Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Before his exile to an island and his exploits with Naru and friends in the pages of Barakamon, Sei Handa was a neurotic teen and aspiring calligrapher, who was convinced that his classmates despised him! His enigmatic nature, though, makes him a magnet to everyone around him, and every day is a comedy of errors. Prepare yourself for one of the funniest manga in years as it follows the misadventures of Handa-kun!
Being a big fan of Barakamon at this point, of course I wanted to pick up the spin-off/prequel.
Handa-kun is currently in high school, and he is very misunderstood. He is convinced that everyone at school hates him, that they’re always glaring at him, and think he’s a freak. Whenever someone talks to him, he’s convinced that they’re playing a prank on him, that the punchline will be coming soon. He’s terrified of his classmates.
When, in reality, his classmates all admire him. They think he’s so aloof, and that he’s mature way beyond them, too mature to get into any of the high school drama. When a girl tries confessing her love, he thinks she’s calling him out for a duel. When he’s so intensely practicing calligraphy during class, they think he’s too smart for class. Even gangs are terrified of him, because of all the misunderstandings regarding his reactions.
I love most seeing his interactions with Kawafuji, because Kawafuji finds how everyone reacts around him hilarious, and how Handa pretends not to know Kawafuji “for his own good”. It’s hilarious. I also like the comic strips about what Miwa, Tama, and Naru are doing at the same time, so young and adorable.
I’m looking forward to the next one.