Barakamon – 08

barakamon 08-01 lead in

…stay a little longer…

  Wow, Grandma gets a ton of respect from that town. As does her grand daughter…


Happy Birthday Naru!

barakamon 08-02

There are bed bugs and there are bedbugs…both are creepy…

One of the greater charms, and a great point in storytelling, is how both of these segments were pretty much all about Naru in one way or another, and yet her actual appearance in both segments was kept to a minimum. I’ve spoken a time or two about how much a character can cost the narrative. When one has such overwhelming traits they threaten to steal the show; Pratchett’s Vetenari, Neil Gaiman’s Death, and now Satsuki Oshino’s Naru. It would be tempting to have her parade around front and center for 22 minutes and just let that be. But, the story does so well balancing her in and out of the narrative, it cannot help but feel natural.

barakamon 08-06

<caption contest>

But with that in mind, there was so much charm in watching Handa become even more ingrained within his new community. Face it, he chipped in 1000 yen for cake, his present was bought and done. That he quickly figured out that bugs would be her thing, shows that she already has grown that much on him. But he’s about 15 years too late, as the local boys already knew this, and were way ahead on the curve. And trust me, those boys are in their element. It takes a great deal of patience to catch bugs that size. They really can be creepy enough to give you pause. I’ve had one of those hercules beetle crawling on my arm and hand when I visited the Insect House at my local zoo; and while not the largest of insects, it’s still disconcerting to have one that size in your hand when you know they should be much much smaller. I think Handa was going on his bug hunt with that somewhere on his mind. Unfortunately for him, he is rubbish at bug hunting, but fortunately, the boys aren’t and are willing to share.

barakamon 08-03

barakamon 08-realgift

It seems that Sensei does know her better than he thought. For what that is worth….

It doesn’t take much to make her happy, does it? Which is one of Naru’s charms, of course. The island scamp.

Oban and Onde

barakamon 08-04

….zombie out-break when?

If there are two occasions that I would love to visit Japan for, it would be Tanabata, and the Bon Festival, or Oban. I rather like a culture that has a healthy respect for the departed, and the tradition of making it festive. You’re never gone nor are you forgotten. I also love, that despite the fireworks, and Miwa’s devilish tricks, the reason why they are there is not forgotten. Well, mostly not forgotten, Miwa and her devilish tricks, and Tama just skipping out. But who can blame them when there is fun in the air? And Naru’s grandmother is incredibly popular, she must have been a grand old gal.  He is quite taken by how different it all is from the mainland. Including the Onde dance. Now I know they chided him for wanting a translation to the singing, but is that really fair?  But with all of this, Handa thinks of the living, and how Naru will grow up. He even muses where her parents are, a question most of us are probably thinking about, and one that doesn’t get an answer here. This question soon gives way to action as the night comes to a close, and the candles are all going out. He lights another one just for her, letting the festivities continue…


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That was a fun and heartwarming episode, something I don’t think the show itself will ever been in short supply of. In leaving, I want to talk briefly about Miwa and Tama collectively wondering about how long Sensi will stay on the island. Will he leave once he is forgiven? Will that always be the condition of his stay? I found it fascinating that they cut these thoughts short. Sometimes, if not most, we don’t like change. We don’t like things to come to a close. Even it if every birthday leads us straight to being celebrated and revered at Oban, we don’t want to muse on that to hard. It’s true that every end has a beginning right around the corner, but sometimes you don’t want to wait, or are scared of it. No wonder Sensei lit another candle…


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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28 Responses to “Barakamon – 08”

  1. Foshizzel says:

    Bug hunting in anime is always super funny to watch especially when the main character hunting them is deathly afraid of them! I never understood the fascination with those giant beetles in anime and in real life, but as a kid I never liked the outdoors anyway LOL

    I thought for sure we would get a info dumb on Naru’s folks like why she is on the island with her grandparents but I remember you told me Barakamon doesn’t really go down that road right? I still want something to be explained about her past but it appears that wont be happening! I guess we can’t have those Clannad feels in this series.

    That ticket is going to bite Handa in the ass later on! I suspect she will save it till he goes back to Tokyo and use it to go with him? I would love to see that.

    • skylion says:

      …yeah, I was guessing the same thing about that ticket…

    • Highway says:

      I wouldn’t think it was a ‘go along to Tokyo’ thing, more of a ‘stay here on the island’ thing.

      • Sumairii says:

        Have to agree with Highway here. Asking him to stay on the island with the rest of the kids is so much more powerful than asking him to take her with.

        • skylion says:

          You guys are seriously underestimating Naru’s love of adventure.

          Full disclosure: I misread Fosh’s comment. I thought he was saying what you guys were saying, but I’m supporting Fosh’s comment cause I can!

          • Sumairii says:

            Well if we want to take it to the extreme she could ask him to take all the kids with him!

            • skylion says:

              There aren’t enough bags for the LOLi and the SHOUTa…

            • thorgriim says:

              haha was thinking the same thing, But invite all the kids and people he hangout with, i mean hes got to have money at least for 2nd place right?

        • thorgriim says:

          Ya because if you think about it, Handa dosn’t really have friends in toyko really, ya maybe 1 or 2 now, but that’s it. So it would do Handa better to stay on the island, he can still do work, or become a teacher right..

    • thorgriim says:

      better yet, The ticket will be used for

      Naru asking Handa to marry her.
      Naru waiting for handa to leave but tells him not to go.
      Naru Wanting to go with Handa to Tokyo, free experience and adventure!

      All these are great But the one I’d want to see is

      Naru being adopted by Handa, Because…Bunny Drop

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Pedobear gets assaulted… O_o

  3. Highway says:

    The first half of this episode was pretty ‘meh’ for me. A bunch of kids screaming again and again is pretty much all I got out of it. The second half was much better, with the sense of community and the acceptance that Handa has achieved (through both the openness of the locals and his own work).

    I have to mention something that bugs me about the show’s OP and has for a few weeks. The part where Naru is running along and leaving handprints: That is pretty much physically impossible. Not even little kids can supinate their arms to put fingers-trailing handprints on a wall they’re running parallel to without rotating their body into the wall. If the handprints were rotated pretty much any other way, it’d be fine, but the way they are completely irks me.

  4. Joojoobees says:

    I’m glad this episode took us into some new territory. The issue of Handa’s departure is starting to loom, but we got some more insight into several side characters, and, again the island comes across as a distinct place, instead of a generic rural community.

    • skylion says:

      What struck me as interesting was that they featured Buddhist funerary practices. Interesting because some reports I’ve read, the Gotou Islands have a large Christian minority. This is why you saw Kawafuji-san thinking of a church as part of the things he could visit while on the island.

      …but then, I’m a culture/sociology buff…

  5. JPNIgor says:

    So much happiness with a “do anything” ticket, so cute. I wonder what she would use it for.

    • skylion says:

      We do have the discussion above, but that should preclude any other sorts of guesses….

      • HannoX says:

        Whatever it is, I’m betting it’s something Handa initially doesn’t like, but it’ll turn out to be something he does come to like and it’ll be another step in his growth as a human being. Maybe she’ll make him promise to return next summer and bring something Naru-y with him. Yes, she has a great love of adventure, but at seven years old that could be fulfilled just by having someone new come to the island and bring something from Tokyo they can’t get on the island. Knowing Naru, something weird.

  6. thorgriim says:

    Well a cute fun episode this week, Bug catching is always something kids do, to see Handa acting like a kid was great. Ya bugs usually are not my thing either hehe. Oh and Happy belated Birthday Naru!

    the second half was the best part of this episode, which im sure it was for everyone else too. Seeing more Tama! yay worth it. Miwa is always up to no good, that scene with her walking up behind Handa in a slide show, Ha Miwa your awesome! with them all hanging out together I feel Handa has a nice family and home with these folks. Totally jealous! Id want to say Handa won’t leave the island, im sure he will find what really makes staying worthwhile, he wont be so concerned with calligrapher as much.

    I would love to visit Japan for, it would be Tanabata, and the Bon Festival, or Oban.

    Same for me as well, usually I don’t care to visit graves, but this seems cool to do, I’d love to experience this though.

    -This is bugging me-

    Great episode, totally enjoy it more when everyone is together! makes for great laughs, entertainment, and the feeling of being with fun people, always a feel good anime series! keep it coming!

    • skylion says:

      Maybe I have fan/culture goggles on too tight; but the graves seem so much more robust, in a way, than Western Counterparts. Everyone looking at the candle and seeing Grandma smiling…..pretty darn awesome really…

  7. anaaga says:

    It was so cute to the point where some would miss the question in this episode: Where are Naru’s parents?

    Putting that aside, I love everything about this episode. I wish there were more adults like Handa in my childhood, where they actually played with me and treated me like someone instead of dismissing the things I did just because I’m a kid. What Handa did wasn’t that remarkable for many, but for the kids, it will definitely be one of their most remarkable memories in their lives

    • skylion says:

      …and to think, he might not even be aware of the mark he is leaving. That might even be for the best.

  8. skylion says:

    So, this week Barakamon got delayed. I don’t know why. I’m sure there is a reason. I don’t know what the reason is…sometimes anime gets delayed in the final stretch, but there you go.

    See me here in about 7 days or so for episode nine.

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