Posted on 25 September 2013 with categories: Anime Reviews, Silver Spoon


When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up forever: last season saw a rerun, and this time there only is one new anime, with the name of Silver Spoon. But it’s worth the watch!

The series you can compare this to the most easily is probably Moyashimon. Both series are about agricultural college with an oddball entering. Where Moyashimon focused on plants and germs, Silver Spoon focuses mostly on actual farming, and farm animals. The big differences come in the way the series are laid out: Moyashimon is random, silly, and overall rather shallow, compared to Silver Spoon being very meticulously constructed, and deep. And don’t get me wrong, it can get silly at times, but even that is very well plotted out. Compare it to how precise the comedy in Full Metal Alchemist always was.

Watch this show for the depth though: this series takes a look at the less pleasant sides of farming. And it does so with such grace! It doesn’t shy away from showing the fact that the animals in this series are destined for the slaughterhouse. It managed to create these very sympathetic characters who all have different roles and views on it, and they’re all affected by each other’s actions: some people accept it like it’s normal, others really need to take more time. The main character in this series is actually a really good one, because he challenges that view in nearly all of the characters. Of his age, in any case.

Beyond that it’s just an all around fun series to watch that goes into a lot of detail in some of the other aspects of working on a farm. There’s a second season coming up, but you can just as easily view this series standalone. There are a few episodes that perhaps break a it of the flow, or go on for a bit too long with the drama, but overall it’s a series that’s well worth the watch.
One-Sentence Review: This show is about farming, and it shows this in depth.
Suggestions:
Moyashimon
Nodame Cantabile

Posted on 24 September 2013 with categories: Silver Spoon

Silver Spoon: you definitely have earned the right of the saddest death of a pig in any anime ever. The final four episodes of the first season put the focus back from the part time job, to the little piglet we saw in the first number of episodes. For me this was by far the most profound part of the series.

It definitely does help that there was a lot of development between the main character and the pig. I mean, it really had impact when the date for its trip to the slaughterhouse got closer and closer, and he just kept on growing.The creators played well with that, and it’s definitely done better than with Moyashimon: the series feels much more cohesive and with a purpose. The central themes of this series? Brilliant!

If I had to pick a least favorite part of this series, then I’d say that it’s the part that took place in the holidays. It feels detached from the rest of the series, it abandoned half the cast, which broke the flow of the series a bit. In Moyashimon it would have fitted, but not here where the series is so well constructed otherwise. Anyway, looking forward to the second season!
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 29 August 2013 with categories: Silver Spoon

These past three episodes of Silver Spoon have continued very strong, and you still can see the series’ strength in the way that it combines comedy, personal drama, and the realities of farming. And all of them are really good!

First, the comedy: some episodes focus on it more than others (the crop circle episode focused on it the most), but the jokes are awesome, and not just random: they really are intertwined with the actual plot of the episode. It was an episode in which the characters made no sense, but they were so hilarious in their quest to just view this new big truck that was supposed to come out, and I love how creative they were in creating their own obstacles, making elephants out of mosquitoes.

The character drama here is subtle, but I really like it. Occasions such as when the male lead was surprised that people were more worried over him being gone than that he didn’t do his job: that really felt a great conflict for his character, since he never really was used to the fact that people care about him. The rest of the cast as well: they’re all seriously thinking about their future, which is very nice to watch.

And then, there is the farming. I did not expect this series to show a cow giving birth. That was heavy stuff, but I have to give props to the animators here: that is not an easy scene to just show on the screen, and they did it really well, and realistically (for as far as I know; I am not a cow gynecologist at all). The same goes for how it doesn’t shy away from showing modern technology taking over farms. Perhaps it didn’t show animal abuse, but it did show how hard it is for the farmers who didn’t adapt to modern technologies, how they basically can never go on a holiday, and how children are pretty much destined to carry over the business because there is nobody else.
Rating: 5,5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 8 August 2013 with categories: Silver Spoon

What an unbelievably charming episode!

I mean, I’m stumped here. The premise of this episode: “the cast makes pizza”. This should have been an average filler episode. And yet, somehow the creators did it: they took every single characters, grabbed their talents, and combined all of that into a delicious pizza. Hachiken set everything up, but beyond that he got so much help from everyone, ranging from a teacher who illegally stashes a bunch of cheese in a school building to a classmate who deals in vegetables. And of course getting his own pig named and slaughtered.

On top of that, these pizzas were really made out of organic ingredients. The cast just had this challenge set to them, and overcame it while fleshing out just about every character and remaining incredibly fun to watch. Yeah this was written by a very talented writer who really has mastered emotions in her delivery. And at the same time, this series never gets preachy: it’s got a lot of organic food, but it doesn’t sugarcoat things either, as shown by that Kentucky Fried Chicken reference. Also, Gouda cheese, the first time I’ve seen Dutch food in anime (Gouda is a city in the Netherlands, famous for its cheese; don’t go there on a holiday though because nowadays it sucks).

Also kudos to the animation for how it brought all of the side characters alive. Their enthusiasm for the pizza really rubbed off. Hmm, I want to eat pizza now too… Damn you Silver Spoon!
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 26 July 2013 with categories: Silver Spoon

I’m back from London. It was really big, but also great. And Kero, Sachin and Smurph: you were awesome. It really was great to meet you!

And now I have the daunting task to catch up to everything again. Starting off: Silver Spoon, the latest Noitamina-series. Thank god, afte the past spring season had that Katanagatari-rerun. Next autumn there will be two new original series and a second Psycho Pass season has been announced, so the timeslot will be back in its glory again.

But first: a Moyashimon-esque series about farming. On the surface the two series really are similar: a guy joins an agricultural school, with a lot of quirky characters. The difference is how both series look at quirks. In Moyashimon, all of the quirks were played straight, and you got to love the characters because of that. In Silver Spoon, there is more lurking underneath the quirks.

Silver Spoon toys with your assumptions. In that way, you could see that this comes from the same writer as Full Metal Alchemist: one moment it’s serious, and the other it’s silly. And it uses the serious moments to build up for its jokes, only to bring the characters back to reality again by showing the harsh realities of farming that a lot of people like to pretend aren’t there.`I mean, the thing with the vererinarians being able to kill animals? Powerful stuff. The combination between comedy and drama was probably done best with the piglets.

I wouldn’t immediately see that Silver Spoon is better than Moyashimon at this point. The big danger for this series is that it will start getting too melodramatic, which is something that Moyashimon managed to avoid on the whole. The main character’s background… it feels a bit too angsty for my tastes. It’s there where there was no comedy whatsoever, which felt a bit out of place.

Another thing that this show does quite well is the balance of the cast. There are a lot of characters here, but they’re all quite different and colourful, especially when you look at the main side characters. Though granted, some of the minor side characters are walking cardboard cut-outs.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 04:47 PM)
    Actually something like a lighthearted adventure show would probably do it.
    As for a comedy remind me did everyone condemn inferno cop on here or not again?
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 04:16 PM)
    I dunno I have this kind of desperate feeling and feel that maybe something generic or comedic is my way to get my groove back like a few years back…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 04:14 PM)
    Back when I got back into anime/manga in 2006 after a break I watched comedies like steel angel kurumi, ouran, zero no tsukaima and it help me build back up into getting into it again, maybe I’ll read hi score girl or something. And dare I say watch blade dance where the manga left off.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 04:11 PM)
    Y’know as much as I get out of tragic romcoms, psychological drama, horror, odd scifi, genderbender, seinen action, fantasy manga, yaoi, yuri I find myself in need of some kind of jolt through something a bit generic or maybe just a comedy thats little more than that right now.
  • ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 04:06 PM)
    Maybe Celty? But I’m not really into poorly portrayed mythological creatures.
  • ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 04:03 PM)
    That was one helluvan overhyped show. I really don’t see the charm in it
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 03:42 PM)
    @ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ): I won’t be watching it either, apart from a twist or so and Izaya I didn’t think much of durarara and never got round to completing it.
  • ԅ(≖‿≖ԅ)
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 03:31 PM)
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 11:11 AM)
    @Bam: I think thats the reason I’m always writing, don’t want to fall out of practice.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 2. 2014 11:01 AM)
    A Change of pace is always good, and often necessary. Remember not to lose momentum though. Squandering one’s potential is all to easy.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Clipboard03

Mushishi – 07

Now this was such a beautiful episode. We often see Mushi portrayed as parasites. In fact, they are pretty much based on the insects and viruses of their world. There probably are enough real viruses and insects living in the Mushishi world, but they just aren’t the focus of the series. Anyway, what they did […]

Clipboard04

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 06 & 07

This is where this arc gets weird. We’re still in adventure modus, however in these two episodes Jotaro not only meets some of the most bizarre Stand users, it’s also done in the most camp way possible. You can see a clear difference with the first two seasons of Jojo: there it was all about […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 05 & 06

Episodes 05 and 06 are dedicated to character-development. It’s here where Ping Pong shows that it also knows its stuff in terms of storytelling; the develoment doesn’t start too early or too late, and these two episodes really added depth to all of the different characters, despite that there were no big matches. I’m currently […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi – 03 – 06

I have not forgotten about this show. Not at all. I just finished marathoning these four episodes, and holy cheeseballs on a stick! this is the best anime in years! This was everything I could have hoped for and blows just about everything else out of the water. Talk about raw, powerful storytelling. I now […]

Clipboard03

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – 03 – 05

Jojo really is not kind to its females. Every time a hint is even dropped to a girl kicking ass here, it comes with this weird plot-twist that undermines any fighting potential of them. In this arc, it’s the rule that says that your stand will kill you if youaren’t strong enough. And so, Joseph’s […]

Clipboard01

Ping Pong – 03 & 04

The opening of Ping Pong wasn’t done in time, so the first two episodes showed a sortof montage as a placeholder. Now we know why, with episode 03 and 04. The creators actually got the single best animator currently in the business to oversee it: Shinya Ohira. This guy understands animation like no other. The […]

Clipboard07

Ping Pong – 02

Yes, I know that more people here were involved in making this series beyond Masaaki Yuasa. It’s written by the creator of Tekkon Kinkreet, Taiyo Mashimoto. That guy is awesome. And the combination between those two makes this series even better. Because here’s the thing: anime is significantly different from manga or light novels. Beyond […]

Clipboard02

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders – 02

We can never quite get rid of magic fights at a school, now can we, Jojo. Ah well, I forgive it this time, just due to how hilarious it looks seeing these ridiculously bulky men walk around pretending to be high school students. It’s just so over the top, and yet Jojo sets itself apart […]

Clipboard01

Mushishi Season 2 – 02

Oh yes. This is it. This is what storytelling should be about: telling real stories about real people, all with their own problems that need to be overcome. And this show does that time and time again in just one episode. I still can’t believe how authentic this series is. The thing is, when I […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]

Clipboard01

Yahari Ore no Seishun no Love Come wa Machigatteiru Review – 82,5/100

I like surprises, like when a series comes that just turns out to be good against my expectations. Yahari Blahblah from the outside had all the signs to turn into yet another one of those high school comedies: snarky male lead, pointlessly long title that fails at being witty, various other cliched side-characters. And they […]