Thursday, 30 January 2014

Silver Spoon Season 2 - Episode 4

Hachiken is all dressed up the nines and ready to take his place at the tournament in which his equestrian club are taking part.  Well, I say "ready", but perhaps that isn't quite true...

With the pressure ramping up, even Mikage is threatening to crumble beneath it - a scenario not helped by the appearance of an audacious girl (and childhood friend of Mikage's) by the name of Minamikujou.  This well-spoken and striking young woman seems determined to rub everyone else's faces in the dirt, which would be all well and good if she weren't in a lower riding class than Mikage, which ensures that their contest soon fizzles out.  Instead, Minamikujou turns her attentions to Hachiken - not that she's much of a challenge to him either, as her obnoxiousness leads to her disqualification once the event actually begins.

As the newcomers to the equestrian club all struggle with time or other penalties, it's finally time for Hachiken to strut his stuff.. assuming he can control his growing nerves that is.  If there's one thing our protagonist is good at however it's focusing, and with a steely heart and determination in his heart he races through the course flawlessly... until he spots his brother in the crowd and almost throws it all away once his concentration wavers momentarily.  Still, the end result of fourth place is a good one (even if Hachiken still can't hide his disappointment), and Mikage shows what she's capable of via a top three finish as we get a little further into the heads of what drives the two characters.

In all honesty, I was shocked at how quickly this episode flew by - the end of the equestrian tournament had me wondering what the second half of the episode would cover, only for me to realise that was the end of the episode.  In other words, this was a simple but highly entertaining affair, which thankfully just about avoided Minamikujou turning from comedy stooge into annoying distraction while providing some engaging sporting competition that still had something to say about its lead characters and their motivations.

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