Silver Spoon Vol. 5 Review

Title: Silver Spoon Vol. 5
Author: Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher: Yen Press
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Genre: Slice of Life
Publication Date: October 30, 2018

The Story

Volume five of Silver Spoon’s major focus is the upcoming Ezo AG Cultural Festival. Hachiken lands himself on the planning committee and ends up having his hands full. Being part of the equestrian club, they want to have a competition as well as a ban’ei horse race. During this, Hachiken ends up practicing with Chestnut but the two of them continue to be at odds with each other as Chestnut refuses to do any jumps. Mikage ends up taking Hachiken to a horse race where he realizes that he needs to appreciate the horse more. Sure enough, when he finally puts his trust in Chestnut, he jumps for Hachiken… when he least expected it, hurling him off the horse’s back! I really loved the art here as the smug look on Chestnut’s face clearly showed that he did it on purpose! Poor Hachiken.

In addition to this over-arching story, we were treated to a couple of side stories as well. The first deals with Komaba and his baseball competition. Ezo AG makes it to game three in the competition where Komaba is slated to be the starting pitcher. His performance wasn’t all that great as their rival team ended up getting a ton of hits off of him. If it wasn’t for the rest of the team picking up the slack, they wouldn’t have barely squeaked by with a win. Of course, this affected Komaba quite a bit and made Hachiken realize just how much pressure he puts on himself. During a cow examination, Hachiken even went so far as to protect Komaba when a cow was falling over in his direction.

The other side story involved a stray dog that Hachiken found. They decided to keep and raise it as a guard dog for the equestrian club. They gave it the name as Vice Prez which Hachiken disliked at first until the others started praising the dog and he pretended that the praise was for him. That quickly turned around when the dog peed and got scolded! Again, poor Hachiken!

The volume closes with Hachiken getting pulled in every direction. Not only was he building a race course for the festival but he had to cover Beppu’s cleaning duties as a return favor for Beppu covering for him. He had barn detail as well in addition to being on the planning committee. Just when you thought his plate was full, all of the other divisions called for Hachiken because they decided that they were going to make pizza!

Once more for good measure: Poor Hachiken!

Story-wise, this was a nice lead-in for the new arc which is clearly focusing on the cultural festival. Hachiken was put through the wringer as usual and still showed signs of growing up even though some of the lessons he learned seemed like repeats of lessons from volumes past. For example, MIkage told him a while ago that he needed to put more trust and consideration into horses and Hachiken didn’t get that until now. That’s an awfully long gap to let some advice sink in! Still, the arc was built nicely and as the festival grows closer and closer, it’ll be exciting to see it all come together!

Characters

We ended up getting some nice development with several characters this volume so let’s jump right in!

First up is Hachiken. As I stated, I found it a bit odd that he had to be taken to a race in order to learn that he needed to put more faith and compassion into Chestnut. Mikage flat out told him this volumes ago and while he has been able to get Chestnut to do simple commands, he handed bonded with him enough to get him to jump. Had he just recalled Mikage’s words, he could have found the answer himself, yet, he had to be shown the answer in the form of jockeys trusting their horses during a race. When he came to the realization, it was almost like he had heard the advice for the very first time. A little bit of an inconsistency there but it still got the job done in the end. Also, Hachiken hasn’t changed one bit in his compassion for others, especially when he took in Vice Prez. Watching himself assert himself as the Alpha between the two of them was pretty hilarious, though!

While Mikage didn’t get much development, she did reaffirm that she’s afraid to stand up to her parents when it comes to her career. Hachiken suggested that she get a job dealing with horses but she’s hell-bent on taking over the family farm so that her parents can retire in peace. While it is a noble gesture, Mikage has yet to learn her lesson about living life for herself rather than for others. I’m sure she’ll come around eventually but I wonder if it will be Hachiken as the one to make her realize that. Plus, there was a great moment between Hachiken and Mikage’s father in regards to their developing relationship! There was even a nice little indirect development when Komaba admitted that he has no time for girlfriends, which dispelled any assumptions Hachiken had about Komaba being interested in Mikage! Go Hachiken!

We got to see a bit of a different side of Komaba this volume. His lack of production in his game affected him quite a bit; however, he was genuinely moved when Hachiken put his safety above Komaba’s in order to protect him for upcoming competitions. Even though Komaba quickly went back to being a bit gruff with Hachiken, there was a somber moment of respect and it showed that Komaba is starting to warm up to Hachiken as a friend.

Also, have to give a quick shout out to Tokiwa. I agree with Hachiken on the fact that he’s smart enough to come up with a treat collar for Vice Prez but not smart enough to apply that energy to his studies. At least we learned that Tokiwa has some potential!

Final Thoughts

Great volume of Silver Spoon! The new story arc got kicked off in a big way and while the volume put a ton of focus on it, it wasn’t shy about spreading the love around to its characters to help develop and flesh them out a bit more. There was a little something of everything in this volume from Hachiken’s usual life lessons, to the relationship build-up between Hachiken and Mikage, to the friendship build-up between Hachiken and Komaba. The festival itself is shaping up nicely and it’ll be interesting to see if everything goes off without a hitch or if there’s going to be something that goes wrong during any of the events. If it’s the latter, I wonder how Hachiken, who is putting his usual amount of super effort into it, would respond?

Next volume looks like it will be the return of Hachiken the Pizza Chef. I’m starting to think that there’s no escaping this duty for him! Then again, from the first time he made pizza for the entire school, you just knew it was going to come back and haunt him again in the future. That future is now and I’m down to watch them make some brick oven pizza again! Silver Spoon is just good-natured fun like that! It’s a pretty relaxed manga that still manages to pull you into their world! Can’t wait for volume six to see this arc continue!

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This item was provided for review by Yen Press

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.