AKA: Gin no Saji, 銀の匙
Genre: Comedy, Coming-of-age, Slice of Life
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Dust off those cowboy boots and cute denim jeans because we are going to the country! Let me just say that this anime was one of those that I wasn’t sure about in the beginning, but that first episode, phew that first episode hooked me in. I didn’t even need to do the three-episode rule because I was a fan right away. I’ve always been a little countryside girl at heart (because that’s where most of my family reside and I have a lot of fond memories there from when I was growing up) so I’m not really a stranger to the concept of having to be self-reliant. I don’t know how to milk a cow or ride a horse but I love watching people who can.
Production for this lovely show comes to us from A-1 Pictures. Now, this studio I am a little familiar with since I see quite a lot of their works all the time. They are a subsidiary of Aniplex and if that doesn’t ring a bell then maybe some of these titles will; Black Butler, Fairy Tail, Blue Exorcist, Sword Art Online, Your Lie in April, Erased, etc. Basically, they have a lot of heavyweights under their belt so I was already expecting production to be top-tier quality.
Now the show itself, it really had no business being that good. I couldn’t stop watching so I got through it pretty quickly. I would have loved there to be a third season but I will appreciate what we got! The story revolves around Yuugo Hachiken, who ends up failing his entrance exams for a top high school and decides to attend Ooezo Agricultural High School which is located in, you guessed it, the countryside! The show focuses on him navigating his way and learning about himself and his friends as each of them gives him some kind of lesson he can use.
To me, the story progressed in a nice flow. It wasn’t so quick that he came and suddenly knew how to do everything. Instead, we got to see the real growth of Hachiken. It was realistic to me. I mean think about it; you’re throwing a 16-year-old kid who has lived his whole life in one of Japan’s big cities to spend his high school life in the countryside where he can barely get phone service. The kid shouldn’t know how to create homemade cheese in episode 2. That’s one of the many things I appreciated from the series. We got to really go through the journey of Hachiken finding out what he wants to do with his life.
Personally, there are several different characters that I fell in love with immediately but I also recognize that there aren’t really that many “diverse” characters. Let me explain. None of the characters had a quality about them, to me, that made them stand out in a way that I could tell them apart. For example, most of the characters are all raised in the countryside, know a lot about farming, are pretty motivated by money since farming is literally their livelihood, and have some kind of quirkiness to them, but nothing significant. There isn’t the lone wolf who is on a path of vengeance or redemption. They are all just kids who farm or who know a lot about farm life.
Yuugo Hachiken is the main character. We learn more about him in each episode, little by little. First off we learn that he’s not on good terms with his parents, specifically his father. Later in the show when we meet his father, we all nod collectively and go “Yeah, I understand why!” Long story short, his dad is the typical “Always get good grades, do your best, big education, raaaawr” type of parent.
He’s always being compared to his older brother who revealed later that he studied hard to get into a top university just to show his father he could. He then dropped out the same day, love that for him. At first, he tries to be a lone wolf but he finds out that in order to survive in the countryside, you definitely need a good circle of friends and support. Each episode is the equivalent of him peeling off a piece of clothing until at the end he’s naked.
For you romance fans, there’s a teeny, tiny bit of it but it’s not the main focus. After all, these are young teens. They aren’t nuns and monks! The main romance would be Hachiken and Mikage. Although the two are red-blushing fools, you can definitely sense the bond building between them and it’s a nice slow burn too. Mikage’s dream is to take care of horses and is the main reason Hachiken finds himself joining the Equestrian club. Luckily for us, we get to meet the amazing Maron who is the horse Hachiken ends up riding. Maron is the sassiest horse I’ve ever seen and I love it. He gives Hachiken a hard time but it’s just because Yuugo is a bit stubborn and hard-headed. He gives him tough love but the duo has nice chemistry.
Side note: The animals alone in this show will make you fall in love. My personal favorite was Pork Bowl and yes, he’s a pig. I love the way they built the relationship between the two as well. The whole time Hachiken was raising and taking care of Pork Bowl to make sure he grew to be a healthy pig, even when ultimately he would be sent to the slaughterhouse. He was having to fight those feelings of regret since he had come to really bond and love the little pig but he also knew that it was part of the unforgiving cycle of farms. The moral of that story is: Don’t befriend farm animals.
My favorite character has to be Komaba. If you know me I typically have a type of anime man that I love. They are usually serious, smart, and if you make them mad have mercy on your soul. Komaba works for his family’s farm and dreams of taking it over one day to release his mother from working so hard. His father actually passed away due to overwork so you can feel his worry for his surviving parent. He has two adorable twin sisters who also help out on the farm. Not to mention, he plays baseball and loves it very much. He’s just a hardworking guy and that’s just dandy.
- Inside look at the Agriculture business, something not often used as the main focus of Anime
- Easy to invest in the story and characters.
- Very educational for people, like me, who wouldn’t think they’d be interested in this topic.
- TOO SHORT (Really would love a third season)
- Season finale left way more questions than answers
With all that being said, I have decided to rate this lovely anime a whopping
Like I said, the only flaws to me are that the show is too short and just leaves a lot of unanswered questions. Although, this does make me want to pick up the manga and complete the series that way so maybe their plan worked. Thanks for reading!