The summer anime season might have been filled with a number of highly anticipated anime, but maybe none more so than Silver Spoon. The manga series is another hit series by Hiromu Arakawa, best known for Fullmetal Alchemist, but with that in mind can the anime do it justice?
The short answer is yes, yes it does. Silver Spoon is a somewhat odd story coming from the author of Fullmetal Alchemist, but many of the things which Fullmetal is best loved for are shown throughout Silver Spoon. Our story revolves around Yugo Hachiken, who enrols at an agricultural school despite having no intention of having an agricultural career once he finishes school. Hachiken has enrolled in the school because he had little idea of just what he wants to do in the future and thought he'd be top of the class in such a school, however he's quickly proven wrong in that regard. Life at Oezo is hard; with early mornings and lots of jobs to be done looking after the animals Hachiken has let himself in for some challenging times ahead.
Silver Spoon is being split into two seasons, the first comes in rather short at eleven episodes, but it has more than enough time to make us fall in love with the setting and story. Hachiken is a city boy and doesn't seem to had much interaction with animals (or people for that matter), but during his time spent at Oezo he slowly becomes friends with a great deal of his classmates and the animals around him. Silver Spoon takes itself seriously, but alike Fullmetal Alchemist it has a great blend of comedy to it and each episode will leave you with a smile on your face by the end of it, it's hard not laugh as you watch the chaos and craziness that Hachiken tends to get himself involved with unfold. The first season shows us Haciken's first year at Oezo, it ends off as he and his classmates begin their second year, and also shows us his summer holidays. Each episode seems rather simple, but hidden among the comedy is some kind of morel or important teaching that makes everything just that little bit more interesting and captive than what the series already had, again much alike Fullmetal Alchesmist. What other series could have a whole episode set around Hachiken making pizza for his classmates, yet feel so fulfilling? Very few can pull that off as well as Silver Spoon does, in eleven episodes it never put a single foot wrong.
By the end of the first season we've been introduced to a wide range of different characters, but each one is treated really well and it feels like we know them all and they've all been developed slowly but surely. Hachiken evidently has a few more secrets yet to be revealed though. It doesn't quite feel like we know everything about his past, but the series has so far done a very good job at slowly revealing things at its own pace and leaving us content while still quite curious. Then again that goes for the series in general. It goes week to week leaving us with a smile on our face and feeling content, yet still leaving us wanting more. I'm confident that the second season will end things off nicely and just build on what's already a really great series. Evidently, knowing it has the second season means the series can afford to do things at its own pace which helps it a great deal.
All that said, your enjoyment on Silver Spoon will largely depend on if you care for the characters and/or farming and animals. I don't come from a farming background, but we do have a lot of animals, so I really enjoyed the farming aspect of Silver Spoon. I also grew much attached to the cast very quickly, so I was looking forward to the next episode of the series week in and week out.
As far as the animation goes it's handled by A-1 Pictures and while the series is quite simple and doesn't demand amazing animation, it still looks very pretty and has a couple of somewhat stunning scenes. Character designs are also well done and each fits nicely with the setting. The soundtrack again is fairly simple for a series which doesn't demand much attention, and while nothing really stands out to ears, everything fits perfectly with the mood and tone of the series. It's treated to a rather relaxing and yet really fun opening and ending theme, both of which end up being incredible catchy.
In closing: Silver Spoon may not be as flashy and exciting as shows like Attack on Titan, but it's a solid and fun series that never puts a foot wrong. Anime fans of all ages can enjoy what the series has to offer and it won't fail to leave you with a big grin on your face. Well deserving of a lot more attention than it has actually gotten this season and I'm really looking forward to seeing more of it.
* OVERALL: 8/10
* ANIMATION: 7
* STORY: 8
* SOUNDTRACK: 6
* CHARACTERS: 8