Thursday, 1 August 2013

Silver Spoon - Episode 4

It would be wrong to say that agricultural college life is getting easier for Hachiken, but he does at least seem to be getting used to its pace, and when it comes to the purely academic side of his studies he's top of the class - mind you, even this isn't enough to satisfy him...

Of course, ability in the classroom remains only one aspect of the school's remit, and Hachiken continues to face a steep learning curve (or is that simply the curvature of his spine?) in the equestrian club while having to deal with other similarly physically tough assignments such as cleaning up the entire school campus.  It's here however that our protagonist makes a fascinating discovery, as he discovers a brick oven - a piece of hardware that a little research reveals could be used for all sorts of things, including baking pizza.

Little does Hachiken realise that "pizza" is a fateful word to be uttered around these starved farm kids who have never enjoyed its wonders, and before he knows it Hachiken has talked himself into baking pizzas for his friends at a pizza party.  As the enormity of his task starts to dawn on him, following through on his promise seems to be simply impossible, but it appears that he has reckoned without the facilities and generosity of everything around him.  Thus, assembling the required ingredients becomes surprisingly simple, as his effort turns into a full-blown pizza party that even has one expected guest.

I was going to call this one of the feel-good anime episodes of the year, but actually by its end it was really more of a feel-hungry episode of the year - boy do I really want a pizza right about now.  Beyond the rumblings of my stomach, there was something incredibly simple but pure and enjoyable about this week's Silver Spoon - it still found time for a little moral probing about Hachiken's ability to eat the animals he's seen reared, but beyond that it was wonderful simply sitting back and watching the show's cast working together and helping out the greater cause for twenty minutes or so.  It's the kind of episode that really shouldn't work (I mean, how exciting can you make baking some pizzas?), yet with the right cast and setting it pitches itself perfectly.  Sure, it isn't the kind of thing I'd want to see every week from this series, but on this occasion I had a whole lot of fun watching it play out.

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