I had experienced The Spice and Wolf in a different form before the anime. But instead of reading the manga, I had read the original novel. As a reader of the novel, I can only express my disappointment in the anime, because it has taken a lot away from what I liked about the novel. The depth of characterisation found even in this opening chapter of the novel is no where to be seen in this episode, and the realistic world of a travelling merchant life is also sadly missing. Lawrence’s encounter with the knight was given a lot more time to show us Lawrence’s cunning and resourcefulness, and removing that essence made that whole knight encounter seem unnecessary to me in the anime. Furthermore, his reaction to Horo’s front leg was vastly different in the novel - this makes me worry about how else they may change Lawrence’s character. The reaction is perhaps justified in that situation, but then how will Lawrence act when Horo shows him her entire true form? That extra trip back to the village changes the dynamic between the two characters greatly. There was another subtle change; Horo’s requirements for changing form was originally stated as “Wheat… or fresh blood.” Having the two changed around actually makes a profound difference on Horo’s personality. The novel’s rendition painted Horo as mischievous but without any malice, but by stating “fresh blood” first, the anime Horo seems outright malicious, trying to shock Lawrence, playing on his perception of her as a demon. Then there was that trip back to the village - Chloe’s existence changes a lot about Lawrence’s original motivation in letting Horo travel with him, which is loneliness. If he could’ve taken Chloe, someone whom he had known for a long time, and who would willingly travel with him, why would he take Horo instead?