That being said, while we hold out for maybe a new season that showcases the daughter that Holo and Kraft have–please let us have it–there are similar shows that have cropped up this season that are surprisingly, and oddly, very similar in feel and overall development to Spice & Wolf, or just share themes so well we cannot help but think of the connection. That is why we here at Honey’s Anime today are here to showcase two shows from the Spring 2017 season that are similar to Spice & Wolf more so than you may realize!
About Spice & Wolf
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan 2008 – Mar 2008
For those who may not know, Spice and Wolf tells the story of Kraft Lawrence who stumbles across a powerful wolf deity known as Holo. She offers help if he will eventually take her to her hometown in the north. He agrees after witnessing how skilled Holo is with people. With a set of good business skills in hand and a companion who knows how to negotiate, Kraft, who just goes primarily by Lawrence, travels from town to town making deals and sales. However, somewhere along the journey, he begins to realise that his dreams of being ultra-successful may have begun to change. Bit by bit, the two get to know each other well and Kraft learns more about Holo’s backstory. This seinen anime is truly a gem in the genre and there are no anime quite like it!
Liked Spice & Wolf? Watch Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 2017 – Jun 2017
- Read More
(Edit: I did not know that this show only has 12 episodes and now my soul hurts. This is a travesty). Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho opens with a beastfallen–half-beast, half-man–character whose name we do not learn. All we know is that he is a huge beast in stature who is a mercenary and hates witches. In fact, he is hunting them till he accidentally saves one thinking she is a girl. He proclaims that he hates witches, but Zero, as she introduces herself, offers him a sweet deal: If he will work as her bodyguard while she searches for the Grimoire of Zero, a book stolen from her, then when she gets it back, she will turn him into a human. Thus the odd couple’s journey throughout a medieval society begins.
Three Major Similarities Between Spice & Wolf and Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho
1. Overall Feel of the Series
If there has to be one overall big setting shared, then it would be the overall feel between these two series. In both Spice & Wolf and Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho, the worlds, and settings are that of the medieval era. Humans use horses and carts to get around. People go to pubs for information and to make trades. Humans are generally suspicious of one another and terrified of that which they do not understand. Above all else is the fact that even though there is magic in both series, no one is teleporting about. Everyone walks and fully commits to being in this period setting makes it all the more believable.
2. Sad Backstories & Setups of Holo and Zero
When we first encounter Holo, she explains to Kraft that she is a powerful wolf deity who used to be praised in order to bring a bountiful harvest; however as humans evolved, they forgot about her and she was thrown away. Now, she is nothing more than a folk tale of old. She wants Lawrence to take her back to her northern hometown/area of Yoitsu and thus they set out. Zero is the same having suffered a similar fate when her grimoire of zero was stolen and the followers of her sect slain by someone. *cough spoilers cough* So, she asks Mercenary/makes him a deal to his benefit, much like with Holo and Kraft, and the two set out on a journey together to try and get her grimoire back.
3. Party setups
For the most part with Holo and Kraft, it is only the two of them throughout their journey, and you can tell that there is some form of attraction that is bubbling under the surface. Besides the fact that Zero is oblivious to how things work in the real world, she still is clearly enjoying her time and companionship with Mercenary. Sure, Albus is with them for the journey, but his role is smaller to a certain extent and is used a plot device to move the story forward. The real feelings and conflict that exist, are between Zero and Mercenary, and we could not be surprised if a romance started blossoming towards the end of it all.
Liked Spice & Wolf? Watch Alice to Zouroku!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 207 – Jun 2017
- Read More
Alice to Zouroku opens with a little girl walking naked through a forest in the rain and a military in hot pursuit. A crystal flower opens in front of her and suddenly we learn that she has powers. People try to stop her, but she manages to escape with some help. The next day, we learn her name is Sana and she is being pursued by two other power users. Somehow she meets an ornery old man named Zouroku, he helps her get away, and then he opens his home to her. Now, Sana has to learn about humans, the outside world, herself, and most of all, this man Zouroku. This is all while she is still being pursued by strange individuals.
Three Major Similarities Between Spice & Wolf and Alice to Zouroku
1. The Same Genres of Anime
Unless you are looking for it like we are, you might not realize this point between these two. Both have supernatural elements from Sana’s powers to Holo’s powers as well. Both are centered around journeys too and thus adventure; Sana is looking to find out more about who she is and what the outside world is, and Holo is wanting to journey home to her hometown. Both are also pure seinen. Even though Alice to Zouroku might seem child-like in nature, all it takes is a viewing of episode four, when Sana and Zouroku are kidnapped, to know that this is a very serious series. The same goes for Holo. Kraft is a bit shocked when he sees her with blood on her face and the story is very deep and complicated for both series.
2. Character Setups
Next up, we have our overpowered female protagonists with rough backstories. Sana is subjected to human experimentation while Holo was forgotten by the people she once looked over and helped prosper. Zouroku is an ornery, serious old man, and Kraft was on the same path, had he not met Holo. Holo can turn into a freaking wolf in her deity form and cause some real damage, while Sana can just about ruin anyone’s day with some good magic from that crystal flower thingy. Both also calm down as they get to know their male counterparts a bit better and become better acclimated to their surroundings. The best part too is that you the viewer are very quickly drawn into the female characters. Regardless of who you may like, their stories pull you in immediately.
3. The General Story You Are Presented with Is Quite Misleading
This is not a bad thing, but when you initially read the intros for these anime on respective sites across the web, Spice & Wolf appears that it will be rather dry and Alice to Zouroku appears that it is going to be a slice of life series. No really, we had Alice to Zouroku pinned as a slice of life until it debuted. What we are given via watching, is a wonderfully captivating story that not only introduces endearing characters, but it draws you in so quickly that you forget at times that Spice and Wolf is talking about economics or apples, or Sana is still learning how to wash her face and read kanji. The wonderful blend of elements and themes throughout the story are quick to bewitch you and take you on a magnificent journey that you will not regret.