I BANISH YOU TO THE SHADOW REALM!
Hand 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.
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.