kaitou: (arthur)
[personal profile] kaitou
I've been ranting a lot lately...and I'm not done yet.  I have a few more coming up.  But I'd like to take a break to share something good.  I had to go to Chicago for work on Wednesday, and I managed to slip over to Mitsuwa, the big Japanese shopping center they have, which has it's own bookstore.  And though they didn't have any of the Maru books (sadface) they did have the new Arakawa Hiromu manga 'Silver Spoon.'

I can't think of the last time I was this charmed by a manga.  I mean, I adore 'Stepping on Roses' but half of my enjoyment is the overtop ridiculous melodrama.  Silver Spoon is just plain good.

It's a 'Slice of Life' manga that takes place at an agricultural high school in Hokkaido.  The protagonist, Hachiken Yuugo, is a total fish out of water here.  He's basically spent his whole life studying, and now he finds himself totally unprepared for all the manual labor and animals and everything that all the other students are pretty used to. 

It's got all of the Arakawa sense of humor, and I kept laughing out loud when... for instance Hachiken thinks he's stumbled on a group of guys looking at a porn mag...but they're really looking at a catalog of cows for sale.  Or his reaction to finding out that chicken eggs and chicken shit come from the same hole. 

But what really impresses me is the pacing.  Of course, Arakawa is a HUGE name at this point, but it's still refreshing that the manga doesn't lead with a monologue of who Hachiken is and why he's ended up all the way in Hokkaido.  At the end of the first volume we know that by the end of middle school Hachiken was basically burnt out from all the studying and juku, and looking to escape from his home life.  But we don't yet know anything about that home life.  And since all he's done is hit the books, Hachiken hasn't taken the time to really find out what he wants to do, and so now he's looking to figure out what exactly his dream really is.  And I can tell these things are going to unfold slowly, and that's a good thing.  Too many manga front load too much, then have problems when they need to figure out what happens next.

I really hope this one does well, and that it gets an official translation.  And maybe an anime or live action adaptation >.>
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March 2012

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