You’ve seen one. You’ve seen them all.
That’s a claim that can easily be made about most anime belonging to the same genre. There are certain “rules” which authors adhere to. Sometimes they bend them, sometimes they flat out break them, but still the rules are there.
Gin no Saji follows Yuugo Hachiken, a boy tired of trying to live up to expectations he cannot meet. He decides to enrol in Ooezo Agricultural High School, a boarding school in the countryside, as a means to escape the stress brought upon by his parents and his lack of direction. For more adverbs and adjectives visit: myanimelist.net.
What you might call “rules” of a slice of life anime are present in Gin no Saji. But it’s not the rules that really matter, do they? It’s the characters’ originality and plausibility, the setting in which those rules are being applied.
I’m a sucker for anime in which nothing really happens. And when I say nothing, I mean nobody saves the world, establishes new world order or reinstates the balance between the universes – basically your average slice-of-life is my cup of tea. And Gin no Saji is at the same time average and extraordinary, which is a combination I really enjoy because it is not easy to pull it off.
Gin no Saji is about friendship, limitations and about having good fun while trying to become a better version of yourself – as much as life will let you. However, all of these usual topics are dealt with while our protagonist Yuugo and his motley crew learn how to make bacon and cheese, while taking care of pigs and cows and learning all there is about horses.
Somehow, the agricultural setting manages to make all those usual slice-of-life tropes shine brighter and make you laugh and care even more. A must-see for anyone who enjoys slice-of-life. Really.
If you don’t like/eat meat I think it might be better for you to skip Gin no Saji.
Also, if you do like/eat meat and have issues with where it actually comes from, you might find some parts of Gin no Saji not-so-nice.