Spice and Wolf
Spice and Wolf is different. Instead of sticking to the usual stereotypes it focuses heavily on economics and trade, explaining a lot of it in its medieval(ish) setting. The main story revolves around the traveling merchant Kraft Lawrence who goes from town to town buying and selling goods. He comes across Horo, a young girl who turns out to be a wolf that can shapeshift into a girl. Horo’s been protecting the town’s harvest for ages, but the times they are a changing and people are switching to the belief of the one god and its church is determined to kill all pagan traditions and deities, one way or another. Kraft decides to help Horo and together they set off into the world, looking at it each from their own perspective. Of course there’s the obligatory romantic undertone between them but even that’s different than usual.
The whole series just seems more intelligent. Interesting plots and backstory, great artwork, beautiful opening song and kookie ending song, it’s just a breath of fresh air.
Well worth the watch.
At the time of writing I’m halfway season 1. There’s 2 seasons, and a manga series, which in turn is based on a series of novels. Given the amount of backstory it’d be nice to read the novels as well.
Opening song, 旅の途中 “Tabi no Tochuu”