OMG, I might get this episode review of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken out before the next episode airs! I know it doesn’t sound super impressive but it’s been a surprisingly rare accomplishment for me. You got to celebrate your successes where you find them!
And that’s fitting for a show like Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, as it is in so many ways a celebration. A joyful tribute to the art of anime and everything it has meant to fans.
This week’s Eizouken finds the girls trying to make headway on their newest and by far most ambitious project while the school council is still actively trying to hinder their progress. The spy movie inspired opening scene was tons of fun!
I remember thinking in the moment “A show like this doesn’t really need an antagonist.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the vice president and I savour every moment she’s on the screen. But structurally, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, despite the confrontational title, is a show where conflict comes from challenges rather than obstacles. The characters are driven by passion and inner turmoil. Each of the three girls is developed enough to be able to push the plot forward without needing to be pitted against anyone. Classic rivalries or even fights are great in certain settings, it’s just not how Eizouken has been progressing so far.
I didn’t realize how relevant this random thought would become by the end of the episode. The episode progressed a lot throughout the week. The early confrontation with the student council turned into yet another scouting escapade to help Minori get the story down and then the school started interfering with profits which in turn threatened to invalidate all the deals Eizouken had made with various other clubs to get the project off the ground and that quickly segwayed into a flashback explaining how Midori and Kanamori’s friendship started.
That’s a lot of stuff for just one episode. I mean look how long that run on sentence is! It only works because of the self propelled nature of the show. Events just sort of run into one another because you don’t need to build up a bunch on sides and perspectives every time. You can just let the story wander along.
How exactly does any of this relate to my early thoughts about rivals. Well, Midori has been struggling for weeks to come up with a complete scenario for their current project. Midori is really more of a world builder than anything else. Details like plot progression or character arcs aren’t always her forte. Good thing she has her friend Kanamori to keep her in line or she would probably never get anything done.
Turns out, Kanamori has always been a driving force and a source of comfort for Midori. And I can believe it. It’s awesome to have someone in your life that can just straighten you out and ground you when you need it. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to communicate.
No doubt, the influence of this precious friendship was at play when Midori’s epic battle saga turned into a tale of long lost figurative brothers finding each other once again. Of seeing thyself in thy enemy and so on. It was really quite sweet and honest an anime I would watch in its own right. And in the end, even this sci fi war epic, didn’t have an antagonist. Ah AH! See…I brought it back! Me and the show were in synch!
But you know one thing that”s really great about antagonists? They allow you to have heroes! When the chips are down and push comes to shove, Tsubame and Midori go to Kanamori. Because even sick in bed (and she was surprisingly adorable when sick), Kanamori will know what to do. And she did, she made it all better instantly.
I really like the vice president of the student council. She’s a great foil to Kanamori and brings out different and interesting sides to that character. And Kanamori is my Eizouken hero!
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi
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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.