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Title: Barakamon
Episode: 08 [Onde]
Watched: September 24th, 2014

September 24th, 2014 

Hiya there,
How are you doing? Wow, I can’t believe that I was able to finish watching episode 8 on the same day I finished episode 7!! This is how awesome I am? Yes? Yes? All right, I’ll take your silence as a “yes”.

Without further ado, let us start this episode review? As usual there are spoilers but… I don’t know… you’ve probably watched it by now since it aired awhile ago.

In light of what Kawafuji had told him (about surpassing his mentor’s skills and discovering new breaking grounds, I guess this means that he needs to find something different compared to his father?), I found it really funny that Handa experimented with different ‘paint brushes’ in order to acquire other textures to his calligraphy [He’s still trying to get a new style of calligraphy that is less… fundamentalist compared to what he was used to doing, right?]. It was even more ludicrous not only because he eventually got caught, but because he wrote the name of the mediums he used, too! It’s a great way to begin an episode.

Handa Sensei displays in this episode just how deeply his friendship with Naru runs. I love it. Of course, he does not show it in the sense where he knows when her birthday is, because obviously he wouldn’t know such a thing [she doesn’t talk a lot about her personal life (not that, at that age, she has any worries much)]. But he shows it in the way that he knows how she’ll react to certain gifts that adults normally give to children her age [teddy bear, ribbon or a mirror], and her reactions from his mind’s point of view are even funnier.

I also love how he works so hard just to the get the insects for Naru’s birthday, knowing that she would love it [especially the Hercules Beetle]. This led him to interact with Kenta and his crew (whom we rarely see him interact with unless it’s with Naru). I also love how, in totally “city boy” fashion, Handa cannot bring himself to touch the bugs [he’s shown this thoroughly and consistently throughout the episodes, too, in the previous episode, he couldn’t even bring himself to put bait into his fishhooks, to only name one instance]. I guess Kenta, when he says that he’s rarely seen an adult play so seriously before he met Handa, explains to us why the children of the village welcomed Handa so easily among them whereas they don’t usually do it for just any stranger [the Village Chief said that the episode prior to this one]. Handa, of course, ruins the moment with admitting that he never was playing but was just showing off his competitiveness. I’m also glad that Handa got to experience what it’s like to throw a birthday party. It’s really shown throughout the series that Handa has missed out a lot on “normal life” (although at this point, I can really relate to him)

I’m also glad that everyone knows “what makes Naru tick” as Handa puts it. I was sure that – anything Handa does for Naru – Naru would love! She’s just such an awesome and open-minded child (compared to Kyousuke, whom I’ve made peace with, I almost think that I miss him and Kawafuji). I was almost surprised to see that he’d given her some kind of envelope (what’s she gonna do with MONEY, you dummy?!), until we read what’s written [even though everyone mocks him for it, I thought it was well-thought, I mean, Handa’s probably never given people gifts [except perhaps to his parents] before so that’s probably also a first for him!].

I totally knew that they wouldn’t change the venue of the birthday party to another place that we haven’t seen… Handa shouldn’t have been surprised that they’d choose his house (since it was previously their headquarter before he came along) for the fiesta! I’m glad that he didn’t mind, though, because this shows just how much he’s grown? Perhaps he truly is ready to leave the island… Oh! And the bout about the duplicate keys was hilarious, it makes sense now that TamaMiwa, and Hiroshi were able to sneak into his house so often. I’d just assumed that Naru had shown them how to come into his house (but I guess that it’s easier for her since she’s so small?).

I like how Handa just has these random thoughts (because I have them too) about how he keeps watering the sunflowers in his backyard, despite not knowing who planted them or when [I think it’s Naru and her crew]. The fact that he believes that, even if he didn’t water them, they’d grow up fine on their own could be analyzed as foreshadowing that he’s leaving, perhaps? If you use Naru and her friends instead of the sunflowers… He might believe that, even if he left, they would still carry on as they usually do without him?

What does that Obon season mean? It’s great to see more events and learn more from the Japanese culture. I love it because the culture is so rich and there are so many things I don’t know about it. It’s also fun because you have so many different interpretation, from anime to anime, from manga to manga, from city to city [as Handa mentions, but then again, he also says that he’s not an expert since he rarely visits, so who knows? I’d need to watch more of these to truly get a feel on it, I guess]… I also love the fact that they’ll explain to us what the Onde is. It has a different meaning in French, but that’s really interesting to see! His expression to seeing the One is so reminiscent of him being adorkable [even more so because of the fact that Hiroshi was playing a prank, but Handa would just follow the Onde to listen more to it].

I sort of wish that they’d told us what was inside of the parachutes that Miwa absolutely had to go ahead and tackle him to the ground just to get some of the last parachutes [or falling umbrellas, as they call it with HorribleSubs]…? It seems to me like perhaps Handa already knew about them, so it’s not a tradition that’s necessarily only found in the countryside, right?
[on a side note: Honestly Handa’s expressions are just priceless and scary!!]. He’s truly gained a lot of grounds since coming to the island. At first, the children (and the middle-schoolers) would not listen to him and would dismiss a lot of his thoughts easily, and yet, now, they listen to him pretty well [and they know him enough to want to protect his feelings (from Kyousuke in the previous episodes), and to have enough affection in his regards to actually feel guilty enough to help him out (in this episode)].

Tama expresses deep thoughts in this episode (although I will say that I’m not surprised that they’ve decided to have her of all people express them, it seems like she hasn’t been spending as much time with Sensei as Miwa and the others… so this might explain it?), I don’t want her to be right [about him having to leave one of these days], but she’s totally going to not get used to having Sensei around and fitting in, since he’ll be leaving soon [I can totally get that mentality since I do that to myself also]…

Because I don’t know where to put this thought, I’ll do it here: I’m glad that we get to see Aki, it somehow felt to me like he’d been forgotten since the rotary phone incident… so this is great! While I’m on the “call back” of various characters, the fact that the Yakuza (Miwa’s father) came back was also not lost on me.

If Naru’s grandma is the only one who’s at the grave… I wonder how her grandma was and where her parents are [of course, Handa even speaks of this [I bet they’re probably working very hard “abroad”, since they’re not in the grave… it means that they’re still alive, right? But then again, if they’re working hard as well… then couldn’t they also send some money over to the grandpa so he wouldn’t have to work as hard?]]. I loved that moment when Handa mentions that “Maybe [he]’ll look after her when [he has] the time”. I am hoping that he will look after her for awhile… but let’s be honest, the contest / exhibition is soon and he needs to start working, right? Ahh, the pressures of being an adult… He’s so sweet and nice, letting Naru stay and re-lighting the lantern so that they can wait for her grandpa to come and pay his respects as well!!
Honestly, this character has progressed so much since the first episode… without really changing all that much [I mean by this that he still retains his city boy quirks (especially the ones revolving insects and the fact that he’s clueless about a lot of things that normal people know about)]. It’s really such a pleasure to have seen him evolve throughout these episodes!!

I was surprised that the pooch was talking to Handa (and even fishing) and even offers him to stay at the village permanently [I wonder if this – along with Tama‘s confession about how sometimes she thinks about him leaving – would count as foreshadowing]. The fact that Pooch gives him advice about how when you have found a place where you can be yourself and where people accept you so well, you feel like you can attempt just about anything. It’s a great thing to say, I think, especially since Handa’s in need of one such advice [I love that it’s revealed that Pooch is female].

Overall, this episode talks about death and leaving people behind (whether you’re leaving a location or you’re leaving for the after life). It did so in a very nicely done manner.

So, that’s it for now!
I’ll see you next week for another Barakamon episode review!
In the meantime: here’s someone else’s thoughts on this episode! And here’s a manga moment that made me really want to read the series… if only school wasn’t seriously getting in the way…!!! 

image Ponyta’s out image