Barakamon 03

Mochi Throwing (in Celebration) 「ひとんもち (訳:お祝いで投げられる餅)」

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Naru’s just TOO CUUUUUUUUTE!!!!!!!!! Ok there was more to this episode but I just couldn’t resist because no matter how silly things get, Naru’s just so endearing and so so sweet and cute and funny and charming that she makes all your worries go away with that positive attitude and carefree air she exudes out of her tiny little being. Barakamon’s such a healing anime~~~ just look at Naru’s bright smile!

I love this show and I believe many viewers/readers do too. It’s so awesome to have Barakamon animated because as lively as Naru is in the manga, the anime adaptation truly brings her to life and that’s very important, seeing as how she’s the centre piece to Handa’s life. It’s episode 03 and already Handa’s shopping for snacks FOR NARU. Her presence has become such a daily occurrence that he doesn’t think twice about buying things for her. You’d imagine a prideful man from Tokyo to be selfish but I suppose Naru’s really tunnelled her way through to him. The villagers look to him (as the school principal did) where Naru’s concerned and vice versa.

Honestly though, credit really goes to the spectacular acting of 8/9 year old Hara Suzuko! Based on this week’s web-radio (for those with niconico from 12:20 onwards; for those without, here’s an excerpt), the mangaka was originally worried that no child actor/seiyuu could pull off the nuances of the dialect and so wasn’t keen on an actual child voicing Naru. But has Suzuko-chan proved EVERYONE wrong through sheer diligence and practice, so much so she makes Handa’s seiyuu Ono Daisuke look bad because he frequently gets chided for the wrong intonation and tripping over his words. She doesn’t even know how to read the kanji in her script, being the same age as Naru who’s “grown up” this episode from learning all her katakana and hiragana – hilarious scenes there! Her mom writes the hiragana in for Suzuko-chan wherever necessary but she practices her lines all by herself, up to 10 times for the 1st episode alone.

The humour has stayed consistently lighthearted and fun, nothing gets old – Naru’s expression when she realised she’d read words on the milk carton wrong (and Miwa didn’t even notice the mistake), the 2 old ladies who can’t make sense out of each other in their native dialect, Kenta’s miffed expression at losing Naru’s attention to Handa, the mochi-professionals Yasuba and Panchi whom you don’t want to mess with and of course Tama’s hilarious denial on her inner fujoshi. I had quite a few LOL moments with Tama’s inner conflicts because I could so relate to them… It was brewing since last episode if you realised she had those scary eyes going on when Hiroshi went to visit Handa in the hospital. Now we get the revelation it’s because she thinks that the gods are testing her inner strength from collapsing under possible BL scenarios between them hahahahahaha! Tama represents us anime viewers and drama CD listeners – we’re NOT fujoshi or otakus! We’re proper, literary girls! Who also just so happen to realise with just one glance of “Overtime lovers” that it’s a BL manga… the dramatical effect was well played out, not going over-the-top even with Tama’s dramatic theme playing in the background. It’s worth mentioning Tama’s seiyuu Okubo Rumi, whom I absolutely adored in Isshukan Friends. This week she’s done really well to portray the polarising personalities of Tama and her wrongly channelled passion towards her warped ideas of shounen manga as Tama aspires to become a mangaka, yet being the understanding middle school student who knows Handa needs his space to wallow in self-pity at losing to an 18 year old newbie.

As we saw at the end of episode 01, fun is the keyword in Barakamon. Nothing’s worth doing if you’re not having fun. To quote Naru, ‘sensei, are you having fun now? If you’re not having fun, let’s go play and have fun!’ Sounds simple enough right? Yet how did we grow up and forget all about that simple logic? Naru brings Handa out for some mochi throwing fun. This being the countryside, nothing’s ordinary – mochi throwing from a new boat instead of a house. And this being Barakamon, we get life’s lesson from the most unexpected of places. According to Handa who’s just being dramatic, if you’re losing to others, rather than struggle you ought to bow out gracefully. Come on, you did win 2nd place, considering you almost destroyed any semblance of a future career by punching the old director. According to mochi professional Yasuda however, it’s no good if you’re always looking up, wait patiently and take it once it hits the ground, you’ll find a mess of opportunities fallen below, and even if you still can’t get any because there’s someone better than you, tell them they can go ahead and take the prize (mochi) but never stop trying and see what you’ll get… wise words right? LOL It’s just MOCHI THROWING!!!! Darn I love this show. やろ?^^

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