Hand Shakers – 04

When you play a JRPG and equip your party with suits and waitress clothes as armour because it’s pretty

winter15-ocYou know, if the very act of watching Hand Shakers didn’t make me feel motion sickness, I might have a better opinion about it. This is coming from someone who researches visually induced self-motion from virtual reality on the Oculus Rift. I know all about motion sickness. And scientifically speaking, the fights in Hand Shakers make me feel SUPER BAD.

I get what they’re going for. The camera swooping around the characters as they fight creates some really interesting angles – somewhat along the lines of what Mob Psycho 100 loved to do. However, the difference here is that as the camera swings around, the CGI rendering can’t keep up and it ends up looking slow and choppy instead of fluid and gorgeous. It also doesn’t help that the CGI itself continues to impress me with how bad it looks. Just try and tell me the trees in the following screencap don’t look like cardboard cut-outs.

Just some trees growing from grey concrete, as trees do

Aside from the headache-causing fight scene, I liked what the rest of what this episode had to offer. As I explained last week, the show is lifted up whenever Chizuru and Hayate are on screen because they have so much more depth than Tazuna and Koyori. It’s like comparing a deep dish pizza to thin crust. So much more flavour! (I’ve never actually seen a deep dish pizza in real life let alone tasted one, so I’m just going by instinct here. Feel free to mail me one someday when I’m famous.)

The difference is astounding because the main duo have the personalities of wet blankets. Tazuna is so bland that the only special trait they gave him is being able to fix things and his catch phrase about things “meshing” well. He says exactly what he feels, and there’s no depth. I suppose that’s a step about Koyori who doesn’t even have emotions to express in any capacity. She didn’t even seem afraid when she was being attacked. We get only the smallest hint that she actually possesses a beating heart capable of feeling at the end of the episode, where she seems remorseful for being such a burden to Tazuna. It’s expressed in a really, really weird way though, as if the only thing she should be guilty about is making it impossible for him to ride his precious bike again.

Matching bedsheets for you and bae

So thankfully, the episode leaves these two to the wayside and focuses on the inappropriate workplace romance couple. At first things are pretty simple, with them explaining more about hand shaking. I’m not a big fan of when a show literally plops characters down in a board room and explains the mechanics of the show’s premise, but this was needed. It also shows just how lousy Makihara is. His lousiness is equally matched by how suspicious he is at this point, because it seems like he’s withholding information from everyone as he sees fit. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the “villain” of this whole show.

Anyways, after laying down the rules, we get to see another side of Chizuru and Hayate. I really liked this conversation, because it has a little more depth than Tazuna just blurting out everything he’s thinking. It also shrugged off what I hate most about Chizuru, which is the way everything she says turns into a really bad joke about how she looks like a kid. I wanted to bang my forehead against the wall when Hayate physically held her back and she just flailed around petulantly, as if that’s how an executive would actually act. Sigh. Anyways, this was a rare moment where the gags were tossed aside and they were honest about themselves. The dialogue wasn’t ground-breaking, and even felt a little stilted at times, but it still had a lot more weight behind it than anything in this show thus far. Yes, even more so than Koyori’s life or death situation, which has been taken pretty lightly thus far. It doesn’t even seem like she enjoys being alive so I don’t think I’d bat an eyelash if she kicked the bucket next week.

In terms of Hand Shakers standards, this was a good episode. Hand Shakers standards. Koyori and Tazuna are still horrible leads, and I’m a little upset that next week’s preview seems to have moved on to a new Hand Shakers duo. I can only hope that the trend of the show is having the side characters constantly surpass everyone else.

“We’ve only fought twice before” lol I can’t imagine who they could have beaten the first time


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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11 Responses to “Hand Shakers – 04”

  1. skylion says:

    Oh my yes, this show is going to have to commit to the side characters if all they have for the mains are searching their cushions for loose change. And so far they’re going on a trope role, cause next week the preview has….Shouta Boy and the Double D? ::sigh::

    I used to really groove on the deep dish pizza, but love New York style a heck of a lot more these days. Or Chicago…either will do.

    • Overcooled says:

      The side characters have a lot more going on, that’s for sure. But it’s easy to surpass a bland potato and a slice of bread. Not expecting much from shota boy and DD-cup, but I’m almost certain they’ll be better than the mains as well lol

      Wait what isn’t deep dish…the same as Chicago? What’s new york pizza?? Is Canada deprived of the true spectra of pizza???

      • skylion says:

        Chicago style is the very definition of deep dish, while New York style has a very pliable, bendy and thin crust..the kind New Yorkers fold the the back of the crust end to end creating a semi-tube like eating experience. Chicago style lends itself to falling off the fork and into the lap, a steaming, scalding, hot and fresh ball of yowtch, but that’s just me I think…

        But I’ve heard great things about Canadian-Italian homegrown pizzerias, avoid the chains and national franchises.

  2. Highway says:

    One thing I think I should say: It may not be the production’s fault if it’s choppy. Swooping camera movements that are compressed take a LOT of bitrate, something that very few sources are going to spend especially on a show like Hand Shakers. I don’t know what source you’re watching from, but I know that Crunchyroll tends to have some issues with bitrate starvation, so a vertical pan will end up jumping from here, to here, to here, instead of being a smooth pan. And anyone who’s digitizing it, even from a .ts file is going to have to make some choice on the compression, so if they move around that much, with complete scene slides, then you’ll get at least some choppiness.

    • Overcooled says:

      Oh wow, I didn’t realize just digitizing a file could make it choppy to a noticeable extent. It probably happens in other shows and I didn’t even know.

  3. Highway says:

    Just some trees growing from grey concrete, as trees do


    Just try and tell me the trees in the following screencap don’t look like cardboard cut-outs.

    Not only do they look like cardboard cut-outs, they look like they’re all the exact same tree model. maybe a couple are rotated a little, but other than that, it’s just copy-paste-paste-paste-paste-paste…

    • Overcooled says:

      …yeah, there’s a lot to be said about how horrible those trees are. They should have rotated more, all of them branch off to the left lol

  4. BlackBriar says:

    No promises on the pizza thing.

    Honestly, I was too fixed on the story developments to even care about either the camera angles or CGI and overlooked them. My sole interest is wanting to see what comes next and this week, thanks to the info on Hand Shaker identification and Ziggurat entry conditions, things got interestingly prickly for the main duo.

    Better for Tazuna finding out how to be targeted by enemy Hand Shakers after being able to be separate from Koyori for 15 minutes rather than before. Otherwise, his odds of being a sitting duck would’ve been higher. One matter that caught my attention was Tazuna’s behavior during the fight. As he was adapting to his weapon and abilities, though very short lived, it seemed like he was beginning to enjoy himself. So I’m wondering if that’s the sign of a thrill that will grow every time he gets in a conflict. Selector Infected WIXOSS’ Ruuko was originally a pacifist and reluctant selector until she was forced through her first battle, got a thrill from the excitement in the process and eventually a desire to completely crush her opponents while enjoying it.

    • Overcooled says:

      yeah, I saw less running in fear and more getting hyped to attack from Tazuna too. Just a little, but definitely there. He’s getting stronger, and now he knows that he has to do anything to protect Koyori…or else she dies.

      Man, I wish Tazuna would go full-on sadist..

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