Hachiken’s brother arrives on the farm. Plus, Hachiken learns not to cry over spilled milk.
What They Say:
“Hachiken Makes a Huge Mistake”
Content: (please note that the content portion of a review may contain spoilers)
As the episode starts out, we see that Hachiken is working hard and getting along with Aki’s grandpa, which is only making Aki’s father more and more annoyed with him in some funny moments where he’s fuming about it, and Aki yells at him that he’s in the way. Later, there’s a big issue when some other cows get mixed up with the Mikage cows, so everyone struggles to get them in a pen and then separate them. This is when a new, motorcycle-riding character shows up, herding all the cows into the pen with his bike. As the family is thanking the mystery man, Hachiken suddenly recognizes the voice — it’s his older brother, Shingo, checking up on Hachiken for their mom.
Thus begins a piece by piece revelation about Hachiken’s family. Shingo at first comes across as pretty insensitive, talking about how getting into Tokyo University is easy if you know how to study — a pretty rough blow to Hachiken, who couldn’t even get into the high school he wanted. But then he discovers that Shingo, the amazing older brother he was constantly compared to, actually quit school and now wants to make ramen for a living (in an excellent gag, everyone discovers that Shingo is actually a horrendous cook, as he wastes Hachiken’s venison on bad ramen). Later, as Hachiken works, Shingo talks to their mother to let her know that Hachiken is all right, but before their conversation is finished their father takes over the phone. Here we see what may be the route of Hachiken’s whole mess of problems, as their father tells Shingo that both of his sons are failures.
Finally, at the end of the episode, comes the big mistake the title refers to. Hachiken forgets to attach the hose to the milking tank before the milking process begins, and Aki stumbles upon the resulting mess only after a huge amount of milk has been wasted. At the sight of his screw up, Hachiken is paralyzed, even more so when he gets Aki to tell him how much the milk is worth (which in turn alerts him to how small the profit margin is for farmers). Aki’s father is actually kind to Hachiken when this happens, in a rough way that never came about through his hard work, and even when Hachiken tries to refuse his pay check or offers to pay for the spilled milk, the family refuses, saying this is what they decided his hard work was worth. I was admittedly nervous when I saw the title to this episode, since I find awkward situations to be exceedingly uncomfortable to watch. But the situation never got that over the top. Instead, it’s a mistake that a real person would make, and the Mikages’ reaction is how real people would react. It’s proof that even with the gags and overreactions, the show knows when to take itself seriously.
As always, this episode had plenty of funny moments, with the arrival of Hachiken’s brother and even the eating of the corn in one of the final scenes, when Hachiken and his brother both flip out at the wonderful, sweet taste of farm fresh corn. But we also finally get to see more than just the barest glimpse of what Hachiken’s family life must be like to make him run off to an agricultural school in the middle of nowhere, with a “perfect” brother who gave up everything and a father who can’t accept their failures, which is obviously what leads to Hachiken’s paralyzation when he finally makes a mistake. It’s not all harshness with Hachiken’s family, however. Despite the airing of many of Hachiken’s issues, there is a good side to his family that’s hinted at, as Grandpa Mikage points out that he and his brother have a good sense of taste because their parents gave them good food — a sign that they do care, even if some of their efforts are misguided or harmful. With the Mikage’s, Hachiken’s begun to learn that he can’t not do something just because he might fail, and even when he does fail, all he can do is pick himself up and move on. It’s an important life lesson that everyone has to deal with at some point, and Silver Spoon conveys it in a true and sensitive way. The sentiment may be a little too much in one of the final scenes, but still, this was an excellent episode.
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: 13″ Apple Macbook set to 720p