And so passes the best show (by far, I should add) of the Winter 2014 season, Silver Spoon, as Hiromu Arakawa adds to the legacy of her writing. This was a show that transcended both the genre and the medium as the sheer, unbridled (that was intentional) authenticity of Arakawa’s personal experience shines through at every moment. It wasn’t the flashiest; it was the funniest; it wasn’t even necessarily the most fun to watch. But it was honest and true to the human experience, and there is no replacement for that.
To be totally honest, I was pretty torn as to how I wanted to rate this show. My gut instinct was that Silver Spoon is a 9/10, the first one I’d seen in a quite a bit. But my current rankings didn’t really allow for that, which lead me to believe that my rankings, once again, needed something of an overhaul. So, that’s what I did. Silver Spoon gets a 9/10 from me, setting it at the very top of tier II. This is a show I would want to show to my kids when they are Hachiken’s age, because it hold that much meaning and that many valuable lessons.
The fall season is beginning to draw to a close, and the first show to finish up is the excellent Silver Spoon, or Gin no Saji. Chronicling the high school adventures of Hachiken Yuugo at Ezono Agricultural High School, this anime with a seemingly strange premise is from the writer of Fullmetal Alchemist and lived up to EVERY expectation I had.
Silver Spoon is a show all about farming, which means it has three main themes. Food, animals, and food. How do you make a compelling story out of that? With excellent writing. The show is written masterfully, and all season long I would finish an episode and go, “Wow. That was perfectly written.” The coming of age story has been done over and over again, but Hiromu Arakawa puts a spin on it that I have never seen before. Hachiken, who was a perfect student in middle school, is initially way out of his element at Ezono. He’s never really been around animals before; all he knows how to do is study. But he is immediately faced with the challenge of realizing the pigs (specifically a runt, whom he names Pork Bowl) he is raising will soon be slaughtered for food. Taking the life of anything is serious, and even at the end of the initial 11 episodes, Hachiken still hasn’t completely come to terms with the matter. Continue reading