'Barakamon' The Complete Series Is A Total Must-Buy: Blu-ray/DVD Anime Review

barakamon anime dvd blu ray cover
Cover for 'Barakamon' Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. (c) Funimation

Barakamon is a gem of an anime, and it stands to reason that its Blu-ray/DVD debut would be a must-buy. A short slice-of-life series only twelve episodes long, Barakamon manages to fit a beautiful narrative about a high-strung young man finding peace after a shocking public breakdown.

Barakamon centers around Sei Handa, a young calligrapher whose perfectionism has driven him to a nervous breakdown. His parents send him to the Goto Islands, a rural backwater filled with quirky villagers who don’t seem to care much for personal space or private issues. Handa’s temporary apartment has been taken over by the village elder’s lovable granddaughter, Naru, and there’s a whole host of kids who seem fascinated by Handa.

Handa wants to redeem himself and write like the calligraphy masters, but the prickly young man has a long way to go. In the end, the human connections he makes with the villagers and Naru’s unselfconscious, open and loving nature help him find balance.

Funimation DVDs aren’t generally heavy on the extras, but Barakamon comes with commentaries for episodes 1 and 12, along with the more typical textless opening and closing songs and a few trailers. The commentaries feature the voice actors for Naru and Handa engaging in lively conversation about their work on the show. The commentaries are pleasant and interesting to listen to, making them a worthwhile inclusion.

As for the quality, Barakamon ’s bright colors and smooth, fluid animation are faithfully reproduced with 1080p HD available as part of the Blu-ray special features.

The Barakamon full series Blu-ray/DVD has been available since Aug. 9 and retails for $64.98. It features 12 episodes on 2 DVDs and 12 episodes on 2 Blu-ray discs, with English subtitles and both English and Japanese audio. Even the packaging feels distinct, with a papery, parchment DVD cover that’s visually distinct from other glossy anime covers (and thematically appropriate to Barakamon ’s old vs new, city vs country themes as well). If your anime budget has the room for it, the Barakamon series is absolutely worth the purchase. You can pick it at any major retailer.


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