Anime World Order Show # 231 – This Isn’t Meshing and Watching This Was UnW’z of Us

It’s finally time. As a result of us reaching over 250 Patrons, we’re reviewing what you’ve voted “the worst anime of all time”: Hand Shakers from 2017. But maybe it’s NOT actually the worst, since we can name at least one show that was much worse than it…

Introduction (0:00 – 29:44)
Follow-ups from last episode: as an update to the Macross situation in North America, preorders for Macross Plus Blu-Rays will open up next week, as a Crunchyroll Store exclusive. It…won’t be cheap, from the looks of things. Gerald saw the French animated film Mars Express, which we alluded to seeing the trailer of last episode. He highly recommends it, and you should be able to see it for yourself in a few days since the theatrical run was extremely limited and short. Also, thanks to your support, our Otaku Archive is now an official collection on! Thanks so very much!

That’s about it for the good news. We then talk about the whole Toru Furuya situation, which is…extremely awful, but hey. Can’t NOT talk about it.

Review: Hand Shakers (29:44 – 1:24:28)
It’s notorious online. It made the name “GoHands” instantly infamous. But just how bad is 2017’s Hand Shakers? Does it still have that same impact? Have things gotten worse since then? Do we not live in an era where some of the most beloved anime titles utilize comparable animation techniques and story beats?

Have you ever wanted to get God’s attention so bad that you use your sub big hooter girlfriend to power your CG chains? I’m Todd McFarlane, creator of Spawn:

This is not nearly as cool as a bunch of producers looking at a piece of concept art in a boardroom thought it would be, but dangit they’re going to try and convince you it is.

This is the sort of GoHands camerawork and direction now synonymous with their name. Unlike their subsequent shows, Hand Shakers keeps this up for its duration. Everyone who said it didn’t HAS LIED TO YOU.

Review: W’z (1:24:28 – 2:12:19)
We’re going the extra mile and reviewing the far less popular STEALTH SEQUEL to Hand Shakers from 2019. We’re pretty sure the people who made this heard of the term “DJ” and maybe saw a picture or short clip of one in action without actually knowing what it is they DO.

DJs are hip and cool and speak in such heavy lingo that it needs to be translated even for the Japanese. Except not really.
Prepare to see the same few presumably rotoscoped shots of turntable spinning again and again, independent of the audio that results.

Now we need to think up a goal for when we hit 275 Patreon backers. Dare we ask for suggestions?

6 Replies to “Anime World Order Show # 231 – This Isn’t Meshing and Watching This Was UnW’z of Us”

  1. We watched one episode of Hand Shakers because we’d heard how bad it was, and it was that bad. Just a mess. I recall a lot of chains, so I guess it was early in the series? [That is the first episode, all right. Few dared look further! —Daryl]The visual sense of the show doesn’t so much recall bodily excretions (like puke) as it does some sort of bacterial infection happening on top of a really rusty surface, which is also covered in fast growing mold. Patterns that don’t fit, everything’s brown or grey or grey-green, nothing stands still, there’s no overall theme or direction or control, just cancerous growth. Yes. Hand Shakers is cancer.

  2. The whole Toru Furuya situation is just another reminder that the fandom don’t really know the people who are involved in the creation of the media. All these interviews and fan events could easily be a facade of their real personalities. They could be the nicest person ever in front or behind the camera but most likely they probably have a few or many dark parts to them. Charles Barkley is right when he said that he isn’t a role model and should be apply to every celebrity.

    I believe almost all of Toru’s work now is just legacy recurring roles. Who knows if before Torayama died that he remembered Yamacha exists as a character so there’s a chance that he won’t be in Daima anyway. I can’t say about his One Piece role but his Detective Conan role might be safe since his character doesn’t show back up for awhile along with all the anime originals the show does, they don’t need to have Amuro appeared for quite some time. I can easily see that he still works on Conan because by the time they need his voice, the whole thing could die down. He might not appear in the next movie and that’s if he was going to appear in the next movie.

    As for Handshakers and W’z, I have to admit that I watched both of them and didn’t anger me. I wouldn’t recommend it for people to watch. I know good enough that I don’t recommend stuff that is very average or just bad (the bad stuff I sneak in as a sampler just for my friends to experience my pain). I couldn’t answer Gerald’s question about what’s worse than Handshakers because that’s subjective [Everything pertaining to what considers “good”/”bad” in media is subjective… –Daryl]. I’m currently watching Sword Gai the Animation and that anime makes me annoyed compared to Handshakers and W’z.

    I do think GoHands is probably better off with adapting source material like Masterful Cat and Girl Who Loses Her Glasses than trying original stuff.

  3. Listening to the review (promised and hyped for several years) reminded me of a video I saw, “how to recognize a bad anime from just 1 episode” or something similar. You don’t need to treat the 3 or 5 episode rule as gospel, or forcing yourself to the part where “it gets good trust me”. Basically, writing quality matters more than anything. If in the very first episode characters do not act like real people (them not being technically human is not en excuse), and events aren’t logical, you are looking at low quality writing. And if you have bad writing in the very first episode, it does not get better. And if it “gets good later”. the “gets good” simply means the writing will still be trash, it will just be more entertaining trash. It is a good cardinal rule to avoid trash, if trash is NOT what you are looking for. Basically, it is always possible to just the quality of writing from episode 1, and that will always save you precious time you could use for anything else (including watching something better).

  4. Listened to the full episode to the end, and want to reply to something you mentioned in the last 20 minutes, something VERY important for the anime industry. How people who only watched anime should not make more anime. I noticed it myself years ago, as a trend that’s worsening. Every decade, the number of trash cartoons from Japan rises. And it is due to more and more writers not knowing anything except anime they grew up on. Basically, if you do not know how reality works, how HUMANS work, how humans act and talk to each other, stay away form writing. The fundamental basics of how reality operates should be picked up when you observe reality itself (and not by watching cartoons made by people who only know about cartoons). Not that there are never new shows written well, its just fewer and fewer of them. In other words… Grass Touchers, when?

    On a more positive note, I want to mention a show that is also made from ideas and tropes from other shows, but this one succeeds. At least I will die on the hill of it succeeding. It is none other than B The Beginning. I am sure the plan was to make American otaku fall in love with it, and it has it all: a mystery, a somewhat jaded detective assigned to solving it, cool looking attractive people fighting each other with superpowers, occasional katanas, tragic backstories, plot twists, and some really good animation on top. I claim that it works, against all odds. Whether it was the director, the writer, or both, SOMEONE in power put it all together, and made the mildly supernatural mystery thriller a cohesive whole. There is plenty of foreshadowing, events are logical, worldbuilding is integrated into the plot, the ending DOES answer most questions, and the villain is defeated in a believable way that is achieved through both trying really hard, and some foreshadowing from prior episodes. It is a shame the show had some production problems. I really hope the second half of season 2 will not be trapped in eternal Development Hell. And if it ends as well as season 1, or even close to that, I will be a happy man.

  5. I took a look at Handshakers after hearing you tease it as the worst anime ever, and I have to disagree. It is far from the worst I’ve seen. It’s not great, and it’s not something I would have looked for if you hadn’t put it on the radar, but the worst thing I can say about it is that it’s…experimental. The best thing I can say about it is that it’s sometimes rather sweet.

    My yardstick for truly bad anime is that it has to make me feel like it’s actively wasting my time. Super robot shows are particularly strong offenders in that regard; Mazinger Z, Braiger, Dangard Ace, Goshogun, and Voltes V have all failed me. I keep trying, but they keep letting me down. Fist of the Blue Sky also gets dishonorable mention. I enjoyed Handshakers more than any of those titles.

    However, the absolute worst anime I’ve ever seen is unquestionably Dai Yamato Zero Go. For both execution and what it represents. Leiji Matsumoto’s attempt to make his own Yamato was such a colossal curse that it bankrupted two companies before it was completed (just 5 episodes). Headache inducing visuals, virtually frozen animation, negative character development, bargain basement CG (even by 2005 standards) and a giant buildup to no payoff at all. Oh, and it’s also based on a pachinko game, reusing assets made for cutscenes. It defines how bad it is possible for an anime to be, proving at every turn that you had no idea how low the bar could go.

    I cannot recommend that anyone watch it for anything other than research purposes. It will not just actively, but AGGRESSIVELY waste your time.

    1. For what it’s worth, we didn’t tease Hand Shakers as the worst anime ever: that’s what was voted upon by listeners. The post this comment section is for even states “maybe it’s NOT actually the worst” right at the beginning. As far as what’s within the episode is concerned, I at least was pretty clear that I don’t consider Hand Shakers the worst thing I’d ever seen, since whatever the actual “worst anime ever” is would be unlikely to be anything seen or remembered by a significant quantity of people.

      Certainly, I dislike Fist of the Blue Sky: Regenesis (and the prior Fist of the Blue Sky anime) far more than I do Hand Shakers, but any time I get irate about Polygon Pictures or Sola Digital Arts or whoever doing yet another utterly bland and disappointing adaptation of a manga with stellar artwork there’s invariably someone willing to stick up for it. For the time being, nobody has opted to defend W’z at least.

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