AMAZING: Review/discussion about: Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon, Season Two)
Review/discussion about: Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon, Season Two)

MAL link to Gin no Saji Season Two

Prologue: Just a dude looking to get better at reviewing/analyzing anime. I hope you enjoy the review and the discussion that follows! Critiques are welcome.

Everything you do takes some amount of effort. Some things take a small amount, such as getting out of the bed in the morning or putting on your shoes. Other things take a considerable amount, such as studying for an exam or learning a profession. Above all, pursuing your dreams takes the most effort of all. In Gin no Saji Season Two, this effort and everything that it entails is explored, and when you finish the series you are left feeling that you can take on the world.

STORY

GnS2 begins where GnS1 had ended; Hachiken and friends are currently going through their agricultural high school and attempting to live their everyday lives.

While watching Season Two, it becomes apparent pretty quickly that the focus shifts away from farming and towards the characters’ personal dilemmas. The transition is handled pretty nicely. Being slice of life, the show can take such a leap. While the undertone for the episodes involves things related to animals, such as Ban’ei racing or cheese making, the purpose of what they are doing isn’t in the activity itself. Rather, it is a vessel to drive the characters’ thoughts and ideas into the forefront. In other words, GnS2’s focus is its characters rather than its world.

So what does the show focus on this time? Previously, it was farming, agriculture, and morality. This time, its about hard work, dreams, and learning how to get back up when you get knocked down. The show is pretty much split into these three “arcs.” When watching this season, they made it extremely easy to relate to the characters because they do the same things that you, me, and everyone else does. Starting with hard work, the show takes a look at all sides. For some, hard work doesn’t mean much. That is to say, they can get by with little effort. For others, they have to put in tremendous amounts of time in order to get the results they want, and even then the outcome is nothing short of disastrous. Hachiken, Mikage, and even the side cast experience these effects, and the show captures their situations in a believable manner.

The second idea GsN2 focuses heavily on is dreams. Now, these are not just the dreams of the characters, but also of those around them. Many people have expectations placed on them. Sometimes, these expectations weigh people down so much so that they cave under the pressure. One’s dreams are interesting because not only are they something that are not physically tangible but at the same time, they are one of the only things you can truly call your own. Once again, Hachiken and the rest of the cast help to demonstrate these dreams, what it means to achieve them, go for them, and ultimately lose them. It can’t be stressed that the show does a great job of making these situations believable, that what they are doing could easily be seen the following day.

The final portion of Gsn2 is about bouncing back from failure. As the show states, everyone fails; it’s just human nature to make mistakes. No one is perfect, as much as they may seem or want to be. And that’s a solid message. For example, looking at my reviews, while I always try my best to make my writing as coherent and well-worded as possible, sometimes I just don’t type the correct thing. This can be applied to anything. Failing isn’t something you should be afraid to do. It’s difficult to accept, but failing should be looked at as a learning experience. Accept what happens, understand what you did wrong, and better yourself for the future. I keep reiterating myself, but the characters prove this mentality once again. The show does a fantastic job of letting us see how real life really is when it comes to these situations.

ANIMATION

As with Season One, GsN2 does a nice job both in its art style and animation. The animation specifically seemed to pick up a bit during certain emotional moments (more character movement and facial expressions) this time around.

The animals once again are drawn quite nicely, especially the horses. The large Ban’ei horse specifically always looked extremely intimidating. The cows, pigs, and chickens aren’t shown as much this season, but they too were nicely detailed.

The characters maintain the same designs from season one. Again, nothing too stand out, but Hachiken wearing glasses is something I can relate to!

CHARACTERS

GsN1 had placed Hachiken in the lead but pretty evenly spread out the on-screen time for the whole cast. This time, the show pretty much only focuses on Hachiken and Mikage.

I actually liked this approach. With this move, even though the show is slice of life, it allows for great characterization and depth for the main stars.

As such, Mikage’s character is developed way past just liking horses. She learns to start relying on others, using the confidence she had hidden deep inside, and chasing after her dreams. It doesn’t happen right away. Instead, she requires a little pushing from a bookworm in glasses.

This bookworm is none other than Hachiken. GsN2 throws a lot more drama his way than the previous season. Being a “guy who never says no” is no easy task. And he learns the hard way that being such a guy has both its upsides and downsides. For most of the series, he expresses his inability to have a clear goal or dream in mind, unlike the rest of his friends. But he realizes that his situation is almost as good; stealing a phrase from my own review, the world is his oyster. So while he doesn’t necessarily have a future dream to latch onto, he instead spends his time focusing on helping those around him, especially Mikage.

And with this greater focus on Hachiken and Mikage comes a greater focus on their relationship. I’ll say it until the day I die, but I love romance, and therefore the pretty large increase of it (comparatively) in GsN2 was greatly appreciated. The feelings are present, and while not deeply explored, it is nice knowing that they appear to be more than just good friends.

SOUND

Once again I can’t find the OP and ED with acceptable enough quality to link. I want to hear these songs, dammit! :3

The OP is fine, giving you a nice sense of looking towards the future, which its visuals look to drive home as well. The ED is fine as well, being more uplifting and happy, fitting nicely with the overall pleasantness for a slice of life type show.

As with GsN1, the only really stand out piece from the soundtrack is the “stair step” orchestral piece. It has some small variations here and there throughout the season, and I always liked hearing it.

Voice acting has no amazing performances, but I liked Ryouhei Kimura’s rendition once again of Hachiken.

ENJOYMENT

While GsN2 does take a more serious and dramatic turn, it is probably even funnier than the first season. The jokes once again are not from the writing but rather from what happens in the situations that are presented. The President is always hilarious to see, Hachiken’s reactions to the events in front of him are always funny, and the character interactions are top notch.

The romance elements present are also very enticing to me, and always left me wanting to see where our couple were heading next. While Hachiken and Mikage have their own problems to deal with, being able to support one another was very nice to see, not only to my eyes but also to my heart.

To be honest, I watched all the episodes in one day. I don’t normally do this with a show, but GsN2 always kept leaving me with wanting to see what was going to happen next. And after finishing the series, I am eagerly awaiting the time I get to return to Ezonoo to see Hachiken, Mikage, and the rest of the cast eagerly pursuing their dreams.

SUMMARY

Story: Great, fantastic slice of life that incorporates real life lessons

Animation: Good, fine art style with nice animation

Characters: Good, Hachiken and Mikage are are very relatable

Sound: Fine, okay OP, ED, and soundtrack

Enjoyment: Great, extremely easy to lose yourself in

Final Score: 8/10

Epilogue: Thanks for taking the time to read my review. If you want, take part in the discussion below! And remember, keep jumping!



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