Barakamon Review (Anime)on July 27, 2017 by Mitch Jay
You know when an anime just gets you? Like, it’s what you’ve been looking for, yearning for? Barakamon was that for me when I sat down to finally watch it, and I enjoyed my time with it immensely. Funny, uplifting and touching, Bakaramon has a loveable cast and is one of slice-of-life’s best anime.
Barakamon follows young, egotistical calligrapher Seishu Handa who punches an older man for calling his work unoriginal, and so his father sends him to Goto Island to get his bearings together. Being used to the city, Handa struggles to become familiar with the new rural town he lives in but as the town’s inhabitants force their way into Handa’s life, he begins to open up and find new meaning to his work.
One of slice-of-life’s best anime.
As soon as little Naru is introduced, you know that she’ll have a big impact on Handa’s life. She’s everything that he isn’t – carefree, energetic, and full of life. Handa initially doesn’t even want to leave his new home and he has others in the village deliver food to him – bit of a selfish jerk, right?
It’s clear that Handa isn’t inherently a bad person though, and so when Naru forces herself into his life each and every day, Handa grows to like her company and the friends who she brings along. It’s a heartwarming journey of discovery and happiness, and I’m now left yearning for a second season alongside other Barakamon fans. I really want to see more of this loveable cast!
I’m now left yearning for a second season alongside other Barakamon fans.
Kinema Citrus, an animation studio which I’m actually not too familiar with and who have worked on Black Bullet and Yuyushiki in the past, did a great job with Barakamon. It’s soft and bright, and captures the breezy feel of the anime perfectly. There’s a fair bit of physical humour (as seen below) and the dialogue and natural banter between characters is entertaining. Having a strong focus on calligraphy means that we get to see some stunning ink animation too, and the strokes of Handa’s brush are mesmerising.
The English dub is strong with the likes of Robert McCollum, Alison Viktorin, Lynsey Hale and Apphia Tu giving fantastic performances – voice director Mike McFarland had his finger on the pulse when directing the chosen talent, and they capture the joyful tone of the show. The opening and ending themes are catchy, and I particularly like the cheerful opening.
This story about finding love in your work and doing it for yourself, rather than for others, is one that’ll entertain you from beginning to end.
If you’re looking for something that’ll slap a smile on your face and give you warm, fuzzy feelings inside, then Barakamon is an anime that you’ll want to check out. This story about finding love in your work and doing it for yourself, rather than for others, is one that’ll entertain you from beginning to end — the only problem is that you’ll be left wanting more! Barakamon’s prequel, Handa-kun, has an anime adaptation (by a different studio) but I hope that we see a continuation of the main work someday. If not, then at least we can read the manga in both physical and digital forms.