So long story short, this is basically following someone learning a general on farming. It focuses almost purely on animal farming, and it looks more at cows and horses. But it gets into real things.
It should be noted that I use to work at a vet and I'm around farms now. This shows a lot of what the people face. Like a lot of people think you deal with happy animals and play with animals when working at a vet. But like this show flat out says, you have to be OK with putting down animals. Something I found personally, you can't work in it if you can't put down perfectly healthy pets simply because the owner requested. (I had this happen once. In short, the owner died and the dog was kinda old but not sick. The kids couldn't take care of the dog. So they opted to kill it. It is that or take it to a shelter which would put it down anyways.)
Something I wish is the show covered more is plant farming.
Anyways, if you're into slice of life shows. Then this is worth a watch.
Task 1: Watch an anime from Gourmet Challenge
Possible spoilers, proceed with caution.
Slice of life has always been a tough genre for me to really get into. I’ve probably started five or six shows and dropped them all episode three, just because I’ve found them boring. Nozaki-kun I think was the first slice of life show I had finished and enjoyed. This is the one I wish I had started with.
I’ve grown to appreciate the “characters doing stuff” genre thanks to this. It starts off as just seeing the life of this kid going to a high school he isn’t quite sure about. He meets new people and ends up enjoying his school. It’s a simple enough plot, but it’s feels like more than that. The characters feel more fleshed out and it had a lot of heart.
As I said before, the story is simple, and something we’ve seen before multiple times. It’s the story of Yuugo Hachiken, a kid from the city trying to escape from his parents by going to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere. He notices that everyone around him already has a Dream for what they want in life after high school, whether it be taking over the family farming business, becoming a veterinarian, or becoming a national baseball star to support their family. Yuugo on the other hand, just wants to stay away from his family and be the top student of his class.
There are so many things that show Yuugo’s development throughout the series. He starts off as a kid who just wants to do good in all his classes, and eventually graduate. Later on, he realizes he has to take a club in order to graduate, and he chooses the equestrian club as a girl he likes is in the club. Eventually he develops a deeper love for animals, and it shows when he is helping with the pigs, and sees Pork Bowl, a weak little piglet that is in danger of getting killed for not having enough meat. Hachiken is now determined to help this little guy out, even though everyone warns him about getting too close to farm animals.
Another way you see Hachiken’s development is through his sleep schedule. He started out by not being able to get up at 5:30 with everyone else for practicums, and woke up earlier to help with horses, and even earlier after that on his own at 3:00 to help Pork Bowl and the horses, all before breakfast. The fact that he is willing to give up this time for his school, his friends, and his animals shows how much he has grown throughout the eleven episode season.
I think a more interesting part of the series is when Yuugo goes to stay with Mikage for the summer and works part time of her farm. He learns to deal with deaths of animals, and then the consumption of them by skinning and gutting a deer that was ran over (this sounds dark and gloomy but I promise it’s more light hearted). Also, seeing Yuugo and Mikage’s relationship grow over time was nice to see as well.
I think my only main problem with the series is the use of montages towards the end. I think there were three montages towards the end of the series that felt like they were there to make you get emotional, and while the first on seemed to work, it felt manipulative once the second one came and the sad music started playing again. I just feel like it could’ve worked better with a different way of getting the audience to feel emotional.
All in all, this is a show I see myself coming back to at some point, and I will be seeing season 2 sometime in the near future. So far the shows aired on noitaminA (the block that aired this) have done well for me. I enjoyed this and Wotakoi very much, and will definitely get to the show they’re airing this winter, and might do a marathon of their shows as well.
WARNING: If you cannot handle seeing where food comes from, dead animals, dead animals being butchered, or the realities of farm life then you should consider skipping this show. It’s not terrible and because it is anime it isn’t realistic. It doesn’t get very gory or detailed for the most part but if it’s something you are sensitive about, prepare yourself or consider skipping this anime.
Most of it is tame but there were a few scenes that bothered me a bit like the butchering and the caged chickens. One episode has the students watching a film about the slaughterhouse and it shows a few images and talks about some of the stuff. That was the worst one in my opinion. If I had known there would be those things in this anime, I may have skipped it, or I might not have and just dealt with it like I did.
On to the review!
STORY: Yuugo Is starting high school. He doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life yet, except that he wants to get far away from home. His middle school teacher suggested an agricultural school and so he went with that choice. Yuugo arrives and to his dismay, every one of his classmates seems to know what they want to do with their life and they come from families in the farming industry. Furthermore, a large part of the curriculum is farm work, which he has never done before. He faces many new challenges such as eating food after seeing exactly where it came from and butchering a deer. He struggles with his new life, but he makes lots of friends and starts to figure life out a bit.
A lot of the comedy comes from the contrast of his views and his classmates views and Yuugo’s reactions to his circumstances. While it does take place at school, it’s not your typical comedy school-life anime. It doesn’t include any of the typical episodes of the genre such as a school festival episode. This school only focuses on one culture and it’s agriculture! That was a really bad joke wasn’t it. ANYWAY, you get to see cute piglets…who later become bacon…but they are cute bacon right? Okay, I really need to stop with the bad jokes now.
I do like that this anime addresses the issues of eating meat, farming efficiency, animal care, and family expectations. With the exception of the last one, there aren’t many animes I know of that address those things. The addition of comedy makes the issues less heavy.
CHARACTERS: The characters are decently interesting. The development isn’t much, but their introductions and development feels natural. I think the pig Pork Bowl (that’s what he was named) was one of my favorite characters of all. He was just so cute. I liked that the animals had a bit of personality.
The main character may not know what he wants to do with life and has a lot of problems, but he isn’t wimpy or weak. The writer could have easily turned him into a character that depends on others and falls short, but that wasn’t the case. Wimpy main characters annoy me so that was definitely a plus.
ANIMATION: There isn’t anything really notable about the animation. The animals were cute and the horses were well drawn. It was pretty much average though.
SOUND: The sound effects during the first episode seemed to drown the voices a tiny bit but for the most part there weren’t any issues. It was average as usual. I didn’t dislike the opening and ending songs, and the fit the anime well, but I would listen to them if I could skip.
Let's set some facts. I am not vegan or vegetarian. I like to eat meat, but I don't like to kill animals. Author of this anime is very strange because she is truly thinking that's it's the same thing. She brought some insane arguments such are:
Dialogue about different farms (on poor farm cows are old but have not been killed and on other modern and expensive if cow broke its leg then it's doomed): "People love animals in different ways, they are care about them, isn't it a truly love?"
Simple answer is NO, because it's enough to use a parallel with slaves to reveal all the hypocrisy, the owners care about their slaves only because they need to be healthy for working, oh, they even are not going to be eaten.
MC asking himself about fate of Pork-Bowl: "I don't know can I eat it, but pig meat are so delicious!"
Another simple parallel with that greedy victim of gluttony - MC which want to eat all meat that he can including the meat of his pet, what is about some kind of thief for example? He steals from everyone and some times even attacking people in dark corners of streets, and he just want to rob his friend too because you know it's in his nature. Because if someone like to do something then he can freely do all what he wants, right? No, what is about separating people in categories: strangers and friends, so you can still be a normal human even though with sin but not as an animal driven by eternal hunger.
Another key thought of MC: "Since I can't do anything, I can grow my piggy big and tasty!"
What about a souteneur which are care about his prostitutes so they are looking good and expensive and customers are happy with service? Is there any morale here? None, because it's typical pragmatism as with slaves. I know someone can say that it's just naive or maybe perverted point of view of MC so he wants his pig was special or even better than other pigs in terms of size and price. But what is so good for pig itself? Nothing. The victim does not care about what will be after his death, how about example with hostages of German concentration camps in time of the Second World War, if hostages were encouraged by words like: "Don't worry, after you die from weakness and dehydration, your remnants will be useful as a fertilizer". Such a relief.
There are also some pathetic attempts to raise a laugh in the most bitter moments, because when if you are insane then you are laughing instead of crying, because when you a hypocrite you are talking about unchangeable destiny instead of attempting to do something. "It is better to be the right hand of the devil than in his path" - thinking MC, it is better to laugh and smile, cooking his pet for ignorant people, it is better to pretend that nothing had happened, to lose the remnants of humanity for the sake of the noisy company and a sense of unity with society rather than adequately to express his protest (by buying alive pig, by buying full body of dead pig and bury of it, by saying goodbye to a pig and school), but the fear of society has won and a pathetic protagonist confirmed that he is worthless and weak. Because it's in a human nature to give names to things and other peoples for being closer to them, you can't ignore emotions, many people are love even inanimate objects because of common past. But MC preffered to be an animal which can think only about his role in a herd and hunger.
Beside of total hypocrisy this anime is primitive and unfunny comedy with one average joke for one episode and perverted slice of life setting. Absolutely disgusting anime which attracts sick blind people without any criticism and ability to take an honest look at the situation. If you think that performer is equal to the consumer then I offer you to take all responsibility for all world sins. If you think in the way "if can't do anything so you must to be happy with that" for your calmness only then just admit that you're a hypocrite and just stop talking about surviving argument in age when in one countries tonnes of food are thrown away just because it is not the freshest and in the same time many people in other countries are still dying from starving. If your argument is "it is destiny of animals to be eaten" then since people are animals too by biological origin I recommend you just smile as you always do when you here news like "2-year-old boy was killed by alligator in Disney Park" or "Texas resident was eaten by a bunch of coyotes", because you know, animals must be eaten by animals, so what is so special about it hypocrite?<div id="gt-res-p"> </div>
I saw the anime's english name (Silver Spoon) and thought this might be an interesting anime to watch. It's a slice of life anime in my opinion.
If you get a summary of this anime, it's just a high-schooler who goes to a school where the main subject is farmwork. There is no magic or anything that can bring a twist to this story. It's just a simple farm school.
That being said, even though it sounds a bit on the boring side, this might be one of my favorite animes, it brings excitment, humor, and many other things to the plot, it even made me cry about a pig.
This anime shows a realistic way how life works for people who live in the farm area and the troubles they go through to try and make a honest living, which some might fail at doing so.
This anime, in my opinion, is worth watching. It has great plot, good animation, and some pretty memorable characters. I'll never forget Mikage-san, Hachiken-kun, Pork Bowl, or any of the other characters.
Story: what a great show and story I lied how they got a great deal with having all the characters get some spotlight in the show. this is something you have to see I like how the main story is not just about the main cast ya know.
Animation: it was ssssssooooo bright and colorful one of the better animes that I have seen so far this year cant wait to see the next part.
Sound: spot on with the sound and the music what right on time with the show, they add the music in the right places
Characters: They are all good characters, I did not have a problem with any of them
I absolutely adored this anime. The story was extremely well written, and the character development was great. If you are looking for a good Slice of Life anime about overcoming challenges and making friends than this is a great anime.
Silver Spoon is a good watch. The topic is unusual and amusing, it's well-written, it's never boring - and, well, it's just really enjoyable to watch.
The story is about Hachiken who after middle school decides to enrol in an agricultural high-school. Hachiken was brought up in a big city and his family is middle-class, his father is an office-worker while his older brother got accepted at Tokyo Uni (and if you've seen the amount of anime I've seen, you should know how prestigious that is). So he's clueless as to what he's signed up for. One of the main themes of the anime is Hachiken struggling to deal with - and eventually to adapt to - a completely different environment; everything is new for him, starting from the school campus and the subjects, to his classmates most of whom have been raised in the business (farming, raising livestock, dairy farming or whatever) and know perfectly well that as soon as they graduate they are going to carry on their parents work. School life in an agricultural school is the perfect setting to raise questions about the raising of animals which are to be slaughtered and become food - and quite a lot of the plot revolves around this as Hachiken starts caring for a little piglet which he even names (going against everyone's contrary advice). It's interesting to see how in the end he overcomes this dilemma. But there are a lot of funny, comedic moments - I laughed a lot when during one of the initial episodes Hachiken realises which part of the chicken eggs come out from and, after acquiring that knowledge, finds himself unable to eat eggs anymore. I can imagine that people who work in the sector might think the anime deals with these topics in a superficial way - but I'm a layperson, and from my point of view it was interesting.
So the story revolves around Hachiken who is the protagonist. There's quite a large cast of secondary characters, but they are there principally to support Hachiken. It's maybe a bit slow to start and Hachiken doesn't immediately come across as an inspiring character, but when it gets going you start to like him and sympathise with his ploy. I felt I could relate to him a lot; I left behind my highschool years a long long time ago, but nonetheless - exactly like Hachiken - I've never had a clear idea of what I wanted to be in my life, which path I should take or why this and not another one, and it has always made me feel kind of guilty and lacking if compared to people who know precisely what they want and how to achieve it. Hachiken tries really hard and isn't afraid to work, he questions things and gives a good deal of thought to the things which trouble him. What I'm trying to say is that the anime is character-driven and Hachiken, the protagonist, is likeable, well fleshed-out and with a nice development.
The animation is average. Nothing special at all. The sound and voice-acting is good.
So, I definetely do recommend giving this a try. It isn't a waste of time.
A slice of life series about a kid moving from the big city to an agricultural school. You heard me right. There is nothing else to it. So, what begs to be asked is "how is Silver Spoon so good?!" over and over. It is no mystery. Solid writing that is aimed at all ages, well executed art, and a ton of charm led by a strong audio department. It doesn't try to be too subtle, a mistake common to the slice of life genre, but remains a nice combination of goofy and light hearted fun.
What makes Silver Spoon so good is that it retains just the right amount of focus. It is a character driven show, with a solid premise. While not delving too deeply into the philosophical aspects (while there is some, like in every character driven show), it maintains simple resolutions for simple dillemas without dumbing things down. There is a general sense of positivity pervading everything, with an honesty that usually comes off as naive but somehow manages to come off as just right.
Of course, Silver Spoon isn't all about philosophy and character development. There is plenty of humor, usually visual, that comes off as everything from silly to clever. Themes of friendship and even hints of romance manage to be adorable without taking too much of the focus away from the slice of life aspect. The intricate balance of all these aspects just works, and ends up feeling quite memorable and not just another run-of-the-mill school life / slice of life combination in a different setting.
But is Silver Spoon enjoyable? Oh yes it is. Considering that it is focused on agriculture of all things, it is more enjoyable than it should be. This is light viewing done right, starting off with an episodic structure and as the main character connects with the others becoming more and more coherent but without losing its feel. Really, it is surprisingly well done.
Writing (Story and Characters):
Silver Spoon is well written, and that should be stated right off the bat. Slice of life is usually praised when it tries to be deep and clever, but this is one of the cases where it isn't, doesn't try to be, but still deserves a lot of good words. It is on the goofy side at times, resorting to slapstick and poop jokes to lighten the mood, but manages to give a strong vibe of its own. This is one of those cases where going outside the mold just works.
That being said, the story of Silver Spoon in itself is rather generic. In US media it has been done to death (though usually more "cowboy" themed), and makes a lot of appearences in Chinese movies (usually as a side-story to other themes), but this is a uniquely Japanese take on it. Surprisingly enough, the choice is to be somewhat more character driven rather than the more world driven slice of life shows. It works, and simplifies things a lot.
The protagonist is deeply in the center of the show, and does a good job steering the viewer as we learn along with him the nooks and cranies of the show's world. The clear division between main and side characters allows the plot a wide berth, and manages to touch lightly on many aspects rather than delve deeply into few. This is afforded by a well balanced cast, which gets slowly developed (though sometimes in the most silly of ways). Of course, the only character who really shines is the main one, but others get their moments in the sun, keeping the feeling fresh.
This is a classic way of storytelling in fiction that a lot of shows forgo in favor of a more modern wide-cast or narrative based approach, but sometimes it just holds up. Silver Spoon has a good "return to the basics" type of writing to it, which matches the theme of the show very well (both from execution and aesthetic standpoints). What makes the writing shine is that it doesn't feel forced, in order to make the the show a product, but feels organic and earnest.
Art (Animation and Sound):
Where the writing is good, the artwork is rather decent. The use of visual gags and themes is rather heavy, but not over the top, and is combined with well executed audio to make it feel like a part of the show rather than something tacked on. The audio/video brings life to the writing, but doesn't really manage to kick it up a notch.
Perhaps the weakest point of the series is the animation. This isn't so much a dig at the animation which is actually good. There are plenty of moments where the animation is reduced to a nearly still picture or scrolling through one, and while it is a nice visual tool it is somewhat overused. Still, the backgrounds are solid yet varried, and the character designs while standard are well done. There are plenty of visual gags that are usually well done and fit well with everything else. The lighting and palettes are fashionable and rather well executed. Overall, it's a rather solid showing.
Audio-wise Silver Spoon manages to be solid. The voice acting is good but not spectacular, the soundtrack is surprisingly well done and a good fit, especially the ending theme and the more light hearted pieces. The sound effects make the visual gags work, and are cleverly used. What really makes the slice of life work is the use of sound as ambient noise (chirping, buzzing, and the such). The audio department gives an exceptional execution of what it needs to do, though not quite at the top tier as it doesn't have much of a wow factor.
Silver Spoon's artwork makes the world interesting and convincing, but not spectacular. For a mundane show, it is obviously the right path, though perhaps could have been sharper. But then again, it does well enough, especially on the audio front.
Silver Spoon is a surprisingly well rounded show that other than lack of action has more or less everything. Anyone looking for a light hearted slice of life show should have a good time watching this show.
Gin no Saji es un anime basado en el manga homónimo creado por la ya bien conocida y espectacular Hiromu Arakawa, para quien no la conozca es la creadora de Full Metal Alchemist (A estas alturas ningún aficionado al anime se puede dar el lujo de decir: No lo conozco).
Dicho esto Gin no Saji nos narra las aventuras de Hachiken y como este, con intención de huir de sus estrictos padres, se inscribe en la Universidad agrícola de Yezo. En la cual su vida dara un cambio completamente radical. Gin no Saji nos ofrece una historia fresca y divertida, en torno a la vida campestre, algo que Hiromu conoce muy bien pues ella se crio en una granja. Basado en esto Hiromu nos quiere contar como se da la vida en el campo, sus beneficios, desventajas, el trabajo duro y muchas veces a renunciar a otros sueños por el simple hecho de mantener el legado familiar. Aquí es donde se mueve muy bien Gin No Saji pues no solo nos muestra que tan dura y emocionante puede ser la vida en el campo, si no que a través de Hachiken nos muestra esas duda que muchas veces tenemos, el lidiar con padres que esperan solo buenos resultados, que espera la sociedad de nosotros, ese sentimiento de sentirse que no tenemos un rumbo o que solo andamos por la vida pensando que nos deparara y llenos de miedos (Like a Rolling Stone). Es aquí donde también cobra mucha fuerza el hermano de Hachiken, el vivo ejemplo de cómo alguien con toda la capacidad necesaria, decide formar su propio destino aunque esto lo lleve ver como alguien el potencial “desperdiciado” antes los ojos de la opresora sociedad. Suma bastante puntos la forma en como Hiromu ofrece una historia fresca y atractiva, como mucho tópicos serios que nos invitan a pensar.
Hablando de su animación creo que el estudio A-1 Pictures ha hecho un excelente trabajo, pues tal vez todo mundo pensaría que al ser una historia basada en la granja su inversión en animación no sería mucha, pues no es asi, si bien no es muy alta, para una historia de este tipo, me parece bastante destacable tanto en escenarios como los invernaderos, granjas, maquinarias y automóviles (estos utilizan un modelado 3D). Su música es simpática, si bien no es de mi agrado ni su Opening ni su Ending, me parece que encajan perfectamente con el tipo de historia que cuenta este anime (Algo diferente con el desentonante Opening de Steins;Gate) más allá de esto no hay mucho que decir sobre su música. Enfocándonos en sus personajes, pues bien, súper bien trabajados, algo no de extrañar, pues FMA también maneja un elenco bastante diverso pero bien definido, si bien algunos personajes no reciben un crecimiento argumental, estos seguirán manteniendo una personalidad bastante definida. Once capítulos, simpáticos y disfrutables, con un obvio continuara en el último capítulo y bien, esperando que la segunda temporada siga manteniendo esa calidad que ofreció en esta primera temporada.
Story? What story?
Joking aside, Silver Spoon is an episodic slice of life show that focuses on a city-dweller Hachiken's adaption to life in an agricultural boarding school in rural Japan. Each episode contains a light brushing of plot as Hachiken slowly adapts and learns, but you are never going to find anything that is going to make you come close to approaching the edge of the seat.
The setting gets mixed scores from me; a major plus for taking things in to the farm setting and a major minus for continuing the same school formula we have seen over and over again in anime. Much to my surprise, Silver Spoon really embraced the farming side of its setting, and in some instances pushing the school part to the background. This anime offers an interesting insight to agricultural that is so often easy to forget in our own lives.
Hachiken provides a fresh perspective for all of his farming classmates as he struggles over raising animals just to be killed an eaten. He questions his own future as compared to his classmates who all seem to have their futures laid out in front of them with taking on their family's farms. This is where the show can try and overplay its themes a bit much. A better show would be more subtle and let the viewer question on their own, but Silver Spoon seems to be screaming these ideas at the top of its lungs. It isn't that they aren't interesting questions in their own right, but when presented in this manner they seem to lose a lot of their impact and effect.
There really isn't much to say about SP's animation. It's decent but ultimately forgettable. When you start to look at critically it starts to fall apart, lots of scenes with little to no animation other than panning the camera, characters are well drawn but generic, and the color palette is all over the place. But I don't think any of these things really matter with what Silver Spoon is trying to do. Could the show maybe have been bumped up a point if it was way more visually interesting? Probably, but at the same time I think it is fine the way it is.
I feel that I have a harder time commenting on Japanese voice acting since I watch the show subtitled in English and I am obviously going to miss a lot of the little details. That said, the voice work certainly felt on point. Voices match character designs and personalities and not once was there a point that stuck out as odd. Same can be said about the sound effects, which aided on creating a nice ambience and made the setting feel more alive.
The music work on the other hand felt uninspired and bland. It does gets some props for not being synthetic though. Too often in modern anime we have to settle for fake instruments and SP goes the extra mile here by recording some real musicians. Sometimes the tracks can feel a bit cheesy, but for the most part the music will just live in the background and you will forget about it the second you stop watching the show.
When watching Silver Spoon it became blatantly obvious that there is only one character that really matters. As he is the only character I have mentioned so far in this review, it should be pretty easy to pick him out. Hachiken is the only person that receives any amount of character development over the course of the show and everyone else is there solely for the purpose of achieving that development. While Hachiken is by no means any overly interesting character, he is very relatable for what I would assume is a large amount of the audience. I empathized with his struggles and questioned along with him. I wish that the interest lived in the rest of the cast, but unfortunately it is filled overwhelming with dull one-note characters. If you don't find yourself enjoy the main character at all, then you should probably pass on SP altogether.
Watching Silver Spoon is like eating a comfort food. You know the flavo, there isn't anything surpsing or new about it. It's not exotic and it certainly isn't going to be served in any upscale restaurants. But that doesn't stop from tasting good.
I came in to Silver Spoon with pretty low expectations but left pleasantly surprise. The atmosphere and setting seem to hit all the right spots for me and managed to counteract so much of the blandness that is holding the show back. As someone who grew up in a more rural environment, it made me yearn for the warm days of summer spent outside in nature. SP is just a great feel good show, and while it didn't challenge me in any way, I will certainly be coming back to watch the second season.
Anime Name - Gin no Saji
Aired - Jul 12, 2013 to Sep 20, 2013
Episodes - 11
Produced By - A-1 Pictures
Staff - Tomohiko Itou (Director), Hiromu Arakawa (Original Creator), Jun Nakai
(Character Design), Shusei Murai (Music Score)
Ah, one of the most hyped anime of the season. Why? Not only is it adapted from a commercially successful, award winning & critically acclaimed manga but also it is written by the famous mangaka Hiromu Arakawa who is responsible for the world famous FMA. So how was the anime? Does it live up to the hype? And how can a manga based on life on agricultural school be this famous? And most of all how come a mangaka who wrote such an action based title as FMA write this? Let me just say that whatever else this anime does it proves (or tries to actually) that you can be a person who doesn't have a clear goal in life or any vague idea what you are gonna do with your life even if are surrounded by ambitious people and it is not always bad; and most of all it proves that book-worm nerds can be cool even when they are acting all moronic & stuff.
The story of this anime centers around Yugo Hachiken whose dream in life is quite simple (although it seemed a bit weird at the first few episodes). It is to be separated from his family, so he enrolls in an agricultural boarding school which would take him quite far from his house till he gets his own job. As he deems himself to be an excellent crammer, he believes he will have no problem in there. But it turns out the life there is not what he expected as he gets in the world where physical labor is more important than his brains & the cruelty of the harsh reality of the life of the livestock. He eventually finds friends among his classmates who are all farmers' heirs & not a total city boy like him. And thus the story of his new life goes on with everyday learning of the lifestyle of farmers as well as their farm animals, which quite often arises very funny situation, and thankfully the comedy almost never felt forced.
Although it may seem very unusual for the premise of an anime, even for a slice-of-life but all the plot elements are gelled together quite nicely by the writer & the episodic nature of the story (at the first half mainly) really goes well with the premise of the show. Although at first the reason of Hachiken wanting to leave his home that desperately was a bit hard to understand, in later episodes it is explained quite clearly. As the various animals in the school grows through the passing of the time in his school so does his understanding (as well as ours) of farm-life grows, and he has to face some facts of reality which is harsh but true. The show mainly focuses on how he overcomes them and even helps his friends in their needs.
The story certainly gets props for originality and although at times a bit boring with the knowledge bits but definitely was enjoyable for me, so it gets 8.5 out of 10.
Although many might disagree with me on this but there is actually only one main character in this anime, rest are just side characters. Hachiken is a character who is like the anime, a bit slow to develop, it takes a viewers a bit of time ( a few episodes at least) to relate with him & to understand his motivations, to appreciate his viewpoints. At first you might find him a bit one-dimensional as someone who takes the easy way out,who runs away from his family but if you carry on with him on his journey you will find out his reasons, will find out how he actually is quite caring for his friends through his actions & tries to help in them in their problems while sometimes even completely ignoring his own ones. And in the end he is a likeable character as well as quite unique too.
As for the other characters they are very likeable too. Mikage who is the love interest for our protagonist seems a bit bland at first but Hiromu later develops her quite brilliantly in her unique way. The other important characters include hardworking & ambitious Komaba (somewhat generic for the source of Hachiken's jealousy but has a well written back-story); whimsical & laughably dumb at math Tokiwa; money lover & aggressive eater frightening Tamako; afraid of blood yet vet wanna be Shinnosuke ( whose struggles to face his fears is portrayed quite nicely); Hachiken's irritable yet funny brother (who is following his dream by the way) Shingo among others.
The characters are actually the strongest aspect of this anime & pulls through all the rest of the stuff to a very enjoyable height indeed.
So I give it 9 out of 10.
To be honest the character designs & the art is not at the same level of the rest of the stuff for this anime. The faces of the characters quite often seem too similar & there is a lack of general detail in them. All the food-stuff at least looked good. The animation also seems bland in this day of top-notch technology and somewhat awkward in occasions. But at least on the positive side there is a sense of consistency in animation of the show as a whole, unlike few other animes these days & the piglets were cute.
However, it is not as per with other things of the anime & gets 7 out of 10.
The opening theme is "Kiss You" by Miwa which is a nice song and appropriate for the show but actually not that special. The ending theme is "Hello Especially" by Sukima Switch which is the perfect ending song for the show for me, it has kind of a country vibe going for it which is suitable for the atmosphere of the show. Other pieces used during the show are all alright but nothing really stands out as anything special.
As a whole sound gets from me 8 out 10.
There is a lot of argument going on the internet whether this is the best show of this season or not, and with a second season now confirmed it is even more fueled. All I can say on these regard is while this anime may not be for everyone (Slice-of-life rarely is), still it is definitely one of the shows to watch for this season; this is kind of a casual & thinking mans show. The funny bits & the thought-provoking realistic situations the characters are put into often are really the highlights and was enough enjoyable for me so that I for one will pick up the second season, I might even try out the fan translated manga too.
Overall Score -
8.5 out of 10.
As I watched the final episode of Silver Spoon, a single word came to mind to describe this anime. "Thoughtful." But also thought-provoking.
Brief Summary: A "smart kid" who has trouble fitting in at his traditional middle school is encouraged by a teacher to apply to an agricultural high school. Once there, he learns a lot about how food is produced, as well as learning how to make friends.
Themes: Making friends, business realities, the difficulties of being in the agricultural industry, how food is made, the value of hard work, the value of struggling with large moral issues (for example, should humans eat animals?), and struggling with goals/being unmotivated/not knowing if you have a life goal/parental expectations for your life.
Story: I like the story a lot. It's simple, yet sincere, and allows for a lot of interesting ideas and issues to come to the surface.
Animation & Sound: While I thought the sound, voice-acting, and theme songs were perfect for the show, the animation was nothing to write home about. It wasn't bad, but not stellar either.
Characters: Great! A shining part of the show, each character has a unique outlook on life, a goal, and a problem that frustrates her/him. This makes them easy to relate to, and it drives the plot by creating interesting interactions.
Conclusion: Good stuff: 8.8/10
Arakawa-sensei (also the mangaka for Fullmetal Alchemist) grew up on a dairy farm and that experience is definitely evident in Silver Spoon. I really enjoyed Silver Spoon. It's a totally different type of story, and it is refreshing, entertaining, thoughtful, sincere, thought-provoking, and well written.