Overall enjoyment rating: 9/10
Would reccommend to anime watchers and non-anime watchers alike!
The short-fused calligrapher, Handa, punches an aged, crippled gallery owner in the face and is ‘sent’ (exiled) to a small island to cool off and mature a little as a person. Having never been outside of the city before he has no idea what this countryside island will be like. The people are chummy and intrusive, kids constantly pester him and we watch in hysterics as Handa tries to adapt to his new temporary home.
Story and characters
This anime is is a great example of how slice of life should be. Taking the focus away from high school for once, Barakamon is a heart-warming and touching story of making friends, belonging, personal growth and maturing as an individual. The comedy was great and had me cracking up from time to time and I can’t say that there was a single moment in the series where I felt bored.
Handa and the other main character, Naru, an adorable and energetic kid who hangs around Handa throughout the anime, get a good amount of development and so does the overall plot. Usually I would complain about the lack of development of pretty much the whole of the rest of the cast but they are all so well fleshed out from the offset that it really didn’t matter. Not only this, but the friendships between Handa and the others, especially Naru, who gains a strong attachment to Handa by the end.
Barakamon is an episodic anime but has a good overall plot to it as well. Each episode was enjoyable and it didn’t get boring. A common problem with slice of life anime is that there gets a point where the it gets a little tedious to watch because the characters simply aren’t doing anything interesting. However Barakamon doesn’t suffer from this at all as Handa and the locals go out and do something fun and entertaining every single episode. The overall plot in my opinion helped stop the series from feeling too aimless as well.
The characters felt organic and believable and no one in the cast really rests on character tropes too much, save for some of the old farmer dudes who didn’t really get more than a scene’s screentime. The kids acted like KIDS, meaning they have no sense of personal space, they are hyperactive and always want you to play with them, rather than quiet and submissive, well behaved robots as they are always portrayed in anime nowadays; the teenagers act like teenagers, and so on. The cast just felt so organic, it was a breath of fresh air to watch them go about their daily lives as one does in a slice of life.
Animation and Sound
The animation here was smooth and the colours were well balanced. They animated the movement of each character very well as they weren’t imprisoned by wooden movements but instead moved really naturally.
The soundtrack is nice, warm and fuzzy and accompanies the countryside feel of the anime nicely. It isn’t something I’ve given a listen to on its own but from what I heard I’d probably not take the time to do so.
Barakoamon was a great slice of life anime. It’s really sweet so theres some nice feels that you get with watching it as the show goes on and the bonds between Handa grow stronger. The animation was great and all the characters were entertaining and convincing in their own right.
I’m giving Barakamon a:
9/10 for Characters
8.5/10 for Story – don’t get me wrong: they couldn’t have made this much better than it already is. I only gave it this rating because it isn’t all too deep – I reserve the highest ratings for stories that are more thought-provoking or complex than this. 8.5/10 is pretty freaking good anyway and probably one of the best that this kind of story can get. So if you look at it that way you could consider it a 9.5/10 for what it sets out to do.
7/10 for Art and animation
7/10 for Soundtrack
and a 9/10 for my overall enjoyment. I really enjoyed the anime and can’t really find anything wrong with it.
I would definitely reccommend this to any anime watcher out there. I also think it would be a great anime to start someone off on anime if I were to introduce somebody else to the medium.
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