Book Review: Silver Spoon Vol 1 by Hiromu Arakawa

Title: Silver Spoon Vol 1

Author: Hiromu Arakawa

Series: Silver Spoon #1

Page Count: 178

Publish Date: February 27, 2018

Publisher: Yen Press

Buy Silver Spoon Vol 1 at Amazon.

Synopsis:

Defying the expectations of family and teachers, Yuugo Hachiken chooses to leave the city and enroll at Ooezo Agricultural High School. Having always been at the top of his class, Yuugo assumes a rural school will be a breeze, but mucking out stables, gathering eggs, and chasing errant calves takes a lot out of him – and fills him with something he’s never experienced before. Surrounded by endless fields and fresh air, Yuugo discovers a new connection to the land and to life…Springtime begins at Ezo AG!!

Silver Spoon Vol 1

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My Review:

I first want to talk about the artwork in this book. It’s wonderful and the author does a great job of depicting all of the various animals, buildings, and equipment used for farming. That alone brings everything to life, but the story as well adds the extras, making it feel complete.

Hachiken is certainly out of his element and you have to wonder why a top student from a prep school has decided to move away from the city and attend an agricultural school. His inexperience is amusing and endearing, and for the most part, he takes it all in stride.

However, you can see he is seriously lacking compared to the other students. They are all from farming families and are used to the long hours and hard work that come from working on a farm.

While they may not have the book smarts that Hachiken has, they are all well-versed in farming, especially in the areas that their families work in, whether it’s cattle, chickens, horses, or crops.

It is amusing whenever Hachiken zones out as one of his classmates begins to explain some particular farming subject. Suddenly he goes from a top student to completely confused and overwhelmed. Yet, he doesn’t let that stop him from dreaming of attaining the rank of top student – something that is harder than expected in this school, mostly thanks to his lack of understanding of farming.

The cast of characters is great. While they all come from farming backgrounds, they all have different directions and aspirations, along with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Yet, putting all these differences aside, their passions about what they do and what they they want to learn make them shine. Their willingness to take Hachiken under their wings to teach them the ropes of arming shows they care about him and spreading the knowledge of farming.

In turn, Hachiken helps them with the academic side of the school, a part that a number of them struggle with. It’s great to see everyone using their strengths to help with others’ weaknesses because it makes them all better students and people in the end.

While the focus is their time in the school, we do get to see some bits of life outside, including a Ban’ei race. I loved this part of the book, especially since I had never heard of Ban’ei racing before. It ties in well to the story and the farming aspect while moving some of the attention away from the school.

The school faculty is an interesting mix of characters, much like the students. They are all passionate about teaching the different aspects of farming, and each has their own unique way of doing so.

Of all the teachers, I think Fuji-sensei, the pig teacher, is my favorite. From her military looks to her no-nonsense approach to learning, she is an amusing character but also a wealth of knowledge. She pushed Hachiken to learn quickly and figure things out by trial and error.

The principal is also quite funny, though his presence is minimal in this volume. But that interaction between him and Hachiken certainly leaves an impression on him.

While Hachiken learns where his food comes from, and appreciates the work it takes to raise animals and crops to feed people, the connections he makes along the way, and the dreams he starts to reach for, this is a wonderful start to the series.

This series is absolutely a hidden gem and I look forward to reading more of these as I work my way through my TBR.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Silver Spoon Vol 1. Have you read Silver Spoon?

Buy Silver Spoon Vol 1 at Amazon.

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