8.2/10
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Barakamon 

As a punishment for punching a famous calligrapher, young handsome calligrapher Handa Seishu is exiled to a small island. As someone who has never lived outside of a city, Handa has to ... See full summary »
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1  
2014  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Daisuke Ono ...  Seishu Handa 12 episodes, 2014
Suzuko Hara ...  Naru Kotoishi 12 episodes, 2014
Nozomi Furuki Nozomi Furuki ...  Miwa Yamamura 12 episodes, 2014
Rina Endô Rina Endô ...  Hina Kubota 12 episodes, 2014
Lynsey Hale Lynsey Hale ...  Miwa / ... 12 episodes, 2014
Robert McCollum ...  Handa / ... 12 episodes, 2014
Alison Viktorin Alison Viktorin ...  Naru 12 episodes, 2014
Lara Woodhull Lara Woodhull ...  Hina / ... 12 episodes, 2014
Rumi Okubo ...  Tamako Arai 10 episodes, 2014
Koki Uchiyama Koki Uchiyama ...  Hiroshi Kido 10 episodes, 2014
Duncan Brannan ...  Kawafuji / ... 10 episodes, 2014
Clifford Chapin Clifford Chapin ...  Hiroshi 10 episodes, 2014
Apphia Yu Apphia Yu ...  Tama / ... 10 episodes, 2014
Seiya Kimura Seiya Kimura ...  Kentaro Ohama 9 episodes, 2014
Jun'ichi Suwabe ...  Takao Kawafuji 9 episodes, 2014
Leah Clark ...  Kenta 9 episodes, 2014
Megumi Han Megumi Han ...  Akihiko Arai / ... 7 episodes, 2014
Ryan Reynolds Ryan Reynolds ...  Daisuke / ... 7 episodes, 2014
Lindsay Seidel ...  Yutaka / ... 7 episodes, 2014
Hiroomi Sugino Hiroomi Sugino ...  Village Chief 6 episodes, 2014
Fumihiko Tachiki ...  Vice Principal 6 episodes, 2014
Morgan Berry ...  Akki 6 episodes, 2014
R. Bruce Elliott ...  Yujiro 6 episodes, 2014
Christopher Sabat ...  Kazuyuki 6 episodes, 2014
Yûki Kaji ...  Kosuke Kanzaki 5 episodes, 2014
Toshihiko Miki Toshihiko Miki ...  Director 5 episodes, 2014
Hiroshi Ito Hiroshi Ito ...  Kousaku Kotoishi 5 episodes, 2014
Ed Blaylock ...  Director 5 episodes, 2014
Bill Flynn ...  Kosaku 5 episodes, 2014
Austin Tindle Austin Tindle ...  Kanzaki 5 episodes, 2014
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Storyline

As a punishment for punching a famous calligrapher, young handsome calligrapher Handa Seishu is exiled to a small island. As someone who has never lived outside of a city, Handa has to adapt to his new wacky neighbors, like people traveling on a tractor, unwanted visitors who never use the front door, annoying kids using his home as a playground, etc. Can this city guy handle all the crazy hardships? Find out in this wacky island comedy full of innocence and laughter! (Source: myanimelist.net)

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tv mini series | anime | See All (2) »


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TV-PG | See all certifications »

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User Reviews

 
Barakamon
13 March 2020 | by Shostakovich343See all my reviews

Try to finish the following synopsis: 'A burned-out calligrapher retreats to an island village to come to his senses, where he is greeted by a small community, and steadily...' You already know how it goes from there, don't you?

No, "Barakamon" will never be remembered for its originality. The above description could fit many stories but for the calligrapher part, not in the last place Isao Takahata's "Only Yesterday". "Barakamon" does not operate on the same level as that film; nor does it aspire to. "Only Yesterday" was a mature drama, a piece of sterling anime auteurism, whereas "Barakamon" is a comedy, and not even a great one. The humour consists out of the typical slapstick and cutaways that land as often as not, and is more of a moderately amusing diversion than core material.

The factor of interest here are the characters. Handa's personal growth follows what I like to call the 'business cycle' model: that of an ascending wave line. Peaks of discovery and productivity are offset by fallbacks and depression, the sum of which steadily grows. This form of character writing comes the closest to human nature, and is best exemplified in anime by Yakumo from "Rakugo shinjû" and Furuta Oribe from the criminally underwatched "Hyouge Mono".

Again, "Barakamon" doesn't operate on the same level. The writers never delve deeper in Handa's psyche than is strictly necessary, but the material that's there most certainly works. Note how the art Handa produces during his manic periods is inspired but incidental, ill fit to serve as standard. The consistent individual style he is looking for cannot be developed in a mere 12 episodes, and the writers smartly focus on his journey rather than its destination.

The rest of the story develops around Handa. He serves as a misanthropic maypole for the rest of the cast to dance around, and they are equally deserving of the spotlight. The air-headed mayor, mob-boss neighbour, and legion of old ladies are a memorable bunch, but it is the village children that steal the show. In them, the writers strike a fine balance between believability and comedic potential, funded on the simple comedic notion that children are, inherently, monsters. These kids cry and vex and bully and swear, but their interaction is always conveyed with heart. If they do not match the fantastical humanity of Miyazaki's or Takahata's children, that is because they aren't meant to.

Take the scene where Handa helps a group of children to retake their playground from a neighbouring town's group. He arrives confident with his moral and physical superiority, only to be kicked at and called names by the children, saying that he cannot hit them back because he is a grown up. That is precisely how a group of brats would react. Handa's bewilderment and frustration are simultaneously believable and funny, skilfully uniting realism and amusement.

The show's 'slice of life' approach allows for many scenes of similar charm, its at times almost rhapsodical structure making for a rewarding watch. There is a moment -- and I cannot pinpoint it -- where my attitude shifted from 'get on with it, I already know how this is going to end' to 'boy, I can visit the Island again!' Just try to resist the cicadas chirping in the shimmering sun; the slightly decrepit grocery story; the glow of graveyard lanterns on a summer night.

When we are allowed to take in these impressions and see the world through Handa's eyes, "Barakamon" is at its best, the lazy atmosphere reminding fondly of "Winnie the Pooh". Yes, you could work all day, but the sun is shining. Why not go for a forest walk? Why not help the kids find beetles? Why not catch some fish for dinner? What is keeping you from enjoying life?

Only ignorance, it appears. It requires a return to the oppressive urbanity of Tokyo for Handa to realise his heart has remained on the island. And the same goes for me. Only days after I'd finished "Barakamon" did I realise part of me was still there.


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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

April 2014 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Баракамон See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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