Gin no Saji 2 02

“Hachiken adopts Vice-President” 「八軒、副ぶちょーを拾う」

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Apologies for the very late posting for Gin no Saji season 2 – if anyone’s reading that is, LOL. Unlike reliable and dependable Hachiken, I’ve not been able to juggle posting the other anime reviews on top of full-time work and real life commitments. But surely if I asked Hachiken to do my reviews, he’d do it superbly even if he’s not familiar with the work. Case in point – he picks up a stray dog this episode and just as he was with making pizza in season 1, he doesn’t let his friends and his new puppy down. Yet another well delivered episode from the GnS production team and it’s only episode 02!

I love this show. Absolutely love it. How am I going to describe the rest of this season? This episode had me in stitches and a few times, I had to actually pause to finish laughing and catch my breath. For anyone needing comedy, please watch GnS! It’s neither the sort of high school humour of Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou nor of the quality of comedic gold Level E is. It’s truly of its own (the cow-related jokes are in a class of their own and American comedy really should learn to make as tasteful jokes as GnS does here), as highschoolers in Hokkaido’s agricultural schools can attest to the difference between them and other normal Japanese highschoolers. I’m completely drawn to the great script writing and pacing. This episode focused on character development, mixing it seamlessly with drama and amazing humour all whilst staying lighthearted. I loved Arakawa Hiromu’s FMA but how does she top that week after week with GnS?

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Hachiken’s a great character, an example of good character study for anime. He’s your normal average guy who has normal average problems reflecting those of a typical viewer’s but it’s this normalcy that makes him so so so relate-able. FMA had great characters too but GnS’s anime adaptation seems to shine the spotlight on Hachiken more than FMA did with the Alric brothers (probably because there were so many characters and a thick plot to work through at the same time). There’s no better person to pick up stray puppy Fukubuchou (Vice-President) than Vice-President Hachiken. It’s becoming obvious that Hachiken’s a yes-man, knowing not how to say no to reject anyone; even the new pet bullies him! He makes the impossible (keeping a pet) as possible (willingly footing the hefty vaccination bills) as he can through his very best efforts and it’s lovely to see him rewarded for it and kudos for realistic rewards GnS (oh Buta-don…)! This show may be an anime/manga but it’s so realistic it makes it even more worth your while to watch. I really like these Hokkaido high school kids, they’re hardworking and so down-to-earth and they epitomise what society should really be – helping one another for a reasonable and not an exorbitant price, which usually involves food (BBQ, Sushi) for these ever hungry kids!

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As with every other hot-blooded pubescent high school boy his age, Hachiken’s love life  one-sided crush on Mikage makes for part comedy part drama narratives. Her closeness with childhood friend Komaba makes Hachiken jealous to comedic effect and strengthens the questioning of why she won’t accept and open up to Hachiken when everyone seemingly does. After all, it’s Hachiken’s affable, open quality that made him vice-president and the reason why he’s got so much support from everyone who sees how hard he tries. So why won’t she share her woes with Hachiken? Unless they concern him? Or she doesn’t think he’s able to help? But when has Hachiken NOT been able to help?! Like Mikage said, he’s so nice to everyone because he’s held back on a lot of things growing up in a strict household (never kept a pet because it wasn’t useful for science class T_T) and that’s why when he sees someone else holding back, he feels obliged to reach out and help.

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It’s comforting to see the students help and encourage one another – makes me wonder if country folks are genuinely just nicer and why urban people just can’t emulate them. The student’s aren’t idealistic too, they are down-to-earth realistic kids growing up in the very practical world of agriculture and I appreciate the honesty emanating from this show every time the occasion arises. Good guy Hachiken looks out for others too and I really hope he looks out for himself more – that slip and fall to protect Komaba must’ve really hurt, and not get friend-zoned! With the Freshman War and Ezonoo Festival coming up, this show can only get better as we follow Hachiken’s journey to discovering what HE himself truly wants.

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