Silver Spoon is based on the manga by Hiromu Arakawa, with the same title. It was first published in April 2011, the anime was first aired in July 2013 and the second season aired in January 2014. The story fallows Yuugo Hachiken, in a fish out of water story. After failing his high school entrance exam, he decides to go to Ooezo Agricultural High School, thinking that the lighter school load will let him study more for college entrance exams. But, he soon learns that all the agricultural classes hard work load leave him with little time time for anything else.
The first season of Silver Spoon is more about Yuugo trying to find his place at Ooezo. He thinks he’ll be the smartest in his class, but most of his classmates score better on tests then him. They are good in one subject and get perfect scores on them were he is a more rounded student and gets the highest score in his class, of course he wants to be the best over all so he is not satisfied with his scores at all.
He also has to come to terms with the fact that the animals are not pets. He names one of the pigs his class is taking care of. After his classmates tell him he must name him after food, since that is the ultimate fate of the pig, Yuugo names him Pork Bowl. He even takes time out of his already busy schedule to take care of Pork Bowl so that he will be able to be sold at a higher grade of meat. Through this whole process he has a hard time dealing with the fact that Pork Bowl will be turned into food and is not his pet.
When it is time for the Pork Bowl and the rest of the pigs to go to the slaughter house, Yuugo says he wants to buy Pork Bowl. His teacher first tells him he can’t keep the pig as a pet. But, Yuugo tells her no, he wants to buy the meat. He uses the money he made over summer break, working at Mikage Ranch. He understands that Pork Bowl’s lot in life is to become food. He also is giving him the respect that he feels the pig deserves, since he cared for it for so long. He makes Bacon out of the meat that he bought and shares it with every one that he cares about. He does everything him self since he feel like he owes it to Pork Bowl to do so. Him and his classmates hold a “funeral” for Pork Bowl while he cooks. The rest of this classmates also have a new found respect for the live stock animals.
Since many of them have lived and worked on farms their whole lives they just accepted the fact that all of them are going to be taken to the slaughter house and be eaten. After, watching Yuugo care for Pork Bowl, then go out of his way to buy the meat and prepare it, they too realize they can’t just let animals be born and then taken to the slaughter house with out a second thought.. They too much respect the food they are eating.
For the average person who is watching the show, you all so have to think about were your food is coming from. You can’t take it for granted. Also, you can’t become to soft and not be able to eat the food any more. You need to understand that this was a living thing and show it the respect that it deserves. This means not just preparing your food with out a second thought, you actually need to think about were it came from. that way you can actually appreciate it even more.
During the second season, the show starts to deal with more of the reality that Yuugo and the rest of his classmates are in. It really looks at people, especially younger people, who have a dream and what it really means to have one. This show doesn’t sugar coat the idea that you have to work hard and there is no guarantee that you will make it happen. Some times life just don’t work out that way.
For Ichiro Komaba, one of Yuugo’s classmates, he doesn’t get his dream. He wants to play baseball and go into the majors. As well has helping his mother with his families struggling dairy farm. He works insanely hard. He does his best in school and then goes to practice every night. He wants to earn money as a star baseball player to help his family’s farm. This doesn’t happen. He works his hardest and his team loses, he doesn’t get to go to nationals, and that means he doesn’t get to be come a major league player. He family’s farm is in debt and his mom can’t keep up. So, they go into bankruptcy. He has to quite school and work to help pay off his family’s debt and make ends meat.
Aki Mikage, an other classmate and Yuugo’s love interest, is expected to take over her family’s farm after she graduates school. She wants to do something different, but this is the path that is set for her and she has never told any one other wise either. Finally she tells her parents that she doesn’t want to take over the family business and wants to work with horses instead of taking over her family’s dairy farm. They support her and understand that their daughter took a different path. But, they make her understand that this is going to be extremely hard work. If she is serious about it she has to fight her way to the top and work hard at things that she is not good at.
This show is so grounded in reality, it makes you realize that you don’t always get what you want. Some times even though try so hard, yet you are still not the best. You have to keep fighting even though it’s hard. Even if your dream doesn’t work our or you are not able to reach it you have to keep going. You find a new dream or you figure out a way to make it work, because that is all you can do.
Watch this show. It makes you realize school life and slice of life animes can have depth and reality in them. Instead of a show that just made every thing happy and perfect in the end, this one makes you realize some times things don’t work and that’s alright you just have to keep going. Even though it shows you life with out the kiddie gloves or sugar coating it, thsi show gives you hope.
This show ends on an extremely high note. Even if things get hard, even if you fail, you have to keep going, because that is the only way you are going to get were you need to go.
Photo credit: Silver Spoon, A-1 Pictures Inc. and Aniplex of America