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Handa-kun Episode #09 Anime Review

4 min read

Handa-kun Episode 9“Handa-kun and the Frog / Handa-kun and the Stalker”

What They Say:
Handa’s teacher plans to have his students dissect frogs, and Handa wants no part of it. But, as usual, Handa’s feelings fail to come across.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
And we’re back with another segmented episode and speaking of cutting things in half, the first segment is all about the legendary and dreaded biology lesson where you’re supposed to split open a living frog to learn about your own organs which coincidentally are nothing like those of a frog (unless there’s something special about you, you’d like to share with the rest of us). Anyway, it seems the Handa class (because yes, that’s what everybody calls it, much to the homeroom teacher’s chagrin) is not going to be pressing flowers instead due to the complaints of a number of parents including Handa’s mother. The teacher however does not intend to give up so easily and recruits the help of Aizawa in the hopes of roping Handa along. It works, and Handa’s popularity begins to work its magic against Handa’s own wishes as usual.

Even though I wholeheartedly agree with him on this issue, I have to admit I laughed out loud at his own worried thoughts that the class might start calling him “fancy Handa” because he prefers to press flowers to dissecting frogs. I started dreading this segment a bit, thinking maybe they were going to find some sort of excuse to justify killing small animals in the name of education or such (and just to clarify, I’m just as averse to killing big animals), but the whole affair ends on a pretty hilarious note. Weirdly, this was a case of art imitating life for me (minus the frog possession and people getting injuries). Even though by the time I made it to that particular lesson, the dissection of frogs had been abolished also due to parental complaints, the last year they did it, we had a small “accident” of semi-conscious frogs “escaping”. There were frogs everywhere, I bet that was fun for the teachers.

Anyway, on to the next segment: Handa-kun and the stalker. Apparently one of the Handa force’s duties has been to follow Handa home everyday and make sure he’s okay. This changes when Aizawa notices Handa acting strange and suddenly running away as if afraid someone’s following him. He calls for an emergency meeting in which they decide to figure out who this stalker is and get rid of him/her. I t seems very straight forward right? As Kondou tries to point out, who could the stalker be? Maybe the people who’ve been following him everyday, as in the Handa force? Maybe? No? Okay. The entire segment is one crazy pursuit as more and more “concerned fans” keep popping up to help out, most notably Miyoko, best known as eraser girl and now simply Eraser, with her own sound effects and everything; and also Dash Higashino who has decided he suffers from HND or Handa disease. Things just go crazier and crazier and poor Handa has no idea why everybody decided to follow him today.

There was a part where the joke was running a bit long for me, particularly the bit about the library girl. Felt too much like a shoujo cliché. I mean, I get that that was the joke but it just didn’t work for me. The obvious metaphor with the dog running after its own tail was also, not to be redundant, but too obvious. It did pay out in the end, both the dog and the true identity of the stalker. I thought it was very clever to actually have the stalker being someone else. As the maxim states, just because you’re paranoid, don’t mean they’re not after you. In Handa’s case, this is the absolute truth times ten. Also, it was refreshing to see Handa expressing his true feelings once and for all, even if they were largely ignored and turned into something else thanks to everyone’s own delusions. Handa actually does express himself in the frog segment too, but due to the circumstances, I’m not sure that one counts.

In Summary:
The highlights of these episodes for me were the pro-dissection campaign and the presentation of Eraser. Both had laugh out loud moments, but the second part of the episode is definitely the most insane. It reminded me a bit of those old Benny Hill comedies with all the chasing and misunderstanding, but none of the lingerie and sexual humor of course. Some of the jokes overstayed their welcome but your mileage may vary. It wasn’t that big a deal anyway, and as I said it does pay out in the end. I find Handa-kun to be both relatable and insane in equal measures. It’s a bit confusing and it may hit home sometimes but, in the end, you’re still laughing along.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Funimation