“I am in Tokyo” 「東京にいます(訳：よせおっ)」
I’ve always thought the comedy in Barakamon sprung from Naru interacting with Handa-kun but turns out, it’s been watching Handa-kun alone that’s been all the fun and joy of Barakamon.
You really are a horrible person Handa-kun (and the production team too for starting out without the OP and seemingly so sombre). Amazing how a couple of months on the island made you grow up so much to realise now just how terribly rude it was of you to punch the director. But that’s just how awkward you are – like father like son (hence the Handa-kun reference vs Handa-san for Handa senior). Both of you just have to torture the poor old man with a cane right? Going to the island was the right move though, as Handa-san rightfully explained that the way his son turned out this way was their responsibility as parents who didn’t ensure he had a proper childhood. Well better late than never right? Even if Handa mama was and still is against her only son leaving the nest to learn bondage of all things. That scene parodying itself from an earlier episode with Miwa and Tama instead of Handa mama was just LOL funny even when it’s done a second time in the same show! And then Handa mama remarks how her tsundere boy has grown up to become just tsunbaka! Hahahaha! At least now we see where Handa gets his dere-dere side from – Handa-san’s so cruel to suggest that Handa mama try holding back their son~
Oddly enough I only just realised while watching this episode about a third way through, that the hallmarks of Barakamon are so deeply ingrained that it doesn’t matter whether Handa’s in Tokyo or on the Gotou islands, Barakamon is just Barakamon. The warm fuzzy feeling planted since episode 01 has really grown on me (I was gonna say bloom but that’s too cheesy >.<). That’s what manga can’t give you. The seiyuu voice acting and the OST over and above the colour animation all work really well together in Barakamon to truly drive its way into a place in the viewer’s heart.
Ono Daisuke is brilliant this episode as his range of tsunbaka went from that quiet desperation for water before apologising to the director, to confessing his problems over the phone with a child. His comedic timing is platinum this episode and that really makes a whole of difference. OnoD as Handa Seishun has sealed the title I’ll henceforth have of OnoD – tsunbaka. He does it SO WELL and that’s a promotion from his tsundere comedy from earlier episodes (also note his Hades in Kamigami no Asobi) and baka-ness from other shows such as Arthur Augeste Angel in Ao no Exorcist and Hosaka in Minami-ke. He’s definitely going to carry forward his experience here and do just as well in next season’s Gugure! Kokkuri-san. The OST too has been nothing but sheer delight and I was very pleasantly delighted to hear one of my favourite tracks Shodouka no Seichou (The maturing of a calligrapher) (track 36) played both at the beginning and at the end of this episode. It’s rightfully Handa Seishun’s theme of growth and there was nowhere more apt to play it than when he apologised at the beginning and when he announced his greatest work right at the very end.
It’s now been made very clear to Handa how important the village and his friends there are to him and his work, going so far as to tie his hair up like Naru lol. Kawafuji actually called them Handa’s friends so he’s no longer his one and only friend (to the relief of Tama I’m sure lol). When Naru answered the call, did your heart kyun a little? Maybe I’m projecting too much onto Naru but that first word seemed to contain such a mixed bag of emotions – happiness, sadness, loneliness, anger, worry and relief. That scene made me also just realise something else I didn’t pick up in the manga. While Handa has his bunch of friends back on the island supporting his mental health and giving him overflowing inspiration, Handa’s always had a support team in Tokyo too. His parents, Kawafuji and now Kanzaki too. He’s one very lucky man Handa Seishun. The stone wall reference brought over from last episode to the narrative at the end here was golden – you’ve got a strong supporting wall Handa. So how are you going to repay everyone? Will you return to Gotou after having left without saying a word to anyone (you horrible tsunbaka!)? Everyone’s waiting for you!!!