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Review Aloo - Hand Shakers [Dish #75]

Posted April 3rd, 2017 at 6:59 AM by gimmepie

Review Aloo - Hand Shakers

I just finished another recent anime, so have another review. Hand Shakers is an action series that sees pairs of people compelled to fight each other using strange weapons by the voice of God. The catch here, Hand Shaker pairs are heavily reliant on each other in combat to the point that they have to charge their power by holding hands.

I was instantly intrigued by the quirky premise behind Hand Shakers, but I didn't go in expecting much from the plot. In some ways, I was right to be skeptical. In others, I was mistaken.

It would be wrong to call Hand Shakers a masterpiece. It is a long way off from reaching that territory, but the plot is a lot stronger than I was expecting it to be and is handled quite well. The overall story isn't complete yet and would have done well with more time, but overall the pacing wasn't bad at all given the twelve episode time frame.

Hand Shakers is in desperate need of a second season to properly round out its story. However it was handled well given time constraints. Backstory was explored thoroughly enough and we got a couple of little plot twists thrown in. Solid work here overall. 6/10

The characters in this series were not very complex and many of them fell into pretty cliche territory for anime. I won't excuse the cliches, but I admit in a way the simplicity worked here. Because the characters weren't too complicated, it was easy to develop them despite the limited time and fairly large cast. Every Hand Shaker was developed enough to keep them from falling flat as characters.

On top of that, the characters were also likable and most didn't fall into black and white areas of morality which was nice. We got to see the reasoning behind each pair's choice to fight which made antagonists interesting and sympathetic instead of simple obstacles for the protagonists. We also got treated to some nice relationships between characters which resulted in enjoyable comedy and dramatics.

The area where this show could have done better though, when it comes to characters, is the central protagonist. Whilst Koyuri was reasonably well developed and saw some growth through the series, Tazuna remained pretty much the same throughout with no change. The material to develop him further was there in the form of his backstory and his obligation to Koyuri, and both of these things were mentioned and touched upon at various points in the plot. However, they were never properly explored and even in a second season that chance has probably been missed. It's almost like so much effort was put into fleshing out Koyuri and secondary characters that the writers forgot to properly develop the protagonist. He was likable, but he could have been much deeper. 7/10

There were a surprising number of voices I recongised in Hand Shakers. I'm not sure if this is because I'm watching more and more anime or if the creators got their hands on some noteworthy voice actors, but either way I'm not complaining because they did a good job. I won't say that these were the best performances I ever heard but ever emotion was portrayed expertly, so props to them. 7/10

Now here's where things get interesting. Hand Shakers was very ambitious with its art and animation, making use of 3D modeling and experimental camera angles over a more traditional anime style. Perhaps too ambitious.

There were definitely positives here, don't get me wrong. The eyes of characters were magnificent and there were various moments throughout the series that looked absolutely astounding. Unfortunately, the image quality was not consistent and those really great moments were incredibly rare. Most of the animation was average at best and a lot of the time I felt like I was watching a 2D anime on a 3D backdrop.

The interesting camera angles (is that the right term for an animates series?) also had positives and negatives. The constant changes and unique angles employed resulted in some extremely dynamic and entertaining action scenes. During the Hand Shaker battles, it was excellent. However, these techniques were employed near constantly throughout the series which ended up taking away from scenes that would have been better with stillness and consistency. 4/10

Overall, Hand Shakers was a great deal better than I expected. It's quirky premise gave rise to a fun story and a number of likable and well fleshed out characters and the performers did a wonderful job. It was far from being without fault though, with a protagonist who was severely lacking in development compared to the rest of the cast and generally sub-par animation. It's story also wasn't completed so it's in desperate need of second season. Altogether, I encourage others to give this series a go since it definitely exceeded my expectations. It's no masterpiece, but its a lot of fun and I'd like to see its story reach a proper conclusion. Hand Shakers scores a total of 24/40.

Posted inReview Aloo, ‎Anime Reviews
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  1. Old Comment
    Foxrally's Avatar
    Goddamn weeaboo
    Posted April 29th, 2017 at 4:35 AM by Foxrally Foxrally is offline
  2. Old Comment
    gimmepie's Avatar
    Originally Posted by Foxrally View Comment
    Goddamn weeaboo
    You love me and my weebness. Don't deny it.
    Posted April 29th, 2017 at 4:40 AM by gimmepie gimmepie is offline