Silver Spoon starts out as an interesting and charming look at culture clash mixed with a light bit of a coming of age story. Hachiken, being a city boy who chose to go to a very remote agricultural high school, is put into a lot of situations he never expected, and learning a lot of things about food he’d rather forget. The main focus is on the very unique experiences this series can offer from it’s setting and their effects on Hachiken’s development as a person.
However, for a show focused on developing it’s lead character, every experience he has seems to just wash right off of him moments later. Nothing he does that resembles development or maturing ever really feels like he’s done so, and once the episode or scene ends it’s as if it never happened. There are some very educational moments for him and situations that clearly push him through a goal of sorts, but his overall character never seems to firmly grasp anything he’s gone through. Even by the end, he feels exactly as he did in the first episode and makes the same decisions he did at the start; even outright telling his classmates and friends that he’s aware of the fact he’s ignoring everything he’s learned. If that’s where the show was going, why have him experience anything? They have him go through so much just to have him blatantly toss it to the side, being replaced with his resolve to never actually grow up. The worst part is, the show treats his tenacity to remain how he started as a good thing, as if he’s finally leveled up into something more than a city kid trying to find himself in a new place by rejecting everything about it.
The show also tried shoehorning in a romance that was seemingly forgotten by the writers. You’ll have it mentioned once in some episode, go away ten seconds later, and never show up again for a few more weeks. When he stays with Aki over a holiday break, he doesn’t even seem to remember who she is – barely speaking to her and not being excited about it in the slightest. This is the girl he’s liked since the first time he saw her, his big high school crush, and yet staying at her house and being around her all day is something he’s entirely neutral about. That is, until the very end of that part of the story – and at that point they awkwardly work in an attempt at a romantic scene that just felt out of place given how uninterested he seemed.
On that note, the scene didn’t only feel out of place – but was cut off by a rather bland joke. This was another glaring issue with the show; the comedy. No matter the situation, it always seemed tacky and lacking. The timing would be off, it’d be just such an overly generic crack at humor that it wouldn’t be funny, or it would be so bland that you wouldn’t even realize you were meant to laugh.
The only real positives would be some of the music (though mostly unmemorable), the fairly unique setting and focus, and an alright cast of supporting characters – albeit all of them copy pasted almost directly from the mangaka’s previous work, Full Metal Alchemist. Some of the bigger events in Hachiken’s life and hints at romance were actually compelling, but dragged down by inconsistency.
The idea behind the show was nice – a slice of life centered on a city boy trying to adapt to a new culture all while growing as a person, but instead of the tenderloin we were given the hocks. An attempt at some kind of ‘fire-and-forget’ romance, progression that seems to fade away near immediately, comedy that consistently misses the mark, and the main character himself telling everyone he doesn’t intend on changing one bit – all combined in a way that made this a mess of a show and a slaughterhouse of potential.
I wanted to try writing something in a more condensed form for once, but I don’t really like the result, as it removed all my personality and isn’t really my style whatsoever. I avoided profanity, I kept from getting too personal about it, and I tried writing it in about 20 minutes – oh, and I skipped proofreading it as well. As you can see, this isn’t something I like to do, so I won’t again! Don’t worry, my normal stuff is still going to continue being what I do – I just like experimenting around with writing sometimes.