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Anime / Hand Shakers

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Hand Shakers is a 2017 12-Episode Anime by studio Go Hands. In the year AD20XX, a busy student and skilled mechanic named Tazuna accepts a repair request and heads off to a university's research area. There he sees a girl asleep in bed, Koyori. When Tazuna hears a mysterious voice, he grasps Koyori's hand and they appear in another world, Ziggurat. Immediately, Tazuna and Koyori have to defend themselves from attack by other Hand Shakers. Those who hold hands and fight together with weapons from deep within one's mind called "Nimrod". In order to grant their own wishes, many Hand Shakers fight each other in competitions to reach the top, where they can meet this God and defeat it.

A sequel, W'z, was released in the Winter 2019 season.

Both the series and its sequel are notable / infamous for their extremely garish and bizarre visual style.

This anime contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: CGI objects that interact with the hand-drawn characters stand out noticeably, particularly the Nimrods.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The Ziggurat, an alternate dimension only Hand Shakers have access to, has classical Japanese paintings and swimming koi fish projected onto the walls.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Team Chain. Break is portrayed as very cruel and sadistic to his partner, keeping her in bondage and torturing her in attempt to get all the power he can from her.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Happens to Kodama when Tazuna and Koyori defeat her in Episode 9.
  • Emotionless Girl: Koyori. Though this is later subverted as she starts to gain more emotions over the course of the show, as Episode 6 shows her crying, and Episodes 5 and 7 shows her smiling.
  • God: Hand Shakers are determined to defeat God to grant their wishes.
  • Holding Hands: A recurring element of the show. It's how Hand Shakers summon weapons. Koyori even has to hold hands with Tazuna otherwise she'll die.
  • Hurricane of Aphorisms: Kodama often quotes from famous historical figures. It turns out to be a gimmick that was thought up by her manager as a way to make her more appealing.
  • Idol Singer: Kodama, who considers it a part-time job alongside with being a Handshaker. However, it turns out that she's more of a wannabe idol than anything; she has absolutely no fanbase and her manager Hibiki isn't able to book a decent gig for her since he's essentially been blacklisted from the entertainment industry.
  • Instant Expert: Koyori's learning curve is abnormally high and despite being unconscious for the majority of her life, she picks up and adapts to new things extremely fast, as evident with the "Precious Memories" card-game, where she can go toe-to-toe with a champion of the game despite only learning about the game's existence less than two hours beforehand.
  • Mistaken Age: Anyone who meets Chizuru instantly jumps to the conclusion that she's Hayate's subordinate and a trainee, due to her height and youthful appearance. It's the opposite, she's his boss and older than him.
  • Nice Guy: Tazuna. His parents are also very kind, so this trope apparently runs in the family.
  • Opening Shout-Out: The fight scene that's shown prominently in the opening is Tazuna and Koyori's second battle with Kodama. It appears very late in the anime, and we finally get to see the fight in full in Episode 9.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Tazuna is one before the events of the show.
  • Personality Powers: The Nimrods, assuming the shape of the user's most dominant personality-trait when summoned.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Team Shadow (Chizuru and Hayate) and Team Sword (Kodama and Moriyama). They don't have romantic feelings for each other, but they do get along with each other.
  • Sequel Hook: The finale ends with Tazuna and Koyori walking off to meet God.
  • Shown Their Work: Koyori's cover story is that she is a third generation Japanese immigrant from Brazil who is currently in an exchange program. This isn't nearly as far-fetched as it sounds. After all, Brazil is the country with the largest Japanese population outside Japan.
  • Starter Villain: Team Chain is the first enemy the main characters have to face, and once defeated their role in the plot is reduced to a couple of cameos.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Koyori, who finally speaks in Episode 9.
  • Supreme Chef: Koyori is shown to be a very good cook after studying a recipe in Episode 7.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Koyori in Episode 9, when she finally gets her own Nimrod to fight with.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Kodama. When Tazuna and Koyori first fight her, she completely mops the floor with Tazuna and Koyori, and this causes the two to retreat.
  • Wham Line: In Episode 9. "I want to be... with Tazuna..."
  • When She Smiles: Episodes 5 and 7 shows Koyori like this, and it's actually pretty adorable.
  • The Worf Effect: Kodama is one of Tazuna's harder opponents, and Tazuna and Koyori easily get beaten, though they manage to escape.
  • Year X: The show takes place in the year AD20XX.