Welcome to the first in a brand new series! Retro Watch will be a series in which we explore anime that falls past the 2011 mark. Why the 2011 mark you all may ask? This has to to do with the fact that I simply started getting deep into anime in this time frame. The other reason is that past this point we start to see a key change in the animation of most anime; especially in regard to the use of actual 3D effects and animation. This does not necessarily mean that the chosen anime is indeed retro like say Dallos; it just is an older anime. I have quite a few titles that I wish to address under this new series and I expect it to take a pretty big role on our site; considering how many anime I watch tend to be a few older ones. Now let’s dive straight into talking about our first featured anime, Spice and Wolf.

This anime was first shown 2008 and ended a run in 2009. The story, which I am basing my impressions off a three episode run so far, follows that of a peddlers of goods. The man named Kraft Lawrence travels across the land trying to make a living off the good that he peddles. Coming to a town called Pasole he reunites with friends and a student named Chloe. After staying for some festivities he leaves the town and discovers he left with more than just goods. As fate often does, he discovers a stowaway. This stowaway is special for she is the Harvest Deity Holo the Wolf. Having been forsaken by the aforementioned town, Holo wishes to travel with Kraft in order to see the world that she has been away from for some time. While this is as much as I have seen the anime has been an enjoyable trek thus far. I can say that the art style shows it’s age, but there is a certain polish about some of the character visuals, the close pans in particular that show an increased quality aspect.

The opening is just phenomenal and the ending song is just as amazing; it’s even sung in English! The opening title song is called Tabi no Tochuu by Natsumi Kiyoura and it is utterly beautiful. The chorus is a particular favorite and it is just stunningly gorgeous. The theming of the music pairs well to the actual anime; as does the ending that accompanies this anime. It’s main composition is just beautiful and gives the actual anime some grandiose body and weight. The melodies of this anime are just simply beautiful and I am a fan. Judging from the perspective of just the first three episodes, this may be an anime that has emotional charge and the music will be a key factor in drawing this romance out between the two, Kraft and Holo. As far as story and thematic content is concerned Spice and Wolf delivers on that front extremely well and while I cannot say for sure as to what I will walk away with this anime, I can say that the theme of understanding the world and the people around you will be one outlook that I take away from this title.

Art is always a strong factor in determining what one watches and the older we get, the more classic we get to the anime style that I am most familiar with thanks in part to the 90’s and early 2000’s. Spice and Wolf’s art walks a line that is both new and older. I think it handles it all flawlessly and is an anime that shouldn’t be too off putting in the art department; heck I would argue that it holds up quite well when comparing it to other anime of today. That being said, the background visuals are just simply stunning and I have a hard time for faulting the anime on anything in it’s art department; aside from the usual gripes when it comes to character design and the animations. Backgrounds though are pieces in which we will be focused on and will see a lot of so it only makes sense to give the background a heavy focus in the quality department.

I would heavily encourage our readers to gives this anime a look if you have yet to see it like myself. It’s beautiful, it has music with matter and the story thus far is charming and beautiful. Granted this has been based off the first few episodes and is subject to change when we come back to discuss this anime once more. If you have already given this anime some of your time and consideration then feel free to let us know how you feel about the anime in the comments down below!


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8 Comments

  1. I saw this anime I think last year and I love the art and music. The intro song is so soothing. I also like the relationship with Lawrence and Holo together. It’s funny that I saw the news of the sequel of the novel and now you post something like this, it feels like a coincidence. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Out of curiosity, Kausus, what animes have you been most excited for? I also started around 2011/2012 and it seemed the quality and artstyle of anime really started to change at that time. Not saying that past animes were bad, but 2011 and so on has had some pretty huge line-ups.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hard to say as a lot of the ones I am excited for are already out. Anime like Kill la Kill or Death Parade. Upcoming, I am very excited to see the series, little witch academia, finally getting an anime adaptation.

      I would argue that you are spot on in that regard, the style really began a change during that period of time.

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      1. Generally, I’ve found a few common animation styles in the past few years.

        The more modern/colorful look (around 2012/2013): No Game No Life, ReZero, Black Bullet, Suisei no Gargantia, Tales of Zestiria / Berseria.

        *Steins:Gate & Future Diaries I think were among the first of the two to show a different style (with some classic style still kept), but that’s my opinion.

        Or the semi-classic style: Parasyte, Erased, Spice & Wolf.

        The abstract, “monogatari” style (2009): Monogatari series (so many of them now), Mekakucity Actors.

        Of course there’s also the 3D/CGI style that’s becoming somewhat common (2012) many are driven off by these), like from Sidonia no Kishi, Blue Submarine, RBWY, Appleseed, Vexille, and AJIN.

        Then there’s movies like REDLINE that combine some interesting animation that turns out colorful, slightly 3D, and visually stunning.

        Another thing to note: short anime (2 to 3 seasons) has been the more common to the length of some of the highest rated animes as of the recent years.

        Liked by 1 person

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