Moyashimon was all about the microbiology behind agriculture. The Japanese government apparently encourages this sort of “educational” manga and anime about fields that aren’t getting enough majors. With the graying of rural Japan, and Japan’s perpetual need to exploit what farmland they have to avoid importing all their food, it’s no wonder that the Japanese government goes to these lengths.
Silver Spoon is all about vocational high schools where you actually farm. The anime’ll be coming out later this year, but the manga has already been out for a while in Japan. (I don’t think it’s been licensed over here. So here’s a link to the scanlation.) The comic is by the same lady who did Full Metal Alchemist, and an alternate version of Major Armstrong appears near the end of the first issue. 🙂
Our protagonist is so desperate to get away from his family in Sapporo (Japan’s fourth largest city, up in Hokkaido) that he applies to the farthest school he can find: a dairy farming high school that’s as rural as it gets on Hokkaido (ie, pretty darned rural), where the students board in dorms. He’s confident in his ability to get A’s on any kind of academics, but is dismayed to find out just how much hands-on work there’s going to be. But while some of his classmates aren’t good with academics, the ones there for the genetics program are able to blow him away — and somehow, even the kids who can’t do math can discuss cow cloning!
Even worse, his classmates all seem to have clear dreams and goals for their future and an adult attitude, whereas he doesn’t have any idea what he wants from life, much less as a job.
It’s going to be a hard transition….
Issue 2 grapples with “where eggs come from.” Also, the amazing egg-cooking abilities of a bowl of really hot rice.
I think Foxfier will be particularly amused by the Holstein Club in Issue 3….