Thursday, 29 August 2013

Silver Spoon - Episode 8

To say that Hachiken has settled into his part-time role as a farmhand for the summer would be an understatement - rising early, working diligently and proving his worth, he almost seems like a natural at this point.

However, his unusual yet somehow perfect summer is disrupted briefly by the appearance of a familiar face in the midst of a bovine crisis, as Hachiken's brother decides to pay him a surprise visit at the behest of his parents.   A seemingly natural genius who had won a place at Tokyo University, Shingo is clearly part of the reason for Yugo's inferiority complex; not that Shingo seems to be enjoying his life as a star pupil as he announces that he's dropped out of university to travel the country and learn how to cook.  This revelation also brings us into brief contact with the father of the family, and thus the real reason why Yugo doesn't want to go home as he refers to both of his sons as "worthless".

Not that this label fazes Shingo, nor does it disrupt Yugo's enjoyment of farm life, although the latter threatens to be disrupted by a simple but costly error made by Hachiken during a milking session.  Once again though, this crucial moment demonstrates the difference between the mentality of this farming family and many other organisations, as they merely shrug off the loss of milk and money in favour of getting on with clearing up and carrying on - after all, everybody makes mistakes, so why worry about it?

Although this simple mantra of "everybody makes mistakes" is the kind of thing you might expect to hear at the conclusion of a 1980s Saturday morning cartoon, it's surprisingly refreshing to hear it utilised here - as someone who works in a corporate environment where any mistake or error is analysed to the nth degree, it's enough to make you wish you worked within a more realistic and common sense-driven business.  That aside, we finally have an answer to the reason for Hachiken's desire to stay away from home (obvious though it was), and it's still immensely satisfying to watch his character growing and maturing in his current environment without losing his sense of excitement over the smallest things, and when coupled with some more snappy moments of humour it ensures that the series still remains a lot of fun.

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