Slice of Life amirite? Those shows that ya watch for the nice feels or just to have fun with. Not often something to think long and hard about. Great examples including BLENDS KOn and our subject for today Barakamon. What makes Barakamon one of the best Slice of Life anime ever? Where does it differentiate itself and are these differences executed well? Lets have a look. Story: Slice of Life are known to have simple enough stories that do the one job of getting everything set up for the meat of the show. Barakamon starts out with Handa Seishu getting pissy because his calligraphy piece got shit on by some boomer. After acting violently in a fit of angery release the boomer of the Handa household sends Seishu off to some remote island to reflect on himself. There he meets local cinnamon bun Naru along with a couple other nutty individuals he is now neighbors to. And thus began Barakamon. Handa acting out in a fit of rage may seem completely okay as a tipping point but thats if we dont consider the prequel series. Since Barakamon came first though that would be points off of HandaKun instead. Characters: Characters are the soul of any good Slice of Life. I learned this very well during my time in the Church of Hirasawa. Barakamons characters are just as fanfuckingtastic as youd hope. Handa Seishu is that one guy thats just a little too obsessed with his work then basically evolves into Handad as the series moves forward. That is mostly due to Naru a munchkin girl of 67 years old that is about as energetic as youd expect a 7 year old on crack to be. Others include the fucking weeb Arai her relatively normal friend Miwa absolute bro Hiroshi and more kids. Lots more kids. These dinguses are fleshed out over a perfect amount of time. That one window where it feels like they could be actual people but not so much time that they start feeling forced onto the viewer. You dont need a massive amount of characters in order to have a good cast. It all relies on execution. Setting: Most Slice of Life likes to go about setting as something that doesnt have much impact after the initial setup. Mainly just a way for the characters to be together which is probably why theres SO MANY school Slice of Lifes. The rural setting of Barakamon however feels like the prospect of it doesnt feel ignored. The peace and serenity of the locale along with its uniqueness gives Barakamon a special vibe compared to its peers. Two massive focuses of the show are community and being forced to come out of your shell and the setting exemplifies both to a point of bliss. Key Focus: If I had to describe the one key focus of Barakamon it would be community. The characters all bounce off of each other in a way only possible if most of these idiots hold special bonds that have developed throughout quite a while. Handa learning to become a part of this community is a big focus of the show and an appeal is watching the bonds grow as Handa interacts with his new neighbors. Take Persona 5 take out all that thieving crap set it in some back ass rural area and focus entirely on the relationships formed. That could be a generalization of Barakamon. Barakamon fits all the checkboxes of what makes a great Slice of Life so well I think it broke one of those boxes. Welldeveloped characters unique and important setting a story that does its job well and a key focus that settles well with viewers that can feel attachment to any sort of character. A show that can do all that and then some is something truly special. By that logic Barakamon is truly special.