making it obvious that he's not kidding (she still has to clearly reciprocate). Also, he probably had blood in his mouth.. that might put a damper their first real kiss. Not to mention that he has good reason to be a little timid, given that she's hit him twice in this scene and could very well throw him out the window if she felt so inclined ;)
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