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.
I need to make this clear before we dive into this review: Comet Lucifer is a fun series to watch. Sure, it still has the mecha feels, poor dialogue, and that one dancing vegetable scene that nobody liked, but that’s all part of its originality.
Like the fallen angel whose name is shared within this anime’s title, Comet Lucifer is very impure, no matter what direction you take to talk about it. The anime is part mecha, part shōnen action, part tragedy, part fantasy, part cute, part futuristic sci-fi, part hallucinogen-induced animation, part environmentalist foreshadowing, and if we consider any of those elements separate from everything else, then of course this series fails in all categories! But from these impurities in everything we know about making categorizing things, I still think that Comet Lucifer has a creative side that makes it worth watching. I mean come on, when will be the next time you see melon pan grenades in a drama series?