Today is Day 3 of Anniversary Review Week! I hope you have all been enjoying it and make sure you check out the other two posts if you like this one. Yesterday we talked about some pretty serious stuff, so today we are going to look at the lighter side of things. Just over a year ago, I stumbled upon a show called Barakamon. The review of which you can check out right here: Barakamon Review. It was one of the best shows I had seen in a while and I wished that it could have gone on forever. In a way, it did go on a little bit longer, but not in the way that I had expected. But we will get to that in a little bit.
I am back again for Day 3 of Anniversary Review Week and my 40th Anime Review. Today we are returning to the world of Sei Handa in Handa-kun.
Handa-kun is a 12 episode anime that is labeled as a “prequel” series to one of my favorite anime as of late, Barakamon. It aired in the Summer 2016 anime season, coincidentally enough right after I reviewed Barakamon last year. It ran from July 2016 to September 2016. It was done by a studio called Diomedea, and also received an English dub from Funimation. It is based off the manga of the same name written by Satsuki Yoshino, and as of now has released 7 volumes. It started serialization in 2015 and is scheduled to end in September of 2017.
The story is a little bit of an odd one. It follows high school age Sei Handa, who is the most popular person at his high school. People aspire to be him, countless girls have crushes on him, and he is greatly loved by his classmates. Except he does not see it that way. Handa thinks that everyone is bullying him, and is out to get him. It seems pretty like a pretty odd idea to focus on, but the show runs with it perfect. Sei being led to believe everyone hates him, takes simple things as threats. I was kind of thrown off by it at first, thinking how anyone could think that, but the way Sei sees things all of the events around could lead to misunderstandings about what is happening around him. And it is hilarious. The show also was split up so that two or three short stories were told in one episode, with very few focusing on just one major plot line. In fact, the story did not really have any overarching story that the whole show followed, other than Sei dealing with the fact that everyone “hates” him. The stories usually focus on either Sei himself or some character who usually appears for the first time in that story and is then somehow changed by something Sei does, usually by accident on his part. The story is just about Sei and his high school shenanigans, and it is a good show that had me laughing my head off a lot. It worked hard to keep some running gags going over the course of the show, like the x=12 on the board still on the board after several episodes, which I think adds to the beauty of the story it tells. The creators of this show worked hard to tell a funny story.
We have a pretty decently sized cast of character in Handa-kun compared to what we had in Barakamon. It is mostly focused on Sei, of course, but also looks at the Handa Force (four guys who “protect” Sei), and various other classmates of his. The only people we see from Barakamon other than Sei are Kawafuji and Sei’s mom, but they usually did not have a bunch of screen time. We looked more at the other people at the school, and it was interesting to see all of these characters change because of something Sei did. Or in some cases just the sheer ridiculous some of them caused. I, personally, laughed my butt of almost every time Eraser popped out of somewhere and the whispery voice said “Eraser”, I’m a big fan of stuff like that. The important thing though is that somehow Sei managed to change these people’s lives, while he went the opposite way and became more and more isolated because he thought everyone hated him. It is a development that leads into the person he is at the start of Barakamon, but you could almost say he makes a full circle back to the carefree Sei he was when he was younger. He had a circle of development, and he is still the funny, pure Sei that we came to love. That never went away.
Handa-kun was animated by Diomedea, which is a different company from the one that animated Barakamon. Diomedea has not produced too many anime since its creation in 2005. I will say though that they did a very good show, and the characters look very similar to the designs from its predecessor. It was a very pretty show that had no noticeable problem over its run. The soundtrack was also very well done, I especially liked the ending theme “HIDE-AND-SEEK” by Kenichi Suzumura. The song was super catchy, but also added characters as they were introduced in the story. First starting with Sei on his own, and then leading to a whole bunch of people walking beside him. It was nothing too fancy, but it was still something that I really enjoyed.
The important thing I would say about Handa-kun is that you do not need to watch Barakamon to understand what is going on. Heck, if you want to just watch Barakamon (which you should I highly recommend it) you do not have to watch Handa-kun at all. Sure the stories are about the same character, but is not like some big thing happens in one that you will not understand if you watch the other. Both stories work on their own. In fact, the only real connection Handa-kun made to Barakamon was when a girl read Sei’s palm and said he would “be single but surrounded by children” which gave an old *wink wink* to the first show.
I award Handa-kun with an A. It is a great comedy that I guarantee will make you laugh if you watch it. Sure, there are a few other shows that have similar premises but this one is unique that it relates to another comedy show, just focused on more high school comedy than adult life situations. The jokes in this show flow right in with what is happening, and that just make sit a fun show to watch. No deep thinking involved, just watch it for a few laughs.
Well, that is all that I have for Day 3, and my 40th Anime Review! Wow…40…that’s crazy. Am I over some hill now. Haha…get it? Hah…I thought it was funny. ANYWAY, that is all that I have, but let me know what you think down in the comments below? Have you seen the show? What was your opinion of it? Just let me know!!
See you next time!!