Spice and Wolf, season 2, episode 5 – Lawrence is such a tsundere

I laughed and facepalmed at Lawrence referring to Horo as "cargo." I suppose it was a cute way for him to avoid mentioning his feelings for Horo directly. Otherwise, the lack of Horo continued in this episode – and I think I’m suffering from Horo deficiency – but it was an important episode, because Lawrence finally realizes his answer to a very important question.

doe-eyed HoroLawrence and Bartose

Lawrence approaches Bartose for help, hoping to speak with Deanna in order to get at the alchemists’ pyrite stock. I suppose Lawrence comparing Horo as cargo he absolutely doesn’t want to abandon is a novel way to spin the tale. And I appreciated the flashback memory of seeing doe-eyed Horo (although if they were really stuck, couldn’t she just have turned into a wolf and nudged the wagon forward?). But I wondered if Lawrence referring to Horo as "cargo" was his way of masking his feelings for her, so he tell the story to Bartose without being too rabu-rabu, or whether that was how he actually felt about Horo – not a real companion, but someone just temporarily along for the ride. I also really liked the sound design as Bartose is mulling Lawrence’s request over – the rising roar of the crowd, then the cut to silence. Definitely a nice tact to increase the drama.

Lawrence likes his cargoDeanna holding a white feather

Deanna tells a secretLawrence asking Deanna about the birds and bees

Bartose agrees to help out Lawrence and provides him with a special passphrase, which Lawrence uses to get the foot in the door to Deanna’s. Again, Lawrence tells Deanna his story about not wanting to lose his cargo, to try to convince her to help him out. Amused by Lawrence’s story, she agrees to sell him pyrite, but informs him that someone’s already beat him to the punch and bought pyrite themselves, albeit on credit. This immediately pops thoughts of Amati in Lawrence’s head (and to be fair, in mine as well), and he pressures Deanna to tell him the buyer’s name, although she quickly smacks him down, telling him that she’d be in charge of negotiations. I gotta say, I really like Deanna. I think Spice and Wolf has had some really interesting and independent women – from Nora and Chloe in the first season, to Deanna, and obviously Horo. These are not your typical housewives.

As Lawrence leaves, he asks Deanna about legends of gods and humans mating. I wonder what Lawrence has in his mind. Hmmmm.

Mark being a good friendHoro's special question

With Lawrence’s fortunes completely in the hands of Deanna, he returns back to Mark’s stand to catch some Z’s, and prepare for watching the market when it opens. Mark turns out to be a really good friend for Lawrence. And because Lawrence is so blissfully self-unaware, Mark astutely points out how Lawrence probably doesn’t think of him as just another convenient town merchant. He also points out that Lawrence is running around town, trying to do everything he can for his female companion, something he probably wouldn’t do if Mark was in a pinch. If Lawrence hadn’t completely realized it before, It’s in this moment where he seems to finally realize what Horo means to him. And perhaps it’s in this moment where Horo graduates from "cargo" to something more.

Amati looking smugLawrence looks like a shocked Zero

As Lawrence continues to wait for Deanna to arrive with the goods, he heads out to watch the pyrite prices continue to soar. So many buyers, and no sellers. He then notices Amati. And then is shocked to find Horo standing by him. Amati walks over and smugly consummates his contract with Lawrence – no doubt believing that he has the girl and a crapload of money to boot. I’d probably be smug if I was him too. And to be perfectly honest, even though he looks like a little kid, I think Amati’s merchant skills are heads and shoulders better than Lawrence’s skills. If they were to engage in a merchant duel 10 times, I would bet on Amati to win 9 times. He’s calm, collected, he thinks ahead and plans things out. Maybe he’s a little reckless, and his lack of connections hurt, but I have no faith in Lawrence beating Amati on his own… Which brings me to an interesting observation – the white feathers on Horo’s cloak. I’m guessing she may have been the secret buyer and will ultimately manipulate who wins the duel, based on what she sees from Lawrence. I really doubt that she’s doing this just to make Lawrence sweat. I think she really wants to see some sort of commitment, or at least an answer to her question from Lawrence, otherwise, I think she would stay with Amati. Now clearly she’s going to end up with Lawrence, since the show isn’t called Spice and Wolf and Amati, but if I didn’t know that, I’d think Amati has a 50/50 chance of winning.

Here’s hoping for a Horo overdose next week, because I’ve got a fever and the only prescription is more Horo.

9 Replies to “Spice and Wolf, season 2, episode 5 – Lawrence is such a tsundere”

  1. The white feathers in Horo’s hood really spun my mind around a few times. I remembered the Pyrite was bought on Credit, and White Feathers were laying all around the Slums.
    So it shows she made a trip there it seems. (Amarty is too rich to just pick White feathers off of the ground and give them to Horo!)
    But even if she did buy it, under both Amarty’s and Lawrence’s noses, what is she planning?
    And how would she pay the Alchemists back?

    Didn’t Amarty say he’d buy up Horo’s debt? But wasn’t that only if he wins the duel and takes her?

    I’m confused. I need to rewatch the last couple episodes I think. My head hurts.

    Also, I agree. Amarty seems to know what the hell he’s doing. Lawrence seems more ‘Take Charge’ this season, and he tries to come up with elaborate plans, but he’s always missing something. Anime Protagonist Syndrome?

    Oh, any idea what was with how miffed Lawrence seemed about the Gold coins?
    He acted like getting Lima Gold coins instead of the Trenni Silver was gonna end his entire scheme.

    This episode made me feel very lost, though, haha.

    1. I think (keyword: think), she wants to give Lawrence a shot at winning outright. She still has the option of turning down Amati, even if he comes up with the 1,000 Trenni to buy out Horo, but I’m guessing she doesn’t want to do that. Maybe it’s a pride thing and doesn’t want to be seen as running back to Lawrence. But I’m not sure either. Because she could dump the market and screw over both Amati and Lawrence. But I don’t know if that would accomplish what she wants.

      Amati basically has 2 bets going on (from my understanding). The first bet is the “official” bet that they signed in front of all the merchants. The second bet is the side duel he has with Lawrence. Lawrence is betting that if he wins the side bet, Amati won’t have enough money to win the first bet either. But…

      I’m wondering if the scene with the gold coins was to show Amati’s confidence that he’d have enough money to buy out Horo, even if he lost the side bet to Lawrence. Because Lawrence mentions the high transaction cost of exchanging b/t gold & silver which Amati just brushes off. It could be a bluff on Amati’s part, but either way I think he’s trying to amp the pressure on Lawrence to try to get him to make a panicked mistake. Is it just me or does Lawrence seem totally outmatched? Amati seems like he’s one step ahead of Lawrence every step of the way.

      1. That makes things much easier to understand..
        I had thought both contracts were connected. Like he couldn’t get Horo if he didn’t win the other bet.
        I had the impression Amarty(I find it awesome that you, Scamp, and myself all spell his name differently!) was already well off, financially, though. So why didn’t he just buy Horo from the start? I guess 1000 Trenni must be more than I’m thinking it is.

        Thanks for the analysis, though. It sure cleared things up for me.
        And it seems that without Horo, Lawrence would run himself into a hole. He does seem pretty hopeless. Makes you wonder how he survived up to meeting her.

  2. I was following the economic battle until Amarti showed up with the gold coins. What was so shocking about them? Something to do with the exchange rate or something? Since it was at the end of the episode I’m assuming (hoping) that they’ll explain that next episode.

    But I do miss Horo 🙁

    1. (sorta copied from above) I think the scene with the gold coins was to show Amati’s confidence that he’d have enough money to buy out Horo, even if he lost his duel to Lawrence. Because Lawrence mentions the high transaction cost of exchanging b/t gold & silver which Amati just brushes off. It could be a bluff on Amati’s part, but either way I think he’s trying to amp the pressure on Lawrence to try to get him to make a panicked mistake.

      But yeah, some more explanation in the next ep would be nice.

  3. This episode was gold. Lawrence really shows that he’s worth something after all, and that Horo is a damn lucky girl. That whole “cargo” thing was just adorable – even when he thinks he’s going to lose her, he’s still protecting her.

    I also enjoyed that little flashback insight where Horo wasn’t even willing to help Lawrence “unstick” their cart. Even in his happiest memories with Horo, she is stuck-up and self-centered 😀

    I don’t agree that Amarti is anywhere near Lawrence’s level though. Given Lawrence’s Horo-handicap, and his 24-hour deadline, and the fact that he’s started from scratch, he’s shown he’s leagues ahead of Amarti. He isn’t swayed by cheap emotions (unless it’s Horo), he’s willing to take serious risks, he’s far more resourceful, and he covers all the bases he can think of. He knows his opponent’s weaknesses, and exploits them like a pro.

    Amarti, on the other hand, is easily swayed, relies on cheap emotional tricks that only work on someone like him, and doesn’t seem to think too far ahead. He also desperately under-estimates Lawrence and seems to see the world in black and white. But then, he’s completely at a loss with Horo, because he’s so sure of himself that he doesn’t even stop to consider that Horo is probably just screwing with him.

    I don’t think this is really Horo’s doing at all. Deanna’s little “do your best” to Lawrence seemed like a hint to me that SHE is the one in control here. Since Horo clearly went there (white feathers) that means that either of them will get Deanna’s stock of Pyrite – but which one?

    For Horo to wear those feathers knowing this.. it suggests that she was planning on this from the start, but not necessarily that she is still in league with Lawrence. This whole thing smacks of a downward spiral of bad coincidences, and Horo is just too proud to let Lawrence win it all by himself.

    Still, if this *is* just some elaborate test of faith for Lawrence, then she must really be a goddess (despite her denial). Only a god could come up with such a cruel, unnecessary, and convoluted means to test something that is already obvious.

    Also, I don’t think get the impression that Horo is ready to hear the truth from Lawrence.

    On another topic, Deanne and Bartose make a nice couple, don’t they? I wonder if he’s Deanna’s version of Lawrence or something?

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