Seishuu Handa is an up-and-coming calligrapher: young, handsome, talented, and unfortunately, a narcissist to boot. When a veteran labels his award-winning piece as "unoriginal," Seishuu quickly loses his cool with severe repercussions.
As punishment, and also in order to aid him in self-reflection, Seishuu's father exiles him to the Goto Islands, far from the comfortable Tokyo lifestyle the temperamental artist is used to. Now thrown into a rural setting, Seishuu must attempt to find new inspiration and develop his own unique art style—that is, if boisterous children (headed by the frisky Naru Kotoishi), fujoshi middle schoolers, and energetic old men stop barging into his house! The newest addition to the intimate and quirky Goto community only wants to get some work done, but the islands are far from the peaceful countryside he signed up for. Thanks to his wacky neighbors who are entirely incapable of minding their own business, the arrogant calligrapher learns so much more than he ever hoped to.
An Unexpected Journey into Artistic Insight : Barakamon
Created by the astute pen of Yoshino Satsuki, Barakamon spins the entrancing tale of Seishuu Handa, a young and highly talented calligrapher from Tokyo whose world flips chaos, when he spontaneously punches a veteran art critic for labeling his award-winning piece as “unoriginal”. To regain his cool and refine his perspective on art, Handa is involuntarily exiled to the Goto Islands, a serene archipelago nestled far from bustling Tokyo’s hectic life.
The series encircles on Handa’s exceptional journey in Goto Islands, maneuvering through everyday rural life while developing his artistic palette. Encountering an assortment of colorful characters, including the free-spirited and cheeky youngster, Naru Kotoishi, Handa finally discovers the valuable life lessons hidden within raw nature and simple living. With its holistic narrative and intriguing background, Barakamon serves adroitly any anime lover’s platter with its distinctive blend of subtle humor, splendid artwork, comprehensive characters, and solemn life lessons.
Storyline and Characters
The supremely rich narrative of Barakamon impresses with its flawless blend of humor, drama, and philosophy. What particularly charms is its delicate focus on the simpler things in life, often overlooked in the quest for success. Each episode unravels Handa’s interaction with a new character or a new aspect of island life, enriching his artistic and personal outlook.
Handa, as our protagonist, evokes admiration not just as a calligrapher brooding over his art, but also as an individual steadily evolving through his island experiences. His bond with the vivacious Naru gives us some of the finest and warmest moments in the series. Naru, with her infectious energy, incredibly contrasts the brooding Handa, making them a fantastic combo to watch. The host of secondary characters only adds to the chortle and profundity of the anime, keeping the viewers engaged from start to end.
Artwork and Sound Design
Barakamon doesn’t fall short when it comes to the technical details either. The artwork is resplendent, reflecting the traditional Japanese art of calligraphy meticulously, whilst simultaneously capturing the serene beauty of rural life. The sound design further enhances the viewing experience, offering a splendid array of gentle soundtracks that perfectly complement the island setting and the emotive narrative. The voice actors further deserve a commendation for their splendid job at bringing these wonderfully woven characters to life.
Blessed with a rich narrative, Barakamon is a delightful palette of wisdom and laughter. It beautifully traverses the path from simply being an anime about a calligrapher to a wholesome narrative about overcoming personal obstacles, discovering one’s authentic self, and the joy of life beyond commercial success. The charm of Barakamon lies in its simplicity and authenticity, making it an enchanting series that deserves a place in your anime repertoire.
If you’re a fan of slice-of-life anime with a touch of drama and philosophy, consider buying or streaming Barakamon. Whether you plan to immerse in it solo or with friends, it’s an artistic journey that’s guaranteed to touch your heart and spark your mind. In conclusion, as your Anime Critic, I stand behind Barakamon as a phenomenal, high-quality, and well-rounded series. Tune in for the laughter, stay for the life lessons.
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