Spice & Wolf, Vol.5

Every six months or so Amazon.ca sends me a package that I’ve forgotten I’d ordered. I speculate what it could be based off messages sent to me falsely claiming it’s from Japan like all my other orders. Only upon seeing it directly do my eyes light up and my mouth open to a toothy grin.

I find it a bit strange that I’ve already received my copy and that Amazon claims stock of the item, if only because they themselves list the release date as December 13th. Another interesting thing about their entry is they don’t use the books slip-on cover as the items displayed image but rather the ‘actual’ cover. I believe this has been the case since volume one but I still find it interesting, since of course the book ships with Yen Press’ live-action variation of the cover. Every time I see these covers though I wonder how old their model is…


One of these does not look like the others…

I suppose with this book out, we’re finally up to date with season two of the anime. Now the real wait starts, volumes 6 through 17 will take another ~5.5 years. Would be nice if I could convince Yen Press to release 3 books a year, bumping up production by ~2 months.

I wonder if Yen Press did the photoshoots for all the covers at once, else their model will look older in 5.5 years…


PS: I still don’t have my “studio” set back up and had to make due… I miss my white backgrounds….


  1. Smithy says:

    How are the English translated novels anyway? If they’re pretty good I’d sure love to read them to know how the story goes past season 2 of the anime.

    I’ll never really understand the live action cover thing… what’s wrong with the original art of Horo? Anyways, guess it’s better for them to publish it with an alternate cover than not publish it at all…

    • Aka says:

      It’s hard to be sure as I can’t read the original Japanese to compare how I feel it should be translated. I feel that they’re adequately done and I enjoy reading them. I think on occasion I feel they could have translated something differently. But generally I don’t mind.

      Yen Press’ argument for the live action covers was an attempt to sell to a broader audience who wouldn’t buy the book because of the cartoon cover. The fantasy crowd and such. I can understand that argument, though I’m not sure how well it’s helped sales or not.

  2. yunamon says:

    The uncanny resemblance of that 3D Horo to comrade cosplayer @Nagato_Pyon! 0_0

  3. Rajura says:

    How did you already get it? I live in freaking America and mine is still in the mail (on it’s way mind you) but still…!!!

  4. Rajura says:

    Oh and by the way… that cover makes me wince.

    • Aka says:

      I think after the first cover, they’re pretty reasonable attempts at re-imagining the cover. I don’t like them, but from volume two and on they seem better produced and more related.

      • Rajura says:

        Do remember the reprint of Volume 1 was reversed and the checkout aisle cover was made the dust jacket to allow all further purchasers to have the original artwork as the book cover… yes, I broke down and bought that when I found out it was on the second printing!

        Will I do that for the subsequent novels? If the typos were fixed… yes!

        • Aka says:

          I don’t remember that at all, I never bothered to buy 2nd runs of any of them. Didn’t care enough.

          Forgot about the typos as well.

  5. nitro2k01 says:

    Notice how they’re trying to hide the live model’s face best they can, whereas Horo is looking toward the viewers in the original ones. I wonder if this is mostly to make the model replaceable or not to insult 2D fans too much. It could of course also be not to attach a human face to the character. I’m also wondering about that model’s age. It’s a bit hard to judge with so little face to go after. She could just as well be 40-50 for all we know,

    • Aka says:

      Yeah, they’re definitely hiding the model’s face. Couldn’t say for sure why, but it’s probably as you said with perhaps some other marketing idea thrown in. People might judge a lot based on the face of the model which may or may not dessuade them from purchasing etc.. Who knows, but it would definitely be interesting to find out.

  6. nitro2k01 says:

    Oh btw, if she’s a wolf spirit, why is her fur red and not gray? One would assume that red fur means fox.

    • Aka says:

      Your assumption is incorrect. Not all wolves are grey. Additionally, it’s fiction, no one complains about characters in anime with green/purple/blue/pink hair. Why complain about a wolf girls fur colour?

  7. Q says:

    Using a real person for the cover is an unusual but interesting thing. I can see how this is an attempt to appeal to new readers or audience who don’t prefer having anime or “cartonny” cover up front, especially if they are to read in the public. I remember seeing this for Harry Potter series in the West and even Suzumiya Haruhi series in Japan IIRC (it doesn’t have real persons in the pictures, but more like the backgrounds or a particular scene in monochrome photos).

    Apart from the first Horo picture the other front covers of real person Horo are actually quite good – most follow the poses in the original covers and the subtle way the model hides her face is also quite natural too.

    • Aka says:

      I think the 3rd-5th books look the best in terms of their ‘live-action’ alternate covers. Still not a fan of them. They don’t really match the description of Horo in the books either, so they seem further out of place. Never the less, I’m appreciative of Yen Press translating them, and more so for including the original covers after volume 1.

  8. That1Gai says:

    AH HA HA HA HA! THAT’S A HILARIOUS FIFTH COVER! That’s their way of avoiding her face being shown? They turned it from a cute pose directed towards male audiences into a “peek-a-boo” pose for babies! Ah, I’m loosing hope for Yen Press. ‘^_^

    • Aka says:

      I never thought of it that way… 🙁

      I keep the slip covers on though, that way they get damaged, not the cover I actually like.

  9. Eric says:

    After reading Volume 4 shortly after finishing the two anime seasons i noticed that the story of tereo wasnt even in the anime. So at first i assumed this took place after season 2. So when i ordered Volume 5, about halfway in i started getting really confused as if i had already read/heard this story. Specially as soon as even showed up. Then skipping a few pages i realised this was the ending of Season 2.

    Which volumes contains storys that weren’t in the anime? I’ve grown to really like this series.. so i would love to see/read more of it.

    • Aka says:

      If I recall correctly, season one was volumes one and two, and season two was volumes four and five. There was a DVD only episode that connected to two seasons.

      As far as I’m aware, there’s no plans for any further seasons of the anime. Though I hope that changes. If I had my ideal world, I would have a movie for each book with Kara no Kyoukai quality at the least. This would also allow for consistent animation between each, unlike season one and two. But that’ll never happen unless I become a very very rich otaku.

  10. Firecloak says:

    I don’t really like how the actual model has blonde hair, instead of the chestnut brown hair mentioned in the novel, but I do love reading the novels.

    • Aka says:

      Interestingly, I don’t think I noticed that until you mentioned it. I think I just looked at the cover and thought “not Horo”.

  11. Raven DarkWolf says:

    Hey, I am a huge Spice and Wolf fangirl. I was wondering what the English translation for the 3 books to the right of volume 5 on the 3rd picture you posted. The ones that look like some kind of manga book?