Silver Spoon (Gin no Saji) is an ongoing manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa and serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday. It follows the adventures of Yugo Hachiken during his time as Yezo Agricultural High School after enrolling there to get away from the pressure put on him academically by his parents. Finding himself an outsider, the series follows Hachiken as he experiences aspects of farm life as well as the journey of him and his friends as they attempt to find themselves and achieve their dreams.
The manga is still ongoing, and this review covers the first 101 chapters of the manga out of the 105 that are currently released.
Silver Spoon's story is exceptional, and hits all the right notes as it manages to perfectly blend together comedy with some of the more heavy aspects of farm life to expertly spin an engaging picture of the everyday life of Hachiken at Yezo High. The theme of achieving one's dreams features prominently into the plot, and you'll be drawn in to the journey of everyone at the school as they pursue their dreams.
One of Silver Spoon's most enjoyable qualities is its ability to seamlessly transition between comedy and seriousness, delivering moments of gravity interspersed with hilarious moments that serve to keep the tone light-hearted. It's rare to see humour and seriousness balanced so effectively and these moments make Silver Spoon a joy to read.
Hachiken's budding relationship with classmate Aki Mikage is also a highlight of the series, providing an avenue for further character development for the two as well as helping to drive elements of the main plot. It's a slow burn but it is satisfying to watch their progression as the manga goes on.
Silver Spoon features a remarkable cast of characters whose development adds to the emotional impact of the story. Hachiken is a fantastic protagonist and is instantly relatable as a way too serious yet kind-hearted yes-man, going to any length to help his friends. He's an intrinsically good person but also deeply flawed at the beginning of the series, making the character development he undergoes even more poignant as the series progresses.
The supporting cast is also fantastic and are each well-developed, adding significantly to the main story. It's incredibly satisfying to see the effect that Hachiken has on everyone at the school with his perspective and is the catalyst for a significant amount of character development and humour in his interactions with them.
As an outsider to the agricultural lifestyle, Hachiken also functions as a stand-in for the viewer for the explanation various agricultural conventions. The series doesn't shy away from giving detailed explanations regarding topics such as the birth of cows as well as process at the slaughterhouse. In addition it also explains parts these topics in a clear and understandable manner, incorporating the series' distinctive humour into these examinations. Even if you have no prior interest at all in agriculture, Silver Spoon will manage to rope you in to learning something along the way.
It really needs saying, Silver Spoon is downright hilarious. Arakawa hits all the comedic notes in the series perfectly, backing this up with complementary visuals that accentuate each situation. As noted before, even the most serious moments have instances of comedy to them and this element really adds an extremely enjoyable element to the series.
Silver Spoon is amazing while also residing firmly within the slice of life genre. Silver Spoon isn't a series that revolves around dramatic climaxes or scenes of incredible action, but rather it is about life. In life there are ups and downs, as well as moments of elation and sadness and Silver Spoon is much like this, capturing a particular time in the lives of these students as they try to achieve their dreams. This is important to note viewers looking for a fast-paced action series (ie. people expecting the second coming of Arawaka's Full Metal Alchemist) may be disappointed.
- Silver Spoon has a fantastic story that hits a number of satisfying emotional notes through a mixture of seriousness complemented with a hilarious sense of humour.
- The characters are amazing and you'll become invested in each of them. The relationship between Hachiken and Mikage is also a highlight.
- You'll learn something about agricultural life and more than that, you'll want to learn more!
- This is still a slice of life story so those expecting huge amounts of action may be disappointed.
Silver Spoon is fantastic and can be seriously recommended to almost anyone because of how approachable and universally relatable it is. If you watched the anime, make sure you do not miss the manga because it continues the story and anime wonderfully captures its unique characteristics. If you're looking for a emotionally character driven story with a great sense of humour and an uplifting story, look no further than Silver Spoon.