Barakamon – 11

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Do you have Waka Ar-ru-ba-a-to in a can?

 Well, if you were expecting tears, you didn’t get them. You got splashed tea and maybe a few dashed hopes, but things do get cleaned up…


The Apology

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I won’t even say anything clever….just love the composition of this shot

We all know that in a polite society, the apology is a necessary mechanism. It keeps the many flywheels and cogs of a passionate group functioning. And it’s getting tons of scrutiny these days, maybe it always has.  We can focus on the one bugbear the act brings with it; the I’m sorry if you got offended non-apology. I’m happy to see that this was never the case here. I was also quite surprised at one detail, that Handa never noticed the Director’s infirmary from beginning.  This puts Handa in a very interesting light as a character. It does make him a much more harsh figure, but it also plays into the fact that he is very much a person in need of forgiveness.

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…somewhere there is a cat that wants her box back…

But we can come to the crux of what it was all about. The Director didn’t intend to forgive him at all. He just wanted to lecture him. But those wizened eyes of him saw that anything he could say about human morality at this point, is already on there in Handa. So in context, it was good to see the apology played like it should be. Handa recognizes that what he did was terrible, and who really wouldn’t. It’s the idea of forgiveness that I find tricky. Should it be automatic? Is that how the equation is supposed to be squared? Do you forgive someone only when you feel they deserve it, or because they need it, or both?

Stone Wall

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<caption contest>

Well, besides skill and artistic temperament, you have to agree that Handa has his fair share of insecurity. Where on Earth did his confidence in his latest work go? Was he not ready for scrutiny in any regard? Or did he not feel it was up to snuff after the burden of his guilt was lifted? As the Director says, it’s a simple character, but it does have depth. The only problem is that he didn’t recognize it as Handa’s work, a theme that has run through the series triple time. Did Handa see that at the same time? It’s a curious state of affairs to see Handa’s soul routine, or sole routine, on the island of finding inspiration and creating something new reduced to…well getting barley teas splashed all over it. Reduced to a work in progress. Curiosity is good though….

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 / but you got to have friends!/

So, thanks to a well time phone call, Sensei can have a foot in Tokyo and a foot in Fukue-shiima. I was almost certain this scene would have a ton of sachrinne poured into it, but I a am so glad I was wrong. It played out exactly as it should have, and really, the only way it could given how well this show is written and paced. I’ve said it before, but all Naru has to do it show up. All she has to ask is, “when are you coming home” She didn’t say, “back to the island”. She said the word home, honestly and succinctly. And then she adds the coup de grace of reminding Handa of all the things they’ve yet to do. His time isn’t up there quite yet. I think we all know that. But I feel that he got a piece of the island that he needed when push came to shove. Kinda convenient with that deadline looming and all…

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 The Hot Anime Mom Meme strikes again

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…I don’t even want to know what’s going on in his mind right now….

All in all, I found this a great way to show Handa’s growth as both a calligrapher and a person. He still has quite a few miles to travel before he gets there, in both terms. But it’s the road, isn’t it? So with that, we can make some interesting guesses as to the composition of Stone Wall. I like how it started, in that Naru reminds him of what he needed from his time on Fukue, and that it involved the unfinished work he left behind. We all knew he worked on the village flood wall last episode, and felt quite gratified to be complemented on it. I don’t know exactly how it will turn out, but I can bet those names have quite a few more added…wouldn’t be a bad bet would it?




All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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16 Responses to “Barakamon – 11”

  1. HannoX says:

    This was a very good episode. Handa was still his own worst enemy with his insecurity driving him to deny “Star” was his entry for the contest and claiming it was only an experiment, then splashing tea on it. But he has also matured as a person, realizing one of the consequences of the director’s bad back and helping him to sit. I’m sure he always knew about the bad back, but what that meant never registered with him. And his apology was sincere, not just for form.

    Handa has also matured as an artist. Sure, “Star” is a great piece, but he realized it is not really indicative of his style and the calligraphy he wants to do. He also realized he can’t rely upon the burst of inspiration he felt on the island to consistently produce works of that nature. So he returned to the more classic style of calligraphy that he loves. Only this time he would have put more heart into it and it won’t be something cold and almost rote like a school exercise.

    Then we get the conversation between his parents which holds out the hope for the viewers that next episode he’ll return to the island. They have got to give us another big dose of Naru before they wrap it up!

    • skylion says:

      You know, it would still be a great contender for AOTS without that final dose of Naru…But why would they risk that?

  2. Irenesharda says:

    I literally cried at this episode, and weirdly it’s the first time I’ve really done so on this series. I’ve teared up before, but this was full-fledged crying. That phone call scene was so heartwarming. The fact that Sensei had never thought to call them, but that his best friend did, and how none of them, not even Naru, were mad or even sad at him leaving but just wanted to help him as best they could. It was so sweet…

    I also liked seeing his parents, though for some reason I thought his dad was older and looked more like the art director guy, but he does look like an older version of his son. His mother is funny, and you can see where Inaho gets both sides of his personality.

    The part where he looked like a deformed human slug coming from out of his blanket was hilarious. I also liked the apology scene since it shows how much Slaine has grown, and while our American society chaffs at the thought of bowing to anybody (we’re too much of rebels to do that. 😛 ), It was really nice to see a heartfelt, respectful apology.

    Well, on to the last episode. I want to see the piece he did, as well as his return to the island.

    • skylion says:

      I didn’t so much cry…but it did warm my heart up and I was grinning ear to ear.

      Oh, and yeah. Apologies. American’s have an odd affair with that…

      • HannoX says:

        Yeah, that about apologies. Ever see She Wore a Yellow Ribbon where John Wayne tells the young cavalry officers, “Never apologize, it’s a sign of weakness.”? I have the opposite idea. It takes strength to apologize when you’re wrong and to do so shows you have enough confidence in yourself to be humble when it’s the right thing to do.

        • Irenesharda says:

          I loved that movie, and I can see it from both sides, especially as this was a John Wayne movie. No mushy heartfelt stuff unless it was him and the female lead, and even then, it was covered under that rough, macho, outer skin.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Wait a minute, “Slaine”?! That shows you where my mind was. 😛
      Of course I meant our dear sensei, Handa. 🙂

  3. Kyokai says:

    A moving episode where you see Handa all grown up. Still he has many miles to go though or back to the box!

  4. Foshizzel says:

    hhnnnnnngggg I got a bit teary eyed during the mass phone call! Those island folks sure have grown on me and I totally feel for Handa who misses them a ton! Hurry up and come back sensei <3

    • skylion says:

      I thought the mass phone call was a bit to busy to get teary eyed..til the end that is. “come home” was all I really needed.

  5. Overcooled says:


    I’m still really impressed by how well this episode turned out. You would think that taking away Naru and the wacky island cast would be a recipe for a boring episode. It’s good to know that Sensei can carry an episode on his own, which says a lot about his growth as a character and how we’ve come to love him. He’s really an interesting guy, and he’s come a long way to be willing to sincerely apologize.

    Then again, he’s still childish enough to throw tea at things (and people) immediately after and then roleplay with his buddies for inspiration. You gotta love him. =w=

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