First Impressions: Silver Spoon – Chicken Butts and Something about Farming

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When I originally heard the announcement for Silver Spoon, I was pretty excited because of the manga’s positive reputation, as well as the fact that it is written by the same person who is responsible for Fullmetal Alchemsist. Before I knew, curiosity got the best of me and these past few days I’ve eagerly devoured every chapter that is currently up and fallen hard for Silver Spoon‘s manga. The problem with falling in love with the manga is that many of my expectations for the anime rose quite a bit. Having now watched the episode, I’m quite pleased with how the adaptation has been handled thus far.

Yugo Hachiken is high school freshman who decided to attend Yezo, a large agricultural school, for the sake of distance from home. Despite thinking that his choice of school would be a cinch, he quickly discovers that he may be a bit more lost than he intended to be in the world of agriculture. This episode primarily deals with Hachiken’s first experiences at his new school, specifically how he deals with some of his the initial trials which include waking up at 5 AM and coming and terms with the idea of where eggs come out from. I was pleased to see that it stayed really close to the manga. The only real problem that’s popped up as a result is that the slight info dump when it comes to agricultural subjects is a bit harder to digest solely because of the amount of information that is crammed into such small moments. The only major change to the source material the anime made that really irked me was how they explained the silver spoon above the dining hall entrance. Not only did they only give you dictionary definition everyone knows, but they didn’t give it a reason for being in a farmer’s school which obliterated its significance. It just felt like they were throwing it in only to say “Well, here’s the title of the show” which was disappointing.

I suppose my major complaint against the show right now, aside from the silver spoon thing, is that I didn’t feel quite as invested in anything. Now, I know this is only the first episode, but I feel like some of the charm of the manga didn’t quite make it into the adaptation. Part of the reason for this is probably simply because I’m coming straight from the manga so adapting to the anime, especially the animation style will probably take another episode or two. That said, I like how the anime tried to keep a lot of Arakawa’s facial expressions alive. Hachiken’s variety of facial expressions, especially early on in the manga, are a source of comedy and actually do a lot to make him a really likable character; I, for one, constantly had a smile on my face during the early chapters, in part, because of them.

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Another reason I liked the animation style is how it maintained a sort of simplicity while still having some really well animated moments. In particular, I found a lot of the food to look really great, especially in the scene at the end where Hachiken finally mixes an egg from the school into his food. Additionally, the scene where Hachiken and his group were trying to keep the tarp on the greenhouse down was also really well done in terms of moment. At this point, the only really bad part about the animation is the CGI that’s used on large groups of animals; once you notice it, it tends to stick out like a sore thumb.

On the character side of things, I really enjoyed them. Hachiken and the side cast are both handled relatively well in how their personalities come through. I think Hachiken’s initial uncertainty with his choice of school comes across pretty well, although I would have liked to see more of an emphasis on how he doesn’t have a dream since its such a major part of who he is. Again, that will probably be addressed later on. His first major hurdle regarding food is also dealt with fairy well, and I really like how the OP hinted at his future problems concerning his feelings about animals and food. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover how much I loved the characters’ voices; each VA is a near perfect match for his or her respective character.

Though the episode isn’t perfect, it does a fine good of adapting the material it deals with and gives me confidence that the rest of the adaptation will turn out just fine. Though I’m sure my slightly pessimistic attitude when it comes to anime adaptations of manga I love will continue to color my impression of the series, I’m also sure that I’ll find more to like than hate with Silver Spoon.


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