13 C
New York
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Advertisement

Spice and Wolf: Season One Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Stereo, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Running Time: 325 Min.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Funimation
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • List Price: $49.98

[amazon-product]B0050UEVNC[/amazon-product]

Purchase Spice and Wolf: Season One on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4.5/5]

I was completely unfamiliar with Spice and Wolf when I first sat down to review it, but I was pleasantly surprised once I began. This anime, based on a series of light novels by Isuna Hasekura, is an unusually unique romantic fantasy that omits the usual markers of the genre. You’ll find no magic spells, witches, powerful demons or evil spirits looking to rule the world in this series. Instead, Spice and Wolf resides in a often refreshingly realistic and rustic world of indistinct location, but heavily modeled on renaissance Europe. Even the musical score is delightfully wistful, like the tunes of traveling madrigals from days of yore.

The story focuses on the journey of a traveling merchant, Kraft Lawrence, and a pagan deity, Holo, he discovers in his wagon after a typical stopover to a town he has been to many time before. Holo is a mighty harvest goddess who, when in her powerful form as a gigantic wolf, made a pact hundreds of years ago to always bring them bountiful harvests of wheat. It is one that has kept her bound to the small village and the townsfolk who annually celebrate her existence and give up offerings to appease her, but have in truth forgotten about her actual existence. Holo longs for nothing more than to break free from her contract and return to her home in the north. It is this that made her for the first time in centuries take in her human form of a beautiful 15-year-old girl, well, one with ears and a long furry tail anyway, and sneak into Lawrence’s wagon. She enters into an agreement with Lawrence to travel with him and bring him success on his journeys, so she can see the world she has missed all these years and get back to her home.

The story quickly turns to one of both romance and intrigue as Lawrence uncovers a scheme by powerful merchants and city state leaders to secretly devalue some of the numerous silver coins that dominate the trade and the church goes after Holo, seeing her as a great threat. The two must hold together, stay alive, learn about the world and each other as they navigate the incredibly complicated world.

With an immeasurable amount of sincerity and charm, Spice and Wolf: Season One is a real standout in the fantasy anime genre.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

An upscaled SD release, Spice and Wolf’s 1080p/24 AVC/MPEG-4 encodement won’t yield the same spectacular results of a native HD transfer to Blu-ray, but it is one of the better looking upscaled releases I have seen to date. Aliasing is minimal, though it is definitely still there in certain spots, and video noise is ever so slight. Colors look a bit washed out and detail on the whole is slightly soft, but the image is still rather watchable and a decent upgrade over DVD.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Whether listening to the original Japanese lossless 2.0 stereo track or the English lossless 5.1 mix, they are both quiet, subtle mixes. Neither is rather aggressive and in-your-face. The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track has much clearer sounding dialogue with a good bit of ambience in the surround channels, but not much in the way of discrete information there. The Japanese Dolby TrueHD mix has dialogue that is somewhat more lowered in the mix, but still clean and stereo imaging is a little narrow, but dynamics are good.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

There’s nothing on here beyond the usual textless opening and closing songs and Funimation trailers.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Despite the lack of extras on here, this one is a definite keeper for anyone looking for something a little different to add to their anime collection. Spice and Wolf: Season One should be at the top of your summer shopping list.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0050UEVNC[/amazon-product]

Purchase Spice and Wolf: Season One on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:0.5/5]

Join the Discussion on Our Forum

Advertisement

Related Articles

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

300FansLike
0FollowersFollow
725FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.

Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula (Blu-ray Review)

This is an uneven but still fun to watch sequel to the 2016 smash hit zombie/action movie lands on Blu-ray with a rollicking Atmos mix.

Chernobyl (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The account of the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Ukraine, Soviet Union, and the subsequent health and political fallout is told in five gripping episodes.

2067 (Blu-ray Review)

With the world deforested and people dying from a deadly disease caused by synthetic oxygen, a quiet tunnel worker receives a message from the future and must save humanity in this uneven but watchable dystopian Aussie indie sci-fi thriller.

The Irishman (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray Review)

Martin Scorsese's Academy Award-nominated (Best Director) late career crime world epic gets the Criterion Collection treatment it deserves.
%d bloggers like this: