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