Sing for the moment.
Hand Shakers follows Tazuna (Justin Briner) and Koyori (Lara Woodhull), two hand shakers. These individuals are paired off and on a quest to meet god or a godlike entity. This mysterious being promises to grant the winning hand shaker pair a wish.
As season one, episode eight opens, famous pop singer Kodama Awaza performs a concert. However two men fall over at the end, and it’s clear she’s a hand shaker as well. Awaza’s partner is her manager, Hibiki Moriyama. Awaza’s powers are her singing, which is neat. Tazuna’s special skill in the Ziggurat doesn’t mimic his real-world talent.
I rather enjoy “Sing a Sonic.” Awaza remains a delightful new character. She’s ruthless and overly self-confident, bordering on narcissistic. Moreover, Kodama is highly intelligent and walks around spouting quotes from the likes of Geoffrey Chaucer and George Bernard Shaw.
Whereas in previous fights Tazuna and Koyori resisted fighting before a victory at ease, facing off against Awaza presents their greatest challenge yet. Koyori and Tazuna even retreat from their battle in the Ziggurat. While Awaza stands as the focus, Moriyama is hilarious. Upon first meeting Koyori and Tazuna, he instinctively hands them business cards.
It’s also fascinating seeing a pop culture icon as a hand shaker. Rarely with powered individuals do we as the audience see celebrities from that universe as gifted. In portraying Awaza as a hand shaker, it’s like having a celeb that’s a superhero or super-villain. Awaza is the strongest of the hand shakers yet seen, forcing Kouori and Tazuna to retreat. Upon leaving, Tazuna is terribly injured.
Further shaping “Sing a Sonic” as unique among the Hand Shakers canon, this episode is non-linear. It opens with Awaza, performing a concert in the Ziggurat, then flashes to Koyori and Tazuna fighting Kodama.
Overall, I enjoy “Sing a Sonic” most out of the Hand Shakers season one entries thus far. It’s a different dynamic which eschews most of the teenage drama. Additionally, while the Ziggurat appeared safe, this is the first seen of real-world dangers caused by the Ziggurat. In the final moments, Professor Makihara (Anthony Bowling) reveals that hand shakers gain the powers of those defeated. Thus, Makihara posits that Kodama is close to meeting god as her nimrod can affect the Ziggurat.
Substantially improved, I hope the remainder of Hand Shakers season one follows “Sing a Song” more so than earlier episodes.