Hello everyone. It’s Monday evening here. I just did another 13 hour workday so I decided I would cap it off by watching Sunday’s episode of Eizouken and boy am I glad I did. I feel great now. I could go right back to work….but I won’t. Instead I’m going to tell you guys about episode 8 of Keep Your Hands off Eizouken
I think this may have been my favourite episode to date. First I always like school festival episodes for some reason. But this also looked like the best school festival I have ever seen. Like it seemed honestly interesting and with a lot of different things going on. Made me wish I was there.
I also really liked the scene where they were laying down the soundtrack. Sound design is so much more than music but very few people give it proper credit. It’s also the part of the production process that seems the most difficult to me. Like nearly impossible. I was watching the scene. I understood everything that was happening, and I still thought it was pure voodoo magiks!
We finally got to see Tsubame’s parents for the first time and I didn’t quite know what to make of them. They certainly seemed somewhat detached from their daughter’s life but they didn’t seem controlling or really any sort of classical parental archetype. I was even a little surprised that these people would stop Tsubame from pursuing animation. It didn’t seem to fit their personality. (Something I decided from a few lines of dialogue and like a minute on screen…)
Seeing the girls rally together to make the show a success and how eaferly the robot club was helping just made me smile. It was that sort of easy sweetness that really helps you melt off the day. And it reminded me yet again that we all need a Kanimori in our lives. I might need two!
Something else I need is to watch and anime with live voice acting. That must be so difficult on the actors but it seems like an awesome experience. And I bet they have these types of performances frequently. At least they should. I would go… I kind of want to organize one over Discord now. I don’t want to act in it mind you, just watch and enjoy…
Between the earnest and heartwarming tone of the episode. Tsubame’s surprisingly easy relationship with her parents, and Eizouken’s success, episode 8 was just a big win for me all around. I even liked the anime within the anime. Maybe I liked machete girl just a bit more. Cause it was a girl fighting a tank…with a machete. What can I say, I have fine tastes when it comes to plot. Also it didn’t have a story…Someone should make that show.
Let’s move on to episode 9! I’ll be honest with you guys, a few things happened and I’m writting this about a week after episode 9 aired and two weeks after I started this post. I don’t really remeber much of episode 9 at all. I really like Eizouken as I watch it but it sort of seeps out of my mind when it’s over. I’m going to have to look over my screencaps to jog my memory. I apologize in advance if I get anything wrong.
Oh, I did and now I completely remember and it was a fun episode!
Just in case I haven’t beat you all over the head with it enough, Kanamori is just a great character. Well written, well balanced, unusual but not outrageous. And finding out a bit about her past and her past this episode was a welcomed treat. The sequence fit the character to a T, it was practical and to the point, yet surprisingly heartwarming.
It’s not spelled out but when you stop to think about it, so far Eizouken has only produced what are essentially promotional videos. The first was a technical portfolio of sorts, meant to show what the club was capable of in order to secure some funding and legitimacy. It’s like CV in a way and they had to heavily compromise artistic vision to get it made. The second was an actual commissioned promotional video for another club. A fun project to be sure but still at the core of it, it was an advertisement. And this is what they are doing once again. For the first time however, it’s by choice and this may prove particularly inspiring for them.
What I like about this, is that it’s a very sober perspective of the state on anime (and indeed a lot of media). It’s not shying away from the fact that there are layers of economic and marketing consideration and that anime, no matter how unromantic it may sound, is a product. Eizouken manages to show the practical business concerns of the medium without stripping the joy and magic from it, which is potentially the greatest accomplishment of the series.
And they chose a worthy subject. The noodle shop otaku was a pleasant character we can easily sympathize with and the plight of small towns and neighbourhoods is a universal one that all rural and even suburban audiences can recognize.
There’s a maturity to these themes. And although Eizouken tends to approach narratives with somewhat unrestrained optimism, I personally don’t think it falls into nativité. I feel like part of the reason so many anime fans are enjoying the series is that it doesn’t talk down to them too much and doesn’t diminish their favourite medium either. And episode 9 is a very good example of that. An honest assessment of the economical impact of anime and the power of advertising rendered and communicated with charm and warmth.
Of course people are going to eat it up! It’s like fruit ramen! (Which sounds so delicious!
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi
Follow along with all episode reviews of Keep Your Hands off Eizouken.
Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.