Handa has now spent a month on the island village. One day, he discovers that his computer is broken, so he tries to call up his friend in the city to send over a new one, but his cell phone is also busted. Thus, Handa has to make a trip to the local grocery store to make a call. At the store, he meets with Tama’s younger brother, Akki. After some embarrassing moments due to Handa’s complete lack of knowledge about old telephones, Handa is finally able to make the call. He discovers that a new calligraphy competition is starting up in autumn, and so puts his work on hold in order to send in a calligraphy piece before the deadline.
Unfortunately Handa gets hit with a massive case of writer’s block and can’t seem to be inspired enough to make a masterpiece. He goes walking through the village to clear his head and accidentally bumps into Miwa’s dad, who demands that Handa use his calligraphy skills to write a name on a boat. Handa tries his best to write but he can’t because he’s terrified of tarnishing the boat. Naru and her friends (who had been hanging around all this time) then start putting inky handprints all over the boat, and Handa’s forced to cover it up with broad strokes. Although he’s annoyed, Handa is also glad because he can finally paint freely. When all is said and done, everything turns out alright in the end.
This was a pretty cute episode, though I can’t help feeling it was a tad bit duller than the past three episodes. Somehow the humor just felt a bit more subdued, or maybe just a bit more predictable? Handa obsessing over cats and not knowing how to use an old-fashioned phone was funny, but the rest of this episode felt a little slow.
Perhaps it’s just that I wasn’t too fond of the “conflict” in this episode, which was Handa having to deal with Miwa’s dad. I get that it’s supposed to be funny, but I couldn’t help feeling really bad for Handa, having to deal with someone who’s super angry all the time. I’m someone who has heavy anxiety so witnessing stuff like this in anime isn’t super fun, and man could I relate to Handa.
I’m also starting to feel kind of bummed because Naru isn’t playing a large a role as she did in the first two episodes. This series really is at its best when Naru and Handa are interacting. Although Naru does still play a pretty prominent role, she’s starting to look more and more like a background character as other characters take the stage. Sadly, the other characters just don’t bring the same vibrant energy that Naru does.
Anyway, Barakamon is still a pretty solid series, though I did find the humor to be somewhat lacking this episode. I just hope Naru can get back into center stage again.
Out of five: