An anime about agriculture? Wait, whut?! nope. You heard me right. Silver Spoon is a 2 cour long noitamina anime about agriculture, farming and animals. You know, it amazes me how they have anime on almost every topic on this planet (actually, not really, but almost) and the best part is that most of the time, these “special interests” anime usually turn out awesome. How did Silver Spoon fare? I’m right about to jump into it.
Note that this review will be after-thoughts styled. So there will be spoilers, though I will not be explicit.
The setting in Silver Spoon is simple. It follows Hachiken (our protagonist) in his school life in Ezonoo agricultural school, a specialised high school for many farmers who want to take over their family business (usually some ranch, farm or something along those lines, you get it..). Well, besides Hachiken, everyone seems to have a proper goal and meaning in life. There’s this guy who wants to be a vet, there’s some other girl who wants to make cheese, and a couple others wanting to make it “big” in order to save their (almost collapsing) family business. Our MC grew up in a city with an “academic route” and due to personal reasons, choose to run away from his family into the “laid back” life of a farmer.
Let me be honest, I was initially quite unsure about whether I should be watching this. After all, I have no interest whatsoever in farming/agriculture. For the fact that there are even any farms in a modern city like Singapore (we don’t even have the land space to build sufficient homes, let alone farms so yeah..) and the only thing I remember about farms (from my numerous trips to countries like Australia), are they kinda stink, and that’s about it. I never had an interest in animals anyway. I didn’t expect myself to last several episodes. But you know what, this series totally changed my mind. By the end of season 1, I was left thinking “ahh I would wanna experience such a lifestyle, perhaps for a couple of weeks or so. just to you know, get the feel of it”.
Any anime that can change your perspective is powerful. The power of anime in changing minds and hearts is so OP, like seriously.
So what is this? Some sort of farm documentary? Yes, in some sense. Yes, it does take it’s time to explain quite a lot of “technical details”. (for example, how bacon or cheese is made, or even how farm animals are being taken care of). But deep down, Silver Spoon excels as an excellent slice of life anime. Be warned, it’s deep stuff, and yes there are “feels” in this one. The feels is strong, and emotionally speaking, Silver Spoon packs a strong punch. Really, you won’t expect that, you won’t see it coming. But it will hit you. And then you will find yourself crunching on your blanket trying to not cry. Yes, all that is indeed included in the Silver Spoon experience.
The characters in Silver Spoon are fun and likeable. There is almost no real bad guy in this show. Every one has their own quirks, bad habits and what not but it just adds on to the flavour. Have you ever felt that the characters in a show are such nice people to be with that you almost wanna dive into their world and live with them? Yeah, I got that vibes here. The standard of comedy that Silver Spoon managed to produce was also due to the colourful and vibrant cast of characters. (Though there was this senior who keeps coming back and they’re always making fun of him for not being able to find a job, or the other guy Tokiwa who was like so dumb and stuff often gets picked on). I guess Silver Spoon is really fun to watch (at the expense of these characters though HAHA). Everyone almost has their own unique traits. All the side characters have their own quirks and tendencies and it’s really fun to watch them interact!
Okay. Animals. Silver Spoon is actually more about animals over crops and plants and what not actually. Pigs, horses, chickens, cows! Everything! All kinds of animals man! When it comes to animals, Silver Spoon makes you think and question the commonly overlooked problems. Have you, like, ever put yourselves in the shoes of an animal that was just raised for the sake of being eaten. I mean, we often just devour burgers and steaks and what not. but have we ever looked at our bacon and think that “man, that used to be a pig”. I hardly think so. that’s why Silver Spoon is genius. It makes you think so weirdly and out of the norm that it even scares me. Sure, killing “unknown” pigs and chickens are no big deal but what if it was your pet? Will you be able to eat it? What if you had an emotional attachment to that animal.
While it does a pretty good job in the area of human to animal relationships, Silver Spoon does bring up several other human-to-human issues that are really very relatable. Parents, expectations, their harsh love on their child are on the list of the many of explored motifs. And wait, did I not mention that Silver Spoon is also romance! Wait whut!? You mean there’s more!? Slice of life, comedy, interesting characters, and even after all the time they used to explain how bacon is made (and 101 other interesting facts about the food we eat), they managed to pack in a romance that puts even top Shoujo anime to shame. Silver Spoon shows how romance is done. After all, it doesn’t spent 12 episodes featuring a stalkerish female MC madly chasing after her childhood flame. (Take that, Ao haru Ride!). Real life love is subtle, and is embedded in our daily lives. You can see a real, proper relationship build on healthy values in Silver Spoon and that is really awesome!
I’m starting to be amazed myself when I think about how much Silver Spoon has to offer in a compact 22 episode long 2 cour anime.
Ah now. Sports. Well, you got to be kidding right? Silver Spoon is Sports too!??! Erhhhh, kinda! It does feature “competitve” horseback riding and a little of baseball here and there. They go quite a lot into detail about horseback riding that it makes you feel as though you’re watching an anime about horseback riding. Though I do admit I kinda lost it there (not really a fan of horses and the sport). But horses are well, kinda important to the development of the whole story and stuff. Watch it, you’ll understand.
This anime is really day-to-day life styled. In other words, there is hardly any structure and you really cannot expect where things will go in the next episode. The happenings can be so haphazard even within a single episode. While I am fine by that, I can imagine that some people will not like it. Either way, there are definitely pros and cons of this format. But I think this format suits the series more and I am okay with just going along with the flow. But one caution is that some episodes may seem like total filler while they are not. Hang on, there will bound to be more “boring” episodes. But I can tell you that towards the end of each season, the content is something really formidable and life changing so you will not want to miss it.
Last but not least, this anime does end pretty nicely considering that the manga is ongoing (Pleasee! Season 3!). Though it leaves some stuff unresolved but it is understandable. That’s why I said it does a pretty okay job wrapping things up. This is the kind of stuff which really needs another season! (I’ll gladly trade the 2nd season of Log horizon and all future seasons for seasons of silver spoon instead). I’ll give this anime a 8.3/10 (A). Give it a go, seriously. It will change your life.
Oh yeah before I forget.
There’s ton of delicious food in Silver Spoon you so might wanna get something to eat before / or while you watch. Seriously watching this show makes me hungry!