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Qualms regarding Horo’s development in Spice and Wolf 2

The past week has actually just been one long joyride for me: after I realized that anime, after all, is not as harmful an addiction, I have enjoyed the free time that would be absent until perhaps Christmas. A day after I watched Bakemonogatari, I started watching a series I vowed to finish when it aired, and it was the second season of Spice and Wolf. As a show fuelled by character development, the show was solid and quite well-done. However, I did not like it as much as the first season because it seemed as if the second season revealed a cornucopia of Lawrence’s character: despite being a merchant, he has grown to be kinder and more caring as well as knowing what his real priority in life is. On the other hand, I felt Horo remained relatively staid: nothing really developed from her, and from what I observed she has changed little from her actuations during the first season. This has been most obvious especially during the final arc of the second season, where while Lawrence pours his entire heart and soul just to have Horo as a companion, and finally realizes his own feelings towards her, Horo nonchalantly remains the same knowledgeable, kind, but flirtatious character.

I thought this scene was especially sweet.

I thought this scene was especially sweet.

It is undeniable that Horo has feelings for Lawrence. Even when he felt she was going away from him, she was actually trying to assure his victory over Amati. Her loyalty lies with Lawrence, and it reflects in her actions that she treasures Lawrence beyond just a friend, or even a best friend. However, she keeps on dragging Lawrence, playing with him, and never telling him what she truly feels for him. While this unwillingness to open herself up is extremely understandable (she has loved before, and it has ultimately ended up with the death of her love), I was just thinking that she should stop toying Lawrence around. If she could perhaps curb her tongue when she speaks, and perhaps just cherish their moments together it would probably be better.

It is no longer Lawrence’s turn to act. He has willingly sacrificed everything he had valued before because he loves Horo, and he has put that into words. He lost a significant amount of money, could no longer be a town merchant, but he was willing to give all of his previous apices just to be with her. Even with that, Horo barely reciprocates his emotions. I just don’t really find it funny, sweet, or heartening.

Has anyone watched the second season and observed this? Perhaps actions speak louder than words, but words are still important to convey one’s truth in one’s emotions. One cannot live with actions alone, and it is with this reason that people get mad when they have no one to talk to. Madness arises from the inability of people to reach out to others and to ask for help through their own words. Horo may have been hurt in the past, but I don’t think that’s an excuse to skirt the truth of the matter regarding Lawrence.

The second season remained to be an eminent show. But for all its beauty, a unidirectional development will eventually be tiring. My own ranking of the season would be an 8/10.