- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2014 – Sep. 2014
All the people who’re here are certainly fans of Barakamon, one of the best slice-of-life of the year 2016, because it’s particular in its genre. It’s quite difficult to find a slice-of-life that can be fun, quiet and adventurous at the same time, but Barakamon is capable of gathering all these elements together, while giving its watchers a new and fresh perspective on Japanese lifestyle. What made Barakamon so popular was, indeed, its light way to depict the simplicity of people’s life in Japanese rural area, and how it can relate, inspire, enrich the cultural background and spirit of people used to live in more capitalistic metropolis as Tōkyō is. This is exactly what happens to the calligrapher Seishū Handa, the young, talented and narcissistic main character of the story, who leaves Tōkyō after his works have been labeled as “unoriginal” in the hope of finding a new, surprising style. What he’ll find out soon is that life at Goto islands isn’t that peaceful as he had imagined.
Liked Barakamon? Watch Poco’s Udon World (Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari)!
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Currently airing
- Read More
Working life in Tōkyō can be very stressful, especially for a designer like Sōta Tawara. And when you’re already charged with big responsibilities, your father’s sudden death and having to take care of family’s property disposal doesn’t help making your life easier. Having no other choice, Sōta decides to temporarily go back to his hometown, Kawada, to relax and pull his life back together. Kawada is a quiet place, where nothing in particular ever happens, but it still has many surprises in store for Sōta: in the crumbling udon’s restaurant his family left him, in fact, he meets Poco, a cute little boy with a huge secret, of which Sōta will decide to take care, giving up the idea to go back to Tōkyō.
Three Major Similarities Between Barakamon and Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari
1. Adventurous life in the countryside
As Barakamon, Udon no Kuni is set in a rural area, far away from big cities like Tōkyō. The setting is, indeed, Kagawa, a prefecture in Shikoku island, where the thrill and excitement of metropolitan life are so far from citizens’ mind that they’re not even an option. The pace in Kawaga is slow and relaxed – there’s no need to hurry, what really matters is to enjoy the small things in life – while people relate to others more naturally, less dictated by conventional rules and social obligations. Loneliness, isolation, secrets can’t be existing in a place where nosey neighbors are always there to brighten your day and support you, even when it’s not asked for, and that’s a lesson both Handa and Sōta will end up learning at their expenses!
2. Adorable, mischievous children
Let’s be honest: what we all loved in Barakamon the most is Naru, that little, noisy pest who was capable of making Handa’s hair turn white! Well, Naru’s fans will be more than happy to know that there’s a cute, little kid in Udon no Kuni too! His name is Poco and he’s one of the two main characters of the story, as well as the reason why Sōta will decide to stay in Kagawa. Just like Naru, Poco is a special child, but in a different, somewhat unique, way, that deeply reflects Japanese culture and rural beliefs: Poco is, in fact, a cheerful tanuki kit (baby) fond of udon, who will give Sōta a new purpose while filling his life with magic and super cute moments!
3. Time for a big change of life
Fans of Barakamon know pretty well that one of the main focus of the anime was the inevitable change that Handa underwent after he had to leave Tōkyō for Goto, to find inspiration for creating a new form of art. In Udon no Kuni, Sota has no inspiration, although he’s an artist himself. A radical change after encountering Poco and people from his hometown alters his life too. Both forced to move due to external events, and distrustful in regards to a lifestyle they’re not used to, Handa and Sōta share the same fate of being overtaken by the lightheartedness of the life in the countryside, and will end up understanding that jumping to conclusions at an early point, judging without even trying to relate with locals, is wrong and misleading.
Liked Barakamon? Watch WWW.Wagnaria!! (WWW.Working!!)!
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Currently airing
- Read More
Times are tough for Daisuke Higashida, whose father’s company has gone bankrupt and can’t afford necessaries, such as commuter tickets, allowances and cellphone bills, anymore. That could be a very big problem if you are a sixteen year old student who lives in the countryside, has a lot of friends, and whose school is fifteen kilometers far away from home. With no other choice left – and as his father commanded – Daisuke starts to search for a part-time job, ending up working at a nearby family restaurant, called Wagnaria. Not really excited about having to fend for himself, surrounded by very “special” people, Daisuke will have to do his best to live a normal teenage life.
Three Major Similarities Between Barakamon and WWW.Working!!
1. Mood raising slice-of-life
What characterizes slice-of-life genre is the peaceful atmosphere that can be perceived in each story, but fans of this particular category of anime know that “peaceful” doesn’t necessarily mean “missing the fun and adventure”. This goes for Barakamon, as for WWW.Working!! Although the anime is set in a quiet, residential place, Daisuke’s life is pretty far away from being boring; in fact, he’ll have to deal with a close-knit community fairly different from what he had imagined until then, just like it is for Handa when he first comes into contact with the locals residing in Goto islands. There’s no time to rest for the poor Daisuke! Clients of the restaurant and employees will, indeed, not fail to get him in trouble and make his life extremely venturesome!
2. Nonsense characters
Barakamon had a very simple plot, but a very simple plot doesn’t necessarily imply that characters need to be simple as well. There was a wide range of brilliant characters in Barakamon, that stuck in the fans’ hearts not only because of the way they were well-structured, but also because they were uniquely comical, such as the fujoshi Tamako. Well, WWW.Working!!, like Barakamon, doesn’t have a complex plot, but its characters are hilarious in the same way… or, probably, even more! Bipolar, moody, manipulative, WWW.Working!! has all kind of weird characters, but the award for the most nonsense one necessarily goes to Sayuri Muranushi, who likes to serve regular… invisible customers, driving Disuke insane every time!
3. Main characters who think highly of themselves
Who doesn’t think that Handa is a little bit of a narcissistic – though freaking cool – character? His lack of humility is precisely the reason why Handa ends up being harshly criticized by an expert calligrapher and, during the course of the story, he’ll have to learn how to be more modest to find the inspiration he’s searching for. Well, Daisuke doesn’t want a muse; he just needs some money to life a happy teenage life, but traits in his personality can be easily compared to Handa’s ones. Daisuke always look annoyed and likes to act as the first of the class, even when it’s not really necessary, and the only thing that he seems to mind are his grades and how working could affect them. But, just like Handa, he won’t be able to ignore people who are surrounding him and will have to relate to them, whether he likes it or not.
See you in the next article!