Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is a manga series written and illustrated by Sumito Owara and it’s centered on three high school girls, Midori Asakusa, Sayaka Kanamori, and Tsubame Mizusaki, who form a club to create anime. It was adapted into an anime series by Science Saru and director Masaaki Yuasa, the same studio and director behind Devilman Crybaby, which you can tell in the animation with detailed backgrounds and simpler character designs. I’ve seen some buzz surrounding this anime in circles that I follow and I was curious to see what the buzz was about. The first thing that caught my attention was the opening, which was quirky and bouncy. It’s another example of an opening that I would never skip because it’s so infectious and that song is a jam.
Let’s go through our main leads. First, Asakusa. She’s the short, quirky anime fan who’s full of energy, imagination, and a million ideas that she draws out in her sketchbooks. Mizusaki is an amateur model who’s the daughter of actors. But instead of acting, she wants to get involved in animation. Kanamori isn’t exactly an anime fan, but she does like getting involved in activities that make money. She takes the role of producer for the anime club and makes sure that Asakusa and Mizusaki, who deal in background/set design and character art respectively, stay on-track and meet deadlines. She comes off cold, especially when she has one facial expression throughout, but she does care about her friends. There’s other characters in the series like a member of the audio club who provides the crew with sound effects for their projects, the secretary of the student council, members of the robot club that our main characters make a short film for, etc., but the focus is put on our leads.
Being that this is an anime about making anime, they show us a lot about how the process is done. Something that we take for granted is that animation is an excruciating task that requires a lot of time and effort. And just as important is the power of imagination. The scenes where the girls are in another world, usually conjured up by Asakusa and Mizusaki, shows the creative juices flowing and how awesome animation can truly be. It’s interesting to see them pay a lot of attention to detail on their projects, whether it’d be the mechanics in the vehicles and the town that they live in or the various motions and gestures made. Throughout the series, they’ve made three films, one of them for the robot club and another one in the end that involves the town they live in.
And that was Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!. A love letter to anime and animation in general, plus, the people who work in said fields, with likable characters, some fluid animation, and a sense of imagination. It’s a nice down-to-earth look at the creative process of something like animation that requires a group. If done wrong, this would have been a stale series, but there’s enough energy, wit, and charm that’ll keep you invested. All 12 episodes are available to watch on Crunchyroll if you want to check it out, which you should. There’s also a live-action movie coming out next month in Japan. Next time, we’ll be talking about the fourth season of My Hero Academia because why not talk more about My Hero Academia.