Hand Shakers – 02

Well, I’d say their first date is going well.

winter15-ocI bet you’re all dying to find out what happens this week in the ever-popular Hand Shakers…

I didn’t think it was possible, but this episode somehow manages to be worse than the first. Okay, to be fair, the animation is moderately better, only because it’s easier to animate kids going to school than dodging fiery chains in a magical realm. However, keep in mind thatwWhen I say “better” I mean “I cried slightly less tears of blood.” So what could possibly be worse? Somehow, the story went from a mildly rousing action show to a frivolous high school rom-com devoid of any substance.

First chains, now streamers. Are the people at Go Hands ok?

The episode opens with a handy summary of how the Hand Shakers world works, all presented with the same nuance as the tutorial level of a Mario game. The scientist just basically explains everything to the bewildered protagonist. The funny thing is, he explains the basic rules without ever touching on why these things are happening. “You’re doing this to get a chance to talk to God!” ok that explains…nothing…we meet God, and then what? Make a wish? Shake his hand? Call him Being X, deny him, and then get reincarnated as a surly little blonde? I’m also waiting to hear why Koyori is special aside the fact that they just want her to be special. It’s a perfect set-up for pubescent boys everywhere to fantasize about having their own cute girl who literally can’t live without them. Who wouldn’t love an infantalized girl who clings to your hand, relies on you for everything, and has no shame about bathing with you?

Any alarm bells ringing yet? Maybe police sirens?

She can understand Japanese perfectly, but she can’t wash herself.

In general, I find it really creepy when an anime reduces female characters to acting way younger than their age, to the point where they can’t even take care of themselves. That by itself isn’t creepy, as there are cases like that. The creepy factor kicks in when a guy is turned on by this. Koyori’s mental growth was stunted because she’s been stuck in a coma for what I imagine to be all her life (or at the very least, a really long time). She has the mental capabilities of a toddler at best. Yet our main character Tazuna totally pervs out when he gets to bathe with her. Sigh. Hand Shakers is such an incompetent show that I don’t even know if this was intentional or they just needed fanservice and she was the only girl available for it. Still, it’s a trope in anime that I despise because it’s so degrading to see a show sexualize traits that you would find in a 5 year old.

Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad in this case. Tazuna didn’t do anything unwarranted, and he did his best not to be a weirdo given his age. I still could have done without so much of the episode being dedicated to their bathroom escapades.

Best part of the episode? The lovebird parents. Nice to see the parents not being conveniently away on a business trip (forever), or making one of them die in a tragic accident. They’re doing well considering one of their kids died! It’s nice to see that level of positivity. Maybe there’s hope for this show yet.

HAHAHAHA just kidding, this show isn’t about to become the next Mona Lisa. I’ll see you next week since spewing my garbage thoughts about this show is oddly therapeutic.


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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12 Responses to “Hand Shakers – 02”

  1. skylion says:

    You know, if they were going for, As awkward as walking in on your ::name of relative that you would rather not see doing this here:: while they finish up “punching the porpoise”, during that bathing scene, then they did the job they set out to do…

    But I think we both know that isn’t what they were going for…But I do think they had a bit more going for it than you give them credit. I think he was acting just like a kid his age would act under such dumb or contrived circumstance. Well he acted near enough. But you are very much in the right about her personality. Yeah, that was just not right in the head. Besides, it would have been more interesting had she been able to communicate her own agency; it’s not so much a matter of infantilization I think – but that is very much there – but one of just insipid forethought. Shit, GoHands. The girl is magic…give her telepathy for some limited time, along with the other half-arsed Byzantine rules that go along with her.

    Ah well, another week passed, we torture ourselves more nex time…

    • Overcooled says:

      It could have been much, much worse, and Tazuki was pretty restrained. But it was just so awkward… There was a bathing scene this week in KonoSuba and it was handled so well! Although I suppose I shouldn’t be comparing this show to anything else when it’s in a horrible league of its own…

      Hmm, yeah, maybe infantile isn’t quite accurate. It’s more like she’s this blank slate with no understanding of, well, everything. Not even certain concepts, like being embarrassed about nudity. I think it would be nice if she could communicate too, and I’m guessing that will come with time. As for how she can understand Japanese perfectly without speaking, I have no clue. Yeah, just make her telepathic and get on with it!

      Thanks for keeping me company!

      • skylion says:

        I’m encouraging Highway to watch this one, since he’s covering Konosuba…and it would be neat to get his perspective on da bathing…. But yeah, both Megumin and silly Kazuma handled it very well.

        OMG, giving her some agency would open this up to tolerable!

  2. zztop says:

    I’ll see you next week since spewing my garbage thoughts about this show is oddly therapeutic.

    Is Overcooled a masochist when it comes to anime?

  3. BlackBriar says:

    I’m glad I rarely rely on word of mouth when checking shows out. Hand Shakers isn’t as bad as I’ve been hearing. If anything, I find it rather more tolerable than the likes of Big Order by a couple of miles. After watching and blogging that smoldering forsaken piece of trash, I’d have thought your bar on determining what’s bad and unwatchable would’ve been raised the height of a skyscapper for any later series that came down the road, OC. 😛

    I read the First Impression but wasn’t free to watch the opening episode at the time. I can deal with the animation and coloring, but some of the character designs need some getting used to. It’s like a throwback to the 90’s anime style.

    • Overcooled says:

      I have a really bad track record of choosing the worst series to blog. Seriously, at this point I should get someone else to pick for me. Or just throw darts at a wall and see where it lands. I haven’t learned from my mistakes!

      Interesting. Well, welcome to the wild ride that is Hand Shakers!

      • BlackBriar says:

        But when you started blogging for Metanorn, you were doing good, right? High School of the Dead is up for debate but you didn’t go wrong with Shiki. That’s what, 7 years now (Despite Shiki started airing Summer 2010). Nice track record. The latter was the first series I ever commented on.

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