Not all fantasy stories revolve around swords and magic, as Spice & Wolf proved that trade and travel can have just as much allure in a fantasy anime setting. Following the wolf goddess Holo the Wisewolf and traveling merchant Lawrence, the series has long charmed fans with its pastoral plotlines and cunning protagonists. However, the last episode of Spice & Wolf aired in 2009, meaning over a decade has passed since fans have seen Holo’s adventures continue.
Spice & Wolf started as a light novel series before getting manga, anime, and even visual novel adaptations. While the light novels have consistently updated -- the latest coming out in 2019 -- the anime seems to have been left behind long ago after the conclusion of Season 2. When might anime fans get to hop aboard the Wisewolf wagon again? Here’s what’s known about the likelihood of Spice & Wolf Season 3 so far.
The Plot & Origin of Spice & Wolf
Once a worshiped goddess of harvest, Holo the Wisewolf graced a whole town with good harvests of wheat for many years. However, when the townspeople forget about her and call her a “fickle god,” she decides to travel the world to see how it has changed. The crafty 600-year-old wolf, who takes the form of a young girl, strikes a bargain with traveling merchant Kraft Lawrence who agrees to let her join him on the road.
The Spice & Wolf story builds from there, her wisdom helping the duo expand their profits and MacGyver their way around sticky situations. As the journey progresses, the two eventually grow attached to each other, evolving the genre as a romance as well as an adventure fantasy.
Before Spice & Wolf collected its anime fanbase in 2008, the light novel series by Isuna Hasekura had been circulating for two years and continued to release during and long after the anime's two seasons had aired. From 2006-2011, 17 novels were published as well as a continuing sequel in 2016 and a spin-off series titled Wolf and Parchment: New Theory Spice & Wolf, which came out with Volume 6 in March 2021.
Will There be a Season 3 of Spice & Wolf?
While Spice & Wolf light novel lovers are getting spoiled with content, those seeking a taste of the animation have been left wanting for a decade. When Isuna Hasekura revisited the story in 2016, there were high hopes the anime might finally get a Season 3, but after five years of silence, it’s unlikely the light novel renewal will impact the anime’s continuation.
Though the Spice & Wolf anime, manga, and light novels don’t align perfectly, often skipping or jumbling plotlines, there’s still plenty of source content ready to be adapted. There are currently 22 volumes of Spice & Wolf light novels, the majority of which haven’t been animated.
Sadly, despite persistence from fans, Hasekura, who is also the show's creator, has expressed disinterest in creating a Season 3. This lack of incentive coupled with a devastating 12-year gap makes hopes for Season 3 especially pie-in-the-sky.
Few anime return after such a long hiatus, but it’s not entirely unheard of. Full Metal Panic!, for example, returned after 13 years, so nothing can be fully ruled out. Perhaps Hasekura will have a change of heart and bestow fans with a long-awaited anime adaptation after all – but it’s not advisable for fans to hold their breath in anticipation.