Oh boy. I tried to like this show. I really did. Amazing character designs, decent clashing of different political philosophies in a literal battle setting, and plenty of animal tropes relative to the Chinese myth that started the calendar cycle that we know today. But where this gritty battle royale of our zodiac warriors looked good from the surface, the anime itself? Let’s just say that I’m disappointed.
As someone who only watched the anime and couldn’t care less about the entire genre of letting random people kill each other while some corporate organization profits off of it, I will do my best to pull some critique out of my ass about what this series meant to me, regardless of how much it under-delivered. And once we’re all done with this, I’ll reveal who my favorite of the zodiac warriors was.
So grab your best gear, choose your favorite faction, and watch out for SPOILERS AHEAD! We’re gonna do the “Cha Cha Slide.”
Earlier this year, Hand Shakers was an anime that was met with high anticipation. The studio behind it was responsible for the critically acclaimed K, as well as some guilty pleasures like the Seitokai Yakuindomo and Princess Lover series. Now to me, hype is the worst thing that could happen to a series, as it polarizes the fans who will love trash if you throw it at them, from the critics who see these shows as the most god-awful pieces of crap ever to have been committed to animation.
And with such anticipation, that’s exactly what happened. A monumental letdown to fans, that has since become a cult classic to challenge would-be anime critics into getting aggravated over this series for all of its terrible direction. And yes, it is terrible.
Well… I just finished a reality hurdle that has been bogging me down for the past 6 months just yesterday, so I’m in a much better mood to tackle said “garbage.” And… well… it’s bad… like… if you really love the innocence of anime, stay away from this series, kinda bad. But if you’re like me, and think that determining whether a show is good or bad in itself is rather superficial… uhm… it’s not as bad as you might think…?
So my last batch of reviews have been very theory-driven, analyzing the use of very real concepts in very unreal situations. Well not this time.
I’ll get back to thought-provoking anime another day. Today, I’m just going to cover something fun. And while I’m sure someone out there is hard at work making fan theories for this fun short series, I’ll be looking at Studio Trigger’s recent gem as it is: a tribute to everything they have created thus far. Why? I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to figure that — JUSTICE!
Contrary to trending anime, this series takes a refreshing look at shōnen titles. And while the animation is very choppy, it makes up for it with a very complex story that challenges the popular concepts found in bildungsromans. We love countless stories about a boy hero from humble beginnings who becomes the guy that the people can count on. But along the way, he must face many trials where he is likely to fail, get tempted by the enemy, or realize just how far he is from the final goal. But where other heroes overcome these adversities by strength, World Trigger‘s heroes overcome their adversities by something else: their intellect.
There are a lot of elements to cover in this entertaining series, that I won’t be able to cover all of them. I will get to my main focus as part of this month’s theme on when determination is not enough, with a dash of humor. So in the spirit of all kinds of tropes made by this series alone, Trigger on, make your best duck face, and let’s raise the glasses population!
Don’t get too confused! This series is about survival games that use airsoft guns for sport. But since I like making things a little more complicated, there’s more to it than fun and games. After all, this series explores the psychology of these kinds of games as well as a critique on the assumptions of gender roles for those who play them.
I will be discussing these aspects of the series, but my main focus will be about passion and determination that is involved in hobbies like survival games. After all, simply enjoying what you do gets messier when other people with different ideas are involved, kind of like discovering other people’s opinions about anime, right? Sigh.
But I’m not that heartless. This is a comedy series, so I will continue to keep this review fun. And if you don’t like what I have to say, then go back to reading your erotic fictions or something.