Thursday, 9 January 2014

Silver Spoon Season 2 - Episode 1

It's back to agricultural college we head this winter, as Silver Spoon returns to our screens for its second season - and not a moment too soon, having very much proved itself to be more than capable of eliciting both laughs and emotion last year.  Hold the phone though - it seems that Mikage has lost a bra, and she wants Hachiken's help to find it!

Needless to say, this situation turns out to be nothing like as alluring as it sounds, and is a rather mundane occurrence of farm life, of which there is no shortage as work absorbs every moment of the day.  With first year students staring down the prospect of finals, third years are preparing to graduate, which means finding new leaders for some of the college's after-school clubs.  When it comes to the equestrian club, Mikage might seem like the obvious choice of vice-president, but to his immense surprise it's Hachiken that gets the gig - Mikage may be a good rider, but she prefers to keep people at arms length, a stark contrast against Hachiken's reputation as a determined individual and a good "people person".

When it comes to Mikage's determination to keep her distance from others, this is displayed in full force to Hachiken when he walks in on her crying while conversing with Komaba.  It's a situation which neither of them will be drawn on, as they both deflect the issue and, ultimately, flat out tell Hachiken it's none of his business.  With Mikage making basic mistakes at the equestrian club and seeming pre-occupied however, Hachiken simply can't let it go, lost in a sea of worries that perhaps she's dating somebody while also wanting to do what he can to help.  Is there any way he can get Aki to open up to him though?

Somehow, the first season of Silver Spoon feels like it aired an eternity ago, yet it took me scant seconds to fall in love with the cast and setting all over again, eased in via the kind of slightly silly but hugely satisfying humour that this show proves to be most assured at.  Although somewhat predicated on that tried old "misunderstandings" problem that so much anime leverages for dramatic or comedic impact in places, come the end of the episode we're left both dying to know what's troubling Mikage and genuinely feeling a little sorry for her - it's a great hook to leave us wanting more straight away, and a great reminder of most of Silver Spoon's strengths in a single instalment.  It's good to be back on the farm, that's for sure.

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