First Impressions – Gin no Saji S2

Can we get a “yee-haw”?

I don’t like this series just because it’s originally penned and inked by Arakawa-sensei; though, I appreciate the similar humour and references of reality in terms of relationship rather than sugar-coated characters who have it made and just walk in one direction to fulfill a certain goals. In contrast, Gin no Saji is more of a laid-back slice of life, which particularly does not center around drinking tea and cookies but rather real questions about self-confidence, character-building and what makes all us individuals at our own right.

Who would have thought that farm life would be so fun to watch? It’s good to see Hachiken back with his crew of equally lovable human and animal friends. You’ve really got something good going on when there’s a horse with enough personality to count as a side character. By combining our powers, Kyokai and I will let you know what’s up with season 2 in case you forgot what happened in season 1 or want to know if jumping on this bandwagon is worth it.

Let’s get back to SCIENCE of food porn!

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Kyokai// No, you can’t start watching this without finishing season one because then you would never really get to know the characters, who are the center-point of this story. For new watchers my recommendation would be to marathon season one (just eleven episodes, you can do it), and then catch back up with this season. It will be worth it because it has characters that are highly relatable and even if the setting is a Agriculture school with varied specialities available, it teaches us a lot of realities of life and food that we basically don’t even think about; not to mention, the different drives of students is something all of us can recognize as genuine. This is an ideal anime to watch it with friends and/or family (some of our readers swear by it), so definitely give it a spin because agriculture just got cute, yo!

Recommendation aside, in season two, we are back to seeing everything from Hachiken’s point of view with him trundling past tough school days by waking up at 4am (Eep! I sleep at this time usually), to sleeping at 10pm. But what I loved most about it is the fact that the episode had a funny beginning with a very interesting joke: an investigation to find a lost bra…ssiere. Even if it turned out to be completely different from whatever the lecher side of Hachiken thought from the description of black and large sized, the delivery of this and Hachiken’s reaction was priceless. Though, aside from the development with Mikage that Cools discusses below, it was good to see all other characters taking things on their stride. Like Kobama being an awesome baseball ace and Aikawa along with the cow porn worshipping peeps doing their thang. I also commend the Ezoono system of the exam stick and barbecue carrot to keep everyone motivated. Being a live-in school with intensive involvement throughout the day, this is a good ploy of keeping everything on their feet. Overall, it felt good to be back and the ending theme pretty much sums up the series quite nicely:

You Can Lead a Horse to Water…

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Overcooled// My biggest pet peeve in anime are events based off of misunderstandings. It’s so irritating! I just want the characters to talk it out and solve the issue by telling each other things they should have just said in the first place. Gin no Saji manages to make it a little more bearable by having Hachiken be surprisingly proactive. He’s grown a lot over the course of season 1 to the point where he’s finally able to speak his mind and be confident in his own skills. You begin to see little glimmers of triumph as he gets a warm text from his usually judgmental parents and gets voted to be the trusty, vice-prez of the horse-riding club. More importantly, he’s starting to realize for himself that he’s becoming a better person. Before he just kind of puttered around and made pizza because he got stuck doing it and couldn’t just back out. He rarely looked back at himself with praise. As he says himself, he’s a real cynic.

Hachiken mistakenly (I’m almost certain it’s a mistake!) assuming that Mikage is dating her childhood friend is endlessly frustrating. I hate those kind of situations where you just have to tap your foot impatiently and hope they eventually just tell the poor sod what the real situation is. Fortunately, Hachiken growing up a little means he’s more confident. He asks Mikage numerous times what’s wrong to try and help, but never receives a satisfactory answer. He’s too stubborn to give up and she’s too stubborn to let him get close. I’m glad he’s still trying though and it takes the edge off of my seething rage. Hurry up and tell us what the secret is! It’s probably something dull like they’re secretly related and one of their relatives died, but it’s still better than watching poor Hachiken kill himself over this.

As much as I personally loathe these “misunderstanding” events, I still love Gin no Saji and will wait for it to pass. I will admit, this was a smart trick to immediately get me invested and riled up…

Oh Hachiken, you are so precioussss. Seriously, Kimura Ryohei (Akira from Eden of the East, L-elf from Valverave, Kise from Kuroko no Basuke, Judal from Magi and Shouma from Mawaru Penguindrum), sure brings his characters to life and I love his variety. As Cools described, Hachiken’s too honest to the point of calling himself cynical. You don’t see such honest characters these days and this is what sets apart Gin no Saji. There are no big surprises but even at an even-pace a lot of feel-good moments happen.

This season though, they sure started all tweeesty with Mikage tension (as hinted in trailer). It seems to be either related to one of her favourite horses back at home or some family trouble that Kobama knows because well, they are neighbours and childhood friends. I have to wonder about the severity of it though because what could bother the very strong Mikage, who always comes off as the big sister that you can rely upon? What has gotten her feathers ruffled to the limit that she’s not paying attention in classes and doing her chores half-assedly? Not her character at all but let’s keep our hopes up with the very tenacious Hachiken to keep digging and if possible resolve this problem soon. No wonder that most of the audience would like her paired off with him, not only because he has a crush on her but because his straight-forwardness complements her. Anyways, aside from the blatant shipping, this was a good start and I hope for a good season two run.

The farm life is so far removed from what my reality is here in the city that Gin no Saji becomes a sort of voyeuristic pleasure. The simple life is full of different rewards, such as fresh bacon that you raise yourself and learning to appreciate the beauty of tractors and cows. Combine that with the universal despair all of us students feel about choosing their future career, and you’ve got a show that can grab anyone and pull them in. It’s incredibly easy to watch because of the generally light tone and all of the great jokes to keep you smiling. The first episode is starting off surprisingly dramatic (which you can tell I wasn’t too keen on), but I doubt this will take too long to resolve. Mikage can’t be letting horses run free due to careless mistakes forever.

Season 2 feels just like season 1…as it should. You’ve got the same cast of characters doing their thing, the same farm chores, and the same tension between Hachiken and Mikage. I’m not even a romance fan and I just want things to be done and over with so they can be a couple and stop with this nonsense. Other than that, season 2 appears to be promising new characters such as a haughty horse-rider and an adorable puppy. Oh how I cannot wait for that puppy. As long as it doesn’t have the same fate as Pork Bowl, then raising it is fine…

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And so we end as most Attack on Titan episodes do – with your favourite character getting cleaved in half

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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26 Responses to “First Impressions – Gin no Saji S2”

  1. skylion says:

    It’s good to be back at Ezoono. It feels just like the first season, and as you both point out, this is a great thing. So much can be explored without changing things to much. Well, adding this whole Mikage/Hachiken it might be a three way thing is something we can still explore, I just don’t know if it’s necessary.

    I love both the OP and ED, they make such great music choices. Goose House is a character in it’s own right.

    • Kyokai says:

      Indeed it is! Not sure about this triangle either but I can bet that it is not the romantic kind but a serious issue. Mikage should just tell it to Hachiken already.

      I love the OP and ED as well, with ED being favourite. :3

  2. Highway says:

    One thing I do find a bit interesting is, as OC says, we can’t really yell at the main character for not going after what he wants in this show. I don’t really know that Hachiken thinks that Mikage is dating Komaba, but I think he’s most frustrated that he wants to help, and is being rebuffed. And as the principal said in the flashback, Hachiken’s greatest strength really is being persistent and shaking people up from their normal ways. He’s doing the right thing, it’s Mikage that is just being wrong.

    • Kyokai says:

      Hachiken is definitely tenacious and I would like to see him pressure Mikage more because even if the issue is not directly related to him, she can talk to him about it as a friend. I mean, c’mon, all of us have had frustrating days and sometimes it just helps to talk to a friend who would listen.

  3. HannoX says:

    I’ve been reading the manga and it will soon be revealed why Mikage is upset and what Komaba has to do with it. You’ll also understand why neither will tell Hachiken about it (Komaba should, but it’s not in his character to). I will say it’s not some contrived drama as in so many anime. It’s a real issue.

    On another note we’ll be seeing more of Komaba’s adorable sisters.

    Really glad to see Silver Spoon return. I’ve been waiting for this since about one minute after Season One ended. And it doesn’t disappoint. Everything about it is just as wonderful as in Season One. Now if they’d just announce Season Three is green-lit as soon as the manga has provided enough material for it…

    • Namika says:

      The issue of being obligated to work where she doesn’t want to, maybe?? Just a thought..

    • Kyokai says:

      Seeing how the story and characters have been, I’m sure as well that this is not your typical version of drama but something important. I’ll wait for the things to unfold.

      I liked Komaba’s sisters so would look forward to their come back and yep, we definitely need more of this.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    The farm slice of life is back!!! I know I was rough on the first episode of the first season (Fosh and Jrow reading my comment out loud during the podcast for the second episode scarred me for life. LOL. It pops into my mind every time I think about this show) but really loved the series as it went along so the anticipation for season 2 was fierce. There is still some FMA: Brotherhood vibes due to the character designs.

    It’s good to hear Ryohei Kimura with a lighter voice as Hichiken and Magi’s Judal since he was all deep and husky as Valvrave’s L-Elf. Hachiken is one of the few characters whose honesty and naïveté doesn’t annoy me. In fact, I cheer him on for it even though his reliable nature singled him out for a position with a lot of responsibility.

    I shudder to think what would happen if the whole school suddenly ran out of food since the baseball team’s motivation to win was fueled by craving for sushi. Not to mention that last season, the festival’s food stalls were completely and utterly ransacked by ravenous students.

  5. Foshizzel says:

    Woooooooo farming time is back <3

  6. sadakups says:

    That “The End” moment there was awesome and had me laughing. So much build-up only for Hachiken to be shot down.

    LOL Aki’s boobs.

  7. Namika says:

    Finally. I feel like I’ve been reunited with an old friend, really. To an outsider it may sound hilarious, that an anime about farming could be interesting, but it’s so good…
    What I love about this anime is how it has this light, laid-back feel, but it still addresses some very serious and heavy topics. Arakawa-sensei, you’re awesome.

    I’m a little ticked off about Mikage. Antisocial behavior is a Japanese thing, okay. But in my book, flat-out telling your friend that their problems are none of their busyness is just rude and offensive. If a friend is bugging you and you refused to tell several times (in a softer, friendlier way) then that’s fine, but it’s so obvious that Hachiken is worried about her. Why be a bitch and tell the guy that takes his time to worry about you that it’s not his busyness. At least tell him in a softer way, dammit. ( ;`ヘ´) And yes, she doesn’t let anyone close. But it doesn’t seem that she’s afraid to, or that she’s stressing over it. She’s helping others, making friends, but if someone comes close she basically tells them to butt off. Who does that?! (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

    OP/ED sequences were boring, though the ending was a little cute. Much better than last season’s, at least.
    Can’t wait ’till the next episode. <3

    • HannoX says:

      You’re too hard on Mikage. She really can’t tell him. Komaba is the one who should tell him.

      • Highway says:

        That would be better information for Hachiken than “It doesn’t concern you”, tho. Mikage’s directly responsible for misunderstandings that come from that. She should tell him “You really need to ask Komaba to tell you, it’s up to him.”

        • Namika says:

          Definitely. She could have been more subtle and polite about refusing to answer -_-

      • Namika says:

        No, I’m not. I’m not saying that she should have melted in a puddle of goo, cry her eyes out and tell him everything. I’m just saying that she should have approached that problem differently. And not flat-out say that it’s none of their busyness to a person who is considered your friend. That’s offensive, terribly.

      • HannoX says:

        Mikage may like Hachiken, but she’s childhood friends with Komaba and knows he’s an intensely private person. She’d hardly send Hachiken off to pester him. And it really isn’t Hachiken’s business. Plus, don’t forget Japanese society. Hachiken is sticking his nose where he’s been told it doesn’t belong. He’s being somewhat offensive, despite his undoubted good intentions. What Hachiken should have said rather than pestering Mikage is, “When you can tell me about it, please do. I will do whatever I can to help.”

        • Highway says:

          But the point is that even all those concerns are answered by Mikage saying “I can’t tell you about it. If you really need to know, go ask Komaba.” That’s not telling Hachiken to go pester him, that’s telling Hachiken that it’s not her problem that she’s worried about, and that it’s now Hachiken’s decision to ask Komaba about it.

          Honestly, I think that his connections with Mikage *do* warrant him asking: They are friends, they are in the same club, he is now the Vice-President, and he is interested in her. In essence, he has standing to ask. It is her insufficient answer that is causing the misunderstanding, because he is concerned about her.

          • HannoX says:

            Telling Hachiken to go ask Komaba is the same as telling him to go pester Komaba because Hachiken is the type who cannot leave things alone when he sees a friend has a problem. He has to learn that sometimes all you can do is say, “I’m here to help whenever you need me,” then stand back and wait until they come to you. But Hachiken wouldn’t do that and Mikage knows that. Maybe she could handle the situation better, but so could Hachiken.

            At any rate, I think the next episode will reveal what’s going on. The manga didn’t drag it out and I believe the anime is almost to that point.

          • Namika says:

            Yes, Japanese society, I said that too. But I don’t see much of a problem with Hachiken. If he is worried about her enough to ask her straight why was she crying, she should have noticed how worried he is. And at least thanked him for his concern with her well-being. And not behave like she doesn’t give a flying fuck about him being worried for her so much. ==”

      • HannoX says:

        Spammmmmyyyy!

  8. Namika says:

    Oh, the bra joke was so good :D Hachiken’s reactions were so adorable xD

  9. Namika says:

    Spammy did it again!! (ーー;) uuuuuu~

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