OP Sequence

OP: (LIFE) by (Fujifabric)

「八軒、副部長になる」 (Hachiken, fuku buchou ni naru)
“Hachiken Becomes a Vice-President”

Some things never change.  And thank goodness for that.

I’ll be honest, that premiere came just in the nick of time. There have been some good moments among the first episodes, but so far no new series has been as good as several of the carry-overs have been – we’ve mostly burned through the shows I had highest hopes for and haven’t really had that “wow” premiere that every season seems to deliver at least one of. If I squint really hard and lie to myself, I can almost believe this was a premiere for Gin no Saji – though when reality sets in I have to admit it was really just Episode 12.

Gin no Saji is, in part, a reminder of the little season that could. Summer 2013 did what Summer just never does – it became the best anime season of the year, producing three shows on my Top 10 list, and this would have been a fourth if it had been eligible. I haven’t seen a new show this Winter that would have cracked Summer’s top 5 and that’s a little worrisome, but in Silver Spoon that season is the gift that keeps on giving. There’s rarely been a less surprising series in anime, or one where’s you’re happier not to be surprised. Even in the first season anyone who knew the manga and the anime staff knew what to expect from the series – even with a new director, there was certainly no reason to have any doubts now.

Episode 12, or whatever you wish to call it, more or less picks up where Episode 11 left off. There’s no talk of the bombshell Hachiken dropped in the epilogue about “the nervous breakdown I had in middle school”, but that’s presumably a topic we’ll hear more about soon. The pre-open is a wonderful montage of the Ezonoo students working their butts off and enjoying the small pleasures in life, exhausted, a nice segue into en ep that more or less focuses on the slice-of-life side of the story as opposed to the recurring plot threads (the A-part begins with a very funny gag about a big, black bra and the adolescent imagination). But everything in Gin no Saji is thematically (and otherwise) consistent, and there are small happenings which tie in with those larger themes.

When I talked about the finale of the first cour I speculated that Komaba-kun’s arc might be a larger focus in the second cour, as it might be viewed as another facet of Arakawa-sensei’s personal journey. It appears as if that might be the case, as he’s quite a large focus of this week’s episode. There’s his pitching, of course – he continues to be a factor for the Ezonoo first-string, emerging as the team’s second pitcher – but there’s also his connection with Mikage-chan. It seems fairly obvious that the suggestion that they’ve become a couple is a red herring (we even get a sly commentary about a manga with a similar storyline to cast this notion in its proper fictional light) but the real point is that Komaba quite legitimately does share a connection with Mikage that Hachi-kun does not. This manifests itself in a secret between them – one that has Mikage in tears when Hachiken stumbles on the pair of them talking – and of which they tell Hachiken “it has nothing to do with you.”

Anyone’s who’s been told that – I presume that’s most of us – know’s it’s a pretty hurtful thing to hear, never mind coming from the one we’re in love with. It seems there’s something going on with either Mikage or Komaba’s family, perhaps a death (Mikage’s great-grandmother?) but Hachi-kun doesn’t know that. And this hurts on several levels, most obviously that he’s being shut out by Mikage, and that in doing so she’s admitting that her closeness to Komaba as his neighbor and osananajimi allows her to feel more comfortable revealing her own pain to him. But there’s also the matter of Hachiken’s personal growth, which everything in Gin no Saji always circles back to – especially as he’s just been named Vice-President of the Equestrian Club (a thankless job, it appears) on the grounds that he’s someone who people feel comfortable with, who can “build consensus”.

There’s a flip-side to that seemingly positive endorsement – Hachiken has also become known as “the guy who can’t say no”. And that’s not a label you want sticking to you, either in high school or – God help you – the workplace. Hachiken is a great main character because like so many great characters in coming-of-age stories, he’s an exceptional person who’s convinced he’s unexceptional. Finding out who he wants to be to others is a big part of Hachi-kun finding out who he wants to be, period. Look at his reaction when he reads his Mom’s mail telling him she’d forced his Dad to eat some of the bacon he’d sent home, and Dad said “it was good”. It’s not right that a kid like that should be so unused to any praise from his father that this would make him so happy – but fathers and sons are complicated. Stay tuned for more on this story as the season progresses.

There are a lot of places Silver Spoon might go this season, and it’s worth remembering that we’re only getting 11 episodes and the manga is ongoing. As such I wouldn’t expect any kind of definitive conclusion to Hachiken’s story, but I would expect more focus on the family issues and confronting the past and less on the slice-of-life elements. One of the nice elements of this series, though, is that all of its facets are intertwined so elegantly that transitions never feel awkward and even the slice-of-life moments bring progress to the larger plot. As always Gin no Saji seems very sure of itself – unlike its main character – and always manages to get where it needs to go without seeming like it’s in a hurry. It’s a great place to spend time every week, and I’m glad to have it back.


ED Sequence

ED: 「オトノナルホウヘ→」 (Oto no Naru Hou e→) by (Goose house)


  1. I bow to you, Arakawa-sensei, in awe. First a masterpiece of fantasy-action, then a masterpiece of slice-of-life, what can’t you do? Shall I expect horror? Sci-fi? Romance? Whatever comes next, keep writing, keep drawing, and keep breathing.

  2. “Hachiken has also become known as “the guy who can’t say no””
    I’ve been called worse and its far better than a girl being called “the girl who can’t say no”.

    I love this show to bits.

    1. Actually, that was a mistranslation.

      He’s become known as “the guy who won’t say no” (or rather, the guy who won’t turn you down, leave you in the lurch, whatever). The joke is that the female senior turns it into “the guy who can’t say no”.

      And his retort, as one would expect, is “hey wait a minute, isn’t that a little different?!”

  3. Hell yeah, so great to have this show back…wonder if it’ll catch up with the manga because I’m so looking forward to seeing Hachiken’s family sh*t getting real finally animated…

  4. LOL at Hachiken getting excited for nothing over the missing cow bra. In his defense, the way Aki describes the missing bra does make it sound like it was hers.

    It’s good to have this show back again.

  5. I just want to point out that the ongoing manga this serie is based on is REALLY good and I encourage everyone to check it out (for what it’s worth, it won the Manga Taishō Award’s Grand Prize and the Shogakukan Manga Award – thx Wikipedia). Without spoiling much and based on the manga, what is to come will not disappoint in the emotional department ;).

  6. good to have silver spoon back for S2 I missed it.
    I liked the previous OP&ED sequence but this one look fair enough too.

    officially fall season/arc has started to our beloved characters in silver spoon.
    I said officially, well because actually fall season started back there in ep 11. and that’s somehow sad because A-1 kinda mixed up the order of the beginning of fall arc in the manga. for example the whole scene with the principle in ep 11 suppose to come later as we’ve seen in ep 12, but not as a flashback. yet, luckily, they didn’t mess it up, they preserve the essence but as a manga reader I sense that something is mixed up a little.

    that aside, we have fall season/arc now. and fall season marks the transition between the summer and winter. summer was sunny and all, but fall is more like..gloomy but not entirely. it’s colorful and all, but sometimes sunny and sometimes it doesn’t. so as silver spoon, and not so surprising that after summer season has ended (both for us and in silver spoon itself HaHa) comes fall. and things are a bit more complicated, well this is Slice-Of-Life after all. sometimes life brings challenges and all.
    the first one for Hachiken-kun is being a vice-president. Haci said he was never in club or something, and all his previous life revolves around studies and not friend and all. yet he is definitely the type fitting for the position.
    second, well the famous phrase “it’s got nothing to do with you”. a phrase that no one would like to hear. mostly, we see it as a sign of..disrespect. but sometimes in life it’s true, not everything has something to do with us. that’s how it is in life. but when someone tell us something like that we feel something is amiss. so as Hachiken-kun.
    and silver spoon knows so well that in real-life nothing is solved in one day or episode.

    Hachiken has also become known as “the guy who can’t say no”. And that’s not a label you want sticking to you, either in high school or – God help you – the workplace

    you’re right about it. I can’t deny it. but (and this is a big “but”), this isn’t apply to silver spoon. and maybe even to living in village, you know some sort of small human community when everyone help each other.
    and that’s what makes Hachiken-kun so much fun person. he helps everybody, and although he seems screwed up, he isn’t at all. he makes the best out of his connections with everyone like in the pizza case or the bacon barbeque case.

    overall, great to have silver spoon, I missed that a lot. almost like premiere but this is S2, or as for me, same silver spoon as a whole that returned after such a long break.


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