Gin no Saji

Title:Gin no Saji
Silver Spoon
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - A1 Pictures
R1 License - Aniplex of America
R1 License - Subtitled Only
Yugo Hachiken decided to escape from the stressful school and home environment in the city by enrolling at Oezo Agricultural High School. Unlike his peers who'd naturally embark upon an agricultural career, he decided to study there only because he thought it'd be less competitive academically. Unfamiliar with his new surroundings, he tries his best to adapt to the agricultural world he'd never thought of living in.

(Synopsis courtesy of ANN)

[TV series, 2013, 11 episodes, 24 min; based on an ongoing Shounen manga with 10+ volumes since 2011. See also the sequel: Gin no Saji Dai-2-ki (TV series)]
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 7 7 7 9 9 Ggultra2764 [series:2765#1552]
Before I get into this review, I should warn folks that this series may not be for everyone as it is a slice-of-life title, a far cry from Hiromu Arakawa's previous hit title Fullmetal Alchemist. In addition, aspects of the farming lifestyle it explores such as animals giving birth and the slaughtering of animals for food may not be pleasant for some sensitive viewers. If you're expecting the grand plot and action that FMA delivered with this title or something clean with its content, I would strongly suggest you do not look into Silver Spoon any further. However if you enjoy slice-of-life titles or are looking for a title that is different from the norm compared to many recent anime offerings, this could be the title for you.

Silver Spoon focuses on high school student Yugo Hachiken who enrolls at an agricultural school in the countryside and finds himself adjusting to the rather different environment he is living in as he was living in Sapporo before moving to the boonies. The series mixes around comedy and drama as Hachiken adjusts to his new living environment, befriends students at the school and tries to determine what he hopes to get out of his learning. A good amount of the comedy from the series comes from Yugo's reactions to the farming environment that he is mostly alien to and some of the seemingly eccentric quirks to his classmates brought about from having experienced farming their entire life. The comedy to this mostly delivered well for me mostly since it felt natural in the adjustment to a different lifestyle that Hachiken had to adjust to, though some of the comedic bits do usually fall flat or feel overused.

The drama from Silver Spoon comes from Hachiken and his classmates learning from one another throughout their ordeals at the agricultural school. Hachiken comes to understand the rigorous work and tough decisions that many of the students have to make in order to maintain their way of life. In return, Hachiken's outsider perspective on farming, as he comes to learn more about it, lead his classmates to consider aspects of their regular routines that they took for granted as they considered them natural due to being brought up on them their entire lives. Hachiken and several of the students get their characters fleshed out so we get to learn more about their family lives and what they hope to gain through their learning at the agricultural school. The farming elements to the series (riding horses, selling and raising animals for meat or produce, being up early to care for farming duties, etc...) are believably portrayed thanks to Arakawa's own personal upbringing of living on a dairy farm growing up, an aspect that anime fans who live on farms could possibly relate with. The series lacks a proper ending as its source material is still ongoing, though a second season of Silver Spoon has since been made and I look forward to adding it to my physical collection of anime whenever Aniplex releases it.

Visually, the scenery for this sports vivid color and a good amount of detail showing off its rural settings and even having realistically-drawn animals, with some occasions they are rendered in super-deformed design for comedic gags. The character designs are nothing out of the ordinary, though they are reasonably detailed and there is variety in how characters are drawn. The animation is also a bit on the subpar side at points, though it isn't really the prominent element of Silver Spoon. The music for the series consists of a laid-back and mellow soundtrack that is fitting for its intended focus on rural life.

Silver Spoon won't be for everyone thanks to its slice-of-life genre and focusing on a theme that would seem to appeal to a niche audience. Still, it believably portrays the rigorous work and tough decisions that a farming lifestyle brings to those who experience it and Hachiken's role as observer to it make it an engaging experience as he comes to deal with the everyday challenges that farming brings to the students at the agriculture school. The series is definitely worth a look if you like slice-of-life, live life in the boonies or are looking for something out of the ordinary for an anime title.

Last updated Sunday, August 10 2014. Created Sunday, August 10 2014.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2765#628]
(One episode watched):

Well, what can I say about this show... more educational than funny, perhaps? But, like the swimming in Free, I don't know if I am all that interested in this topic. The jokes are so-so and the characters don't intrigue me. I guess the main question is, what is the issue Hachiken has which drove him to enrole at this school just to get away from home? You now know as much as I do, because that's all we are told in episode one. Are we going to learn any more about it, or is it just an excuse to put a city slicker guy in an agricultural school? I want to know more, because I can't help feeling that whatever the problem is, it would be far more entertaining than a shallow comedy about life on the farm. In general, I don't dislike this show, and being a Noitamina production suggests that it might get better, but as of yet I see little reason to watch.

Last updated Monday, July 15 2013. Created Sunday, July 14 2013.

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