Kraft Lawrence, a 25 year old peddler, travells from town to town selling and buying various things to make a living during a period much like Europe in the Middle Ages. One night when stopped at the town of Pasroe, he finds in his wagon a centuries old pagan wolf deity girl named Holo. She has the appearance of a 15 year old girl, except for a wolf tail and ears. She introduces herself as the town’s goddess of harvest who has kept it blessed with good harvests of wheat for many years. Despite having the responsibility to watch over the town, she wants to go back to her homeland in the north called Yoitsu, she believes the people have already forsaken her anyway and that she has fulfilled her promise to maintain the good harvests. She manages to bargain her way out of the village by making a deal with Lawrence to take her with him. As they travel, her wisdom helps increase his profits, but at the same time, her true nature draws unwanted attention from the church.
So a show about economics, that does not sound like it would be enjoyable right? Well, you would be wrong to make that assumption. Yes economic topics are discussed (like buying devalued currencies, and dealing with market forces that change out of nowhere), yet these do not feel like a High School or college economic class way you would learn about it. Even simple conversations about simple things seem enjoyable and do not feel terribly boring to watch. I will admit I am not a big fan of economics nor do I study up on it. I was not bored at all while watching the show, even though the show does move a slower pace than some people might prefer.
The two main characters are deep, complex and eventually learn how to play off each other. Lawrence does not always look at everything from the money aspect, but how the flow of trade works. Holo, while a deity who likes human pleasures and walks around in a human form, has a temper and is still at heart an animal. While Holo is also smart and sly, she is also quite lonely from being isolated for so long and she just wants to be around Lawrence and others. Over the course of the show the relationship between Holo and Lawrence develops to the point of not quite being lovers, but there is some chemistry between the two and some hints are pointed that they do want to be with each other.
There are two arcs in the first season of Spice and Wolf. Episodes 1-6 are arc 1, and episodes 8-13 is the second arc. Episode 7 is an OVA that does not add to the story but explains why Holo has new clothes starting in the next arc. The second arc sadly is similar to the first to the first arc by following a similar path to how it plays out. This is a issue, but it is a minor one to overall look as the second arc is still based on source material (the second light novel).