On the 12th Day of Anime — A Horseshoe for the Year of the Horse

For the first time in Anime B&B’s history, I am taking part in the seasonal 12 Days of Anime. For this event, I will be taking the more traditional approach of choosing 12 different anime (sort of…) that aired during the year of 2014 that positively stood out to me. This will obviously be a huge test for this blog, since the average posting rate is usually 1-2 times a month. For this project, I’ll be [hopefully] publishing a post a day until Christmas, so stay tuned for my twelve most memorable moments in anime for the year.

We’re starting with horses.

Why?

It’s the Year of the Horse–what more suitable way is there to begin talking about anime spanning the course of the year?

Silver Spoon‘s glorious second season aired at the start of the year during the Winter 2014 season and punched us in the gut with Hachiken’s worries about Mikage and his place in the horse club. The school principal’s comparison of Hachiken to the characteristics of the horses for whom he cares comes to light in this sequel; he worries incessantly over the concerns of those around him, and goes so far as to sacrifice his own time and health for the convenience of others. He is quick to accept the decisions of those around him, but stubborn against any suggestions that his choices may have been wrong. It’s an odd mix of “yes” man and “no” man. It takes some face-to-face time with his family and Mikage for him to learn how to say “no” to unreasonable requests for his time that can easily be overseen by others, and “yes” to the assistance of others. Like the obstinate horse he rides for his club, Hachiken is easily affected by the opinions of others and balks when the conditions aren’t just right.

Hachiken’s struggle with jumping Marron over obstacles with the same ease as his club mates takes a dark turn. He blames himself for his seeming lack in ability. He blames his famously ill-mannered horse for choosing not to jump. He yells and tenses up and fails to see the relationships of the other pairs. It isn’t until Mikage brings him to a jumping competition where he can see others that he realizes his shortcoming. He isn’t incapable; it’s his disbelief in his own horse’s skills that prevents the two from trusting one another and producing something amazing. Once he does, the sky’s the limit.

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