This week's episode of Silver Spoon closely follows the goings-on in the school's equestrian club, and with the school festival approach it's time to decide what the club are planning to do to show themselves off to visitors.
With that perhaps in mind, and with all of its newcomers having mastered the basics of riding a horse, it's time for the newer riders to finally try their hand at some actually show-jumping. Coming into such a massive undertaking cold, it's not exactly surprising that Hachiken is unable to even get Maron to jump over a low barrier, with this finicky creature instead preferring to walk around it. This is no big deal until the rest of the newcomers clear their first hurdle with ease, before insult is added to injury by first Mikage, and then the other newcomers, also clearing the fence using Maron.
For Hachiken, his failure is all too reminiscent of days gone by, and his determination to improve quickly turns to desperation - a slightly ugly side to his character that is quickly shouted down by Mikage as the two become embroiled in something of an argument of the whole thing. With tension still thick between the two of them, Mikage unexpectedly invites Hachiken out the following Sunday, which allows him to take in a proper equestrian tournament in her hometown - an event which, along with other things, helps him to understand the simple mistake that he's making when it comes to his handling of Maron.
If a reminder was even required, this episode of Silver Spoon does a great job of showing the strength of the show's characters - both Hachiken and Mikage, likable though they are, are also both utterly human and with flaws of their own, and getting to see them riled and how it ultimately strengthens their relationship a little is not only enjoyable but feels truly organic in its nature. Backed up by a cast of similarly great characters, getting to follow Hachiken's trials and tribulations never ceases to be great fun, particularly when it's served with lashings of laugh-out-loud comedy as this instalment invariably was. It may have had a change of director, but it's becoming clear that Silver Spoon is still in safe hands, and I really couldn't ask anything more of it at this juncture.