What They Say:
Handa’s daily antics inspire even more students to embrace him as a treasured friend — unfortunately, without him realizing it.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This week’s episode was a bit more settled down. Not as much laugh out loud as the previous two but still pretty funny. The first segment introduces us to Akane Tustsui, a truant student attending, or should I say not attending, the same class as Handa. When the chairperson sends a reluctant Handa to deliver some papers, he expects to find the short and somewhat feminine looking kid on the photograph he is handed, but so much can change in just one year. Instead, he is confronted by a burly and angry delinquent who refuses to let Handa convince him to go back to school, even though he is not even trying to do so. He just wants Tsutsui to take the papers so he can go home already, but before he can do that, a fight ensues and Handa’s reputation grows even larger by the second and I do mean that. In seconds flat he went from being an asocial loner to being called the bear killer. I still love the visual representation of Handa’s wall by the way. It’s almost like a superpower. I also loved the heartbroken bullies at the end. This anime has the best facial expressions.
The second segment brings the entire Handa force together at last by introducing the straight man in this comedy team, I guess. Yukio Kondou is a normal boy who just wants to have a normal school life experience, but then he goes to cooking class and is thrown in the same group as Handa, Reo, Tustui and Aizawa. What could possibly go wrong? I found it interesting how Yukio is the only one who seems to see the reality of it all. When everybody else thinks Handa is stoic and brave Yukio wonders if he isn’t just putting on an act. He decides to go with the flow though because these guys are so weird and intense, maybe this is how things work between them. Can’t really blame him, it is kind of fascinating watching these very different personalities, come together and work in harmony, all for this crazy idea they’ve formed in their heads of who Handa really is. Then again, Handa is just trying to keep to himself, completely convinced they all hate him and want to torture him. Only one thing is certain, I would not like to try his pudding.
And last but not least, actually the best part of the episode, in my opinion , we get the explanation of why Handa is the way he is. Handa meets up after class with the person he considers his only friend in the world, Kawafuji, whom as I said in the first episode’s review will go on to become his art dealer in the future, and then spends the entire day trying not to be seen with him. It’s actually hilarious and I think Handa may actually have been a cat in his past life. One of my cats actually behaves in the exact same way as Handa did in this segment.
Watch out for the ending too. It’s a very simple visual, just Handa walking with an army of somewhat faded characters behind him. Just a visual representation oh the fact that even when he thinks he walks alone, he really doesn´t. Not a very deep metaphor, mind you, but what I really like about it is the characters change depending on who has had a role in the actual episode and it keeps adding to his “army”. It’s a nice detail and I have to admit, after watching Shirobako, I tend to appreciate this type of little things so much more.
Handa-kun is still a solid comedy. Not every joke hits the mark but plenty of them do and when they do, it’s usually a home run. In any case, as in any series consisting of vignettes, you don´t have to worry too much if one of the storylines isn’t to your liking, just wait a little bit and another one will come along. I haven´t found any to be bad or even boring, though. Still, humor is largely personal, and I do understand what seems funny to some may not be for others, but as far as I’m concerned, Handa-kun hits all the right notes.
Streamed By: Funimation