Thursday, 15 August 2013

Silver Spoon - Episode 6

The advent of the summer break means that even the agricultural academy is set to shut down for the duration, leaving Hachiken with the depressing possibility that he might have to go back to stay with his parents for the summer.

It's at this point that an angel of mercy appears in the form of Mikage, who invites Hachiken to stay at her place for the summer, commenting that her parents won't be around.  As Hachiken's head begins to swim with heady dreams of romance, reality suddenly dawns on him - he's actually being propositioned to work on her family's farm for the summer.

Not that this is particularly off-putting for our protagonist - it keeps him away from his family and gives him an opportunity to earn money for the first time, so he jumps at the chance to do a little part-time work.  Of course, working on a farm isn't an easy business, and the lack of any mobile phone signal is making letting his parents know where he is almost impossible.  Finding the signal he needs brings him to Komaba's own family farm, as Hachiken gets a further glimpse into how this driven young man is determined to help his mother while also being presented with an opportunity to learn first-hand whether he can cope with the demans of taking an animal and turning it into food.

Once again, I'm left marveling a little at how effortless Silver Spoon is at getting you on its side - how it can somehow talk about gutting a dead deer with a shrug and a smile and a lightness of tone that doesn't detract from the fact that this is still "a big deal" (a living thing has died, and you're about to slice it up and eat it) or make light of it, but acknowledges that this is part of the circle of life or some other Lion King quote.  It knows exactly when to be funny, and when to be a little poignant, and when to simply be quiet and leave the viewer to ponder about how they'd react in that situation.  Couple that with a great and universally lovable cast of characters and some really snappy humour, and you have yourself a winner - Silver Spoon remains a show that is staunchly not for everyone largely on account of its outlook and those squeamish moments, but if you're on-board with what it seeks to do it continues to deliver in spades.

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