First Impressions – Hand Shakers

Spoilers, they “shake” hands.

I would start this review off with a firm hand shake, but technology hasn’t evolved enough yet.


Hand Shakers is the latest anime by studio GoHands, the people best known for the red vs blue fighting anime named K. This means that it’s also known for a stubborn overusage of gradient filters, ambitious action sequences, and a keen attention to visual details. I was actually a fan of how K looked – yes, poorly chosen instagram filters slapped over everything and all. It added their own mark to the show. So when Hand Shakers came out and I saw twitter berating the show for its poor animation, I chalked it up to a difference in tastes. The screenshots didn’t look that bad, and as someone who has Kuuchuu Buranko as one of their top shows, I clearly have a high tolerance for garish colours.

Then I actually watched the thing and oh boy, GoHands really fucked this one up.

I’m not sure what’s less natural: the CGI chains, or how her boobs are positioned

Typically, when someone says a show has bad animation, it’s due to a low budget. To save money, they use lots of still shots or skimp out on detail to the point where characters have one blob for hair and two dots for eyes. In general, there’s an overall lack of detail that’s causing the bad animation. Hand Shakers manages to be incredibly detailed, but also atrocious to look at.

GoHands clearly had far too lofty goals with this one. They put a ton of detail into background characters milling about, which works at times for creating a busy scene. The characters also have very detailed designs, including a million folds in their clothing and wispy strands of hair that move with every step. Some of the battle scenes also look pretty darn cool with the mix of CGI and traditional animation. So what’s the problem here? Unfortunately, in an attempt to make every scene overloaded with visual information, they’ve sacrificed fluidity.

They tried really hard for this scene, at least

The overall framerate of the show dips drastically without warning. I actually thought my computer was lagging at times because it was so janky. Of course, Lily’s boob bounce was perfectly fluid though! They’re clearly struggling to animate this properly, and it shows since the 3D backgrounds are often poorly rendered, and it doesn’t look like the characters are even moving on the correct plane. I’m not usually one to even comment on animation aside from “wow it’s good” or “wow it’s awful”, since it’s not a deal-breaker for me. A show can have awful animation and still be good. But Hand Shakers animation is so wildly inconsistent that it gave me a headache. It’s actually offensively bad – from bizarre bobblehead character models to choppy animation and horribly clashing colours – it’s like the show is fighting itself to keep going.

Now, all this would be tolerable if there were other redeeming traits, but that’s not quite the case. The story is…ok…I guess? Basically, a guy finds a girl and unlocks some magical powers by holding her hand. The fun twist was that he can never let go of her hand, or else she’ll die. I thought that one point was pretty interesting, as it seems like the other Hand Shakers don’t have the same limitation. The rest is just the two being thrown into a whole lot of nonsense that’s an excuse for fight sequences (although it contained more moaning and BDSM than fighting, I’d say).

It’s a very slapdash set-up, and of course the main dude and the mysterious girl become the best of friends immediately. There’s very little substance there. I think they were going for a super edgy action show that delivers on adrenaline-packed fights, and isn’t quite as developed on the nuanced storyline front. Unfortunately, since the animation is so subpar, it also fails as a basic action anime. It can’t even deliver cheap thrills.

Final Thoughts


The story and characters sit at the level of a run-of-the-mill, “meh” anime, which is keeping some people interested. However, that’s not saying a lot when the best compliment I can give is that the story is mildly coherent and just interesting enough to keep me conscious. The animation is a level of bad I never knew existed, as it’s somehow detailed yet incredibly awkward. Did the artists never learn basic anatomy? Is the animation really so demanding that the framerate stutters like a AAA video game being played on an old PC? I have so many questions about why anyone thought this was okay, especially since it looks like they had such lofty goals for this show. I absolutely do not recommend this show to anyone. As a vision researcher, please be careful not to become blind if you choose to watch further!

…..that being said, I guess I’m a masochist so I’ll be blogging this again next week! I’ll watch it so you don’t have to! (Unless you actually like it, in which case…at least one of us will enjoy this)

…I think I need someone to hold my hand right about now after watching this


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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4 Responses to “First Impressions – Hand Shakers”

  1. skylion says:

    …..that being said, I guess I’m a masochist so I’ll be blogging this again next week! I’ll watch it so you don’t have to! (Unless you actually like it, in which case…at least one of us will enjoy this)

    OK, did the Red Oni OC come back from overseas? Seriously? Really? You mad wot?

    JK! I don’t know what to say other than agree with pretty much everything you said. These were my problems as well. I think my biggest complaint beyond all of tha is Villain McVillainFace from Villainsvilles. He wen’t from “meh”, to “barely tolerable”, to “vulgar and stupid” before the episode ended. I would say it’s a deal-breaker, but if you’re going to go all Red Oni on this every week, I can’t very well let you do it without my comments and replies. So I’ll watch the show as well. After all, you have to think that from a psychological point of view, is a GoHands production enough to melt an aniblogger?

    • Overcooled says:

      I came back as the red oni…Beware!

      I’m not sure why they thought having a guy curbstomp another girl’s crotch to activate her special power would be a good idea for a villain to start the show off with. He was just awful. Although I guess it was consensual crotch stomping??? Anyways, still, I agree he was way too evil to be a meaningful character in any other way.

      Aww thanks for joining in with me! Misery loves company!

      Let’s see how long we last….

      • skylion says:

        …but can the red oni make better tea?

        You know if you decide to explode on this at any given point, go right ahead, I won’t blame you.

        • Overcooled says:

          Oh absolutely. I’ve bailed on bad shows before, but for now it seems kind of fun to look at this trainwreck. FOR NOW.

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