Thursday, 18 July 2013

Silver Spoon - Episode 2

Another day begins (albeit sluggishly) for Hachiken, but I think it's fair to say that he still hasn't exactly gotten used to life as an agricultural student.

Whether it's that painful 5am wake-up and the hard work that follows it, or coming to terms with eating the animals that you've previously seen living and breathing, and then seen again with blood pouring from where their heads should be, life doesn't seem like it's going to get any easier for our protagonist, and there's only further confusion to be poured atop all of this as Hachiken learns of Tamako's unlikely relation to another member of the school.

Still, all of these things must be put aside in the name of deciding upon an after-school club - having almost been dragged forcibly into a club of upperclassman with an appreciation of the beauty of the female form in spite of its depiction like cattle in magazines (yes, they're part of a club who love Holstein cows), Hachiken seems to have set his sights on the equestrian club.  Of course, this comes not out of a love of horses (far from it in fact, not that they seem to like him too much either), but rather out of a fascination with the lovely Mikage.  Any dreams of romantic canters through the woods are quickly dashed and replaced with mucking out stables, but everyone has to start somewhere and before we know it Hachiken is finally sat proudly atop a fine steed - what's more, he's about to find himself with an opportunity to spend more time with Mikage as Golden Week approaches...

Even shorn of the unique feel that comes from a first episode of a series that doesn't fit into most of the typical anime moulds, this second instalment of Silver Spoon still does a wonderful job of carrying on where that opener left off - its sense of place is second to none, and its eye for comic timing, reactions and construction of that comedy is unerringly good to ensure no shortage of laughs once again.  Perhaps more importantly than all this, the show has quickly built up a lovable set of characters that walk the tightrope between caricature and realism from teachers and the school principle through to the students - even the hapless Hachiken is a good guy when push comes to shove, and there's clearly also plenty to be explored with these individuals as the series progresses.  In other words, I can't wait to watch some more.

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