I enjoyed this anime. It was interesting and different. Here is my sort of messy review.
STORY: The story is about the main character from Barakamon, Handa, when he was in his second year of high school. At that time, he was already well known for his calligraphy and for being the son of a great calligrapher. He is the most popular guy in school, but there is one problem…HE DOESN’T KNOW HE IS POPULAR. It’s the opposite actually. He thinks he is hated by everyone. He interprets every action intended to help him as an expression of hatred towards him. When someone tells him not to worry about cleaning duty so he can go work, he thinks they are trying to get him to leave because he will get in their way.
His communication skills are poor, he interprets others actions and words incorrectly and most people interpret his words and actions incorrectly. Thanks to others interpreting his words and actions wrong, he becomes idolized by a group of guys whose encounters with Handa helped them in some way.
The beginning of the first episode caught me off guard. Actually, the whole first episode had me wondering if I should click the next episode. It starts off with the “Handa force” (several guys who become loyal to Handa) talking about how Handa is getting an anime and how they missed the first episode etc. Then the first episode is delivered to them and they watch it. The real first episode wasn’t bad, except it ended in an awkward place.
I think the creators did a good job using the misinterpretations between Handa and his classmates to create a comical story. Miscommunication or misinterpretation is one of the main causes of conflicts. In other words, it’s not unique. However, the relationships between characters and what the misunderstandings were made it enjoyable and a bit fresher.
I was disappointed that they added an episode for a cultural festival though. It may seem a weird thing to be disappointed about, but it is one of those episodes that occurs in every school anime and they didn’t even have his class do something original. On the other hand, that cultural festival was how the story ended, which I was not disappointed with.
Handa-kun is one of those animes that introduces a new character almost every episode and creates a conflict with said character. I did say almost though, not always. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of that strategy but it’s used in plenty of comedies. It didn’t bother me though.
Now, one of my biggest complaints about a story is usually how it ends. In my opinion, a bad ending can ruin a great anime in five seconds. I kind of thought this one would have a sort of open ending the way it was going, but to my surprise, and enjoyment, it had an almost perfect ending.
CHARACTERS: High school idiots. Male high school idiots. That describes the majority of the characters. Other than Handa-kun, there is a group self-titled the Handa Force who practically worships Handa. Technically, a lot of the students sort of worship him, but the Handa Force members had a direct encounter with Handa which changed their view on life. They support Handa from the shadows, or try to anyways, without Handas knowledge. Ultimately, their actions further convince him he is hated. It doesn’t help that they almost never speak to him because they believe him to be so above them. Only one member actually has any sense.
The character development is about as good as you can get with this sort of story set up. Each characters development is usually limited to about half an episode with one conflict causing one change and a teeny tiny ounce of the characters history. They are pretty stereotypical characters so that’s all you really need anyways.
The Handa in Handa-kun is far more paranoid than his adult self in Barakamon. The end of Handa-kun sort of explains why. I suppose the rest is simply due to growing up.
ANIMATION: The animation was average enough. The background colors were a bit faded in that way that is kind of like watercolors. Nothing really stuck out. Animation doesn’t count for much of my overall score unless it’s bad, which it wasn’t…..well except the design of that one girl whose name I forgot (I am awful with names).
SOUND: Sound effects seemed average. I didn’t notice any weirdness. I don’t listen to enough of the ending songs to have an opinion on them. The opening on the other hand didn’t quite fit in my opinion. The opening for Barakamon would probably fit this anime better. This opening was a bit darker and serious sounding which was weird for a comedy. I actually liked the song….which is part of why I say it doesn’t fit a comedy. I probably wouldn’t like a song that fit the genre. The anime does have some dark ideas, but it’s approached with so much comedy that it’s buried deep below the surface. Sound doesn’t count much towards my overall score either unless it’s terrible, which it’s not.
Overall, I thought it was too short. Just like Barakamon, I would have liked to see more. Then again, when is anything long enough for me…?
It was enjoyable. The stupidity wasn’t to a ridiculous level like some comedies. I do believe in such a thing as too ridiculous, but this anime didn’t go that far. It was tame enough to be an enjoyable comedy and not a headache….although the very beginning did make me wonder whether it would be any good. I can’t say it had an amazing first impression and I will take off a point and a half for that, but no more than a point and a half since the ending was almost exactly how I wanted it to end. It was the basic concept at least. I think I liked Barakamon more, minus the ending which wasn’t conclusive enough for me. It may just be because I’m not the biggest fan of comedy though. This would still be among the top comedies I would recommend though.
Please let me know if there are any sentences that don’t make sense. Spell check doesn’t catch it if the mistake isn’t a misspelled word or misuse of grammar it recognizes. I already fixed one weird sentence.