Very seldom to you come across an anime that is so genuinely funny and heartfelt just watching it brings a smile to your face. A show with no drama but still has something about it that keeps you coming back. Not to mention a main character that you really get to see change from episode to episode until he is practically a different person when it ends. Unfortunately, this is not something that happens in anime everyday, however, when it is done right it makes for a great show. Which is exactly what the anime I am reviewing today did!!
So here is my 28th Anime Review for an anime that I enjoyed so much I wish it would continue on forever: Barakamon
Barakamon is a 12 episode anime that originally aired in July 2014 as a part of the Summer 2014 Anime Season, and then ended in September 2014. It is based off of a manga of the same name written by Satsuki Yoshino, and done by the studio Kinema Citrus. The manga has a prequel series titled “Handa-kun” which is set to receive its own anime series in the Summer 2016 Anime Season.
The story follows up and coming calligrapher Seishuu Handa who is a handsome, smart young man, and he also happens to be a huge narcissist. When a well respected veteran calligrapher calls his calligraphy an exact copy of the original, despite being prize winning, Seishuu gets angry and punches the elderly man in the face. As punishment, Seishuu’s father sends him to live in the Goto Islands, far away from the Tokyo he is familiar with. Our temperamental lead is forced into this rural area in hope that he finds inspiration and develops his own style of calligraphy. While there he befriends some boisterous children, some fujoshi middle schoolers, and some eccentric elderly citizens. Seishuu learns that this rural village is not exactly the peaceful farming community that he had imagined. We then follow Seishuu as he grows both as a calligrapher and as a person.
The character cast of this show was not huge by any means. There were a total of maybe…10 ish characters, as an over estimate, that we really got to know and spend time with on screen. This is drastically different from a show like Durarara!! or Code Geass where there are so many characters that you almost need to take notes while to watch to keep up with who is who. Now that is not necessarily a bad thing. In my opinion, as long as the character cast is well thought out and given proper backing and depth I do not care about how big it is. Barakamon to me has a little different method of character development. Most of the characters had little development at most, but it was more like they were there to develop our main character, Seishuu. Sure Hiroshi kind of decided what he wants to do with himself but otherwise the other characters were just kind of there as a driving force for Seishuu’s development.
Seishuu for me was a very good main character. We got to witness him change from this uptight, stressed person struggling with life to a much more relaxed person who was truly enjoying life. Honestly, I really related to Seishuu on a personal level. His love for cats and constantly being interrupted are things I struggle with everyday. Not to mention little Seishuu is absolutely adorable. Just look at him:
What more could you ask from a main character? I always enjoy a show that changes the main character for the better and by the end of it they are a much better person than when the show began. The best thing about it is that the reason he became better was because of the people that were introduced in his life. Sure, being in such a rural place kind was terrible at first, but it eventually becomes part of Seishuu’s inspiration to develop his own calligraphy.
Barakamon was animated by Kinema Circus and they did an overall pretty good job. The animation was simple and not too over the top, but was still pleasant to watch. There was a lot of ocean shown in the show and it made it look like you could have leaped through the screen and go swimming in it. It was a very pleasant show to watch. The opening theme song is “Rashisa” by SUPER BEAVER and I really enjoyed it. It was upbeat and catchy and showed us all of the character that were important to the story, okay maybe a few were not included but the ones that were the most essential to Seishuu’s development. The ending theme was “Innocence” by NoisyCell and was also a great song. The artwork was very unique and was something that I had never seen before. When I get the chance I will be putting both of these songs on my iPod.
For the first time in a long time it was actually pretty easy for me to decide what I was going to reward Barakamon with. So in the end I award Barakamon with an A. I enjoyed this show so much, and I think this is an ideal slice of life show. There was no “bad guy” or love triangles, it was just us watching this guy live his life and do what he loves. The best part is the show was funny without feeling like it was trying to hard. The situations the characters were in, or their reactions to certain things is what made the show funny. That gave it a kind of realistic feel to me. The island Barakamon takes place on actually reminds me a lot of my hometown. Except we don’t have a beautiful ocean just down the street, we have the Mississippi which is…well…brown. ANYWAY!! But the closeness of the citizens and how relaxed people are with just walking into other people’s houses or people randomly coming to your house reminds me so much of my hometown. That made me love the show so much more as well. I seriously do love this show and highly suggest that you go and watch it as soon as you can. It is an easy show to watch and you just want to keep watching it. Sure it was only 12 episodes but those episodes were so good that I would watch them over and over again.
So what do you guys think? Have you seen Barakamon? What did you think of it? Is there an anime location that reminds you of where you live or have lived? Let me know down in the comments below!! And as always, if there is an anime that you think I should watch feel free to leave that down below as well!!
See you next time!!