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Spice and Wolf: Season Two 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: AB (No Region C)
  • Rating: TV-14
  • Running Time: 325 Min.
  • Discs: 4 (2 x Blu-ray + 2 x DVD)
  • Studio: Funimation
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • List Price: $64.98

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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:5/5]

The charming journey that began in Spice and Wolf: Season One continues in this second season set as the traveling peddler Lawrence and his traveling companion Halo, the powerful wolf-like pagan deity in the body of a pretty young girl, search for Halo’s home in the north.

From village to village, the two share more and more interesting adventures in the complex world, relying on Lawrence’s cunning as a merchant and his contacts, all the while their bond grows stronger, even as jealousies arise from the presence of Nora, the shepherd from season one drawn into Lawrence’s gold coin smuggling scheme.

The wondrous atmosphere and warmth of true emotion from the original series carries over without skipping a beat in this truly original take on the fantasy genre. Rather than focusing on magic and science fiction-like action, Spice and Wolf focuses on the world of deals, business, currency, and, most of all, relationships and folklore. This is good stuff that one wants to keep watching.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

This AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 transfer of Spice and Wolf: Season Two looks to be slightly better than Season One, showing a little less aliasing around the line art, but colors are still on the dull side and overall detail remains soft. On the whole, it is a slight improvement over Season One on Blu-ray, an incremental improvement over the DVD, and consistent with the look of the series on the whole.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Audio remains about the same between this season and the previous Season One release as well, meaning both the Japanese TrueHD 2.0 stereo mix and English TrueHD 5.1 mix are subtle, not overtly aggressive in anyway. They do flip one aspect of the previous season release in that on this one, the Japanese mix provides the fuller, more upfront sounding dialogue and the English mix’s dialogue sounds a bit thinner and farther down in the mix. Both are airy and dynamic with a wide stereo soundfield.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1/5]

What, still no OVAs? Two full season Blu-ray releases, this one being a dual format release no less, and we get neither of the two OVAs for this marvelous series; oh, well. At least there are two brief animated segments with Halo included and the usual clean opening and closing animations.

  • “Studying” with Holo (1.78:1; 00:02:12)
  • “Stretching” with Holo, Yoitz Style (1.78:1; 00:04:03)
  • Textless Opening Song
  • Textless Closing Song
  • Trailers
  • DVDs

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

I really enjoy the narrative and character development of the Spice and Wolf series. Season Two brings it home in a really good way, tightening the emotional depth, relationships of the main characters, and emphasizing the allusions to folklore and history. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0050UEVJQ[/amazon-product]

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:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1/5]

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