Silver Spoon, or Gin no Saji, was a title I didn’t bother looking at when it first came out. It’s a show about farming and the first sarcastic thought that popped into my mind was “Wow. That sounds like a whole lotta fun.” Well, I’m not ashamed to admit that sometimes I’m wrong…
Silver Spoon is the story of Yugo Hachiken, a student from Sapporo who joins Yezo Agricultural High School. Many of the students at Yezo are children of farming families from all across Japan who decided to come to Yezo in order to continue the family business. Hachiken, unlike his peers, is a born and bred “city slicker” who decided to join Yezo in order to get away from the pressures of his family. Believing Yezo to be an easy out from all the stress back home, Hachiken is very surprised to find out things are not so easy at this farm school.
I expected Silver Spoon to be a lot like Spice and Wolf (which is a show about economics and trading during Medieval times that I struggled to get into), so I was really surprised to find that after the first episode, I really wanted to keep on watching. Why was this the case?
It’s remarkably funny
Most of Silver Spoon’s humorous moments are a result of Hachiken’s ignorance about farm life and all things farming related, but as the show gets into its stride, it also picks up on comedic moments that come from the relationships between the characters, as well as making fun of some of the characters’ obvious eccentricities. The show frequently has laugh-out-loud moments which was initially quite a surprise considering the subject matter.
Interesting characters and relationships
Silver Spoon has a refreshing cast of characters, especially when you consider that it’s still an anime high school drama. Hachiken, the protagonist, is a bit of a bookworm and does have major anxiety about certain things in his life, but he’s a far cry from being a typical otaku lead.
He’s surrounded by a interesting mix of people, some who are normal, and some, who are a little less so. You have the heir to a giant Japanese farm who views animals only as potential profits, a vet who faints at the sight of blood, a teacher who looks like the Buddha and educates the students about life and horses, a potential baseball star who wants to go pro to save his family’s farm, and many other delightful folk. What makes these characters interesting is that they aren’t just the usual stereotypes that you usually get in high school anime, and as the story develops you learn more about them as individuals and what makes them who they are. Obviously this helps us as the audience engage with them on a more personal level.
Consistent animation quality
Silver Spoon is one of those shows that doesn’t need any flashy but short animation sequences to keep you entertained, which means the animation budget can be spread out more consistently. The downside to this is that you’ll never see any awesome animation, but at least you’ll also never see anything terrible because they were keeping most of the budget for the next episode’s big action sequence.
I have to congratulate whoever is working on the scripts for this show. Of all the episodes I’ve seen (which by the time this is posted will probably be the entire first season), I never once watched an episode where I was left thinking “Damn this episode was bad. I hope the next one is better”.
I’ve found Silver Spoon to be a very entertaining show, with basically no low moments (so far). If you like your anime a bit different while still being grounded in reality, be sure to check it out.