The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: Silver Spoon Volume 15

Krystallina: ♫Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company.S-I-L♫“See you real soon!”♫V-E-R♫“Why? Because we like you!”♫S-P-O-O-N♫ Okay, so technically we won’t be seeing these characters again anytime soon; Arakawa already broke her editor’s heart by ending it when the gang graduated high school. Quite frankly, I don’t think it’s necessary to see Hachiken […] The post The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: Silver Spoon Volume 15 appeared first on TheOASG.

The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: Silver Spoon Volume 15
Krystallina: ♫Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company.S-I-L♫“See you real soon!”♫V-E-R♫“Why? Because we like you!”♫S-P-O-O-N♫ Okay, so technically we won’t be seeing these characters again anytime soon; Arakawa already broke her editor’s heart by ending it when the gang graduated high school. Quite frankly, I don’t think it’s necessary to see Hachiken and others’ college years. Arakawa delivers a fond, cheerful farewell here that was so good that, although I’ll miss Silver Spoon, I can look back on this entry and the series as a whole with a smile. So although Mikage has been accepted into college, it’s Hachiken’s time in the barrel, and Aikawa is also joining him in studyland. Hachiken’s cramming for exams means more of the gruntwork for Silver Spoon falls to Ookawa, but Mikage “volunteers” to help. And how does Ookawa repay Mikage and Hachiken later? By sabotaging their alone time, of course! He has the perfect evil face when he’s hatching his schemes, but he’s not the only one with a villain face! This may be the scariest edition of Silver Spoon, which also helps make it one of the most hilarious! Of course, Hachiken’s dad is #1 in this aspect, but Mr. Mikage and even Yoshino all get in on the act. That’s not the only comedy of course — anything from Ayame being Ayame (aka best girl) to Mr. Hachiken enjoying food to embarrassing the main couple is up for laughs. These don’t feel shoehorned in to distract from a somber parting. It’s gags we’ve seen for 15 volumes, but it also reflects the character development from the past 15 volumes. Hachiken is brave enough to say he’s not terribly fond of his dad, but he’s also still scared by Dad enough to not say he hates him as Hachiken internally trembles. Bad luck and tough competition put a wrinkle in some of the graduates’ plans, but, of course, the manga has to show graduation. I was expecting Silver Spoon to close on that note, but volume 15 picks up the pace toward the end by showing Hachiken preparing for his next stage of life and the first days of school. I wasn’t too fond of showing this just to jump ahead four years. I would have rather had spent that time on the epilogue, as while we get an update on most of the key cast, there are some details I would have loved to see in the manga instead of just discussed. Or, heck, even spend a little longer with these more mature versions of the characters. Or more Ayame. You can’t go wrong with more Ayame. Besides the characters’ futures, there are a few reminders of how challenging the food industry can be. It’s amazing even in the endgame Arakawa doesn’t forget the edutainment aspect of the manga. Even if you know all about farm life and selling products, well, maybe you’ll learn more about Russia. I was surprised Russia was so important to the end, but according to Arakawa’s notes, another country was supposed to take that mantle. Russia I think makes more sense though, but I also know nothing about farming situations in Eurasia, so I’m not the best judge of that. Also in the extras, Arakawa discusses the bonus Silver Spoon-related story she wrote for a charity project (the same book that features the story Yashahime: Demon Half Princess based its opening episode on). Compared to a lot of bonus one-shots only Japan has access to, missing out on this one doesn’t seem like we’re missing much.   However, you’ll be missing out on a great time if you don’t pick up Silver Spoon‘s finale. Fire up your favorite graduation or optimistic goodbye song (from The Mickey Mouse Club or otherwise) and enjoy this great closing volume. Krystallina’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 Justin: Hachiken crams necessary information at the last possible second. Ookawa’s up to something that certainly will harm the reputation of Silver Spoon. Mikage’s about to go to the college that’ll help her in her path to taking care of horses. And Komaba…wait, Komaba’s where? The final volume of Silver Spoon has been read, and Hiromu Arakawa sends it out the only way she can — with these poor students getting to graduate from Ezo Ag and soon getting a harsh dose of reality in the working world! There are still a few things to tidy up though. Namely, Hachiken, who was never planning to go to college, studying to get into Ooezo University. This brings back up old memories from when he was driven by his father to study like mad, but thanks to his friends and his time in high school, he pushes through, and, not surprisingly, passes. But how he passes ended up being the biggest story, since he and his pig costume got a bit famous! (Yeah, Ookawa has something to do with this!) From there on, the volume moves along as it provides a bit of closure for the rest of the Ezo Ag crew, from what happens to Aikawa to Yoshino going to France. We even got to see the fate of Ayame, as she and the 30,000 family and friends who thanked Hachiken’s brother Shingo for tutoring her appear before we do a time skip. Yes, we get to see the cast in college, each making headway in their futures the only way they can, and all thanks to their time in high school. Which leaves us to Komaba. In the end, I’m not so sure I like where Komaba’s arc ultimately headed. Obviously he had to give up pitching in order to support his family, but this man is now somewhere else. In addition to that, he only manages to appear in the last chapter (he is teased in one of the chapters), and I’m not sure I was pleased with this. He’s a good character, no doubt, and the last chapter was indeed funny (more on that in a bit), but it felt a little weak to end quite like that. There are some extra short chapters involving Shingo and his Russian wife (and their baby) and one of the extras did involve Hachiken, and we did get to see a bit of the cast, but not all. Maybe in the future I’ll think back fondly on this chapter, but I can’t say I truly enjoyed it. I can, however, say I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. Silver Spoon takes a seemingly mundane topic — farming — and makes it into a work that’s loaded with facts and humor in the most entertaining and educational way possible. In this volume alone there are a number of lessons and comedy that are just a tier above a lot of manga on the market. This volume manages to give us so many versions of Hachiken’s dad that I can’t imagine he’ll ever shake off being known by everyone else as the boss of a yakuza group (and neither will Hachiken as it turns out!). The faces have long been an enjoyable time in this series, and it went out strong in its final volume. Don’t think Hachiken’s dad, complete with random animals in the background as he looks like a devil, is the only one with the greatest face. Also don’t think Arakawa gives us just faces either — from body types to actions, it’s one laugh after another. And it sure is funny to see Komaba return to the mound to wreck Hachiken’s mood while kids are watching.  And while the humor dominates, the story for these characters is quite a journey. In this one we even come a bit full circle regarding Hachiken’s relationship with his family, which he believes is still not going to result in him loving them completely (and especially his dad), but thanks to what he’s experienced he’s able to find a balance that will still keep them together. How Mikage found something she loved so much she upended family tradition in order to pursue it. Just lots of neat stories involving kids who really enjoy farming, and the sacrifices they had to make were just great to read. So not surprisingly, I’m going to miss Silver Spoon. In the Cow Shed Diaries section Arakawa mentioned that her editor suggested having a rival for Mikage, so they can start a love triangle. She said no, leaving that editor sad. When I saw that, I was like, “Arakawa, good on you. We really don’t need that in this series, too bad editor!” But when the editor suggested having a college arc and she said it’s ending exactly as planned (during high school) and the editor got sad, I felt it! It feels like there could be so much more to explore with Hachiken! Mikage! Even Tokiwa, the smartest man in the entire manga (Ok, probably not)! And now that’s it. It’s a wrap. And I’m just like I want more! But I’ll get over it because that’s just how it is. The only thing I can do is to remember Silver Spoon’s highs, the enjoyment it’s provided a lot of people, its many (many) hilarious moments, and some fairly special characters. Until next time, Ezo Ag. Justin’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 The post The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: Silver Spoon Volume 15 appeared first on TheOASG.