Hand Shakers – 05


winter15-ocHand Shakers was one of those bad shows that I figured I could somewhat tolerate for the sake of writing a cathartic rant each week. It didn’t reach the level of “everything Overcooled specifically hates” until now, so this will be my last post (except maybe the finale for a laugh).

I did my best up until now blogging the first and only anime to make me feel physically ill. I got motion sick just trying to follow characters slide in surreal motions across CGI environments that almost seemed to be in another plane of existence. Even if you take the bad animation away, all you’re left with is a terribly mediocre plot, wafer-thin character concepts, and shoddy dialogue that appears as if it were written solely by some defective computer program. Still, I was willing to trudge through out of a sense of duty to continue blogging and because it was kind of amazing just how slipshod everything was proving to be.

“she breasted boobily in response”

Every now and then, Hand Shakers seems to move to the cusp of clever self-awareness. For example, this week, the card game Precious Memories is played with the flamboyance of a Yu-Gi-Oh! episode, complete with dramatic hand gestures and the like. It almost seemed like an intentional, hammy joke. Almost. The second time it got close to being self-aware was when Lily was being an overly enthusiastic brocon by cheering at the top of her lungs in a small store and one guy mumbled the equivalent of “holy shit this character is annoying”. I feel you, random side character!!! You are perhaps the most relateable individual in the show!

Unfortunately, Hand Shakers never fully embraces that “so bad it’s good” schema, which would have worked wonders for making the sickening animation seem almost intentional (a la Inferno Cop). It’s stuck as just being bad. What drew the line for me here was the dive into some anime tropes that particularly rub me the wrong way as well as overwhelming levels of awkwardness all around.

Can your tarot cards tell me what is up with your boobs? I think they’re possessed.

I always look forward to the side characters as a reprieve from our ultra bland main characters, but this week didn’t offer that. Lily, who was previously somewhat okay, became an intolerable fangirl of her little brother. Her incessant swooning was not platonic either – she straight-up confesses that she’s in love with her brother. It got creepy real fast. It also doesn’t help that Lily’s only other role this episode (aside from wanting to be her brother’s girlfriend) is to have her boobs bounce around wildly like her blouse is going to burst open any moment. The tarot card thing is like the only trait not related to being a brocon with big boobs that they could allow her, and it’s equally horrid with how cheesy it is. Boss loli may have been belittled a lot, but at least she got a good job title and a feisty attitude. This girl really has nothing going for her aside from being something for some viewers to fantasize about.

The rest of the episode doesn’t do much to make things better considering they already covered one of my major turn-offs in anime. Koyori runs away for no reason and then casually hangs out with Lily as if her life doesn’t depend on reuniting with Tazuna. That was…weird. Then Tazuna bumps into a guy who is described as being awkward to talk to, which just seems like an excuse they stuck in for the script writer suffering some sort of concussion. Nothing he says makes sense. He just blurts out important revelations about Makihara, because that is what’s most convenient to the story right now. He might as well have been an omnipotent voice booming statements at Tazuna from the sky. He even states what’s been blindingly obvious this whole time – that Koyori resembles Tazuna’s sister. Maybe I got motion sick from rolling my eyes and not the animation.

Everything was so…awkward. The dialogue was painfully annoying (hmm, let me tell you what my tarot card says about me not having any money!), Lily is nothing but fanservice for people who think fucking their sister is cool, Koyori and Tazuna are still devoid of any personality, and it was no surprise that Lily and her brother were Hand Shakers. All in all, just a bad time for me all around. There’s nothing more for me here. If you manage to watch to the end, don’t forget to come to my office when I graduate (from vision science) to get your eyes checked.


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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7 Responses to “Hand Shakers – 05”

  1. skylion says:

    You did good, you were brave, and no one will hold you at fault. Thank you for tossing in the towel…now I can stop watching it!

  2. zztop says:

    I’m sure no anime studio sets out to create the worst anime ever, especially if it’s their original work.

    But, it would seem GoHands is prioritizing showing off its technical and animation prowess over crafting a well-organized, meaningful story for HandShakers. A blogger summed it up as “at some point the methods replaced the goals – scenes no longer are meant to achieve a result, they’re (made to) showcase…this particular aesthetic the studio’s built. “.

    Much of the shaky 3D-cam is the work of GoHands’ greatest asset & main animator, Okubo Hiroshi, whose love of 3D camera movement helped GoHands make its visual mark.
    However, a head animator did comment on Twitter that Okubo’s style should be kept away from any more GoHands projects.

    The blog article:

    • skylion says:

      It’s also the case of the “hook” becoming the whole of the thing. That usually becomes an encumbrance rather than the lift they hope for. It’s Aku no Hana‘s alienation via rotoscoping; it didn’t really show the character’s alienation, so much as underscore the audiences. It’s the Les Miserable‘s live-sung thru method that turned the score into aural mud. Use things in moderation…but that seems impossible to someone in love with the thing being the whole of the thing.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Caution: Do not bring any gearheads to any automated establishments. They’ll shut the rest of the outside world from their consciousness.

    Yeah, this show’s a deadweight but if anything, it’s not as intolerable and repulsive as say… Samurai Flamenco or Big Order. I couldn’t get past 6 episodes of the former yet by some miracle, you and Kyokai were able to endure halfway through that two-cour trash before calling it quits. An entire season’s worth of time in vain. Not to mention you somehow managed to blog Big Order all the way through.

    So, are you taking anything else up as a replacement or just sticking with Ao no Exorcist’s second season? Not that there’s really a selection this Winter 2017.

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