With his carthorse as his only companion, the young merchant Kraft Lawrence slowly wends his way through dusty back roads in search of profitable trade. But this monotony screeches to a halt when, one night, he encounters a harvest goddess in the guise of a beautiful young girl…with wolf ears and a tail!
Longing for the northern lands of her birth, Holo the Wisewolf joins Lawrence as he follows the ebb and flow of trade through the countryside. And when the two come across a compelling but suspicious opportunity for profit, will Lawrence with his mercantile chops and Holo with her ancient instincts be able to separate the truth from the lies—and make some coin while they're at it?!
Ookami to Koushinryou has been published in English as Spice & Wolf by Yen Press since April 20, 2010, in Russian by Istari Comics since December 25, 2009 and in Polish by Studio JG since April 9, 2015.
Me and Holo.. Oh sorry, I mean 'Spice and Wolf' manga has been said to be the worst version of the story. This is perhaps true, but it contains countless, polished artwork of Holo eating, sleeping, drinking, smiling, bathing, smirking, hugging, sitting, and---apples, and therefore, it's perfect and flawless in every way. Not really, but it's exactly everything a fan of the franchise could wish for.
The art of this manga is fantastic. I have lost count on how many light novel series and already produced anime series have received a manga adaptation with beyond lackclustery art. Spice and Wolf looks rough and almost sketched,
but at the same time being incredibly detailed and soft. Its world has very realistic and atmospheric feel to it thanks to the artwork alone which serves the settings of the series and does magnificent job delivering everything from backdrops to character's behavior and reaction faces. Overall the art is memorable and the main reason why this manga adaptation works so well.
The story is based Spice and Wolf. The series centers around two characters called; Holo The Wise Wolf of Yoitsu, who is a Goddess of the Harvest, taking a human form -- and; man named Lawrence Kraft, a travelling salesman aiming for business and riches. The driving motion in the story from Holo's part is visiting Yoitsu, while Lawrence aims to make business while travelling from town to town. These two partner up and decide they will head to Yoitsu while visiting towns and doing business. From its core, the story centers around economics, but on the surface level it's a life story of two people interacting with each others and the world around them.
While the more arc-based stories center around money-creed corporations, curses, scammers and talking-hares even, they are all essentially spiced with the our two main characters just being there for each others, learning about one another and deciding what they really want from life. The characters are the selling point of the series from the light novel to the anime, and their personas along the strong art are the reason why the manga is of high quality.
Holo is in generally among the best written female characters this industry has to offer. Due to her old age and hundreds of years of solitude, she has developed a personality and wisdom which come not only with insane character depth and complexity, but behavior and waifugame so strong she alone could be criticized for Japan's dropping birth rate as real women can't compete. However, the chemistry of our main couple from dialogue, intimacy and more serious plot-related sides can only work because of Lawrence. 25-years-old man who seems to be able to adapt to any situation. He is calm person with big heart and personality. Knowing his head-pats are enough to make the wolfie happy should be enough of a prove of his superiority.
The character development practically equals with relationship development as there are approximately 300 hugging scenes in the series. This is close of being the most wholesome thingie created since the invention of the word itself, reading the manga for these scenes is worth of it alone, even though it has much more to offer than just that.
Spice and Wolf Manga Review - Non Spoiler
Genre: Adventure, Seinen, Fantasy, Romance, Drama, Supernatural, Historical
Mangaka: Isuna Hasekura
This is a review about a very unique manga that's way too UNDERRATED IMO, where most fantasy themed manga are about swords and magic this takes on a more trade and economic route and adds in witty dialogs, great story, amazing characters, plot twists and WHOLESOMENESS.
You might think that this manga being about trades and economic in the medieval ages would be boring but here I am reviewing this masterpiece.
A traveling merchant Kraft Lawrence meets the Goddess of Harvest Holo in her human form (also known as
Holo the Wisewolf). A contract is formed between the two that Lawrence will help Holo reach her homeland while she'll lend him her wisdom in his day to day trading. And here starts a beautiful journey where they face many challenges, obstacles, meet new people, visit new places all the while getting to know more about each other and growing affectionate about each other (not that they show it openly and while reading you're dying on the inside and screaming CONFESS ALREADY DAMMIT! *breathes*). While the main goal is finding Holo's homeland, our merchant also has a wish to establish his own business, buy a store in a popular town and live off it. While traveling to many new places they try to acquire knowledge about where Holo's from and make some profit as well after all he is a merchant.
The artstyle was decent and simple yet felt so in-sync with the manga's theme. The thing that really caught my attention was the amount of effort put into the backgrounds to make them more appealing and to make the setting more accurate to the medieval ages. The characters well drawn (didn't find any lazy drawings anywhere). All from Holo's angry to playful expression were masterfully drawn.
The characters especially the main are extremely well made, we have the intelligent experienced merchant Kraft who at times is as naive as a baby and then there's Holo one of the BEST if not the best female leads in manga history, her wisdom, personality, charms and quick thinking to read and adapt to situations accordingly literally puts her at the top. The chemistry of the two is so good that you'll grin like an idiot each time they have a conversation (at least I did)
As far as character development goes, you can't perfect already that is perfect aside from their growing feelings for each other and compatibility that grows with time.
Holo is undoubtedly the PERFECT Waifu. Ranked in god-tier waifus.
This manga is indeed a masterpiece, the very definition of WHOLESOMENESS and as I've always said a very REFRESHING read. The flow of the dialogs especially between the main characters Kraft and Holo is amazingly done, like when they're teasing each other or throwing quick hilarious comebacks or brainstorming for ideas all are wonderful to read and you'll even get a laugh out of it. But one thing, the amount of details about old age trading and economics was surprising, the gain/fall of currency and profit/loses of trade all were easy to understand but some took some understanding. And all this was added beautifully with the main goal that is the journey to Holo's homeland.
All-in-all, I can simply summarize the entire experience in this that it was...
“Stories are better when they have an ending, are they not?” – Kraft Lawrence
(and this one was certainly great, sad that it's ended though)
"If you change your perspective, a situation right in front of you, can reverse itself.” – Holo The Wise Wolf
Honestly it's hard having a favorite quote when this manga is a gold mine for them.
Though personally it's a 12/10 for me, because I loved the characters, the feelings, the excitement and the story.
If you haven't read this then this is my top manga recommendation. Especially if you've watched the anime.
Biased opinions aside.(as this is my favorite manga/anime series)
I would like to say that I lent my friends this manga, and they don't read anything 18+ because of their own personal choosing.
I was still able to convince them to read the First volume as long as i stickynoted/censored all of the Mild Nudity, or anything that was in the least bit suggestive.
So i did, and after 10 minutes of "censoring" the first volume, and about 3 seconds of "censoring" the second. They decided to read it.
After reading the first novel they almost didn't want to read the second, I convinced them otherwise, and they both
finished the second volume by the next day, saying that they liked the second one a lot more than the first, and would continue reading it.
On to the Review(This is somewhat loosely based off of me watching the anime as well, but there are no spoilers, and the manga is almost a direct translation of the anime).
Story 10: The story is original. The world's setting and style, is just one that isn't seen or touched upon much in anime. Its also very realistic, other than Holo being a Wolf-Deity, The rest of the world seems extraordinarily real and active.
Art 10: I really enjoyed the art, and even the "Mild Nudity" is more like the kind of stuff you would see in a college figure drawing class rather than anything overly explicit. After the initial volume, there isn't anything to worry about, if you are even concerned about that kind of stuff at all.
Character 10: My favorite part about the entire story is Holo and Laurence. Holo is a "Wise" wolf. Laurence is a intelligent merchant, not so much of a ladies man, but Holo makes up for that for being the female equivalent and poking fun at Laurence's inexperience.
Enjoyment 9.75: I had to give this one a -0.25 deduction. My friends had a point, the first volume was really over the top in explicitness, and even though i didn't mind myself, it slightly brings the manga into the realm of adult/late-teen reading. Because of that, i wasn't able to share this with all of my friends without explaining why they should skip the first volume, or the first episode in the anime if they didn't want to see any mild nudity.
Overall 10: This is my favorite anime series, the characters are just brought to life, and the world is so active, that it brings the fantasy into a quasi-reality due to the historical references. I am eagerly awaiting the rest of the manga.
Final note: If you haven't read it yet, or if you haven't watched the anime series, please do so now, you won't regret it. :)
Without a doubt, Spice and Wolf is one of the more recognizable and loved series of the decade. Originally based on the brilliant light novel and followed by an amazing yet sadly unconcluded anime, now comes a Spice and Wolf manga. But is it really necessary?
The short answer is... yes!
The quality of the manga does not fail to impress! A must read for any fans of the series, and especially those of the anime. Every scene shown in the anime is expanded upon in the manga with much detail and often with very high quality art making it a very worth while to read.
added detail however, does come at a cost. The manga feels much slower (and is much slow paced) compared to anime. It often takes several volumes to feel like the overall plot has gotten anywhere. Especially at the early volumes, making the manga intimidating to start.
Not surprisingly, this gives the mangaka much more time to develop and flesh out Holo's and Lawerence's romance and fortunately, it works in the manga's favor. The Romance is what makes this story so great. From every giddy moment, to the ups and downs of their romance this story will play with your heart. If you want to indulge more in this romantic duo, than the Manga should be on your to read list.
To conclude, the manga is a very worthwhile read for both those new to the series and those who come here seeking more. It's also worth noting as others have, the art in general seems fairly unimpressive in the first volume, however from the second volume on it really gets its act together. As if if the mangka found his grove then.