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Title: Barakamon
Episode: 12 [Kaette Kite Urishika – Happy Yer Home]
Watched: September 29th, 2014
Aired: September 27th, 2014

September 30th, 2014 

Yo peeps!
How are you all doing? So this is the end of the first season of Barakamon (possibly of its whole anime adventure anyway). I was almost tearful when I realized it was the end, but you know what they say “all good things must come to an end”. Besides, if I want to rewatch it, I still can. I feel like this is one of those shows you can watch and rewatch and still find it funny…!

For sure I’ll be reading its manga, too, so the idea of making it into an anime in order to promote the manga was greatly executed!!

So, as usual, there are spoilers in this episode!!

I like that the youngsters of the island show that, despite the fact that Sensei was gone, they haven’t changed one bit [or at least on the “outside” and in terms of the way that they act]. As a matter of fact, Miwa, Tama, Kenta, Naru, Hina and the two unnamed children pretty much went back to their original state from before he even met them – that is, using his house as a place to hang out (and trash). However, of course, this is arguably pretty much behavioral, as Naru herself revealed to Sensei that she found the island super boring since he had left. Handa has earned their love enough that even the boys would help with the clean-up [because Miwa made them believe that if his house is clean again, Handa would come back].

I love how it took them several tries in order to finally get the house properly cleaned, and that it was solely thanks to Hiroshi, who’d come over to get the windows installed. He directed everyone to specific tasks and kept them (or as much as he could anyway) from deviating from said task. What a natural-born leader our Hiroshi is [whatever will they do when he eventually leaves in order to take a job in the city?]!

I’m extremely satisfied that Handa’s mother made a major appearance in this episode, furthering her resemblance to Handa (or rather, the other way around altogether?). From her “silent protests” to her rather violent ways to keep her only son from venturing out of the house [for example, when she was threatening to keep punching him until he agreed that he wouldn’t go (it’s a miracle that he’s survived this long, but then again, he’d never acted on his own before this point, so perhaps that’s why she’s so concerned and why she acts so rashly?) [and would NOT have any qualms whatsoever with hurting her son’s best friend if what Kawafuji said went against what she thought was right for her son, although I’ll concede that perhaps she might act this way more because he’s come so often and he’s her son’s best friend… which basically means that he’s just like her son, so she can permit herself to doing something like that?]], going through the fact that she’s just as ‘dramatic‘ as he is [If her single and now very popular line of “your ingratitude is like the wind” does not convince you, I don’t know what would]. Her adorable facial expressions were totally something that Handa must have picked up on as a child (seeing as his father rarely made any absurd expressions and seeing how she was probably the only one between the two parents who really took care of him a lot). I love how the fact that Handa called it his “home” wasn’t lost on her and she insisted on correcting him [it seems to me like it’s something I would personally do as well if my theoretical children would say such things]. I’d really love to learn how Handa’s parents met [I wonder if this will be or has been explored in the manga… I’ll make sure to tell you if it is]. They have an interesting dynamic [which was first shown in the last episode (episode 11) and was further expanded upon in this one] between the two of them (I mean, he’s awkward and she’s… adorably violent towards him; and he endures it, so I guess that perhaps they’d been like that since the beginning of their relationship?).

It seems to me like – while I’m in my speculation period – Handa’s father must have met Handa’s mother some time after he had been on Barakamon Island, gone fishing and gotten the Hisan Iwo with Hiroshi’s father (Village Chief, who seemed to have been his friend at the time), which is why his mother has never gone and probably feels lonely that the two men in her life have gone to such a place and can share inside jokes whereas she’s left out [this is why I want an episode of her visiting Barakamon Island and making friends!!!]. I wonder who that baby is in the picture. I mean, the picture is dated from 35 years ago (if we trust what Handa Senior is saying, then Handa wouldn’t even have been born yet… and neither would Hiroshi… then who’s that baby!! And why’s he frowning like that? Like he didn’t want to hold the baby in the first place), and yet, Hiroshi cannot be that old… If it’s just a random baby, then that’s fine; however, if that baby is Handa, then that would definitely mean that his mother was already in the picture… so then wouldn’t she have followed him to the island? Questions, so many questions…

I also love how atypical his parents are in terms of parenting styles. Of course they acknowledge that it’s their fault for making him into such an awkward shut-in, but did you notice how, unlike Yuujirou Kido (Village Chief), they don’t even mention that he’s at an age (23 years old) where he should get a wife and set him up on some blind date with ladies we don’t know about [I suspect that could come later, but it didn’t come up in the discussion to keep him in Tokyo]?

Throughout Handa‘s “discussion” with his parents and Kawafuji about how he wished to go back to the island, you really had a sense that he’d grown to love the island and its lifestyle. I love how he was able to convince them because his parents noticed that he had indeed matured, not only in his calligraphy but also on his state of mind [you notice this when the episode brings it to full circle and you see his different reaction to watching the sea (the weather was nice this time and he actually smiles, saying that simple and non-special are sometimes the best) and compare it with the first time he’d seen it (he’d suspected that his heart was too hardened to enjoy the sight of the sea (although Naru’s grandpa reveals to him that the weather wasn’t nice when he’d come so that’s why the sea wasn’t pretty to look at)].
After all, he originally didn’t interact much with people (as he says, he’s a shut-in and he’s also pretty awkward), and yet, as his mother witnesses, he has actually taught calligraphy to Miwa and Tama, and they even won first and second places! However, as you can see in the next few scenes, Handa actually has some growing to do [because of his impulses, he gets a lot of bad experiences [x], hahaha].

In the box, there were many references and callbacks to the previous episodes. Other than the obvious which Handa points out [Naru’s slingshot as well as Tama and Miwa’s practices for calligraphy]. Did you notice that Naru even sent over a ball of her shield bugs? There was even paper frogs, and other souvenirs. I’m sure that some of these souvenirs are also callbacks not from the previous episodes but from the manga. It would’ve been nice to see a bag of Konomon in there or something. Although, if Handa had reacted to the Konomon, his mother may have thought him crazy and sent him into get tested for drugs.

It almost shocked me to find out that neither Kyousuke nor Handa even qualified in the end, despite the hard work and inspiration that Handa put into his submission (although it made me feel better to see that Handa was ranked higher than Kyousuke did, much to the young man’s despair (I guess that we should also consider the fact that Kyousuke also recently overcame (thanks to Handa, right? Or perhaps thanks to his trip to the island?) a writer’s block, too).

Hiroshi mentioned how Handa wouldn’t possibly ruin his own welcome back party with the news that he got Second Place (again), only to be refuted by Miwa, who knows the pressures and disappointment of getting the second prize and by Tama, who says he’s underestimating Handa’s childishness. And yet, you discover that after all that, Hiroshi was indeed right. Handa, while not willing exactly to discuss what he’d written for the Naruka Exhibition, didn’t reveal to them that he didn’t even place in the top three of the exhibition [fifth place isn’t that bad, either, I guess? I would’ve wanted to see the reasons why he didn’t get as many points?] in order to not spoil the mood.

In typical Barakamon style, I love how the children weren’t even able to go through with their all of their plans (to use the crackers to surprise him and for Naru to tackle him, as she’d practiced with Hina), although they did succeed in surprising him (big time), after finding the crackers (pretty late). Naru DID manage to tackle him, too.

I love how Naru greets him [among the children, after all, she’s also the one who welcomes him in his home, too, so perhaps this was done on purpose] and is the one who sits next to him while they eat the feast that Hiroshi [and perhaps his mother] prepared.

This episode, while eventful, didn’t feel at all eventful. By the time the end credits rolled, I thought that there should be more, but I was quite glad that it finished when it did.

This anime seriously was awesome, I’m looking forward to its manga, as I’ve mentioned before! I’ll start as soon as I can, and hope for a second season (although if it closed its anime adaptation like this, I would not mind whatsoever)! In the meantime, here’s someone else’s review of the finale!

image Ponyta’s sad that this awesome anime is over so she bids you farewell for now while she goes to cry a little. Take care that the cold doesn’t bite you!! I’ll find something to review and replace Barakamon [perhaps letting Legend of Korra take the schedule spot for this is also a good idea] for next week!