OP Sequence

OP: 「らしさ」 (Rashisa) by SUPER BEAVER

「ばらかこどん / 元気な子供」 (Barakakodon / Genkina Kodomo)
“Energetic Kid”

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 Sequence

ED: 「Innocence」 by NoisyCell


  1. https://randomc.net/image/Barakamon/Barakamon%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2032.jpg

    This girl is going to be so hilarious.

    Anyways, this show reeks of so much cute and warm fuzziness, I can’t even begin to describe. I sure was glad no one was home when I watched this at 10 AM ><. It's charming seeing how the countryside gets romanticized and portrayed in this show. Though some parts get exaggerated for comedy, I can't help but feel that this is how people treat each other in certain parts of Japan. The slapstick interactions are especially effective at portraying a genuine carefree nature, instead of some silly gag. This is easily an instant winner for the season and another triumph for Japanese artists--country life is portrayed so positively through their craft. So Takaii, thinking of picking this up? I sure'll consider it if you don't 😛

      1. OOPS … top comment was supposed a separate comment not a reply D: heres the reply I meant to write! DONT BE LIKE THAT MAN! LOOOK AT POOR POOR Zanibas 0 on the schedule table doesnt it make you so sad?

    1. Hina is going to be hilarious XD

      I think the anime did a great job portraying the same atmosphere as the manga, especially that sunset. And after watching the first episode, it does do a great job conveying the countryside while adding its own flair in the comedic bits.

      random thought: Maybe both you and Takaii can do a joint blog post on Barakamon?

    2. I think the lack of action/romance in slice-of-life like this give the author room to build and expand on the side characters. That’s usually because they don’t have a plot (or things progress very slowly), but the manga so far seems to have one, and the flow of events seem very natural.

      One thing that worries me is that I didn’t think there was enough material for an anime. I really liked the author’s work, and I’m not really keen on an anime-original ending.

  2. Easily my favorite show thus far and probably will be all the way through. It’s amazing when you can set a story in an otherwise ordinary and uneventful setting and turn it into something beautiful through character interactions alone. With a duo as engaging, hilarious and lovable as Handa and Naru, it really rivals pairs like Sora and Shiro in my book and I think Barakamon will just make for an amazing anime.

  3. This was an awesome first episode, made me smile towards the end, I’m happy to have randomly clicked on it when it was released @ Crunchy, because truth to be told, I didn’t originally plan to watch this anime at all.

    I really liked the portrayal of the local people.

    This summer is turning out to be quite the hit so far. 🙂

  4. Absolutely flawless. Excellent first episode. Using a kid seiyuu for Naru only made her character more endearing. It pressed all the right buttons with me. Definitely the most impressive first episode of the season so far.

  5. Watched this with a 10-year-old cousin who normally prefers shonen anime. He said it’s the best show of the season so far, and I agree. Charming, touching and hilarious to boot (hearing Junon Takeo, er, Handa Seishuu being called a “Junon Boy” just cracked me up).

  6. One of my favorite, if not favorite anime of the season.

    I really liked the interaction between Handa and Naru… was really heartfelt and comedic. You have a rough around the edges adult with a carefree and energetic kid, and hijinks are bound to ensue. Handa also learns a lot from the new community and starts to let go of his stiffness in a sense. I believe this will translate his calligraphy into a more freer, wilder style than his orthodox calligraphy style. The maturation of Handa’s character is worth watching. Of course, Naru is just an adorable lil kid, and watching her antics and conversations with Handa just brings smiles and laughter.

    While the new kid seiyu does a great job voicing Naru, I think more attention should be give to Daisuke Ono, who does a brilliant job voice-acting Handa. His tsukkomis/reactions were hilarious to watch: “Naze-da!?!” “Kodomo no Powah wa osorobeshi”. Fucking gold. Known more for his ikemen roles, this is a nice change in his voice-acting lineup, and goes to show that veteran seiyus are veterans for a reason.

  7. Based on the first episode I would put Barakamon together with Yotsuba in that special soul-purifying category.

    It’s as if the show’s whole essence and feel was captured in Handa writing a massive kanji for “fun” there at the end.

  8. ‘Barakamon’is provincial Gotou Island dialect for ‘energetic person’ as described in the title.

    Also I hear Naru is voiced by an actual child, and other children characters will be voiced by children too.

  9. I won’t lie the first thing that came to mind when I saw the title was Mortal Kombat. But seriously the show is great. They did say the kids in this series are going to be voiced by child seiyuus and you can really tell that they really are kids. I was expecting some laugh out loud comedy and what I got are life lessons, the occasional giggles and d’awww moments from Handa and Naru’s interactions, though Naru getting thrown out and Hina freaking out from everything Handa does did provide those laugh out loud moments. If Non Non Biyori provided relaxation and smiles courtesy of the scenery(and Renge), Barakamon’s warm and fuzzy moments came from the friendly people of that island. I expected Handa’s culture shock would take effect for a while, so it’s good that just in the pilot episode he looks like he’s already having fun during his so-called exile. It’s also great that he’s the kind of main character that’s quick to apologize if he did anything wrong.

  10. Sometimes its the little details that get your attention the most. For me that was when Seishuu would walk up the stairs in his house and the one board would move under his weight.

  11. I went in blind, not knowing anything and I’m like oh my god I’m so in love lol

    https://randomc.net/image/Barakamon/Barakamon%20-%20OP%20-%20Large%2008.jpg Naru is just the most adorable little thing and hilarious. Handa reminds me of the Zetsubou Sensei. They both need each other just like a buddy cop duo.

    https://randomc.net/image/Barakamon/Barakamon%20-%2001%20-%2036.jpg The islanders are awesome too, wish I lived on that island.

    This was the best episode 1 of the season knocked Tokyo Ghoul to second place for me. I almost rewatched it too, but that’s just going to make the wait for episode 2 even more painful.

  12. Lol, Junon Boy.

    Lovely countryside <3 Powerful storyline <3
    I loveee anime that takes place in countryside of Japan..u know, the tatami,the reaction to the accents that tokyo ppl don't understand.lol scenery,etc

  13. Very strong opening episode indeed. Has the calming atmosphere of Non Non Biyori with a similar protagonist that Silver Spoon had. This is a concept I simply never get tired of. Not to mention all the characters are very likeable so far. One of my tops this season already =).

    Given that actual kids are doing the voice work I really hope they refrain from using pedo jokes (I’m barely recovered from Black Bullet……..). That would just literally ruin the entire show for me.

  14. I almost cried when everyone in the village came to help. I wanted to because I realized I lived in a reality where that will never happen and I am conditioned to not want it to happen even if it did.

    But that shy little girl with the barrette… my gawd… kawaii done right!

    Petit Orenji
  15. It didn’t seem as if it was really Handa’s choice in the matter to come to the island. I got the impression that his father ordered him there.

    Iyashikei and kuukikei fit this to a T.

    1. yeah seems like a disciplinary sentencing indeed. Plus hes basically dead to the calligraphy world in Tokyo anyway, so might as well give him time and space to recollect himself! AND POSSIBLY LEARN THE TRUE MEANING OF LIFE IN HIS WORK TO PAINT BETTER!

  16. Love the use of a kid for the kid’s role (this needs to be done more, imo), and I felt like I was hearing some unique range for Ono Daisuke. I always enjoy his roles, but he’d recently seemed somewhat shoehorned into a type of character that had the same kind of voice requirements, so I’m really happy to hear something new from him!

    A friend was disappointed about the lack of calligraphy details (as a plot device instead of the focus) but my expectations were met and exceeded! I’ll be making time for this series.

  17. I think all the things that need to be said have already been said. Great show. This is the kind of thing I watch anime for. Sure, the shows with the big booms, big bots and/or big boobs(?) are nice, but this is just medicine in animated form.
    Just lean back and forget all the negativity in the world for 20 minutes and come out fresh, ready to face a new day!

    … Oh gods, that sounded cheesy.

    Tsugumi Henduluin
  18. After watching the ending of Aldnoah.Zero, this show was a excellent palate cleanser and so much more. I think I woke up a few neighbors with my laughing. Not watching this at 2:30am anymore……

  19. Very warm and fuzzy show so far, reminds me of the one from a year or 2 ago about the guy who adopted his…aunt I believe it was? Either way, interactions between a relatively young-middle age guy and a cute and cuddly young girl.

  20. My goodness, I don’t think a premiere has ever gotten me so emotional. Nothing seemed forced, and all of the interactions seemed so natural. As predictable as it was, there aren’t any words for me to describe how heartfelt the atmosphere was. So. Hnng.
    Also, dying because Hina.

  21. This season is KILLING me with all the must-watches! I think I broke all personal records by following so many, my head hurts. This title is definitely ding-ding-ding on the top. 🙂


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