Directed by: Masaki Tachibana
Written by: Pierre Sugiura
Music by: Kenji Kawai
Studio: Kinema Citrus
Licensed by: Funimation
Tokyo Ghoul, Sword Art Online II, Akame Ga Kill! Everyone’s talking about these right now, and as much as I love those, I also hate them because of the fact that they’re the only thing everyone’s talking about right now… So I’m here to bring you an awesome Slice of Life called Barakamon, full of comedy and is a great relief from the big Anime that’s up there right now!
A 23 year-old calligrapher names Handa Seishu is a hard-working perfectionist in his line of work… But with that in mind he’s not the most social person around the block. He takes Grand Prize at a competition, but has no time to be proud as the exhibit hall director thinks his work is mediocre, and Handa being the perfectionist he is… Punches him square in the face (This literally bought the Anime for me, I was already in fits.) Handa’s Dad suggests he moves to an island to ‘cool his head’, and so he does. His destination? One of the quirky Goto Islands in Nagasaki (Get it, Goto? Go to?! No, okay…) He meets with the Village Chief and finally gets into his house, only to find it to be rather lived in. Upon closer inspection, he’s scared to death by the hidden ninja Naru, and so sparks their relationship into the weird and absolute hilarity that is this show. Maybe the island isn’t only to cool his head, but to show him that all the hard work he’s been doing, he’s missing out on true beauty such as the sunset over a vast ocean.
This is probably the most up-lifting part of Barakamon. The characters are fantastic, so different from a lot of others you see in separate shows, and they have so much personality it always gets to me emotionally, either in a happy or sad way (And trust me, that’s hard to do.) There’s quite a lot of side characters, so I’ll just stick with the main two (Definitely worth watching if you want to know about the other characters. Handa is a very hard-working individual, and always wants to be at the top. Due to the little socialism he had as a kid, he doesn’t have many friends (Please don’t hit me Handa-sensei!) Upon reaching the island he slowly comes to the realization that all of his hard-work had brought him to miss the beauty of many things, and his new found sidekick, Naru helps him find his way. Speaking of Naru, she has made it to my top 10 all time favorite Anime characters. She’s adorable, hilarious, weird, just everything about her makes me happy (I promise, I’m not a child fanatic.) She’s only young so she’s still learning a few things, and often gets in trouble with Handa for learning bad words off of her friends. But Handa is helping her with penmanship and giving that fatherly figure every dad should have.
The Graphics and Audio
The graphics are awesome, they’re quite cutesy and they kept the style very close to the manga and I simply love it when artists can pull that off. As well as all of this, the animation is what makes this shine even more (Cillit Bang anybody?) Seriously, it just makes everything that much more funny and it mixes very well with how a scene is meant to be portrayed. The voice acting is amazing and each voice suits the characters very well, even in scenes where it would be difficult to show a certain kind of emotion is done nicely. The music that plays comes on for each moment, in my honest opinion, is perfect for what each scene would need and it adds that little bit extra to Handa’s serious ‘gotta work hard’ moments and the hilarity to ‘WHY THE HELL HAVEN’T YOU TEXT ME BACK?!’ moments. One more thing that really got to me was the opening, I haven’t stopped listening to it since I watched the first episode and it really just warms my heart, not sure why. Nice one Barakamon, you have given me actual feelings.
Check out the player below to listen to the opening!
Overall - 10/10
I had to give this a 10, everything done here is perfect, from the story of a man trying to discover and return back to the feeling of having family or friends over, to the excellent character portrayal and character design. This is a definite watch for anyone and everyone, though I would recommend it to older audiences as they may be able to grasp the true feelings behind this wonderful Anime.