Barakamon!: Sometimes a lifestyle change is everything you need to get your inspiration back. A calligrapher lives a humbling experience in this heartwarming story.
In A Nutshell
Seishuu Handa is a young, talented calligrapher from Tokyo. After his work is labelled as “unoriginal”, Handa loses his cool with severe repercussions. This leads to Handa’s father sending his son away to the rural Goto Islands as punishment and as a way for him to self-reflect. However, being able to work in peace proves to be very hard as lively wacky neighbours and children won’t stop interrupting him on a daily basis.
Meet the Characters
Handa is the main character of Barakamon!. Handa is very ambitious and hard-working person, but he is also quite arrogant and believes that if the others are not appreciating his work, it’s their fault. Handa is the character that changes the most throughout the series and he learns a lot of valuable lessons during his time in the Goto Islands
Naru is a 7-year-old kid from the Goto Islands. As any kid her age, she is very cheerful and energetic, often annoying Handa when he’s trying to work. She enjoys catching bugs, playing with her friends and visiting Handa, whom she calls only ‘sensei’. Naru’s role in the story is to inspire a change in Handa through her careless attitude and enjoying the little things in life.
A Brief History of Barakamon!: The When, Where and How
An anime adaptation of the spin-off prequel Handa-kun aired in the summer season of 2016.
Why It’s Awesome
There is a reason why Barakamon! appeared in our summer-themed anime to watch list. Being set in the countryside and near the beach, Barakamon! offers a story in which the characters are surrounded by nature and where everything is about appreciating the little things in life. Even if the series is about a hard-working person who aspires to be someone important, its main focus is not on Handa’s work, but in the way his attitude changes over time. In that regard, Barakamon! differs from other similar series like Bakuman where it’s all about the struggles that come from fighting for your goals. Instead of that, Barakamon! is more about taking a step back to get a broader and more humble outlook on life.
As any Slice of Life, Barakamon! is relaxing, funny and very heartwarming. In series of this genre, the characters are key, and Barakamon! does not have a single character that could be considered dislikable. The best part about the series is actually Handa’s character development and how subtle and believable it is, which is very impressive considering the show is only 12 episodes long.
While some city people might not necessarily agree with the idea that everyone is nicer in rural areas, at the end of the day, Barakamon! is about the effects that a change of scenario can have on a person. These changes don’t only happen for artists like Handa, but for anyone who feels stuck in a situation and needs a breath of fresh air to reconsider their life. Sometimes the littlest things can be enough to change your perspective and to stop taking yourself too seriously.