Spice and Wolf II - Overall Series Impressions & Total Series Rating
This thread is to be used for discussing the entire episodes of Spice and Wolf II ... your thoughts about the show, overall impressions, expectations and hopes about the DVD only footage etc.
A few subjects you might want to ramble on about:
And so on.
The poll represents your total series rating. In other words, how you would rate all the episodes combined (1-10)? If you'd rather rate the whole series by technical/artistic merits, you can do so. An example:
Animation Quality: 1-10
Voice Actors: 1-10
Emotional Involvement: 1-10
Average = Total Series Rating
Or a combination of the two. Or your general gut feeling.
Feel free to discuss and more importantly, have fun :)
Upon reflection, I think season 2 of Spice and Wolf is as good as season one. Overall, the anime copes fairly well with some major hurdles that the light novel presents it, and still comes out a winner in the end. It's got enough rough edges to hurt it substantially, but since I was mostly hoping to see some character and romantic development I am not disappointed. The show retains it's ability to keep you craving more at the end of each episode, and is even more emotionally moving that the first season was.
Brains Base does a slightly better job than Imagin did; the budget increase shows. But it's either not enough of an increase or the animators need to be smacked around a little bit. I (and many others) noticed quite a few instances of jarring off-model visuals. It can kind of ruin the appeal of a romantic scene when the faces of the characters are "off". This show is mostly talking heads anyway, so it really bothered me.
Mostly everything else was at least as good as the first season. The sound and music are still about the same, although they are starting to get repetitive. The OP and ED are still a notch above everything else I've heard this season, though I still personally prefer the ones from the first season. The voice acting was even better for Horo and Lawrence, and about as good as the first season for secondary characters (at least they don't all sound the same, thankfully).
Lawrence and Horo only became more memorable, and even the secondary characters improved. As far I'm concerned Mark, Dian, Amarti, and Abe/Fleur were a step above Chloe and Nora. They weren't that much better, but at least it was progress, and let's face it: we're watching the show for Horo and Lawrence.
Lawrence came into his own this season and is fast becoming one of my favorite male leads in anime. Horo became more interesting as well, although the story didn't really give her enough development to satisfy me. It feels like Hasekura is artificially dragging out her development just to write more novels. Thankfully, I'm still willing to read them because I felt more disappointed in her (in a personal sense) than in the way she was being developed. When that happens, I think the writing can't be all that bad after all.
There are two biggest problems this season are a side-effect of scripting for an adaptation of a light novel like Spice and Wolf: the pacing and the translation. The pacing of the anime's script was pretty poor this season. I dare say it's because they tried too hard to stick to the exact pace of the novel. An anime is not a book, and the concepts and dialog in Spice and Wolf are already tricky enough. Cramming all the challenging stuff into one episode and leaving the rest relatively slow and plodding is never a good idea. The second half of the season really suffered from this, and it was only my willingness to watch twice that got me through it.
I do have to hand it to the fansubbers, though. This is not an easy series to translate. There is a lot of verbal fencing going on that requires a decent knowledge of Japanese wordplay and/or idioms. I found myself frequenting forums to figure out what I was missing. And if I hadn't, the overall impact of the series would be deadened somewhat. For me, that's not a bad thing. It shows that a substantial care went into the source material. It means real fans can get more out of the series than casual viewers, though that isn't a good thing if you are in the latter camp. But not everyone can enjoy that.
Ultimately, compared to other anime this season Spice and Wolf II is still somewhere in the top 2 or 3 (it's still my favorite). It is something you can easily get involved in, and still be left craving for more. It won't win back all the fans of the first season, but to me it still managed to keep me at least as interested as the first season did. Not many anime have fared so well in their second season.
Animation: 7 (some jarring off-model issues)
Voice Acting: 8 (Amisuke is still carrying it)
Story: 7 (well-written, but kinda blaise parts of the story)
Adaptation: 7 (pacing issues galore, otherwise impressive)
Soundtrack: 7 (getting samey, but not distracting)
Emotional Involvement: 9 (and how!)
Overall Impression: 7 (still rough around the edges, but well above average)
Edit: I'm trying to honest here, and turned off my inner fanboy. Otherwise, I would have rated the series a 10, and what's the fun in that? :)
Though the animation was slightly superior to season 1, there were also serveral instances where the animation was just off, such as close up shots on certain characters. Sadly, this distracted me from the story because they are standing out way too much. I originally would have rated this a 7, but the last few scenes of the season were beautifully illustrated, so that prompt me to bump this into an 8.
Voice acting: 9
The voice acting for Horo and Lawrence was excellent, really showed some emotion in their conversations. The side characters were also very nicely done in my opinion, at least none of the character's voices drove me insane.
The overall story was well-developed, although it tends to jump around a bit. Character development was more focused on Lawrence this season, which made me like him as the leading male character. Although I would like to see more development on Horo, which received little development within this season.
Really liked the OP song of this season, and none of the sounds within the season seem out of place or annoying.
The animators seems to try and jam a chapter per episode within this season, which led to unconsistent pacing throughout the season. The beginging pacing of the story was rather fast, then it died down later in the season. Also, I sometimes need to rewatch episodes and check the forums regulary to see if I had missed any implicit meanings in the dialoge, or just simply trying to find an explantion of the dialogue. I would have like it better if the story take some time to explain what they are talking about, which could enhance the overall interaction between Lawrence and Horo. I guess that's kind of hard, since the anime is told in a objective point of view, which skips all of Lawrence's thoughts and monlouges, which help explain things within the story.
I really enjoyed this season, since i was a nice break from the action-no-plot and harem animes that has been realeased this year. Really liked the interaction between Lawrence and Horo. It just has a sense of realism to me, and not the typical guy loves girl, or girl love guy scenario. Shame the pacing and animation quality brought this down from a 10 to a 9.
Emotional involment: 10
I really got into this anime series because the characters personalities just seem so real and developed to me. The anime does a good job at creating and holding suspense, such as the pyrite arch.
Overall: 8.4( i'll round it off to a 9, just cause i'm in a good mood today:D)
This season was fairely well done, but it could have been better., I would still recommend it to my friends. Lawrence really became a man in this season, and i have grown to like him alot. He really showed good faith in his actions, and I repsect him for choosing to continue his journey with Horo rather than his business. Horo on the other hand, became a bit whiny and selfish in this season. She doesn't show as much wisdom as she did in the first season. She just somehow confused me with her actions, especially during the renose arch, where i have no idea what she is thinking and motivation behind her actions. Generally, I am disappointed with this season because it could have been so much better. It just lacks the polish, and that is sadly one of the biggests issues I have with this season.
Looking forward to a Season 3:)
Another unfortunate sequel this season... Well, in many ways, better than the other one I have in mind...
The main problem is the second half/arc... Too much Horo x Lawrence interaction and not enough plot. And even when the plot moved, it wasn't interesting. The end was even worse.
The first half was enjoyable though (which makes the 2nd half just that much more disappointing). Amati (AKA: Sweet Tea) was a great character.
...Compared to the first season, a lot more boring. No Noa either!
As a series alone, the 2nd half still was boring.
Also, there tend to be magazine scans of Horo, who tends to be naked most of the time, but the 2nd season's aren't that good. It can't be helped since the character designs changed... After all, the first season's was done by Kuroda Kazuya. Now how do you beat that...
The OP was nice though. Still worse than the first season, but it sounded better as I listened to it every week.
9/10 for the first half, 4/10 for the second half
loved the Horo+Lawrence interactions, wasn't happy with the design changes that seem to have squashed Horo-mystery, animation iffy but artwork decent, if they never get a chance for a 3rd season... that wasn't a bad ending for it.
I'm kinda buying into the argument that seems to crop up frequently when this new season of Spice and Wolf is discussed, and that's the question of whether it's as good as the first season. My opinion is that it's not, but it's still a good anime. The character and relationship development is ramped up this season which, in my opinion, is almost a requirement for sequels (almost), and the directing and music are superb. But I had problems with the script, particularly the fact that it's reasonably obvious that they're not going to rock the established equilibrium too hard at this stage. One has a fair idea that, whatever happens, at the end of the an arc, Lawrence and Horo are still going to be together, and are still going to be traveling, and this probably isn't going to change anytime soon (until at least next season... if there is one). So there's a certain amount of predictability to how certain things pan out, knowing that they're not going to disturb the equilibrium by too much, and each arc will end in a way not too revolutionary different from how they began.
Voice acting: 10
So, my rating should be:
Average: 8.6 => 9!
But actually it is:
..... sue me! :D
8-9 I guess.
summer season was pretty competitive with the other animes, but this one was still great
loved the way they blushed and interacted, pretty good animation
1st half was a lot more indepth(+drama) in the story compared to 2nd...which didn't seem to have a ending
Overall ratings: 7.5/10
My favorite character: Horo (obviously)
i feel season 1 is better, altho season 2 is still good but maybe it lacks the freshness or new ideas or i have higher expectations
the best moments are still the interactions between the 2 leads and some occasion drama
i think Horo did not shape-shift even once in this season
i believe there will be new season for this
Voice acting: 10
The series was pretty good though I think I like the first season a bit better than this one. There being a new possibility of many other animal deities (or simple shapshifting animals) was intereting. The development of Horo and Lawrence was nice even though they have long seem to act like a married couple. I wish secondary characters weren't tossed in tossed out so quickly but that's nothing.
The ending for me has a 'it just happened' kind of a feeling but that's just me.
Bottom line? I like it!
For me Spice and Wolf season 1 was better for one reason, the storylines. Predictablility sort of plaqued the season 2 plots, but aside from that I actually liked the character interaction more in season 2 (not by much mind you). The characters are what make this show so enjoyable for me so in that department it was as good as before. The animation was, as usual, "good enough" but not minbendingly good. All in all another good season to a great show that I've grown quite fond of.
Well for me it was 10/10. Just perfect.
Well... they have *great* source material to work with, excellent voice work, and they didn't dork it up like many adaptations do.
9 simply because it'd be nicer if they had a bigger animation budget.
First part was really interesting, but the second, I don't know ... occasionally seemed to drag, other times seemed that characterization failed, dunno, I tend to blame it on the longer span of the arcs. In any case for summer Ookami was my second pick after Bakemonogatari.
In general, I despised the lolification of Horo, but overall art was a tad bit better.
I also appreciated the character development, but sometimes (second arc) felt awkward at times.
As for supporting cast, it was much weaker than the first season, but still way more interesting than your average show or movie (live ones included) :p
Verict: almost a 9/10.
I watched Spice and Wolf II (and the first one) with the same mindset I watched Bakemonogatari - it was for the character interaction and dialogue between the two main characters, in this case Horo and Lawrence.
However, the level of dialgoue interest was beaten imo by bakemonogatari, which I watched side by side. However, I still did find the merchanting theme/plot/atmosphere still interesting. I do agree that the first arc was better than the second, but the last episode was rather sweet and also hinted that there will be another season :D.
Overall, I found it just as good as the first season. Pretty much the same Spice and Wolf as the first season minus the wolf transformation elements (which I didn't really like anyway).
This series and season is must-watch in my opinion. Its strengths are definitely the characters, the dialogue, music, artwork, and story. It is pleasing to the eyes and ears. However, there are some flaws that keep it from getting a 10 (perfect). The biggest thing that brought it down was the pacing at the end of the season (rushed). You hate to see that kind of thing happen, but what can you do?
9 out of 10 (excellent)
This season was risky, because Horo becomes a largely unsympathetic character (unless you are a blind fan, which I can understand). Thankfully, Lawrence's development more than makes up for it, and some of the earlier secondary characters are very strong. The second half of the season is certainly more flawed than the first, as others have pointed out the pacing is questionable (although I have not read the novels, so can't have a useful opinion).
The writing seems a little more contrived this season, and the situations border on being incredulous, but that's basically par for the course in most love stories. Personally I found the "will they won't they" aspects to be obnoxious after a while, and the flirty games became more aggravating than anything else. But it was redeemed, and now the story has the potential to move in less annoying directions.
Overall, it's no better or worse than the first season. Visually and aurally I can't fault it too much because it's clear that it has next to no budget. I preferred the first season's op/ed, but not by much. The dialogue is still sharp, and the fansubs are still having trouble with it (Mazui are the least aggravating to me). There are too many flaws to give it a high score, but it is still a strong sequel and one of the few summer '09 anime I consider worth watching at all. 7/10.
I had a hard time gathering my thoughts for this season, mostly because Horo seemed a bit different than she was in the first. Her emotions were a lot easier to provoke this time around, and less (at least to me) wise. It got on my nerves a few times to be honest...
However, the interaction between Lawrence and Horo was great as usual and the first arc was great. The second arc...not so much. I got bored during some episodes and had to force myself to rewatch some scenes to know whats going on. 8/10
Bring it on season 3!
I thought the second season was very good. I gave it a 10 since it lived up to my expectations. I would say that it was almost as good as season 1. The end of the season was good and it really developed the relationship that Horo and Lawrence have. I can't wait for season 3! :)
Liked this season about as much as the first. Better production value in my eyes, and still the very pleasant banter and overload of cuteness from the protagonist.
Yep, Horo feels a bit different, easier to provoke and everything else. It seemed rather logical : she IS starting to become troubled. First season was all about being flirty and nice and falling in love. Second season is about starting to take this love into account and all the problems it may cause. She's more touchy because she's more involved.
Unlike others, I didn't felt "Will they or won't they ?". They pretty much admitted they were in love in S1. They just didn't vocalized it. But honestly, except for the sexual part, they just ARE a couple. They have been holding hand, hugging and openly talking about jealousy since half the first season, it's not really like if they were even pretending that they were not an item.
The only part that made me a bit uneasy is the greediness of Lawrence. Sure he's a merchant, and sure he always remember that Horo is more important than anything else. But his willingness to start dubious business despite the obvious risk of derailing hint at a darker part of him that contrast vividly with his candid nature. Of course it could just be a well-fleshed-out character that is not perfect.
All in all, a very enjoyable moment. I just want a S3 now :'(
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