As a girl who grew up in a big city, farming and agricultural stuff in general are alien to me. Sure, we learn the basic at school but to be able to milk cows? To take care of livestock? To raise crops? We got the basic during our study tour in 11th grade but never the real deal.
Gin no Saji sparked my interest not only because it’s a show about a kid in agricultural high school but also because the mangaka is Hiromu Arakawa. She’s the one who wrote Fullmetal Alchemist — one of my all time favorite series — so it’s a given that I had a huuuuge expectation prior starting it. Yep, those two series might differ in so many aspects but I believed Arakawa-sensei would bring the best out of it.
The story is about a city boy Hachiken who was depressed after failing to get into his chosen high school. He then went to Ezonoo Agricultural High School as recommended by his teacher without any expectation at all. Gradually, Hachiken learns the way to an agricultural life while developing meaningful relationships with his classmates and the livestock.
First major reason why you guys should watch this? CUTE ANIMALS. There are chickens, horses, cows, a puppy and piglets! HOW ADORABLE IS THAT?!
As I’ve mentioned at the beginning of this post, I don’t know the ins and outs of farming but watching Gin no Saji was a refreshing way to learn for me. We can gain a little knowledge about animals and food processing. From trivial questions about chicken eggs until making pizza, bacon and cheese from scratch, it was fun to watch Hachiken grows a deeper understanding about agriculture.
I also liked the fact that Hachiken ponders on the things that we might always take for granted in real life. The meat and dairy products we easily obtain in the market come from the farmers’ sweats and hardwork. It just never occurs to me how difficult it must feel to raise pigs in order to be sold as pork. And there are also talks about future, dreams and relationships. We know how strained the relationship between Hachiken and his family, how much Mikage is suffering from hiding her true dream, how Komaba is forced to let go of his dream in order to work for a new one. The moral conflict in this anime is definitely A+ and it’s something that I can’t ignore.
Season 3 can’t come soon enough! I know there isn’t enough material to adapt it into anime but still… I really hope there will be a continuation! Gin no Saji is an extremely compassionate anime that warms my heart. It’s certainly a story that makes me realize how lucky I have been all this time. Plus, the openings and endings are beautiful — the kind of happy songs that instantly put a smile on your face. 🙂