Anime Impressions: Silver Spoon

Ooh, this one is going to be hard to talk about, especially given how polarizing this ended up being.

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Of all the hyped anime to get backlashed, I would never in my life think that it would have been Silver Spoon. With all the hype building up behind it despite the fact that the thing wasn’t exactly promising a plot, I thought Free would have been the thing to get trashed (and I mean more trashed than it already has). But no, as I was about to watch this, I learned beforehand that a lot of people were calling Silver Spoon’s first episode terrible. Was it really that bad?

Well it wasn’t deserving of the huge amount of hatred I read, but it was pretty much what I expected Watamote to be: an unfunny, blandly animated show about a main character knee-deep in his/her own problems and we somehow are supposed to sympathize despite not being given any real reason to. A setting and premise that is more interesting than what actually happens. And a show that will get the axe if it does not improve soon.

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Like Free, I’m giving this show the benefit of the doubt because I like the potential and hopefully the second episode will improve on things. Okay, this is one of those accursed two-cour shows that I have garnered a hatred for because they’ve been burning my ass as of late, but it’s based on an award-winning manga by Hiromu Arakawa, and from what I heard, FMA was not just a fluke. Plus, I love the agricultural setting and some of the farm humor is kind of cool. There’s all sorts of interesting things you can take this kind of story and from what I heard, the director is adapting the manga faithfully, so it should go somewhere cool soon. However, also like the former, it didn’t have a very good first episode. The direction and animation is kind of poor and whilst some of the humor worked due to how unique it was, there were also a lot of jokes that failed due to bland execution or that elephant in the room that I’ll get to in a bit. This wouldn’t be too much of a problem if there was a good story or interactions or something, but there’s no real plot as of yet and whilst some of the characters were slightly amusing, I was mostly entertained by their designs rather than what they were saying or doing. In fact, the only character I was amused at for her actions was that girl riding that huge horse.

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But yeah, the biggest problem with this thing was the main character. Whilst I didn’t dislike him as much as Landon did, he reminded me a lot of Kyousuke from Kimagure Orange Road in that by trying to make him relatable, the creators ended up making him too stupid. He’s a little more tolerable so far because he’s stupid in something I’m not all that familiar in myself (not that I’m familiar with love, but I do know enough to know that when a character acts as stupid as Kyousuke Kasuga, I will hate him with a passion), but he doesn’t really have much of a personality and the only thing distinguishing him from the other bland everyleads right now is his character design. I mean for god’s sakes, he freaked out over people eating unclean eggs. Really dude? You don’t know those are okay to eat when they come out of a chicken’s butt without being cleaned? And that’s just one of the many stupid things he does whilst acting like an entitled self-insert prick.

Whilst I thought that Watamote and Free were trying too hard with their mains at times, Silver Spoon just takes the cake. Even when interacting with others, the guy is still not very good or interesting. And as those sixteen episodes of Kimagure Orange Road I lasted through has proven, I don’t have the willpower to make it through a show if the main character is absolute crap, even when the premise sounds like my kind of thing. Especially if the rest of what happens isn’t all that funny. I’ll stick with it for now, but any more stupid unfunny jokes about how the main is an outsider who, despite all his studying, couldn’t carry a basket of eggs out of a barn (let alone an entire storyline) and I will bail hard.

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Stingers

  • And no, the noitamina name doesn’t mean much to me. After watching more and more of their shows, I’m starting to realize just how overhyped they were, even before the Fractale/Anohana/whatever-period. 
  • I don’t blame Arakawa for my problems with this thing, as it’s the director’s job to adapt the thing as befitting for the audience, and criticism of the adaptation is not criticism of the source material. It’s not her fault the comedic timing was off.

8 responses to “Anime Impressions: Silver Spoon

  1. Hm, that’s probably not a good sign that you found Mikage to be the most amusing character, since in the manga she’s initially one of the most generic of the whole cast.

    I want to say that this will get better later on, since the manga also starts out a bit dull before it gradually becomes a lot better, but the sheer blandness of this episode’s execution makes me pretty skeptical.

  2. I was okay with this episode. Not as great as I had expected, but I think it has potential. After the episode I did check out the manga, however, and some of the jokes I felt failed in the anime (like all the stuff towards the end (wind, P.E. etc) worked there.

    I mean for god’s sakes, he freaked out over people eating unclean eggs. Really dude? You don’t know those are okay to eat when they come out of a chicken’s butt without being cleaned?

    I could relate to that, honestly. One time during biology class in high school we were shown the insides of a pig. You know, heart, muscles, lungs etc. We could even blow in the lungs if we wanted (no one wanted to).

    After that I couldn’t really eat meat for a while.

    • Thing is, he was raised on agriculture, so while it may be relatable to the everyman, I find it hard to believe that “he” wouldn’t know that. Also, the show kept on playing his ignorance to the point of disbelief.

      • He was? I… don’t remember him being that.

        But I do agree it was a bit too much. Still, not enough that it was suffering.

      • I don’t know where you are getting the impression that he was raised on agriculture. The anime is saying that he was a city slicker that only went to this school because it was a boarding school. Seems believable to me.

      • Yeah, I’ve since caught that mistake. Still, the entire thing came out less “audience cipher” and more “they think I’m an idiot don’t they?”. Seriously, more than 3 minutes spent on “What? Eggs come out of a chicken’s butt?”

      • Found it: episode 1:
        7:46 : “If you came from Sapporo to a high school way out into the boonies, you must have a reason.” “Because its a boarding school.”

        It mentions this several times that he’s out of his element like around 20:23. Dunno how you didn’t catch it.

      • Eh, I’m okay with it since they resolved it by the end of the episode and the next episode he readily eats everything. Him refusing to eat chicken after seeing its head getting chopped off would have been more plausible and be less of a poop joke.