'Spice And Wolf' Season 3: With Manga Ending, Will Holo Return For An Anime Of 'Wolf And Parchment' Novel?

Patrick Frye

After years of diligently weighing the cost of Spice And Wolf Season 3, the release date for the anime never came, and now, even the manga adaptation of the Ookami to Koushinryou story is coming to an end. Author Isuna Hasekura finished the light novel series, bringing Holo and Kraft Lawrence's journey to a close, but now the sequel, Spice And Wolf New Theory: Wolf And Parchment, is reviving the story for a new generation. Is it possible that a third season of the Ookami to Koushinryou anime could jump straight to the sequel?

Hasekura wrote and published the initial 17 volumes of Spice And Wolf from 2006 through 2011, but it took him 10 years just to get the first volume published. After finishing the third volume, the writer plotted out the ending for Volume 14, although the novel series was longer than planned because of three side story novels labeled as Side Colors.

"I did have an idea of what I wanted the ending to be," Hasekura said, according to Barnes & Noble. "I knew the conclusion, but the intervening arcs I thought of along the way."

The writer admits he almost ran out of mental energy during those five years, and there were times he wanted to give up. He kept his mental energy afloat by "praying to any god who would listen," and by Volume 14, he decided that Volume 17 would be the actual ending.

"I would say that the story pretty much went the way I wanted it to from the beginning to the end," he said. "For example, it didn't suddenly turn into a battle manga."

The ending of the story was actually a bit of a surprise even to the author. While Lawrence likes Holo from the beginning, he did not anticipate that Holo would start to like Lawrence by the end. The reason the author was surprised by his own creation was that he initially started with an economics story only to add a fantasy character. He knew he could not write slice of life stories, but he did not want his economics story to be typical.

Despite never studying economics in school, the Spice And Wolf writer loves economics so much that he wrote Billionaire Girl and the Kickstarter-funded visual novel World End Economica. Hasekura says he chose to write about economics because it's interesting in the same way a puzzle fascinates people.

"For example, when the U.S. Dollar grows in value in relation to the Japanese Yen, or other currencies, it will change too while other economies that aren't as connected to the dollar will not. It's a puzzle because one factor affects a whole number of other things and you see what changes and what doesn't. That's what I like about it," he told The-O Network at Anime Expo 2015. "My three favorite genres, in order are economics, anything history related and neurology. My favorite book is Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities."

"To me, the most memorable part of the anime has to be the scene about coins. The one where Holo explains how even the same coins can have different values based on factors like credit and how much gold they really contain. The lines for that scene were all very, very long, and I struggled quite a bit as I reviewed them. I would get confused with all the names and types of coins there were. It was a difficult scene, but also an incredibly interesting one. I still remember it like it all happened yesterday. Another memorable scene would be the one where Holo trades fur. Using her idea, Lawrence stored the furs he purchased with apples to remove the odors. By branding them as special furs that produce floral scents, he was able to sell them at much higher prices. I remember thinking about how much the smell of furs would change if they were infused with the scent of apples."

The English translation of Spice And Wolf Volume 14 came out recently in North America. The release date for Spice And Wolf Volume 15 is scheduled for March 20, 2018. The English release of the final manga volume has not yet been announced.

Yen Press published the English translation of Volume 17 of the light novels in April of 2016 (do not look at the cover of Volume 17 unless you want a major spoiler). There is also an omnibus Spice And Wolf 10th year anniversary edition that provides the entire story in hardcover format, but the price starts at around $200 USD for a new copy.

The two versions of the story noticeably depicted Holo and other Spice And Wolf characters in different styles. Some fans prefer the light novel version, while others like the manga or the anime. So, which is better according to the creator?

During NYCC 2016, Hasekura said that he had almost no contact with light novel artist Ju Ayakura or mangaka Koume. The two artists developed their own art styles for the story, with the light novel version of Holo being noticeably more poignant and sad while the manga version's Holo was boisterous and cheery. Personality wise, the author prefers the manga version, but he still prefers the light novel version because Ayakura drew Holo's breasts smaller. As it is, Hasekura thinks Holo's breasts are way bigger than they were supposed to be based on his own vision of his character.

"When you draw water from a well, you can keep drawing from that well until it is dry," Hasekura allegedly said, according to an unconfirmed quote by Crunchyroll user Martin Phipps. "This was where I was at in the later Spice and Wolf novels. After I stopped writing it has rained and the well has gradually filled back up."

The English translation of the first volume recently came out in North America and Parchment And Wolf Volume 2 is scheduled for April 24, 2018. Without getting into spoilers, the story involves Holo and Lawrence but is now focused on a new wolf character named Myuri and bathhouse employee Tote Col. This human character would have been shown as a young boy in Spice And Wolf Season 3 if the anime had been renewed, but he's now like an older brother to Myuri. The pair go on an adventure after they hear about a growing crisis within the Church.

There are older interviews where Hasekura seemed to be quite negative about the chances of an anime sequel ever happening. But during NYCC 2016, Toonzone quotes the author as saying there's "nothing concrete yet." While that answer would seem to indicate that backroom discussions about Spice And Wolf Season 3 are at least taking place, a Reddit user who attended the panel claims they said there were "no updates or knowledge of a possible third season." The discrepancies in these reports are explained by the fact that the questions by fans were fielded by an interpreter, and the original Japanese response is not available since videos were not allowed.

Warning: Major spoilers in the remainder of the article.

Regardless, an anime production committee will often produce a season as a means of advertising a new manga or light novel series. Producing a Parchment And Wolf anime would make sense now that three Japanese volumes are out as of September of 2017. The problem is how to connect the original story with the new one.

At the ending of the anime, Lawrence had confessed his love for Holo, and the pair took a boat in pursuit of Eve. While the anime's ending provided some sort of resolution to their relationship, the following books detailed how that relationship grew as Lawrence, Hol, and young Col investigated rumors about legendary wolf bones. They continued their journey to Yoitsu, Holo's homeland. By Volume 14, a business opportunity forced the traveling companions into self-examination, and Holo confesses her true love for Lawrence.

In the epilogue novels, readers learned about how Holo and Lawrence married and settled down in a hot spring town called Nyohira to create a bathhouse called Spice And Wolf. Their traveling companion, Col, stayed with them as an employee and grew up with them. Holo became pregnant and gave birth to her daughter, Myuri. Years pass, and after religious student Col hears about the division in the Church and the potential for war, Lawrence permits the young man to take his daughter on an adventure.

The new story is like a romantic inverse of the original. The ordering of the reference to the characters in the new title is noticeably switched, with the wolf coming last rather than first. The author has not explained his reason for this title difference, but the object of romantic attention has also switched, as well. Whereas Lawrence confessed his love to Holo first, the new wolf Myuri is pining after Col now that she's confessed her love for him.

While anime fans would love for Spice And Wolf Season 3 to detail the culmination of Holo and Lawrence's romance from a storytelling perspective, it is possible to summarize the highlights during the initial episodes of a Parchment And Wolf anime. An introductory scene could briefly show how their travels ended, Holo's wedding dress, and the creation of the bathhouse. Thus, a new anime series could serve as both an ending and a bridge to the new story. But, in the end, let's just hope that a new Spice And Wolf anime is ever made.