Title: Silver Spoon Vol. 7
Author: Hiromu Arakawa
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Slice of Life
Publication Date: February 19, 2018
Volume seven of Silver Spoon saw the conclusion of the Ezo AG Cultural Festival. The man who visited Hachiken at the end of the last volume was his father. To say that things were tense between them is a gross understatement. Hachiken eventually gets released from the hospital but now he’s dealing with the guilt of not being there for the cultural festival. He feels that he let everyone down by not being there when they needed him but he doesn’t take into account that he practically killed himself for them and ended up in the hospital because of it.
Hachiken had to go through another lesson that people still thought the world of him despite him not being able to be there. His efforts didn’t go to waste and, much like many other times in this series, Hachiken had to be proverbially slapped upside the head in order to realize he was worrying for nothing.
After this, we get a cute moment when Hachiken and Mikage going out on their first “date” … that is if you can call going to Ooezo Shrine a date. He still got to spend time with her which was the promise they made once the festival was over, though! Just another small, subtle nod to their relationship development.
The rest of the volume focuses on Komaba and his upcoming baseball game. Komaba put a ton of heart and soul into this game but in the end, Ezo AG lost 6-5. The volume ends on the cliffhanger that Komaba did not return to class after the loss.
This was a nice conclusion/transition volume. The Culture Festival arc has come to an end and we got a little bit of filler before introducing us to the Komaba is Missing arc. You could really tell that latest loss had such a huge impact on him. It leaves a lot up to interpretation and gives us a great hook to see what happens in volume eight!
While I would usually say that Hachiken learned another life lesson and grew as a character, I can’t really say that this time because of the typical trend we’re seeing here with him. Hachiken does something, something happens, Hachiken feels he’s at fault for what happened, Hachiken gets proverbially slapped and brought back to reality. That’s the formula we’ve been seeing over and over again and despite the fact that we’re on volume seven, Hachiken still needs to have sense knocked into him each and every time. Either Hachiken has some REALLY big self-esteem issues that he cannot overcome or the dude is about as smart as putting a doorknob in space and fails to comprehend even easiest of situations. The fact that he couldn’t understand that he worked hard, put himself in the hospital, and yet the festival still went on without problems thanks to his efforts means he has blinders on to the world… like… BIG TIME.
Maybe it’s a fault of his intelligence? Maybe he’s so smart he overthinks everything and fails to see the simple reasons behind those situations? Even if that were the case, having it happen time after time after time and not realizing it goes behind overthinking. That’s just plain ignorance. It’s a bit hard to sympathize with Hachiken’s character when the same general idea happens over and over and over with him without any type of growth whatsoever.
Outside of that, we learned how stern his father is and how caring his mother can be about him. We know that he feels he needed to be the model student for them but does it really only go that deep? Sure, I can understand that with his father but I can’t imagine his mother doing anything to deserve any kind of neglect from him. There’s still something that they’re not telling us.
The loss really affected Komaba but we’re not going to see the extent of it until the next volume. Still, I have a feeling it ties into his conflicted feelings about the family farm versus his baseball career. I’m willing to bet that’s what we are going to explore the most in the next volume. Even still, I have a feeling that good ol’ Nakama Power will come to Komaba’s rescue. There’s no way that they’ll just let him disappear without trying to help him out.
Finally, how cute are Hachiken and Mikage together? Can we please just ship them already!? Enough teasing!
A solid volume of Silver Spoon! I still wish they would change up Hachiken’s character type just a little more. Give him a bit more confidence or something. Just give us a reason to break this same old cycle with his character because it doesn’t feel like his development is going anywhere. I did enjoy the peek into his family life through the interactions with his father but even though you got a sense of why things are the way they are through his father’s demeanor, it still didn’t answer all of the questions we have about what caused Hachiken to loathe his parents so much. We only have enough bits and pieces to get the gist of it and make assumptions but that’s about it. I really wish we could just fully explore that because I feel that as soon as everything is out in the open, we can begin to build a new character type for Hachiken and break him from this never-ending cycle of ignorance and self-blame.
But that’s going to have to wait as we now have the Komaba situation to get through first. Maybe Hachiken can find something to reflect on vicariously through Komaba that could instigate a change… but I highly doubt it. One can hope, right?
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press