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Spice and Wolf Manga Volume 7

Spice and Wolf Manga Volume 7 Cover

For once, this volume actually turned up on release day rather than a week or so afterwards like it normally does in the UK, hurrah!

With their troubles in Ruvinheigen solved, Lawrence and Holo continue their travels to the small farming village of Tereo in the hope of finding out more about Holo's homeland of Yoitsu. However, something seems amiss and as outsiders in a small village they come under suspicion - especially after [spoiler]some of the wheat the town sold was found to be poisoned[/spoiler].

This volume starts adapting Volume 3 of the light novel, which was not animated and sits between seasons 1 and 2 of the anime. The relative lack of action in that volume was likely the reason why it was not animated despite there being a fair amount of content in it. However, the manga adapts this light novel volume at a very rapid pace, skipping a lot of the initial introductions and intrigue and skipping straight in to the more action-y part of the story. Again, I can understand why this was done but for anyone that has not read the light novel they may have some difficulty understanding the flow of the story presented in the manga as it jumps between some pretty important plot points.

As always however, I have to praise the quality of the artwork in this volume. The light novel for this arc had some adorable scenes and illustrations, and Keito Koume, the artist for the manga, has done an excellent job of illustrating them. If only it was also in full colour, it would be fantastic! If you don't mind spoilers, have a look at some of the pictures of the artwork over on Aka's blog (click the spoiler toggle to see them).

Despite my complaints about how the story was adapted in this volume, I still quite enjoyed it. However, I would strongly recommend that anyone reading this volume first read volume 3 of the light novel so that they completely understand the story. I suspect that volume 8 of the manga will complete the Tereo storyline (there's not much left after all). Volume 8 has a tentative "June 2013" release in English, which isn't too surprising since it only came out in Japan a month ago. Don't forget that Volume 7 of the light novel, which contains a few side stories, is also out later this month.

Spice and Wolf Manga Volume 7 is available at Amazon, ISBN 9780316229111.

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