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View Poll Results: Spice and Wolf - Episode 10 Rating
Perfect 10 44 44.90%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 27 27.55%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 18 18.37%
7 out of 10 : Good 3 3.06%
6 out of 10 : Average 4 4.08%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 1 1.02%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 1 1.02%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 98. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2008-03-08, 12:50   Link #101
TrueKnight
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Lawrence's been tricked, now in debt because of the credit, and each person who he thought had owed to him (meaning a future receivables for him) rejected and/or refused to bail him out. Finally the last person who he had hoped willing to help flatly shun him because he sees Lawrence manage to pick some hooker from the street.

It's a mistake that Lawrence snaps at Horo, but from Lawrence's perspective, frustated, wasted effort and at the edge of bankruptcy, or worse, hard labor....it's completely understandable why he lost it.... I hope they somehow reconcile next episode, with Horo would probably save him....again.
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Old 2008-03-08, 13:11   Link #102
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by cowteats View Post
It's mentioned in the book 2 that not even the people living in Rubinhaigen know about the cancellation of the expedition until it is announced, at which the armor prices must have plunged immediately. Remerio Company is also one of the victims of this fall in prices, for they have invested a large sum of money in armor as well. And they didn't knew about the cancellation despite being a merchant living in Rubinhaigen. So there's no way Lawrence could have known about it in advance.

The merchant of Latopeiron in Poloson, however knew about it in advance, which was why he agree to Lawrence's purchase of armor (happily).
Yeah, that begs two questions:
- how did he know?
- how did everyone else not know?

It's just too big to be concealed. There were to many people who had to know. Or at least know something like that was up. For example, the hundred of unemployed mercenaries, now making the roads impracticable with their banditry? They know. The god knows how many merchants who sell stuff to the Church every year around this time period? They know. Whoever's working as personal servants or assistants for the bigwigs who usually go? They know.

And it's not like it could have happened overnight while Lawrence was between Pollson and Rubinhaigen, since the bandits were already active when he arrived in Pollson.
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Old 2008-03-08, 14:44   Link #103
cowteats
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Yeah, that begs two questions:
- how did he know?
- how did everyone else not know?

It's just too big to be concealed. There were to many people who had to know. Or at least know something like that was up. For example, the hundred of unemployed mercenaries, now making the roads impracticable with their banditry? They know. The god knows how many merchants who sell stuff to the Church every year around this time period? They know. Whoever's working as personal servants or assistants for the bigwigs who usually go? They know.

And it's not like it could have happened overnight while Lawrence was between Pollson and Rubinhaigen, since the bandits were already active when he arrived in Pollson.
You are right, that certainly is something strange about that. Unless (a) those mercenaries actually got discharged from their services without being given a proper reason.

But the fall in armor prices could have happened overnight. Just imagine that if Bill Gates die today, and no official announcement was made to the world until one week later, then the Microsoft stock prices will dip only after one week. Why? Because no one knows about it yet.

Suppose that (b) Rubinhaigen has made a decision not to launch the expedition, but no official announcement has been made to the world yet, so similarly the armor prices won't fall yet. However, if (c) the Poloson merchant happen to know somebody with inside information, he may know of the decision before it was officially announced to the world.

However none of my speculations (a), (b) or (c) were mentioned in the novel at all. In fact, it was written from Lawrence perspective that he's guessing the Poloson merchant knew about the cancellation in advance. I guess the author is either leaving it to the imagination of the readers, or it's a plot hole.
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Old 2008-03-08, 14:58   Link #104
Anh_Minh
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The mercenaries didn't need to be given a proper reason. They only needed to know they weren't hired. Even if they don't conclude with 100% certainty the expedition is canceled (unlikely, because the reasons it's canceled are public), they can make a guess, and so can whoever knows they weren't hired. Which is pretty much everyone in the region.

Imagine China stops all its preparations for the Olympic games and fires the workers involved in it. Even without an official announcement that the Olympic games are canceled or moved, you'll know there is something going on, and that maybe investing large sums in the games is a bad idea right now. Even if normal people somehow fail to pay attention, part of Lawrence's job - pretty much the main part, in fact - is to know about that sort of things. What will make the prices rise or drop.
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Old 2008-03-08, 15:25   Link #105
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Painful to watch, but a good episode.

I know many people think it was unjust for Lawrence to snap at Horo, but he just realized he wasted most of his life, and may be in a situation where he will have to give up even MORE of his life as a manual laborer. He just needed somewhere to channel his anger, and since he didn't break down in tears Horo was "there for him".

Resolve needed, please.
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Old 2008-03-08, 15:45   Link #106
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It was an extra painful moment after watching her be so happy and trying to support him for most of the episode after he essentially confessed to her at episode start.

Yeah, pins and needles to see what happens next.
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Old 2008-03-08, 15:50   Link #107
cowteats
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
The mercenaries didn't need to be given a proper reason. They only needed to know they weren't hired. Even if they don't conclude with 100% certainty the expedition is canceled (unlikely, because the reasons it's canceled are public), they can make a guess, and so can whoever knows they weren't hired. Which is pretty much everyone in the region.

Imagine China stops all its preparations for the Olympic games and fires the workers involved in it. Even without an official announcement that the Olympic games are canceled or moved, you'll know there is something going on, and that maybe investing large sums in the games is a bad idea right now. Even if normal people somehow fail to pay attention, part of Lawrence's job - pretty much the main part, in fact - is to know about that sort of things. What will make the prices rise or drop.
It could be that it is not uncommon for mercenaries to pillage, though it's strange that no one in Rubinhaigen manage to foresee anything. Also, I wonder how approachable the mercenaries are, or how much contact the mercenaries have with society, given that they do such dastardy deeds.

Workers for Olympic games would have spread the information among society of now easily, being healthy members of society, and using the aid of the communication tools we have now. But is it possible that mercenaries weren't much in contact with society to begin with? It could be that even though they weren't hired, no one knew about it, yet.

Once again, all these are just speculations.
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Old 2008-03-08, 16:11   Link #108
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It may be just that it was a weak point or plothole in the story (only second adventure after all) and that we'll just have to see if the author improved in later adventures.

What we seem to have is that the merchant Lawrence "win-win" blackmailed had some sort of advance information about the market for armor (perhaps he has a brother in the Church) -- and was intent on nailing Lawrence even though Lawrence provided a face-saving solution.
The "unlevel table" merchant, for the moment, seems to have succeeded in ruining Lawrence's finances and possibly his life -- even more cleverly by selling off the problem to someone else (can we say sub-prime mortgage turnover?) so the disaster befalls Lawrence from indirect hands.

Throughout this episode, we're seeing stronger indications that the "Church" in this story setting is almost not bothering to hide that power and domination drives it more than anything else.
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Old 2008-03-08, 16:34   Link #109
creamyhorror
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
The mercenaries didn't need to be given a proper reason. They only needed to know they weren't hired. Even if they don't conclude with 100% certainty the expedition is canceled (unlikely, because the reasons it's canceled are public), they can make a guess, and so can whoever knows they weren't hired. Which is pretty much everyone in the region.
Firstly, I believe the mercenaries-turned-bandits were based in the North, which could mean they were actually hired by, or sympathetic to, the heretical lands. (Correct me if I'm wrong, cowteats.) They were quite possibly not the same mercenaries who were to be hired for the march north.

That doesn't preclude the fact that any news of cancellation would have spread quickly and crashed the market. The entire town of Rubinhaigen had known it for some time. Lawrence didn't know because 1) he was uncharacteristically careless about gathering information beforehand, and/or 2) bad plotting. That's what I think anyway.
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Old 2008-03-08, 17:31   Link #110
Xacual
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Yeah I think it was poor information gathering on Lawrence's part. He was so sure that armor would be a good thing to take because in all the time he has been working as a merchant it has probably always been a sure thing to make a decent profit. Remember Lawrence has only been working for 7 years right, with maybe a few years before that apprenticing or just observing people in the field. If you've watched a town and see that a certain product is always sold and used there during those years you'd be kind of lazy to keep checking on it after a while.

Of course that doesn't change the fact that no one outside of Rubinhaigen was talking about it even though it should have been a big deal in the area. So maybe a possible plot hole though I could see how it might have been kept out of the public ear by the church up until an announcement.

That's my thought on how Lawrence got into the mess. Like the Guild guy said, he got greedy and didn't stop to think about it.
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Old 2008-03-08, 17:43   Link #111
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by cowteats View Post
It could be that it is not uncommon for mercenaries to pillage, though it's strange that no one in Rubinhaigen manage to foresee anything. Also, I wonder how approachable the mercenaries are, or how much contact the mercenaries have with society, given that they do such dastardy deeds.

Workers for Olympic games would have spread the information among society of now easily, being healthy members of society, and using the aid of the communication tools we have now. But is it possible that mercenaries weren't much in contact with society to begin with? It could be that even though they weren't hired, no one knew about it, yet.

Once again, all these are just speculations.
Mercenaries who pillage their employers' own land before the fight's even started don't get hired. By anyone.

As for how much contact they have with society - I'd seriously doubt that they don't have "contacts" with the town's taverns. And whores. And foodsellers. And all sorts of people who'd notice a lack of paying customers.
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Old 2008-03-08, 19:01   Link #112
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Yeah could just be a plot hole that came up relatively early in the story. But at least it has created some interesting discussion. Trying to figure out why Lawrence didn't find out how that kind of news hadn't spread out.

At least the early part of the episode helps by being lighthearted. Can always go back and forget about the troubles Lawrence is going to get himself into trouble with later. And regardless of how they got into that mess should be interesting to see how they get back out of it again.
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Old 2008-03-08, 19:16   Link #113
DanielSong39
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There are probably some plot holes but I think the biggest issues are:

(1) How did Lawrence get into this mess?
(2) How will he get out?

(1) People may have different opinions about what he should have done, but I think the general consensus is that Lawrence got too greedy by getting armor on margin. Not only did he put himself in a dangerous position by going deeply into debt, he picked a commodity that is a bit more sensitive to market conditions (at least compared to things like wheat, furs, and pepper). If he gets less armor he takes a huge loss but lives on to fight another day.

(2) I think both Horo and Nora will play a role. Horo has "earned her keep" from the start and her value has well exceeded the 140 silver pieces Lawrence claims she owes - if it weren't for her there's a good chance that Lawrence would be broke, jailed, or dead. She will find a way to dump the armor, or in the worst case scenario, help him escape his creditors. As for Nora, she is obviously an important character in this storyline and she will most likely play a major role in what happens.

No matter how things turn out, it was an important (and expensive) lesson for Lawrence. He's been way too reckless on a number of occasions and such a lifestyle almost inevitably leads to ruin. You can't push all-in every single time if you wish to succeed over the long run.
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Old 2008-03-08, 23:58   Link #114
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No matter how things turn out, it was an important (and expensive) lesson for Lawrence. He's been way too reckless on a number of occasions and such a lifestyle almost inevitably leads to ruin. You can't push all-in every single time if you wish to succeed over the long run.
Eh? When has Lawrence been "reckless"? Opportunistic, yes maybe, but reckless? He's an entrepreneur and all entrepreneurs are "reckless" risk-takers to some extent. After all, higher risks lead to higher profit.

If anything, I would argue that it was Horo who had been reckless and impulsive, not Lawrence. She jumped in unexpectedly to raise the selling price of his marten pelts, using a ploy that was almost like a scam. She shows a complete disregard for Lawrence's attempts to save his precious silver, arrogantly confident that she can earn her keep and more.

If you ask me, Lawrence had been fairly careful and intelligent throughout the anime. He could have avoided his present predicament had he heard about the market crash in advance, but unfortunately, information does not flow easily. Not in a modern economy, let alone a medieval one.
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Old 2008-03-09, 02:20   Link #115
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Looks like the series is getting popular enough to attract silent troll anti-votes. EvilDoGi seems to dislike the series for unspoken reasons.

On topic:
One reason information may not flow freely is that "The Church is Watching You" .... it may be unwise to talk about a failed or canceled crusade. Obviously, we're just looking for a way to rationalize an unclear plotline point. Fortunately, there are a number of possible explanations -- the anime writers are focusing on the personal (how this affects Horo & Lawrence) rather than the Big Picture, kind of like a squad in a big war often has no idea what the overall situation is.
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Old 2008-03-09, 02:25   Link #116
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He could have avoided his predicament by not going into debt.
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Old 2008-03-09, 02:31   Link #117
DanielSong39
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Exhibit 1: the money-changing scheme. It was apparent from the start that this was a risky and potentially dangerous operation, with questionable upside. Alas, he was lucky to escape this venture in one piece.

Exhibit 2: buying armor on credit. EVERYONE, from Horo to members of his guild to his adversaries, are agreement on this. Even Lawrence himself admits as much. He could have avoided his present predicament by taking half the armor. He would've lost everything he had, but he would've at least had his freedom.

Lawrence is intelligent but he isn't careful. If he was, this show wouldn't be nearly as fun to watch. It looks like it is up to the seemingly reckless Horo to get him out of yet another jam.
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Old 2008-03-09, 03:12   Link #118
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Sometime you invest in a talented person that has potential even if they make mistakes early. As Lawrence said, he sees something worth investing in (Horo). I'd say Horo still thinks Lawrence is worth investing in as well (though he failed his Charisma check with Critical Fail at the end of ep 10).
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Old 2008-03-09, 12:49   Link #119
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this episode was hard to watch. seeing a good person like lawrence in utter misery makes you a little miserable inside. but i am sure, obviously, they are setting up for some entertaining climax where he is saved somehow, and from my pure speculation, id say it involves that yellow-haired girl. makes sense right? they dedicated the whole preceding episode to her and left her out completely as lawrence and horo entered the city. im guessing she must be part of the story as they exit the city.

anyway, a good story and great production.
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Old 2008-03-09, 13:10   Link #120
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Originally Posted by Likely View Post
this episode was hard to watch. seeing a good person like lawrence in utter misery makes you a little miserable inside. but i am sure, obviously, they are setting up for some entertaining climax where he is saved somehow, and from my pure speculation, id say it involves that yellow-haired girl. makes sense right? they dedicated the whole preceding episode to her and left her out completely as lawrence and horo entered the city. im guessing she must be part of the story as they exit the city.

anyway, a good story and great production.
Don't forget that this just shows how imperfection is very possible and everything can't always go right. A sense of realism is added into this episode, at least I think so.

Lawrence will previal though, eventually. Even if that means next season, please.
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