Silver Spoon Volume 7
I was really enjoying Silver Spoon, the series about a city boy who goes to an agricultural school and learns about himself through hard work and caring for animals. Then I forgot about it, for some reason, which has the beneficial side effect of giving me a complete series (15 books) to come back to.
Where I left off, with volume 4, the “Tale of Autumn” storyline had begun. It finally finishes with two chapters in volume 8, but this, volume 7, is the meat of the conclusion. It’s time for the Ag Fest, a school festival with special events and food for purchase, as well as a horse vs. humans sled-pulling contest.
Unfortunately, the pressure of all this work and preparation has put Hachiken, the “man who can’t say no” when it comes to helping out fellow students, in the hospital with exhaustion. I could relate, as I was reading this to recover from being overwhelmed with too many things to do. I’m not sure how sensible it is to take life lessons from manga, but in this case, it was a potent reminder.
I found it particularly inspiring when Hachiken had to stand up to his overbearing father. The patriarch is why he ran away to agriculture college in the first place, to avoid the pressure placed on him. He’s finally found something he wants to do, and he’s willing to fight to stay there.
He’s doing what he needs, in spite of his desolation. No one comes to the hospital to see him, and by the time he makes it back to campus, the festival is over. All his hard work, and he missed out. Thankfully, there are positive explanations coming for him, and a reminder that he isn’t in all this alone.
There’s also a baseball tournament going on. All of this is wonderfully illustrated, from the great range of characters to the animals, from huge draft horse to adorable puppy. It’s a great read, combining school nostalgia with events that bring life lessons.