Barakamon

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Watch the anime here
Read the manga here

Summary

As a punishment for punching a famous calligrapher, young handsome calligrapher Handa Seishu is exiled to a small island. As someone who has never lived outside of a city, Handa has to adapt to his new wacky neighbors, like people traveling on a tractor, unwanted visitors who never use the front door, annoying kids using his home as a playground, etc. Can this city guy handle all the crazy hardships? Find out in this wacky island comedy full of innocence and laughter!

One of the hallmarks of a quality slice of life show is its ability to make you forget about the real world and immerse you in their world, if only for a few minutes. You laugh alongside the characters as they do silly things, get anxious as they struggle through trials and tribulations, and then feel relieved when those problems are resolved. Barakamon does an excellent job of accentuating this aspect of the slice of life genre. Through a cast of quirky and unique characters along with simple yet powerful storytelling, Barakamon portrays the life of a man who strives to discover his true identity and style.One of the strongest aspect of Barakamon is its ability to tell a story without complicated angles such as cliché rom-coms or battle shounens. Each episode itself is a story that cleverly show Seishuu’s life rather than tell. Indeed, they also tie in with Seishuu’s calligraphy skill as it plays as an influence throughout the show. Furthermore, the show has a heartwarming atmosphere and innocence. As much as Seishuu is curious about his new surroundings, the kids too are eager to learn. Through Seishu, they learn more about him and essence of the outside life. Remember, these kids are young and wishes to learn beyond school textbooks. With sensei there as a guidance, the kids get a lot out of his presence. It also creates an incalculable attachment as each episode brings them closer in that intimate way. They become like a family, one that in that Barakamonish to the core.

It is amazing how much adults can learn from children, despite once being children themselves. Their naive and simple way of thinking and positive outlook can do wonders for an adult struggling with the more mature problems of the world. A change in perspective or a shift in thought process; sometimes that’s all you need to overcome the more complex issues in life. In Barakamon, this is very apparent as you watch Naru and the other village children completely change Handa through simple actions and conversations. It was a pleasure to watch Handa transform from a hot headed, close minded, and unsociable person into someone with broad horizons and an open mindset who takes life a little less seriously while enjoying it so much more.

Barakamon delivers a slice of life show that we’ve been missing for quite some time. With the amount of cute girls doing cute things and moe shows, Barakamon was a much needed breath of fresh air. A cute, endearing, and heartwarming story about a calligrapher who seeks for a style he can call his own, Barakamon is a solid pick up for any slice of life fan.

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