Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 12 Review

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Irina 2020

Wow, that last episode sure sneaks up on you. I didn’t realize the season was over until I saw it was episode 12. And the ending did feel sort of like a finale. But the season generally flew by.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken is one of those shows I feel like I don’t really need to review. Most people seem to be watching it already and honestly I don’t have anything interesting to say about it. It was a great little series. For me it was the sort of show I would absolutely have preferred to binge but otherwise I have no complaints.

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I guess it’s nice to have an example to point at when people say that anime can’t be done or can’t be enjoyable without fanservice. But I think I’ve only ever heard one person say that so it’s not like I was in desperate need for an example. And there are plenty of others to chose from.

In the end, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken was a show that overflowed with love for the medium of anime and of course that’s going to resonate with anime fans! The characters were all deeply endearing and very relatable. I would have loved to see them get developed a bit more but I understand that the focus was the anime they made rather than the girls themselves and it’s a choice I respect.

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Still I wouldn’t have minded a bit more closure to that soft rivalry between Eizouken and the student council. That story line just sort of petered off.

I’m not sure if there are any plans for a season 2 but I feel like they would easily find an audience should they have the material for it. I wouldn’t mind if they got a few new members too. That would allow them to make more elaborate anime.

As for this specific episode, it was mostly about the UFO anime they made so that’s what all my notes are on. My first note was that I really like the sad music and I thought it fit the dance scene quite well. It made it haunting. But the whole coexistence bit was pretty cloying so I am glad they changed it.

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I noticed that most of Eizouken’s productions have no dialogue. This is on practical considerations since adding voice acting is both expensive, time consuming and difficult, but it also means you have to tell stories entirely through the images. I love silent stories so I’m good with it. I even sort of wish they hadn’t told us the story line of the UFO anime in so much detail. It would have been interesting to see how each fan interprets it.

As for that new ending? I loved it. Surrender is a great compromise! What did you think of the new ending to the anime? What about the season finale of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken? Would you watch a season 2. Wait, let me show you a trick. I’m a bit psychic you see. Ok, from your energy I’m getting a vision that YES, you would watch a season 2!

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 11 Review

Episode Review Template 11
Irina 2020

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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 10 Review

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Irina 2020

I finally figured out how to create those nifty header images Karandi uses and I’m having way too much fun with it. I just want to make a bunch of headers…who needs an actual post!

It seems like every week I’m repeating myself when I talk about this show. But I mean that in a good way. Right from the start I found Midori super relatable and as such I don’t need much development for her because I get her. Cause I act like her. And well, that was still true this week.

I think Tsubame is endearing but a bit underused. This week she was endearing but a bit underused. She was also very fetching in a Tux. Rwar. Just me? Moving on.

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Both Karandi and I have made no secret of our love for the character of Kanamori and guess who my favourite was this week, I’ll give you 3 guesses! It was Doumeki. It wasn’t but Doumeki’s character design still rocks.

Kanamori is great, and if you’ve been reading our reviews you already know why. This said, occasionally throwing Sakaki into the mix to act as her nemesis of sorts really brings out the best in the character. It wouldn’t work if Sakaki is always there, in fact using her sparingly as they have is the way to go, in my opinion. It certainly made this episode a lot of fun to watch. Like a clash of the titans, if titans were high school girls.

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Once again, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken tangles practical considerations with artistic ones and once more I really liked that. It just grounds the series with this sense of potential reality which makes me care about it a little more. I know it’s a fictional story but sometimes I feel like it’s trying to say something about a real industry and I’m more than happy to listen. Heck I really want to know in fact.

In the interest of balance, I will say that some scenes in the latter half of the episode went on a bit too long for my taste. Maybe it’s because I just don’t understand and relate to sound design as much as I do other aspects of the production. Even though Doumeki is amazing and could really have been my favourite character in a show without a Kanamori, there were instances of them just listening to things or scouting sounds where my mind kind of drifted and I found myself checking stuff on my other screen instead.

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It was really only a few moments though and they didn’t make the overall episode not enjoyable. If I was binging this show instead if watching it week by week I probably wouldn’t be having these moments at all.

What I’m saying is that Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken is still an excellent series and I look forward to the next episode!

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 8 and 9 Review

Episode Review Template 11
Irina 2020

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.

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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!

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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…)

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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!

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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.

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Irina 2020

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!

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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.

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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.

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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 nativit√©. 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.

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Of course people are going to eat it up! It’s like fruit ramen! (Which sounds so delicious!

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Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 7 Review

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karandi avatar no background

Alright, I’m actually here this week and I’ve caught up on Keep Your Hands off Eizouken! I kind of knew I would which is why I didn’t mind letting one episode slip. Plus, watching episodes 6 and 7 back to back was really fun. As much as the girls in the show seem to be getting a little frustrated with the reality of taking on a bigger project, watching them remains a pure joy. However, Irina did the heavy lifting last week so let’s see what she thought of the episode.

Irina 2020

The one reproach I had last week (and I believe Scott shared my opinion) was that Tsubame wasn’t present enough but I had hope that it was just because they were saving her for her own episode. Oh boy did episode 7 not disappoint. Not only did we get a Tsubame centric episode right away but it was more lovingly crafted and detailed than I could ever have hoped for!

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I absolutely loved the opening of this episode before the song. Watching Tsubame with her grandmother and seeing her fascination with movement was fantastic. I loved seeing that light in her eyes as she watched the tea flying through the air and her disappointment when she couldn’t replicate the motion. I think it is just great how this anime manages to celebrate the passion these girls have and how they have developed it over time. While there isn’t a huge amount going on in these scenes, they never feel like they are missing anything.

Coming to animation through a fascination of kinestheology was perfect. I mean it’s both logical and I’m sure it happens a lot but at the same time it’s a down to earth little story we never see. Weaving through it Tsubame’s relationship with her grandmother, which seems wonderful by the way, gave it just enough emotional impact to make it significant. It was just a simply sequence with almost no dialogue but it was extremely well written in my opinion. This is how I like my drama.

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There were also some fantastic moments this week with Asakusa and Kanamori. I particularly liked early in the episode when Kanamori was clearly trying to work and Asakusa was pestering her. There was no dialogue exchanged and this was just one more scene in a near montage effort showing us all the different jobs happening as they worked on their latest project, but it was a nice relationship moment for the two. However, what was even better was the scene toward the end of the episode where Asakusa makes a suggestion to Kanamori, who knocks it back, and Asakusa gives her a reason to agree and she does. Asakusa’s reaction after ‘winning’ the argument was pure gold.

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Kanamori and Asakusa are clearly very good friends. It’s not like we don’t see friendship stories all the time in anime so I can’t quite tell why I’m enjoying theirs particularly. Maybe it’s because there’s no fanservice and the attention is entirely on how well they understand each other. Maybe it’s just that I relate to the characters. Like I said, I’m not quite sure how to define it but it’s one of my favourite friendships in anime.

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Another thing I really enjoyed was seeing the girls trying to interact with the other students they’ve roped into assisting in the project. This time they are including sound and voice acting as well as having others work on some of the art (sensible as a three man team can’t do it all) but all that extra help comes with extra stress as they need to manage and work with these people and adjust timelines and so on. While this anime is on the one hand celebrating creation it still isn’t shying away from some of the difficulties that are going to be encountered by a new creator.

Anime is a huge collaborative project and just coordinating many people towards a common goal is an art onto itself. And a generally very difficult thing to achieve. It’s funny that Asukasa is the one tasked with accomplishing this. She’s very shy and very creative and doesn’t seem to be a natural fit for that role. Kanimori is more adept at handling people. However, Midori’s passion for the art itself is what is going to move people and everyone knows it. Kanimori is still there to support her and organize things behind the scenes. There are so many aspects we rarely see and putting it in this amateur context allows us to really get to the core of each.

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However it isn’t all just grinding project work and animation chatter this week (not that I would actually have all that much of a problem with it if it was because they do a great job with that). Mid-episode we get a rain break, quite literally, and the girls end up at the bathhouse. Here we again see their various focuses come into play as Tsubame is locked onto the movement of water and during a meal Asakusa goes off into a fantasy about a slipper boat. It’s a nice diversion from the time crunch they are under elsewhere in the episode and just a bit of relaxing fun.

There is so much rain in this anime. Has anyone noticed? Every other episode there’s a rainstorm that is an integral part of the week’s story line. Even in the first episode, it’s a rainstorm that pushes young Midori to discover anime while trying to drown out the storm. I’m not sure if there’s any symbolism there. The anime itself is so warm and optimistic so I don’t think it’s meant to be gloomy but it’s interesting.

At this stage it is pretty clear Eizouken isn’t going to implode. This one has just been a great bit of fun and the consistency of the quality in both visuals and characterisation is definitely worth celebrating.

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Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 6 Review

Keep You Hands off Eizouken ep 6
Irina 2020

I’m flying solo this week guys. Karandi is swamped so she is letting me take over this week’s Eizouken. A super wise decision! Nothing to worry about. I am definitely not going to write a bunch of ridiculous nonsense and drive all her faithful readers away. Nuh-huh!

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Karandi and I had some pretty nice words to say about Kanamori last week and this episode just proved us right. It’s the first time I’ve really seen the role of a producer really displayed in anime. Production assistant, sure but not producer, at least not in so much detail. It’s a rough and often thankless task and Kanamori seems perfectly suited for it. The club really is lucky to have her.

I have to say, I’m a little curious how she became friends with Midori in the first place. The two seem to have very little in common and yet they are clearly good friends. They “get” each other and respect each other as well. It’s sort of heartwarming. Not sure why I added the word sort of in there. I wonder if Tsubame ever feels a little lonely around these two.

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I say this because this week on Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, we finally got to see just how good a team Kanamori and Midori make. Midori’s creativity and passion draws people in. She readily shares her dreams and imagination with everyone around her and her vision gives everyone direction. But she’s an artist. You know how they are. However, Kanamori is there to complement her. Kanamori is rigorously practical and and amazingly efficient. Whatever fantasies Midori can come up with, Kanamori is the one to do all the mundane work to make them reality.

And so, is it any wonder that the other clubs didn’t stand a chance. The solo member of the audio club was swept away by Midori’s respect for sound design and then coerced into helping by Kanamori’s borderline blackmail and real estate shenanigans. The art club was already happy to help but having so many artists around was new and intimidating for poor Midori but Kanamori kept her in line. And when Asakusa needed some though love, I bet you know who was there to deliver.

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I was already pretty sold on this show because anyone who loves anime as much as I do is my friend by default. And this show fits the bill. I also love to learn about anime production so there was win No. 2. Throw in strong friendship dynamics and it’s checking all of my boxes.

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Just for the sake of balance, I guess I could say that the “sketch world” scenes weren’t that special this week. This is just me looking for a negative mind you. I’ve been consistently enjoying the series since episode 1 and I have a feeling that’s not going to change.

I hope all of you are having just as much fun with it.

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Lets all send Karandi some happy energy vibes so that she can conquer her busy schedule and be back next week. I’m sure you all miss her as much as I do!

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Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 5 Review

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karandi avatar no background

Episode 5 has the girls scouting locations for an anime commissioned by the robot club followed by a brainstorming session on robot design that probably puts the bar way too high. That said, I’m looking forward to what they create and I had an awesome time watching them begin the planning process. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken continues to deliver a pretty brilliant viewing experience each week. What do you say, Irina?

Irina 2020

Man I would have loved to have seen the episode with Scott. It would have been so perfect. Eizouken is a great episode to watch with friends to begin with and sharing passions is always the best. Wait, what was the question? Oh yeah, Eizouken rules. Fantastic show.

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I’d like to go on a small tangent from reviewing the episode and take a moment to discuss Kanamori. Within a brilliant and well balanced cast she still manages to shine brightly and and despite being in the background of so many shots her remarks cut through so much of the clutter and end up stealing the scene. I absolutely love her, the practical nature of her character, the way she keeps the other two in check but also respects their strengths, and her general commentary on events. I kind of feel that so much of this anime is sickly-sweet with enthusiasm for the medium, that Kanamori’s more grounded nature really helps me connect with this trio and she points out the pitfalls of the girls’ plan as they embellish the robot before the audience needs to start picking holes in the story. In short, she’s just kind of perfect within this context.

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She is my favourite character. I think that Kanamori is a collection of tropes that are all familiar but not always grouped together. She’s cool almost cold, no nonsense and pragmatic but she’s also an extremely devoted friend and she isn’t embarrassed or shy about it at all. She has a sharp tongue but she’s quick to give praise. She’s a calculating mastermind but she likes to get goofy and has a silly sneakers backpack. And her character design is also very striking. Visually she seems meant to stand out and it probably the most instantly recognizable of the three from a distance. Moreover, it’s fairly rare to have an aloof mastermind as such a present part of the main cast. They’re usually rarely seen supporting characters. For me, all of these elements come together to create a very memorable character.

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The combination this week of the Eizouken club and the robot club really works well. These aren’t combatant groups fighting over the same funding and one isn’t trying to shut the other down so their rivalry and plans to get the best out of negotiations around the anime are all in good spirit and fun. Not to mention, both groups are passionate about what they are passionate about and the proposed project is bringing these two passions together in a fairly emotionally explosive mix.

The girls sympathizing with the robot club captains impossible dream was a fantastic scene. I also still try to move objects with my mind. I get it! I’m sort of digging that the show doesn’t have any confrontational dynamics. Nothing akin to a rival, let alone an antagonist. It’s fun to explore varied symbiotic relationships once in a while. It’s one of the reasons I tend to like comedies in fact. I like people that just get along.

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However, while the characters and their interactions continue to be an incredibly delightful part of this anime, the best part for me is definitely the location scouting sequence. I really loved the way the girls interacted with the environment while envisioning events that could be part of their story. I also really loved some of the shots in this sequence as the focus was very much on the setting with the characters interacting with it so there were a lot more long shots of the group rather than the close ups of the characters talking. It was a nice touch and one I found really well thought out. Of course, Asakusa’s escape from the pitfall was pretty brilliant too and I love how the anime just shrugged this off as a matter of course and never mentioned it again.

In five episodes, Asakusa has fallen from the second story of the club room when the railing collapse, the girls almost fell off (or through) the roof while trying to repair it, Kanamori burst through a wall and now they fell through the floor. This school is in disrepair. I’m sort of worried about the students there.

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My favourite part was the brainstorming session at the end. I loved all the adjustments and how everyone had their own emotional and practical reasons for design elements. It really gave me some insight on how and why certain anime end up looking like they do.

Okay, at 5 episodes in I’m probably going to call it: this is my anime of the season. It is consistently just really good and it is so much fun to watch. Very much looking forward to the next episode.

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I’m having a great season I’m not sure I can pick but it’s a very strong contender.

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Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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Images from: Keep Your Hands of Eizouken. Dir. Masaaki Yuasa. Science SARU. 2020.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 4 Review

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Irina 2020

Karandi usually starts off our Eizouken reviews but I had a bit of time after finishing up my Pet review so figured I would jump in and get a few thoughts down on virtual paper before video games push them all out of my brain. Well that was quite the opening sentence. Let’s try that again, I really love Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken, how about you, Karandi?

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I really love Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken. I put off watching the episode for a couple of days because I have been run literally off my feet at work this week and my very tired brain wasn’t up to watching. I’m actually really sad that I did that because honestly this episode was amazing and probably would have been the pick-me-up I needed a few days ago.

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This week, we got confirmation of the what the show’s title is alluding to. Not that we hadn’t figured it out yet but basically, the girls have to convince the school (and student council) that their club is worth preserving and even, funding! In this episode we got to see a lot of what animators and studios have to do as compromises to get a project done on time and on budget. I was frustrated along with the girls that had to sacrifice their vision for practicality but also I was excited by the available solutions.

It was a rather direct commentary on the anime industry that gives us a lot of food for thought. What did you think?

Once again I feel this anime is just oozing with passion for anime and the anime industry. It most definitely is shining a light on unrealistic deadlines leading to short cuts as well as less than desirable working conditions, and yet ultimately the tone around the creative process is one of optimism. These girls can overcome the very real limitations of time, currently no budget, and very few hands and they can create something fairly incredible given the circumstances. It’s kind of hard to feel anything but blown away by their efforts.

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There was something both hilarious and really sad about the girls deciding to “drop the story”. Mostly because I have a feeling that it’s a conversation that’s been had in numerous studio staff rooms and would explain a lot of shows….

Yeah… As someone who watches anime, or literally any show or movie for the story and finds the other elements simply enhance the narrative or not, there was something incredibly depressing about that conversation. It was barely a beat in amongst the rest of the episode and yet it kind of stuck with me.

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I was struck by how different that characters look in this show. There are a lot of variations in character design and that’s pretty awesome. I hope the meta address that in a future episode.

To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the designs. They work and like you I love the distinction between characters and their designs, and yet I wouldn’t pick these characters to buy merchandise for. They absolutely fit within this anime but not my favourite style of character.

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You know, I was almost as excited as the girls were about seeing the finished anime and I wasn’t let down. It was really great seeing both all the techniques and all the compromises they had to make, up on the screen. And as much as the “no story” element left me dubious, it actually really worked. I don’t know what this says about me but Machete Girl reminded me of some of my favourite animes…

The finished product was hands down amazing. There’s no room for complaint as we’ve been with these girls as they conceived the idea and then put in the time and effort to bring it to life. Having an insight into the discussions and compromises made to finish it made watching the final animation brilliant. I also loved that while everyone else was in shock by what they made, the girls were sitting their quietly having a critique session. It was an amazing end to what was already a fantastic episode.

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All and all, Eizouken remains absolutely delightful and every episode reminds me that anime is awesome and I love it!

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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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.

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Episode 3 Review

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The delightful cast are keeping things bouncing along in Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken this week as the girls finish repairing their new club room and then start plotting to secure an actual budget from the school to fund their activities. The irony being they need to produce something to be acknowledged and be given a budget but they have limited time and practically no money left to do that. Fortunately, they have a wealth of imagination at their disposal. How did you find the episode Irina?

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Basically, for me Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken is steady as she goes. No real deviation from set up and expectations of episode 1. And I LOVED episode 1 so this is a pretty huge compliment I’m giving here. I didn’t think the series would keep up its momentum this well and it still has plenty of time to lose its way. However if I were the type of person that followed the three episode rule, Eizouken would have passed with flying colours.

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There was just something really fun about watching these girls interact this week. Whether they are repairing a building or planning a short animation, their flights of fancy and exuberant personalities overflow. The only time Tsubame didn’t seem to be loving every minute of life was when they were on the train and she was recognised as a model. It was only a brief moment but it did remind me that her parents really don’t want her involved in an anime club so I wonder when that is going to become a point of concern in the story.

I’m not sure. I figure the more pressing problem, as Kanamori keeps reminding us, will just be to keep the club going under school regulations. To be honest I’m pretty amazed they didn’t shut it down after the footage of Midori’s accident went on TV. Mind you, they had the girls repairing a shaky rooftop this week so I’m thinking this particular school’s safety regulations are a bit lax. I know this would never have been allowed at my school. I’m not entirely sure they would have let us handle hammers. Which may explain my tendency to destroy everything as soon as I have a hammer… Teach your kids to use hammers is the point here. Wait, we were talking about anime…

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Apparently repairs are more fun if you do them in space.

I really loved their imaginings this week. I felt the transition between the real and their fantasies that they wanted to draw were incredibly well integrated. And it wasn’t just once or twice. They went through multiple settings and ideas between the roof repairs and then through choosing a setting and a story. As always, the passion for animation is so clear in Eizouken and this anime is almost become a love letter to animators.

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I mentioned it last week. Eizouken has gorgeous movement and we really saw it in Machety Girl vs Tank (title subject to change). I enjoy Midori’s tech based fantasies but it was nice seeing a character in the sketch world for a change. And plotted action always makes me really excited. It’s like seeing the anime’s inner workings. I get just as sucked in as the girls do and I almost want to start an anime club as well. Think I can get a bunch of our stuffy lawyers to draw cartoons with me in a shed? Bet we can work around copyright pretty smoothly if nothing else. And there would be nothing else!

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I am not doing a great job sticking to the episode this week.. I really liked it and I hope the readers are having fun with it as well!

There’s just no down side so far. Despite the generic club set-up and the usual issues of a teacher opposed, possible later parent interference and the need to secure a budget, the cast here is delightful and the three girls make every moment of the episode a real treat to watch. Throw in learning a bit more about animation and just seeing what the girls dream of creating and its all just great fun.

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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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.

Keep Your Hands Of Eizouken! Episode 2 Review

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Keep Your Hands of Eizouken! is proving to be one of those irresistibly fun anime that just leave you smiling. Honestly watching the three girls starting their own not-anime club and watching them get excited and bounce between practical reality and flights of fancy made for a thoroughly enjoyable twenty minutes. How did you find the episode Irina?

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Oh this is going to be one of these collabs…one where we agree on everything! I honestly find the series utterly charming and a lot of it is due to simply having three realized characters with individual personalities that can play off one another instead of archetypes or just the same personality tweaked over and over again.

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Agreed. Kanamori is the perfect foil for the creative duo of Asakusa and Mizusaki. Even Asakusa and Mizusaki have been nicely balanced, not just by their different drawing focuses but by Mizusaki’s different status and understanding of wealth. The end result is that the dynamic when the three girls are together really works well with each character bringing something to the party. Not to mention, they are all just fun characters to spend time with. Even Kanamori’s less enthused and more practical nature doesn’t mean she’s a wet-blanket and a lot of the amusement comes from watching her reactions to Asakusa. I’d actually kind of like to know how the two of them because such close friends.

Well I can kind of see it. I mean I really identify with Asakusa and I love Kanamori. Those sort of complementary relationships tend to work out best in my experience. And it’s obvious both girls do really like each other. I must say, I quite liked Kana bringing up the issue of finding a genre with mass appeal. We often concentrate on the creative side of anime but a lot of it is guided by the business side. The conversation was shelved but there’s promise for more in the future. Kana is standing in as the industry foil and I am very excited about that.

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Yes, it feels more real because while creativity is necessary, practicality and business savvy is also needed for success. Kanamori brings that to the table.

The visuals and animation remained very nicely done this week. The contrasts between the clean and bright faculty room to the shed where they are setting up base and then the transition to their daydream were all very nicely done and these visual transitions help to keep the episode feeling fresh and moving along. I also love how in love with animation the writers of this clearly are. There’s so much passion as they explain older style animation and the equipment used for it.

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Two episodes in and both featured heavy rain at some point. The weather effects were really impressive both times as well. It’s a peculiar art style that allows for a ot of animation flexibility and of course there’s the sheer visual interest of the sketch world. I think because of that and of the genre, people may overlook just how wonderful movement is in this series. I’m really struck by how fluid the animation is and how beautifully the anatomic models move. I also like that all of Asakusa’s mechanical imaginations seem to be guided by physically shifting the passengers’ weight around. You can sort of feel the weight in those scenes and it really shows the point they were making abut the windmill animation.

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Where I’m probably going to be slightly more critical of this series after two episodes, and it is only a slight criticism, is in the plot. Two episodes in and other than the subject matter and a lot of enthusiasm and passion, from the plot point of view this anime is treading some very familiar footsteps as the girls start up a new school club. So far the characters and subject matter as well as some very cool sequences where the girls create ideas are keeping me very interested while watching but it isn’t really making me wonder what will happen next. Although, I do kind of wonder if they are going to get in trouble over uploading that video.

Oh good, I was starting to think we were really going to agree on everything and that’s just weird. Mind you I don’t disagree. Girls starting a school club is far from novel and there isn’t exactly much happening per see (although that closing scene does seem to spell some trouble for next episode). It’s just that I’ve never been the type to need novelty in my shows and have a fondness for pleasant nothings. So I’m sort of considering these a strength. And even though I just said not much is happening, I’m still eager to find out what happens next. How about you?

I’m definitely looking forward to the next episode.

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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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.