OP: 「らしさ」 (Rashisa) by SUPER BEAVER
「ばらかこどん / 元気な子供」 (Barakakodon / Genkina Kodomo)
Out of all the new shows this season, Barakamon definitely was my favorite so far.
A cute, fun, and sometimes serious story
Barakamon’s story follows Handa Seishuu, a young and upcoming calligrapher from Tokyo who kind of ruins his professional life after losing his cool and punching a prominent figure in the calligraphy community for calling his work “dull and textbook”. Trying to avoid the fallout, he decides to move out to the countryside in order to focus on his work. But as we all know, immersing yourself to in a completely different culture is usually accompanied with some type of culture shock which usually leads to some awkward or embarrassing moments.
In Barakamon’s case though, I was caught completely off guard by how touching the entire experience was. Instead of trying to make silly jokes about the differences between the city and the countryside, I really appreciated how they decided to focus on how learning from different cultures can be a beneficial thing. Basic things that sound like a no brainer until you realize how often we forget to do them — like opening up to others and learning to apologize even when you know you’re not completely in the wrong.
Toss in best girl of the season competitor Kotoishi Naru and I think you have the best character combination ever. Being completely different than Handa in all the right ways, she’s been completely schooling him about all the things that you tend to forget about when you’re stuck stressing about life. Sure she may only be a little kid but last I checked, kids were the best when it comes to bringing out the best in people! Also how often do you see a kid explain to an adult the importance of apologizing in a way that doesn’t come off condescending?!
Power of Community
That scene where the entire village shows up to help Handa move in just felt so right that I’m having trouble putting how I felt into words. If I were to try though it would probably be a combination of a “hnnng” and “Ah!” feeling — kind of like when you realize you’ve been seeing things from the completely wrong light. All I know for sure is that the scene served as the perfect way to solidify the idea that Handa realized that maybe, just maybe the world isn’t out to get him.
Overall Impressions and Looking Ahead
Like I said earlier, I completely loved this first episode. Somehow making the boring things like an introduction to the characters and story fun, there wasn’t a dull moment throughout the entire thing. Toss in the incredibly strong duo of Handa and Naru as the main characters and a touching story about self-discovery and I see nothing but good things over the horizon. Sure it probably doesn’t hurt that the show knows how to be funny but I think the humor is just icing on a delicious cake.
All in all, this show is the definition of a funny slice-of-life that has a powerful message guiding it from the sidelines. Please, go watch it when you can. It’s just that good.
ED: 「Innocence」 by NoisyCell