Barakamon (ばらかもん)

Barakamon is the anime adaptation of the shonen manga with the same title by Satsuki Yoshino. It is an amazing slice of life anime about calligraphy professional, Handa Seishuu, who is sent to a small village on an island to set him on the path to improve his art.

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Very rarely do I come across a slice of life series that isn’t centered on students and high school life. It was refreshing to watch something that has a very different pace. I started the series knowing nothing about the plot or central theme. After the first episode, however, I expected the show to dance around the main story line and consist mostly of fillers before a quick once-over before resolving the main conflict; like most short-run series. I soon realized that Barakamon, has more to offer than most slice of life shows.  I think that it doesn’t actually have any filler episodes, as there is always something Seishuu takes away from his new experience, no matter how little.

The series is short but entertaining enough to get you invested in the characters as well as the story. It has cutesy humor that comes off as very natural and effortless. One thing that I absolutely adore about the series, is the way it takes its time with setting introduction. It doesn’t force the audience to take in as much information about the setting and the characters to progress the story. Character development is something that doesn’t stand out, only to highlight the protagonist’s intrapersonal interactions.

In Handa Seishuu’s journey to rediscover his art, he decides that in order to do so, he must rediscover himself first; he works to improve his art, as he becomes invested in the humble countryside village and its residents. Most of the anime’s appeal comes from the protagonist’s struggle to fit in and how he incorporates his new experiences with his creations.

Both the opening and ending theme’s of the show are almost too perfect for the series. Rashisa (らしさ) by Super Beaver is lighthearted rock track that perfectly sets up the mood for each episode. Innocence by NoisyCell is a bittersweet rock ballad that will leave you eager for the next episode.

I highly recommend Barakamon if you are looking for something relatively short and lighthearted. I finished the series in just one afternoon binge session. If you do decide to watch it and are craving for more, you might also enjoy Usagi Drop. It is similar in the sense that it is also a humorous slice of life anime with a toddler and grown-up pair protagonist.

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