When the happy-sounding songs make you cry

I’m in a very delicate state. I’ve spent over a month stressing about finding a new living situation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve filled my gas tank to make the drive from Bloomington to Indianapolis for apartment-hunting. Over the course of this week, I was awake 24 hours straight not once, but twice. The move is now complete but grossly disorganized, and I’m still not sure my retail job will transfer. So that’s a cool feeling.

The reason I’m writing is because on one of my *four* drives in as many days, I popped in a mix, something I’d burned a month ago and had long since forgotten the tracklist. And this song played toward the end: the ending theme for the second season of Silver Spoon.

And I bawled. Tight harmonies mixed at similar levels have a tendency to elicit emotional reactions from me. But with where I am in my life, especially during this hectic week, alone with all my shit in traffic on I-465 . . . yeah.

If the art looks familiar, it should—it’s by the same mangaka who gave us Fullmetal Alchemist. But Silver Spoon is much different in scope and tone. It’s about Hachiken, a boy who has reached a breaking point under academic pressure and who, for his own sanity, decides to attend an agricultural high school in Hokkaido instead of something academically prestigious.

Farming is a huge part of Indiana culture—where some might call themselves “country boys” or “cowgirls”, many in Indiana lovingly consider themselves “corn-fed”, referring to the state’s number one cash crop. Even city girls like myself find fields of cornsilk a familiar sight, and a combine harvester on the highway is no cause for road rage. We think about the realities of food production more than in other parts of the country, because so many of us and our families and peers make a living that way.

So while I’m farming adjacent at best, nothing about the agricultural aspects of Silver Spoon surprised me. But everything about it was uniquely relatable to me, both from Hachiken’s city/scholarly perspective, and his fellows’ trade-centric perspective. I wholeheartedly recommend this charming series to anyone on any side of the city/country divide. Even if it makes you cry a little.

Featured image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver_Spoon_(manga)


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