Hand Shakers (Winter 2017) – Just Grasping Your Hands

One thing we are sure about “Hand Shakers” is how bad this anime goes. It has a poor script yet pretty “aesthetic” animation. Except, all those things we consider bad is just another cliche and generic characters with thousand of plots I have seen in each season. “Guilty Crown” might be a great example of a similar plot with this one. It’s a story about a person unexpectedly pulling a weapon inside the main heroine. They both have to be together whatsoever. On the other hand, “Guilty Crown” pulled it off a few good parts, “Hand Shakers” is a different story.

There were so many anime I watched in the season besides this show. They were “KonoSuba 2”, “Masamune-kun’s Revenge”, “Gabriel DropOut”, “Interviews with Monster Girls“, etc. There was also lots of anime I dropped which was a different case. For some reason, “Hand Shakers” could be said to be a “good” anime in specific parts. Especially, I admit the art style gives an interesting unique impression if you don’t think too much about the CGI. In a nutshell, this anime summarizes everything in the first episode as I felt in “Occultic;Nine”. However, this anime is capable of redeeming itself rather than “Hand Shakers”.

“Hand Shakers” can’t be said as a “so bad it’s good” anime. This show isn’t “Mars of Destruction” and “Skelter Heaven”. It’s like combining one of the best-worst directors ever. Think about Ed Wood or Tommy Wiseau. We said this anime is bad but it doesn’t mean the anime is unworthy to watch. But, the bad things contained what made us enjoy it for the most part. We laugh at it. Long story short, if you have ever watched “Guilty Crown”, you probably know the basics of this show. In short, this show is set in a vivid future where the world surrounded the Hand Shakers. It’s a term refers to a partner who can summon Nimrod.

Nimrod is a term related to weapons when the Hand Shakers hold hands together. The point of this Hand Shakers is to go beyond the level to challenge God. Of course, this show tries to take any references from the Bible. The receivers of the revelation of Babylon is the premise of the story alike. They are the Hand Shakers who try to challenge God. God would give them a demand who has a dream. So, the whole idea is kind of interesting to say. Yet, this isn’t a thoughtful way to say at least.

“Hand Shakers” has so many continuity errors. There is the main character repeatedly releases his partner’s hand. To begin with, the rules are just explained before they separate then they would die. And come to think of it, I still don’t understand how all of these rules work. Even though at the end of the episode it was revealed, that’s not the way the rules work. The director would be like: “think of the way like a fictional story, not using your dumb logic”. Is this a video game like most of the RPG-based anime? Is this a kind of supernatural which just appears like that? Who made the game of the universe? If so, would there be an effect on the world between the Hand Shakers and reality? Is this a tournament? Just yeah and no one knows at the end of the episode.

When I want to talk about the main character, I don’t think it’s worse than the MC from “In Another World with My Smartphone”. Touya Mochizuki is one of the luckiest, the most overpowered who lacks any motivation, and else is one thing I don’t want to remember again. Yet, I have watched “Hand Shakers”. The first episode is indeed done in forced ways. It wants to attract more attention to the fans who have watched too many shows like this. Tazuna (Souma Saitou) and Koyori (Sumire Morohoshi), one of the Hand Shakers, accidentally met and became part of the game. Koyori who had a strange condition made a lof of hassles for the main character. The more you watched, the more you know how to overpowered this character without any explanation at all.

Tazuna, on the other side, was just a normal student who accidentally met Koyori without any clear reason. He had no motivation other than assuming Koyori was his younger sister. He is like a villain in this anime. The main protagonist thwarted all of the Hand Shakers’ struggles which more had strong dreams. It explains, other than badly, why they became Hand Shakers in the first place. I didn’t know why the character as well whom Tazuna defeated became friends. It’s just so cliche to be honest.

The relationship between the main character and the heroine was a bit of force. Did I mention how they break the rules? Just, honestly, the director is pushing the rules again. They have to bathe together. I’m not kidding, that’s the way you would like it. In contrast, there is a romantic relationship between this couple. I don’t know again where they can understand each other. I don’t know because there is no strong reason why Koyori who can’t speak wants to always be with Tazuna. Unless she just doesn’t want to be alone. It has a long yet tedious dialogue. There is a lot of vague information you have to process one by one. The basic concept is monotonous and you can’t do anything with it.

Besides the main protagonist and the heroine, there are other characters as well. There is Riri Houjou (Ai Kayano) with her younger brother who is also just to bring up an incest thing. Just what is this? I don’t want to remember the same thing I experienced in “Sword Art Online“. The characterization as well is forgettable. All of these characters put on screen randomly in an irrelevant manner. They seem just appear in the action part, fail to fight for their dreams, and such on the main character. Repeated all the steps and you got this.

There are two different styles of artwork. The first is the CGI along with the choreography. The art style is usually a colorful one. But, there are good parts too. Regardless, they fail to design all the composition. The choreography is awful especially the dynamic cinematography. When they showed the CGI, it’s like their surroundings are so wide. It’s just a copy-paste of the background. After the CGI ends, it turns back to normal and their surroundings immediately look crowded. The characters seem to be a wide expanse of land. They used one-shot techniques to take a shot from any angle.

If you can’t tell what is going on in one frame, just what are you watching? The director seems to be inspired by Bayhem. There is so much, I mean, so much explosion. But, there are several parts I notice how they take real life pictures but the background was like a green screen just sticks to it. As in both of them didn’t blend. If you didn’t understand, just put an anime character in a real-life set without having to edit as well as possible.

One specific frame on movement is also very strange, like a GIF that has three frame rates per second. The audio used repetitive sound without any emotion at all. The soundtrack for both of the action and emotion sequences is just out of place. The opening and ending theme songs are decent. The same as the voice actor, Sumire Morohoshi. However, I just feel bad with her how she only has the shortest line among all the characters.

If you can’t tell what you just watch, you can do it either with this show. Just take a similar situation where you have to finish all three of the Philips CD-i’s “Zelda” series before tomorrow in one day. “Hand Shakers” intended for certain people who prefer a mainstream trophy. It can’t be said as a “so bad it’s good” anime because it is a different thing. With an interesting premise, everything is out of place. And you know what? Napoleon Bonaparte once said: “imagination rules the world”. But, I can translate as this is a high-low imagination to understand this show.

2 out of 5 stars.

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