Hachiken is finishing up his summer job at Mikage’s family farm. His mother is so worried because of lack of communication from Hachiken that she sends his big brother to look for him. After proving that his dream of becoming a famous ramen chef is highly unlikely, Hachiken’s older brother decides to report to their mother that they should leave him be. Hachiken causes a disaster with the milking machine and tries to refuse the payment offered to him for his summer work, but the Mikage family won’t hear of it. Then, it’s time to go back to school, and for Hachiken that means more agonizing over the fate of Pork Bowl, the pig he named in volume two.
The pacing of this story continues to be methodical, and yet each volume contains a lot of story elements. Hachiken's friends continue to warn him not to get attached to the animals he's helping to raise, but this is a lesson that Hachiken is learning very slowly. This reflects how difficult it is for anyone coming into the farming industry, as Hachiken is, rather than being raised in that culture from childhood. There is a struggle of attachment to animals, and balancing the care to remembering their ultimate purpose. Secondarily, there is a lot of conversation within Hachiken and with his friends about having dreams and direction for their lives. High school is a time where students are often pressured to decide on future aspirations, and Hachiken is perfectly reflecting the struggles many of our students face when planning their futures.
Yen Press has this title rated as Teen for language. There are some swear words, but many are censored.
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1, vol 2
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Slice of Life, Farming
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