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Silver Spoon: Complete 1st Season (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)

September 15, 2014 by  



silverspoon

“Silver Spoon: Complete 1st Season” was a big surprise! Not only is it a realistic and entertaining series from the creator of “Fullmetal Alchemist”, Hiromu Arakwa. But it’s a hilarious and educational anime series about agriculture and the people who are raised in that environment. “Silver Spoon: Complete 1st Season” is a fantastic anime series that I highly recommended!


Image courtesy of © Hiromu Arakawa, Shogakukan/EZONO Festa Executive Committee. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Silver Spoon: Complete 1st Season

SERIES AIR DATE: 2013

DURATION: 11 Episodes (275 Minutes)

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 Letterboxed, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Aniplex

RATED: 13 and Up

RELEASE DATE: July 15, 2014

Directed by Tomohiko Ito

Originally created by Hiromu Arakawa

Original Character Designs by Jun Nakai

Series Composition by Taku Kishimoto

Music by Shusei Murai

Character Designs by Jun Nakai

Art Director: Sawako Takagi

Anime Production: A-1 Pictures

Featuring the following voice talent:

Marie Miyake as Aki Mikage

Ryohei Kimura as Yūgo Hachiken

Ayahi Takagaki as Tamako Inada

Katsuyuki Konishi as Shingo Hachiken

Kengo Takanashi as Hajime Nishikawa

Masayuki Shouji as Keiji Tokiwa

Nobunaga Shimazaki as Shinnosuke Aikawa

Nobuyuki Kobushi as Tarō Beppu

Shiori Izawa as Mayumi Yoshino

Tooru Sakurai as Ichirō Komaba

Asami Tano as Mika Toyonishi

Atsuko Yuya as Ichiko Fuji

 

The only reason why Yugo Hachiken decided to attend the Oezo Agricultural High School (a.k.a Ezono) was simply because the school had a dormitory. Entering Ezono was a way for Yugo to run away from the stifling academic pressures in the city, however, it didn’t take long for him to realize that life is not that simple.

Yugo is soon forced to face more hurdles in his new environment surrounded by all the farm animals and the magnificent Mother Nature. He also begins feeling a different kind of pressure as he deals with his classmates who, unlike him, all have a clear view of what they want for their futures.

Even so, as Yugo overcomes one challenge after another at Ezono and deepens his bonds with his classmates, he begins to grow stronger both physically and mentally. This is a coming-of-age story filled with sweat, tears, and literally a lot of dirt!

From mangaka Hiromu Arakawa (best known for “Fullmetal Alchemist”) comes “Gin no Saji” (Silver Spoon).  A story that Arakawa wanted to challenge herself and that is writing a more realistic story.

Serialized in Shogakukan’s “Weekly Shonen Sunday”, the award-winning manga was adapted into a manga series which lasted two seasons from 2013-2014 and also a live-action film released earlier this year in Japan.

And now “Silver Spoon: Complete 1st Season” will be released on DVD courtesy of Aniplex.

“Silver Spoon” is an anime series that revolves around a student named Yugo Hachiken, a teenager who attended came from a wealthy family but has left the big city of Sapporo to live in a farming area and attend Yezo Agricultural High School.

Because of the expectations put on him by his parents, Hachiken’s true reason of going to Yezo is primarily to escape his parents but after seeing his schoolmates being so passionate about their future careers in agriculture, Hachiken starts to wonder what will he do for a living?  And most importantly, how will he do at Yezo since he knows nothing about agriculture, let alone animals or where food comes from.

And the longer he stays at Yezo, he starts to understand the world of agriculture but also his perspective on life, on the food people eat but also how he starts to affect other students who are amazed by Hachiken’s perspective, because he didn’t come from an agricultural background.

The main characters of “Silver Spoon” are:

  • Yugo Hachiken – The main protagonist from Sapporo.  Because he failed his entrance exams, he decides to attend Yezo Agricultural High School to get away from his demanding parents.  But thinking it wold be an easy life, Hachiken finds out how challenging life is for those who work in agriculture but also the importance of their jobs and where food comes from.  He manages to create friendships but also influence others due to his generosity and intellect.
  • Aki Mikage – A member of the Equestrian Club who attends Yezo to prepare herself in inheriting the family business which specializes in cows and Ban’ei race horses.  Her family is struggling to make ends meet.
  • Ichiro Komaba – A skilled baseball player and a neighbor and childhood friend of Aki.  His family owns a small dairy farm.  His hope is to become a professional baseball player in order to help improve his family’s farm.
  • Shinnosuke Aikawa – A teenager who wants to be a veterinarian but the difficult decisions and his fear of the sight of blood often challenges his career decision.  He is a member of the Holstein Club.
  • Tamako Inada – A wealthy classmate Hachiken.  She is overweight but when she loses weight, she is often looked at guys for her beautiful figure.  But she tends to gain all her weight quickly.  She is obsessed with money and wants to inherit the family farm.
  • Keiji Tokiwa – A not-so-smart teenager that Hachiken tries to help with his math.  His family owns a chicken farm.
  • Ayame Minamikujo – An aristrocratic, wealthy girl who is a rival to Aki Mikage who wants to specialize in making cheese.
  • Shingo Hachiken – Yugo’s older brother who managed to get into the University of Tokyo, but decided to stop attending after he realized that is more of his parent’s dream and not his.  He suddenly moves by Yezo Agricultural High to Yugo’s chagrin.

VIDEO & AUDIO:

“Silver Spoon” is presented in 16:9 widescreen.  While an anime like this would look vibrant on Blu-ray, the anime series is only being released on DVD with a Japanese soundtrack.  Backgrounds are well-detailed and shaded, while character art is shaded but as one can expect from a TV series, there is a hint of softness.  But as for the series, the series does look good as episodes carry up to four episodes, so no major artifact problems are visible.

But the film does have a colorful palette and the series looks good on DVD.

Hopefully, if the series does receive an English dub in the future, that the series with both soundtracks are released on Blu-ray.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Silver Spoon: Complete 1st Season” comes with the textless opening and ending, trailers and commercial.

A realistic and entertaining anime series that not only educates viewers on agriculture but also is quite enjoyable thanks to its comedy and characters.

“Silver Spoon” is a fascinating anime series because in some ways, I grew up like Hachiken.  Not familiar with agriculture and having friends who were farmers and having a grandfather who was a chef, I was exposed to sides of farming that literally changed my perspective towards agriculture but also how our food is made.

In the anime series, we see the smart but yet naive Hachiken getting exposed to cows, pigs, horses for the first time but also his reaction when he sees where eggs come from, how difficult it is for him to work in a farm but also seeing how his classmates are putting so much effort into their work because of their future career or the fact they will be inheriting the family farm.

Of course, the camaraderie of  the series is also a lot of fun, as the friends all take part in using prime ingredients to make their own pizza, Hachiken hanging out with his friends to see what a baseball game is all about but also getting to see how he changes others perspectives as well.

One of the more interesting storylines for several episodes is when pigs that are raised for slaughter for ham, bacon, etc. is being taken care of by Hachiken and how he grows too close to one of them and names it “Pork Bowl”.  But having raised a pig from when it was a baby and seeing it grow, how will Hachiken react when he must say goodbye to it?

These are part of the life lessons that Hachiken must go through and for the most part, the comedy but the learning experience not just by Hachiken but also for the viewers, makes “Silver Spoon” an enlightening, entertaining and fun anime series.

Truthfully, I don’t think I have watched an anime series that focused on the farm life and tries to maintain a realistic feel but the series remained consistent that I enjoyed it so much that I can’t wait for season 2, let alone, wanting to read Hiromu Arakawa’s manga series.  It’s that good!

As for the DVD, while “Silver Spoon: Complete 1st Season” may not come with the swag that Aniplex anime series tend to have, you do get the complete first season on three DVD’s.  Anime series looks good as one can expect on DVD and dialogue and music are clear and understandable.  Subtitles are easy to read.

Overall, “Silver Spoon: Complete 1st Season” was a big surprise!  Not only is it a realistic and entertaining series from the creator of “Fullmetal Alchemist”, Hiromu Arakwa.  But it’s a hilarious and educational anime series about agriculture and the people who are raised in that environment.

“Silver Spoon: Complete 1st Season” is a fantastic anime series that I highly recommended!







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