I have been ready to watch Hand Shakers for a long time now, being an anime made by the studio GoHands. However, I was not ready to continuously shake my head in disappointment as I quickly realized this anime was far from what I was hoping it to be.
I had reason to believe Hand Shakers would be a good series. I wanted to see what the studio behind the anime K was going to bring to the table this time around; GoHands has a distinguishable sense of cinematography and animation style that I personally love. Yet when seeing their signature animation style implemented into Hand Shakers, I can’t help but feel that it is jarring and distasteful.
What starts as a slightly interesting premise with seemingly aesthetic visuals, quickly turns into a face-palming torture of a viewing experience. The story centers around Tazuna Takatsuki. He’s a high-school student interested in mechanics and accepts a repair request from a certain university facility. When he arrives, he meets Koyori Akutagawa sleeping on a bed. After touching her hand he is left bewildered in a new world, Ziggurat. Together they become one of the many Hand Shakers where they fight other duos for the right to confront God and have their wish granted. Hand Shaker’s fight by activating their “Nimrod,” a power derived from one’s psyche after holding hands with the linked partner.
The art is pretty for the most part, but it’s also very weird-looking. The characters look like they’re deformed with a half-chibi appearance. It’s questionable why this type of character design was approved, but somehow it kind of grows on you. The show doesn’t take long to try and immerse you with the story or setting either. The pacing isn’t horrible or great; though the story itself quickly becomes uninteresting. The fights are okay and the large use of CGI at first feels jarring; But just like the art style, it quickly grows on you. There really isn’t much going for the anime. The atmospheric tone of the setting is very colorful, with a pretty yet odd style of art. The music does an alright job of setting a proper tone for the scenes. The story overall falls short and is too predictable.
With a studio like GoHands, I wrongfully expected more from the anime. The art-style turned me off, but I was curious simply because it was GoHands producing it. I thought the plot was alright so I gave the series a shot — a decision I almost regret. The anime to me personally isn’t good, but it’s not entirely horrible. Perhaps more accurately I should say it’s “just okay.” If you want to watch something not for the story, but for the art-style or visuals, then you will probably enjoy this anime; just don’t expect
much anything from it.
If you want to watch Hand Shakers, it is available to watch for free on Crunchyroll.