Silver Spoon (manga)
Cover of the first volume of Silver Spoon featuring main character Yuugo Hachiken.
(Gin no Saji)
|Genre||Comedy, Slice of life, Romance|
|Written by||Hiromu Arakawa|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Sunday|
|Original run||April 6, 2011 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Silver Spoon Season 1|
|Directed by||Tomohiko Itō, Kotomi Deai|
|Produced by||Shunsuke Saitō, Akitoshi Mori|
|Written by||Taku Kishimoto|
|Music by||Shūsei Murai|
|Original network||Fuji TV (noitaminA)|
|Original run||July 11, 2013 – September 19, 2013|
|Anime television series|
|Silver Spoon Season 2|
|Directed by||Tomohiko Itō, Kotomi Deai|
|Produced by||Shunsuke Saitō, Akitoshi Mori|
|Written by||Taku Kishimoto|
|Music by||Shūsei Murai|
|Original network||Fuji TV (noitaminA)|
|Original run||January 9, 2014 – March 27, 2014|
|Directed by||Keisuke Yoshida|
|Produced by||Akiko Ikuno, Tetsutaka Takeda, Hideki Hoshino|
|Written by||Keisuke Yoshida, Ryō Takada|
|Music by||Takefumi Haketa|
|Released||March 7, 2014|
Silver Spoon (Japanese: 銀の匙 Hepburn: Gin no Saji) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Hiromu Arakawa, set in the fictional Ooezo Agricultural High School in Hokkaido. It depicts the daily life of Yuugo Hachiken, a high school student from Sapporo who enrolled at Ezo fleeing from the demands of his strict father. However, he soon learns that life on an agricultural school is not as easy as he initially believed. Unlike his new classmates, he has no intention of following an agricultural career after graduating, although he envies them for already having set goals for their lives and the pursuit of their dreams.
An anime adaptation produced by A-1 Pictures aired two seasons between July and September 2013 and January and March 2014 on Fuji TV's noitaminA block. A live-action film based on the manga produced by Toho was released on March 7, 2014. The manga was well received by its Japanese audience while earning itself awards.
After failing to pass the entrance examination for the high school he plans to attend, mild-mannered student Yuugo Hachiken moves away from his suburban lifestyle and enrolls at Ooezo Agricultural High School (大蝦夷農業高等学校 Ōezo Nōgyō Kōtō Gakkō) – often abbreviated as Ezonō (エゾノー, lit. "Ezo Agricultural") – in the countryside. His relationship with his family is strained at the start of the story, which influences his decision to attend a school far from home. He continues to worry about his future career over the course of the series. He soon finds himself slowly getting used to his new environment despite some initial struggles, and grows into an empathetic and compassionate individual as he struggles to understand the world of agriculture and how it affects the lives of his new friends.
||This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (January 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Yuugo Hachiken (八軒 勇吾 Hachiken Yūgo)
- Voiced by: Ryōhei Kimura
- The main protagonist, Yuugo is a city boy from Sapporo. After failing to pass the entrance exams for the high school he plans to attend, Yuugo decided to enroll at Ezo instead, believing that an easier academic workload would leave him with more time to prepare for college exams. However, the agricultural courses' demand for hard labor proved his assumptions wrong. Due to his strict upbringing by his father, he is unable to refuse when someone needs his help. Despite complaining a lot when he feels that people abuse his generosity, Yuugo quickly earns the friendship and respect of his peers for his intellect and hardworking nature. Shortly after enrolling, Yuugo joins the Equestrian Club alongside his classmate Aki, soon rising to the position of Vice President of the club due to his reliable nature. Yuugo is usually anxious about his future as, unlike his classmates who already have set their goals in life, he is still wondering about what career he should choose. Much of Yuugo's animosity towards his family is a result of being compared to his more successful older brother, Shingo, and the seemingly uncaring hostility of his father. He has a crush on Aki.
- Aki Mikage (御影 アキ Mikage Aki)
- Voiced by: Marie Miyake
- Aki is a first-year student who is also a member of the Equestrian Club. As the only child of her family, she entered Ezo to study so that she would inherit her family business, a cow and horse farm specializing in raising Ban'ei race horses. Her father is very protective and is wary of her relationship with Yuugo at first; however, after some time, he starts seeing him as a man worthy of becoming her husband. She keeps her desires bottled up and is friendly and seems easygoing, but in reality pushes people away from her problems. She has poor grades nearly comparable to Tokiwa. Later, her family experiences financial difficulties and is forced to sell all their horses to make ends meet. After this event, Aki confesses her true desires for the future, and – encouraged by Yuugo – expresses her will to work with horses professionally instead of inheriting the farm. She then starts studying to enter college with Yuugo as her personal tutor. She slowly develops feelings for Yuugo.
- Mayumi Yoshino (吉野 まゆみ Yoshino Mayumi)
- Voiced by: Shiori Izawa
- A classmate of Yuugo. She is a member of the Dairy Farming program. Her dream is to open her own cheese factory.
- Ichiro Komaba (駒場 一郎 Komaba Ichirō)
- Voiced by: Tooru Sakurai
- One of Yuugo's close friends at Ezo and a skilled baseball player, Ichiro is Aki's childhood friend and neighbor; their closeness was initially a constant source of jealousy for Yuugo. Ichiro's family owns a small dairy farm, which he manages with his mother and younger twin sisters. Ichiro dreams of becoming a professional baseball player so he can use the money he earns in the league to improve his family's farm. However, his family goes bankrupt and their farm is sold to pay their debt. As a result, he is forced to quit Ezo and look for a job to make ends meet and support his mother and sisters.
- Shinnosuke Aikawa (相川 進之介 Aikawa Shinnosuke)
- Voiced by: Nobunaga Shimazaki
- Another close friend of Yuugo, Shinnosuke aims to become a veterinarian after graduation. His goal, however, is complicated by his tendency to faint at the sight of blood. He is a member of the Holstein Club.
- Tamako Inada (稲田 多摩子 Inada Tamako)
- Voiced by: Ayahi Takagaki
- A wealthy classmate of Yuugo whose family runs a huge industrial farm. She is usually an obese girl, but under the extra fat she hides a quite beautiful figure that reveals itself occasionally when she works too hard or goes on a quick diet. However, she feels too weak when she is thinner, and usually quickly regains the weight. Obsessed with money, Tamako's goal is to take over her family's farm (humorously depicted as a "hostile takeover" by her parents), and expand it and make it more profitable.
- Keiji Tokiwa (常盤 恵次 Tokiwa Keiji)
- Voiced by: Masayuki Shoji
- A close friend of Yuugo who has a talent of getting himself in trouble due to his difficulty studying and his habit of jumping to conclusions, much to his friends' chagrin. His family owns a chicken farm.
- Nishikawa Hajime (西川 一 Hajime Nishikawa)
- Voiced by: Kengo Takanashi
- A close friend of Yuugo who is a huge otaku with a complete collection of figurines, manga and posters and is good at otaku art. He is sensible and mature for his age and often gives Yuugo good advice. He cares for his friends and is very intelligent, knowing and explaining a lot about the crops and their economic value. He is also very knowledgeable about technology. He hopes to attend a college of university in Tokyo, mainly because, as he claims, Tokyo is the land of otaku.
- Ayame Minamikujō (南九条 あやめ Minamikujō Ayame)
- Voiced by: Sayuri Yahagi
- An aristocratic girl to a vast agriculture fortune and childhood rival to Aki Mikage. She often gets Hachiken's name wrong by replacing the Hachi (8) part of his name with different numbers, calling him "Shichiken" (7) and "Jūhachiken" (18).
- Tarō Beppu (別府 太郎 Beppu Tarō)
- Voiced by: Nobuyuki Kobushi
- A first year student and Yuugo's roommate. He will often help out Yuugo, such as the doing the chores he forgot about. He's in the Food Sciences program.
- Shingo Hachiken (八軒 慎吾 Hachiken Shingo)
- Voiced by: Katsuyuki Konishi
- Yuugo's older brother who managed to get accepted to the University of Tokyo, the most prestigious university in Japan. However, Shingo later quit once he realized his father's dream was to have one of his sons accepted there. He decides to pursue his own dream of becoming a great cook, and travels the country to perfect his cooking skills, often with humorously questionable results. He often drops by Ezo unannounced to check on Yuugo, since Yuugo usually refuses to talk with his family. Shingo is carefree and outgoing which is often a source of animosity from Yuugo, but he becomes a little more responsible after marrying Alexandra, a young Russian girl he meets during his travels.
After the completion of her successful fantasy series Fullmetal Alchemist, author Hiromu Arakawa and her publisher Shogakukan agreed that she should begin the more realistic Silver Spoon as a way to challenge herself as a manga artist and recruit new readers. Having grown up in a rural setting, many elements of the manga are drawn from Arakawa's experiences in her youth. For instance, characters such as the piggery teacher Ichiko Fuji and members of the Holstein fanclub are based on individuals she knew in her high school. Though the story contains matters like the protagonist Yuugo Hachiken's ethical dilemma over animal slaughter, Arakawa insists Silver Spoon is not a "green" manga. She states that she simply wants to tell the story of a high schooler's maturation, similar to how Fullmetal Alchemist focuses on the development of the main character Edward Elric rather than promoting alchemy.
Silver Spoon began its publication in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in the spring of 2011. It was serialized regularly until August of 2014 when Arakawa announced she would slow the pace of producing new chapters of the manga so that she could care for a family member in declining health. After an eight month hiatus, the manga briefly resumed in April of 2014 until another short hiatus was announced the following month. After the release of the manga's 13th volume, the author announced its "imminent" conclusion. She later explained that she had originally planned to depict Yuugo's first year at Ooezo in detail, followed by rushed second year and shortened third year, and his eventual life after graduation.
Influenced by Arakawa's own life experience as she was raised in a dairy farm in Hokkaido, the manga was launched on the 19th issue of Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine on April 6, featured on the cover. It became one of the magazine's main features not long after. The manga is licensed in English in Singapore by Shogakukan Asia and in North America by Yen Press.
|No.||Original release date||Original ISBN||English release date||English ISBN|
|1||July 15, 2011||ISBN 978-4-09-123180-2||December 5, 2014||ISBN 978-981-09-2298-6|
|2||December 14, 2011||ISBN 978-4-09-123427-8||February 25, 2015||ISBN 978-981-09-3616-7|
|3||April 18, 2012||ISBN 978-4-09-123653-1||June 24, 2015||ISBN 978-981-09-4510-7|
|4||July 18, 2012||ISBN 978-4-09-123772-9||September 2016||ISBN 978-981-09-6273-9|
|5||October 18, 2012||ISBN 978-4-09-123886-3||—||—|
|6||January 18, 2013||ISBN 978-4-09-124169-6||—||—|
|7||April 18, 2013||ISBN 978-4-09-124285-3||—||—|
|8||July 11, 2013||ISBN 978-4-09-124346-1||—||—|
|9||October 18, 2013||ISBN 978-4-09-124474-1||—||—|
|10||January 8, 2014||ISBN 978-4-09-159177-7||—||—|
|11||March 5, 2014||ISBN 978-4-09-124574-8||—||—|
|12||August 18, 2014||ISBN 978-4-09-125088-9||—||—|
|13||June 18, 2015||ISBN 978-4-09-126059-8||—||—|
An anime series produced by A-1 Pictures aired from July 11, 2013 to September 19, 2013. Tomohiko Ito directed the series with assistant director Kotomi Deai. Taku Kishimoto wrote the scripts, while Jun Nakai served as character designer and chief animation director, and Shusei Murai scored the music. A second season aired from January 9, 2014 to March 27, 2014. For the first season, the opening theme is "Kiss you" by miwa, while the ending theme is "Hello Especially" by Sukima Switch. For the second season, the opening theme is "Life" by Fujifabric and the ending theme is "Oto no Naru Hō e" by Goose House. The anime has been licensed by Aniplex of America for streaming and home video in North America. Aniplex of America released the first season on DVD on July 15, 2014.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Welcome to Ezo Agricultural"
"Ezonō e, Yōkoso" (エゾノーへ、ようこそ)
|July 11, 2013|
|Running away from home, Yuugo Hachiken leaves the urban life at Sapporo to enroll at the Ōezo Agricultural High School and it does not take long for him to learn that adapting himself to his new environment will not be easy.|
|2||"Hachiken Rides a Horse"
"Hachiken, Uma ni Noru" (八軒、馬に乗る)
|July 18, 2013|
|Getting used to his new environment, Hachiken must enroll at one of the school clubs according to the curriculum, and encouraged by his classmate Aki Mikage, he ends up joining her at the equestrian club. However, he spends the day doing menial tasks like cleaning the stables and just when he is starting to regret his decision, he is invited to experience the joy of riding a horse for the first time.|
|3||"Hachiken Meets Pork Bowl"
"Hachiken, Butadon to Deau" (八軒、豚丼と出会う)
|July 25, 2013|
|With most of the students on leave at Golden Week, Hachiken, Mikage and their classmate Ichiro Komaba watch a Ban'ei horse race together, and despite the horse bred at Mikage's farm do not win, she gets some relief learning that he gets well placed enough to have a chance of not being killed for livestock. After returning to the school, Hachiken pities a piglet that is the weakest and smallest among its siblings and giving it the nickname "Pork-Bowl" decides to take care of it, just to later know that it will be sent to the slaughterhouse in three months.|
|4||"Hachiken Bakes Pizza"
"Hachiken, Piza o Yaku" (八軒、ピザを焼く)
|August 1, 2013|
|While on cleaning duty, Hachiken stumbles on an abandoned oven and his classmates convince him to make pizza with it, as most of them never ate one before. As Hachiken and his friends gather the necessary supplies throughout the campus, a teacher from his old school in Sapporo drops at Ezo to check on him.|
|5||"Hachiken Runs Off"
"Hachiken, Dassō suru" (八軒、脱走する)
|August 8, 2013|
|The boys take heed of a certain special event to be held at night and come with a plan to slip past curfew to get a glimpse of it. Having no idea about what is it or why his classmates are so pumped up with it, Hachiken ends up dragged along in their scheme.|
|6||"Hachiken Goes to Stay With the Mikages"
"Hachiken, Mikage-ke ni Iku" (八軒、御影家に行く)
|August 15, 2013|
|Hachiken learns that the dorms will be closed for summer vacation but refusing to return home, he accepts Mikage's offer to work at her family's farm. However, once realizing that he has not warned his parents about it, he looks for a place with cellphone signal until he gets lost and is rescued by Komaba.|
|7||"Hachiken Goes Giga Farm"
"Hachiken, Giga Fāmu e" (八軒、ギガファームへ)
|August 22, 2013|
|Hachiken and Mikage take a break from work and pay a visit to Giga Farm, a huge industrial farm that belongs to their classmate Tamako Inada's family. In the occasion, Hachiken learns about the rather harsh reality of the animals living there and realizes Mikage's worries about her family's expectations for her future.|
|8||"Hachiken Makes a Huge Mistake"
"Hachiken, Dai Shittai o Enjiru" (八軒、大失態を演じる)
|August 29, 2013|
|Hachiken's older brother Shingo pays a visit at the Mikage farm to check on him, much to his young brother's chagrin. Just as his part-time job is about to finish, Hachiken's carelessness leads to damage to the farm. Wanting to take responsibility for the accident, he refuses to be paid for his work. However, he is convinced by the Mikages to accept payment as they consider that all the help he provided them during these three weeks were worth it, despite what happened.|
|9||"Hachiken Hesitates Over Pork Bowl"
"Hachiken, Butadon ni Mayou" (八軒、豚丼に迷う)
|September 5, 2013|
|Back from summer break, Hachiken learns that Pork-Bowl has not grown as much as its peers and takes extra measures to ensure that it gains weight faster, even knowing that this will make things even more painful for him when the time comes to part with it.|
|10||"Hachiken Says Goodbye to Pork Bowl"
"Hachiken, Butadon to Wakareru" (八軒、豚丼と別れる)
|September 12, 2013|
|The time has come for Pork-Bowl to be sent to the slaughterhouse and Hachiken decides to make use of the money he earned during summer vacation to buy all its meat. After the meat is delivered to him, Hachiken's friends come with several ideas about what to do with it.|
|11||"Take Off Running, Hachiken"
"Hashiridase, Hachiken" (走り出せ、八軒)
|September 19, 2013|
|The bacon Hachiken prepared with Pork-Bowl's meat becomes a fad among the students and it does not take long for it to run out. As Komaba plays in the local baseball team aiming for the nationals, his friends come to the stadium to cheer for him and Hachiken realizes that six months has passed since he enrolled in Ezo Agricultural and unlike his friends, he still has not decided what path he should take in life.|
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Hachiken Becomes the Club Vice President"
"Hachiken, Fuku Buchō ni Naru" (八軒、副部長になる)
|January 9, 2014|
|The seniors from the Equestrian Club appoint Hachiken as the new vice-president against his will. Troubled about it, he later witnesses Mikagi crying after having a serious conversation with Komaba and can't stop worrying about them as well, even after they tell him to forget about it.|
|2||"Hachiken Adopts Vice Prez"
"Hachiken, Fuku Buchō o Hirou" (八軒、副ぶちょーを拾う)
|January 16, 2014|
|Hachiken finds an abandoned puppy during cleaning and decides to adopt it. However, taking care of his new pet is not an easy task, as he not only needs money for vaccines and registration, but has to train it.|
|3||"Hachiken Jumps High"
"Hachiken, Takaku Tobu" (八軒、高く跳ぶ)
|January 23, 2014|
|The newbies from the Equestrian Club have their first jump class, but Hachiken is the only one who fails to have his horse jump an obstacle, bringing some unpleasant memories of his past to surface. Claiming that it needs more than words to have him figure out the reason why, Mikage takes him to a jumping competition.|
"Minamikujō, Arawaru" (南九条、あらわる)
|January 30, 2014|
|Hachiken participates in his first official jumping competition. In the occasion he and Mikage have a short meeting with Ayame Minamikujō, Mikage's childhood friend and self-proclaimed rival, and is startled when meeting his brother again by surprise.|
|5||"Hachiken Has His Hands Full"
"Hachiken, Ōwarawa" (八軒、大わらわ)
|February 6, 2014|
|With the Ezo Agricultural Festival fast approaching, the Equestrian Club begins work on Ban'ei horse racing track, despite Hachiken tasking himself with way too much work. Afterwards Hachiken takes initiative and asks Mikage out on a date and his feelings for her are revealed by her friends. However, on the morning of the festival, Hachiken suddenly collapses on the race track.|
|6||"Mikage Gives It Her All"
"Mikage, Funtō su" (御影、奮闘す)
|February 13, 2014|
|Hachiken wakes up at the hospital and comes face to face with his father, who wastes no time blaming the Ezo Agricultural institution for Hachiken's fatigue. Meanwhile, Mikage and the Equestrian Club work their hardest to make the festival a success and praise Hachiken for all his hard work upon his return.|
|7||"Komaba Stands on the Pitcher's Mound"
"Komaba, Maundo ni Tatsu" (駒場、マウンドに立つ)
|February 27, 2014|
|The time has come for the Regional Baseball Championship and the students cheer for Ezo Agricultural's team, hoping for them to reach the National tournament, specially for Komaba who is one of the team's highlights.|
"Hachiken, Hoeru" (八軒、咆える)
|March 6, 2014|
|Hachiken discovers that Komaba has lost not only the Championship, but the last chance for him to settle the debts of his farm and is forced to quit school and look for a job to help at home. Despite knowing that there is not anything he can do about it, Hachiken can't bear to accept the fact that Komaba was forced to give up on his ambitions before he could even get the chance to fight for them.|
|9||"The Last Milk"
"Saigo no Gyūnyū" (最後の牛乳)
|March 13, 2014|
|Despite knowing that there is nothing he could do for Komaba's sake, Hachiken claims to Mikage that it is fine for them to rely on him and they pay a visit at Komaba's farm to pay their respects as all their cows are seized to pay for their debt. However, Mikage's farm is also in difficulties and when they are forced to sell all their horses, she comes with an important decision with Hachiken's support.|
|March 20, 2014|
|Determined to follow her dream of working with horses, Mikage is allowed to work under her uncle instead of inheriting her father's farm under the condition of making into college and Hachiken agrees to help her.|
|11||"Over and Over Again"
"Nando Demo" (何度でも)
|March 27, 2014|
|Hachiken returns home to Sapporo to obtain his brother's study guides for Mikage and has a frustratingly insightful encounter with his father. Afterwards Hachiken's mother visits Ezo Agricultural to better understand the school he choose and leaves knowing that he is growing into a better person. Finally, as the winter season approaches, Hachiken and his friends begin planning their respective futures.|
||This section needs to be updated. (January 2015)|
A live-action film based on the manga of the same name was officially announced in the Nikkan Sports and Sports Nippon newspapers on August 7, 2013. Kento Nakajima played Yuugo Hachiken, with Alice Hirose as Aki Mikage and Tomohiro Ichikawa as Ichiro Komaba. The film was directed by Keisuke Yoshida, with the production companies TBS and Wilco and the distributor Toho. Gin no Saji premiered in Tokyo on March 7, 2014, and was also shown at the Japan Film Festival of San Francisco on July 22, 2014. The film's theme song was "Hidamari", performed by Yuzu. Iwasawa Koji wrote and composed the song just for the movie.
Since its first volume, Silver Spoon had been well received by readers. It became the fastest Shogakukan title to reach the mark of one million first printing copies, a year and three months after the manga was launched. According to Oricon, it was also the 7th best-selling manga in Japan in 2012, and the top selling title from Shogakukan, as well as the top selling title of 2012 not yet to have an anime adaption. By October 2013 it has sold 12 million copies in Japan. As of 2014 the series has sold over 15 million copies in Japan.
In 2013 Silver Spoon won the first Japan Food Culture Contents Award.
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