Silver Spoon: Complete 2nd Season (a J!-ENT Anime DVD Review)
December 7, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Silver Spoon: Complete 2nd Season” was an entertaining, charming and enjoyable series! But it’s also features realistic topics for those growing up or studying agriculture. Not only is it a hilarious and educational anime series about agriculture and the people who are raised in that environment but also a series that features characters that you root for and a series you can’t help but watch and enjoy. “Silver Spoon: Complete 2nd Season” is a fantastic anime series that I highly recommend! And I can only hope for a third season for the anime series and even for a US manga release!
Image courtesy of © Hiromu Arakawa, Shogakukan/EZONO Festa Executive Committee. All Rights Reserved.
DVD TITLE: Silver Spoon: Complete 2nd Season
SERIES AIR DATE: 2013
DURATION: 11 Episodes (275 Minutes)
DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 Letterboxed, Japanese Linear PCM Stereo, Subtitles: English
RATED: 13 and Up
RELEASE DATE: December 16, 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 second trimester begins at Ezono as Hokkaido’s fall quickly kicks in. Hachiken is as busy as ever, taking over the position of vice president of the equestrian club, adopting a puppy, competing in his first equestrian event, and being in charge of many activities for Ezono’s school festival.
Even though the usual school life is carried out and they dream of their futures like any other teenager, Hachiken and his friends are forced to confront the harsh realities of agricultural businesses such as financial struggles and successor issues. Hachiken tries his best to support his peers, which ultimately leads him to face and overcome his own problems with his family.
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, especially a story based on agriculture since she was born and raised in a dairy farm in Hokkaido.
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 2nd Season” will be released on DVD in Dec. 2014 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.
As the first season featured Hachiken getting used to the school and making new friends, the second season features Hachiken trying to make difficult decisions of what he wants to do in life and also wanting to be more dedicated in trying to let Mikage know how he feels about her. But also dealing with the stress of wanting to be there for his school but also prove to his father that he made the right decision to go to Yezo Agricultural High School.
The second season also showcases how farmers can struggle living with a farming business that is struggling and the difficult decisions even students have to make and how dreams can easily end.
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. In season two, he starts to have feelings for Mikage but not sure if she likes Komaba.
- 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. In season two, she starts to have feelings for Mikage.
- 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 in HD on Blu-ray.
“Silver Spoon: Complete 2nd Season” comes with the textless opening and ending and commercials.
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.
As the first season dealt with interesting details about the agricultural industry from the food eaten by people and how Hachiken learns everything from his classes, may it be from the where eggs come from, what happens to pigs or cattle, its learning about the agricultural industry and how Hachiken is able to learn and grow from his education.
But the second season kicks off with Hachiken learning from the Equestrian Club and about riding horses, taking on a pet puppy to preparing for the Yezo Agricultural Festival and eventually pondering about his life and his family life. But when it comes to the agricultural industry, learning that with a bad economy can lead to hard times for farmers, including their children, in which one of Hachiken’s friends must deal with the closure of that student’s family ranch, but also how another friend is also impacted by the environment.
The second season is no doubt one of the most emotional episodes but also the most realistic. Having grown up in an agricultural area, I have also had friends who were impacted by the economy, by California’s drought, the financial upkeep of a farm (especially if you lose a well or need to dig a deeper well because there is not enough water) and seeing family’s losing their farmland, their livestock and students who had futures of going into a college, dashed because they had to work in order to support their family.
But the fact is that as the title “Silver Spoon” is based on the fact that those who grew up with agriculture will no longer grow hungry as they have the means to take care of themselves, via farmland or livestock, the challenges of having a farm is not as easy and the anime series does a fine job of depicting those who come from an agricultural background.
As for the DVD, while “Silver Spoon: Complete 2nd Season” may not come with the swag that other Aniplex anime series tend to have, but you do get the complete second season on three DVD’s. The 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 2nd Season” was an entertaining, charming and enjoyable series! But it’s also features realistic topics for those growing up or studying agriculture. Not only is it a hilarious and educational anime series about agriculture and the people who are raised in that environment but also a series that features characters that you root for and a series you can’t help but watch and enjoy.
“Silver Spoon: Complete 2nd Season” is a fantastic anime series that I highly recommend! And I can only hope for a third season for the anime series and even for a US manga release!
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