The Handa-kun anime starts off by showing Handa’s fanclub, which consists of four dudes, who are upset that a Handa-kun anime already started up and they didn’t even know about it. Feeling that a big anime studio would never be able to capture Handa’s life as they know it, the fanclub decides to make their own (crappy) anime.
Afterwards, another one of the fanclub’s members drops a dvd by their place, which has the first episode on it. The four members eagerly watch the episode. It centers around Handa’s daily school life. Handa mistakes a love letter for a “letter of challenge” and things just go downhill from there. The episode ends with “to be continued.”
The four fanclub members realize that their anime pales in comparison to the official anime, so they give their handmade anime to Handa… who seems more disturbed by it than anything.
My god. This episode was bad. Real bad.
I knew that the Handa-kun anime would not be the same as Barakamon, as Handa is much younger (and Naru isn’t even around). However, I did not expect this… mess.
I feel like the anime studio that made this thought “hey, Osomatsu-san did a lot of fourth-wall breaking in their first episode and became a hit! Why don’t we do that too?!?” The problem is, Osomatsu-san was a reboot of a really old anime, and the premise of the original was already wacky to begin with. With Handa-kun, it doesn’t work because 1) this aired after the Barakamon anime which, while funny, was still a rather down-to-earth series. And 2) the jokes aren’t as funny as the episode writers seemed to think it was.
This is probably the exhibit A of “what not to do when it comes to making anime-original content.” I (and I assume most other people) do not want to have to sit through half an episode of unfunny dudes yelling and shouting over unfunny crap. Just because you’re breaking the fourth wall, that does not automatically mean that it’s magically funny. I’m… I’m not even sure if we got a glimpse of the “true” anime in this episode; because that “episode” that they showed off still looks like a faux joke episode.
People have said that the first episode makes more sense if you’ve actually read the Handa-kun manga. So wow, way to completely alienate newcomers. The anime also unfortunately alienates a few Barakamon fans as well (myself included) because of this weird shtick they were going for. I have honestly never seen an anime try to be so aggressively and unfunnily obnoxious. There’s also some weird rant in the first part of the episode where the three other dudes in the fanclub are getting mad at a fourth dude for deriding their fan-made anime; and it felt like some kind of weirdly aimed rant at the viewers. Because yeah, insulting your viewers will totally gain you fans! I mean, this would have made me laugh if the entire opening to the episode hadn’t annoyed me to the point where I just wanted to drop the series right then and there. So yeah, screw you guys.
This series also gets minus points for not getting Daisuke Ono back to voice Handa. Though I guess I can let that slide because Handa’s supposed to be in high school, so his voice wouldn’t sound as deep. Still can’t forgive the half-assed everything else about this episode; like the animation. Wow does the animation look lazy.
Overall, I’m genuinely disappointed. I was not expecting another Barakamon, but I did want to look into a series where Handa’s backstory is discussed. I knew there would be comedy, but I didn’t think it would be so damn grating. I just feel like this was an incredibly bad move made by the the anime producers. As such, I’m making a proclamation right here: because we never really got to see the “real” Handa-kun anime, I’m going to review the next episode as well–IF the second episode is any different, that is. It just isn’t fair to first impression an obviously faux jokey first episode and leave it at that; because that doesn’t accurately capture the tone of the rest of the series. So, if the next episode is any different, then I’ll just review that as the first impression round 2. But if the review for the second episode doesn’t appear on here, then you guys will know that it was more of the same of… whatever the hell this was.
Out of five for this episode: