|Original Manga||Satsuki Yoshino|
|Made By||Kinema Citrus|
|# of Episodes||12|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
An uptight and naive calligraphy artist is exiled to the boonies after a violent outburst.
Seishu Handa is a sheltered city-born calligraphy artist who prides himself on his by-the-books workmanship. When a famous gallery curator remarks that Handa's calligraphy is "something you'd see in a school textbook", Handa responds to this criticism the way any professional artist would; He punches the old man in the face. As punishment for the outburst, Handa's father sends him on a trip to Goto Island, a tiny backwater speck in southern Japan. Upon his arrival, Handa is greeted by both the dire realization that the comfortable city life he's always known is now very far away, and a host of quirky new neighbors. Not the least of which is a boundlessly energetic little girl named Naru who attaches herself to Handa, much to his dismay. Handa believes his time on the island will help him evolve as an artist and inspire an artistic style he can call his own, provided he can survive the experience of course.
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Barakamon isn't a weighty or dramatic kind of show, but that doesn't mean it's not smart. An overall solid script, and a strong central focus on Handa's personal growth really elevates the material above many of its contemporaries. The cast is just large enough to provide a broad foundation for gags without being too cumbersome, Handa's artistic conflicts will resonate with anyone who's ever tried to make it in a creative field, and Naru's childishly adorable behavior(and actual child voice actress) will be instantly endearing to anyone who's ever had to deal with kids for extended periods of time. The humor is broad and flows naturally from the characters' base personalities, especially from Handa and Naru's comparative immaturity. Barakamon is essentially what happens when you apply remarkable execution to mostly unremarkable material. It's cute, funny, laid back, and even genuinely poignant on several occasions. It's not enlightening or world-shattering, but this is about as good as the down-to-Earth end of the Slice of Life genre gets.