Another season, another anime that people would have known that they should watch if they had just read my season preview. Too many times I caught people describing it as “urgh another pedo show in which dudes makes friends with loli”, which says an awful lot about what fucked up expectations anime has hoisted upon the general public. Then I see a bunch of people at the start of the season say “don’t know anything about this Barak Obama Pokemon anime, dunno if I’ll watch it, I guess I’ll try it ou-HOLY SHIT THIS IS GREAT WOOOH”. The same thing happened with Silver Spoon with loads of people missing it, and that had the way more obvious selling point of being by the same author that wrote the Full Metal Alchemist manga. The moral of the story is that you should bookmark The Cart Driver Dot Com™ now to make sure you are up to date on all the hottest anime!
Barakamon is about a stuck up citee boya who is the next brightest thing in handwriting. But then some old fart calls his work boring so our attractive young man responds in the most dignified way possible by punching him in the face. I must confess I don’t see much of the beauty in calligraphy, but I also think people who fuss over fonts are the most boring people in the world and it’s an even more boring passtime than model train collectors and aeroplane spotters so perhaps I am not the target audience. It’s not too important anyway. Just replace the calligraphy with any other art and the story works just as well. He goes to the countryside to ‘discover himself’ and manages to do so in the form of a little girl pushing him into the ocean and a boy ramming his fingers up his arse.
Barakamon is somewhere between the joy of hyperactive children that is Yotsuba and the story of maturing into a responsible adult that is Bunny Drop. The child has the same infectious joy that Yotsuba has, which the animation really helps bring across. I’m not sure if it’s just a trick of the eyes, but it feels like the animation style used for her actions are way more rubbery and free-flowing than the rest of the cast, so she bounces around like a lunatic while our stuck up pretty boy fumes in the corner. I liked that the story brought in some of the other children which should give us a nice variety of characters. Plus the promo art shows another pretty boy appears later, which is exactly what this story needs.
What I’m a little less convinced by is the Bunny Drop side of the story. It nails the joyous Yotsuba tone but whenever it tries to be introspective and serious it turns into the Literature Girl segment from Daily Lives of Highschool Boys. The wall in my heart line was cringe inducing and climbing up the wall to look at a frankly not-that-pretty sunset to inspire him was silly too. If it continues in that vein it will come across as very pretentious altogether, but hopefully it improves on that regard. It’s otherwise been very solid so far.