Twelve Days of Anime 2013 – Vension and Pork in Gin no Saji


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Gin no Saji presents us with a slightly different take on the high school drama, with an agricultural school setting rather than the normal school in the middle of a town or city. The series main character, Hachiken Yugo, represents the ultimate fish out of water, a city kid who has rushed off to the countryside to escape his parents and leave all of his troubles behind. Indeed, much of the comedy in Gin no Saji is predicated on Hachiken’s over the top reactions and inability to cope with the straightforward stresses of working on a farm. He is a character that has solely focussed on studying for exams, with no real goal in life, and nothing that brings him any real joy. By enrolling in Yezo High, Hachiken is effectively running away from his own problems and trying to push them to one side, but he is also forced to come to terms with his own failures and the uncertainty of his future. We see how almost all of the main characters have their own goals and dreams, mostly revolving around family businesses, something that Hachiken lacks. He may be very good at passing exams, producing the highest marks in Yezo High, but when characters like Tamako and Shinnosuke begin a discussion on the science and ethics of breeding Hachiken finds himself lost. He knows how to pass exams, but these characters are discussing far more complex issues than simple maths problems, they are having a discussion about something that effects farming, and broader debates surrounding to treatment of animals.

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