Spice and Wolf, season 2, episode 11 – This is why we can’t have nice things

Because every time Lawrence tries, he gets the carpet dragged out from under him, like Kratos always getting screwed over by those damn high-and-mighty Greek gods. Still, all in all, rebellion may turn out to be a good thing for him… assuming he and Horo get out of that town alive.

Sleazy old guysLeader of the sleazy old guys

So here’s my understanding of the deal. This trading guild "pays" 2000 silver trenni for Horo. Lawrence and Fruhl go and use that to buy up all the furs in town. They then run a monopoly and make a considerable profit. Later, hey come back and buy Horo back at a higher price. The guild profits, Lawrence profits, Fruhl profits. Everyone wins. Who knows, maybe this would’ve even worked out well. But I don’t know about Horo and Lawrence, but beady-eyed, old guys rarely turn out to be reputable characters. I could just sense those geezers in the background, chomping at the bit, waiting to ravage Horo’s nubile body the second they got the chance. Damn, dirty old geezers.

Fruhl wonders what naked Horo looks likeFruhl offers Horo and Lawrence relationship advice

Fruhl said what everyone’s thinking, but isn’t actually happening. Congratulations to Fruhl for being so blunt. Lawrence, can you take a big, glowing, neon "hint"?

Fruhl's wedding dressFruhl is not cheap

It was interesting to see Fruhl’s backstory. It’s a little strange to hear the characters talking about buying and selling people so easily, I was glad to see a bit of the human cost behind those transactions. Fruhl’s a tough woman. I wouldn’t want to cross her. I also really liked the direction during this scene, especially when the camera was panning in on the boats in the background and simultaneously panning out on Fruhl in the foreground. That affect always gets me. I also have to give credit to the music. I think the sharp, staccato strings did a good job conveying Fruhl’s feelings.

Horo freaks out over getting touched on her tailHoro in full blush mode

If I was Lawrence, laying on the bed with Horo, I would’ve "accidentally" rolled over on top of her. However, failing that, the tail touch scene was flat out awesome. I could watch this 5 second on an endless loop.

Horo wants dramaLawrence wants a happy ending

However, the conversation takes an abrupt turn to the serious, as Horo says she wants this to be the end of the road between the two. While everything between the two is fun and exciting right now, she’s worried that over time, their repartee and their relationship would become old and stale, leaving them nothing but memories. I wonder how much of this was her simply being melodramatic, how much of it was her rationalizing moving on and letting Lawrence open his store, and how much was based on previous experiences (or lack thereof). Her fear, I would argue, sounds somewhat immature; something you’d expect from someone who’d never been in a long-term relationship.

Lawrence wonders about Horo's droolHoro's witty retort

But I’m glad the melodrama was over pretty quickly. You could argue they left the issue unresolved, but I think it’s one of those things that can’t be resolved until it’s completely over. As much as Lawrence may try to stop Horo from leaving, all it takes is a quick moment for her to disappear into the nether.

Salty statueLawrence likes salt

Later, Horo and Lawrence return to Rigolo’s to return the books and to check out some more. Interestingly, Rigolo’s been called out to an emergency meeting, leaving Lawrence and the cute nun to engage in enlightening discussions about Rigolo’s garden. Horo may not have seen it, but I saw Lawrence and Horo standing by that tree, not Lawrence and a store. Also, Lawrence discovers that Fruhl’s stone statues are actually made of salt, although I’m not sure what the significance of that is. It’s not unexpected after what they revealed about Fruhl last episode, but I wonder if this is a plot point that’ll go unresolved considering what happens next…

Fruhl has bad newsRebellion tools of the trade

Rebellion! Whoa, that was unexpected, and I don’t think those sharp pointy objects are for chopping wheat or any farming deeds. It’s actually nice to see something blow up in Lawrence’s face that doesn’t involve either him or Horo getting personally screwed over. While this is bad for their profit-making schemes, and for Lawrence’s dreams of opening a store, I think it’s probably a good thing if he wanted to stick with Horo. Furthermore, since no money or goods was exchanged with the trading guild, he shouldn’t be indebted to anyone. Now the only question is whether Lawrence and Fruhl’s names slipped out and if that angry mob is coming to kill them… Yep, it’s looking like a cliffhanger ending to the season. The only question is whether it’s a "oh, where will Lawrence and Horo go next" type of cliffhanger or a "OMG, THE CHURCH IS KILLING WOLF HORO AND LAWRENCE IS LAYING ON THE GOUND BLEEDING TO DEATH!!!" type of cliffhanger. Mmm, I’m hoping for the former. My heart couldn’t take the latter. Oh, I’d also be remiss not to mention the fantastic music during the rebellion reveal. The cacophony of strings was another perfect fit to play up the pandemonium and "what comes next" mood.

It looks like we may be in for a surprisingly action-packed season finale to Spice and Wolf next week.

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8 Replies to “Spice and Wolf, season 2, episode 11 – This is why we can’t have nice things”

  1. Can’t argue with anything you said realy, well thought out i think. I too think it would be a “oh, where will Lawrence and Horo go next” type of cliffhanger. And the tail touching scene is so awesome. If the final couple of episodes are as action packed as this one suggests it’s going to be then it would explain some of the very poor and limited animation in the last few episodes. The only thing that was well animated in the last 4 episodes is Horos tail.

    1. Yeah, if there’s a bit of action in the final ep, the animation dip would make sense. I thought this ep looked better than the last, but there were a few scenes where I thought people’s heads looked strangely small. :p

  2. You know, I would actually I love a proper Geass-esque cliffhanger ending. I know my heart and head would probably explode but we really don’t get enough cliffhanger endings to a season in anime.

    @Roberto

    I’ve noticed the drop in animation quality too but remember how well the first arc was animated. I hope Brains Base has some spare change left over for the last few episodes though and didn’t blow their money at the start
    .-= Scamp´s last blog ..Hetalia Axis Powers episode 34 =-.

  3. Finally got around to watching the episode and man, the bantering is good as normal, but that little unexpected twist at the end is going to cramp things up just a bit. If there’s anything merchants dislike, its an unstable government. When you’ve got a rebellion like that, plans have a tendency to be shaken and there’s no guarantee that contractual agreements will be honored in those circumstances.
    .-= zzeroparticle´s last blog ..Clannad Original Soundtrack – Review =-.

  4. Aw, so Horo really *is* nuts. It’s obvious that she’s desperately rationalizing here, because none of what she says makes sense. She has some kind of pathological fear of happy memories. She’d apparently rather remain nihilisitic and only remember heartache, then experience a slowly-fading joy.

    It becomes obvious that this is really a capital-I Issue for her when Lawrence touches her tail. She really DOES seem to want him, but first he’ll have to find a way past her various and special issues. And he still has to determine whether she’s worth all the effort, although it’s obvious that Lawrence is the only guy that would accept such a broken goddess.

    MAN did Horo ever screw him over this time. She waited until after the plan was in motion and she was sold to tell him. She made it obvious that he won’t be able to persuade her by backing out of the deal, or by going through with it either. So what the hell can he do? She pushed him into a deal with Abe, who we now know was smuggling salt statues for the church. That means she’s probably desperate and trying to get back at the church for outing her.. not a good sign.

    If that’s not bad enough, the oh-so-foreshadowed rebellion starts. So the danger coefficient of this plot has just jumped to “Lawrence-threatening” levels. He is probably going to be backstabbed by Abe, and if not physically hurt by her there is a chance the rebellion will do it for her. Just great. Horo REALLY picked a top-notch plan to part with Lawrence on happy terms..

    I also hope that Lawrence won’t end up near-death just to convince Horo to stay with him. But Abe is probably going to be back next season.

    1. I gotta say, you’re the first person I’ve ever come across who actually seems to dislike Horo, or at least likes Lawrence a lot better than Horo. I’m interested to see what you thought of the season finale and the show as a whole. Either way, I’m going to guess you’re not going to be happy with Horo.

      Regarding Lawrence’s merchant skills, he’s not bad. I don’t think he’s bad. He’s got a good head and an ability to think on his feet. But he has a knack for taking stupid risks (even before this season). And if you recall, there were at least two instances during the first season where Horo either got a better deal for Lawrence, or saved him from a bad deal (not to mention saving him from complete destitution at the end, although that had nothing to do with her dealmaking skills).

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