Barakamon 2014 / An exceedingly warm slice-of-life anime about the importance of community in making art


Featuring almost no external conflict for its protagonist to face, this story of a young, ill-tempered calligraphy artist—sent to recollect himself at an island community—makes the private process of soul-searching as inspiring as it is cathartic. It’s a series that understands how one’s art is informed almost subliminally by the smallest observations and interactions, transforming the act of personal expression into a tribute to the people and places who give this expression real weight. So even if Barakamon spends most of its time on quaint, everyday experiences without any heightened drama, you get the sense that something significant is shifting within Seishu with every day that passes. It’s a warm, beautiful anime about some of the biggest existential questions, delivered in a modest, good-humored way.

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