Midori Asakusa and Sayaka Kanamori are first year students at Shibahama High School. With her vivid and animated imagination, Asakusa is into anime and wants to create one of her own someday. That day comes when she and her comrade Kanamori decide to create their own club, Eizouken, to create an anime. Along with amateur model Tsubame Mizusaki, who is also a budding animator, they join forces in this new film club to fulfill their heart’s desire: anime production and creation.
What’s not to like about this series? It’s funny and entertaining… and it’s an anime about making anime! I was similarly intrigued by Eizouken as I was by High Score Girl. As the story got going, I got more and more interested and immersed into it.
While High Score Girl integrated actual video games into its animation, Eizouken integrates aspects of anime production into its storytelling. This is accurate information of anime production, and the title itself is pretty self-referential since Eizouken literally means ‘video research club’. In this case, the videos being researched are anime.
With Asakusa leading the way with her masterful storyboarding techniques, Mizusaki bringing out her brilliant character designs, and Kanamori adding her affinity towards business management; we have the makings of a small production company that is set to make waves in the anime industry from the comforts of their club warehouse in Shibahama High School. Later, they are joined by audio master Parker Domeki to complete this quartet of young girls in the production of beautifully crafted anime.
Just how vivid is the imagination of Asakusa? It’s so vivid that the story revolves around her actual storyboards coming to life within the bounds of Shibahama. As she creates her stories, her friends and her viewing audience are drawn into her imagination. Thus, we get to see what she is imagining firsthand: a feast of different genres of anime along with the main story.
Mizusaki adds more flavor to the story with her attention to movement detail. As the anime development progresses, we get drawn into the minds of these high school girls from the initial conceptualization of anime to the final product. That’s several story frames rolled into one elaborate story with the love for anime. And, believe me: this series shows why so many people love anime not just as a form of entertainment, but also as a way of life.
Also, in my opinion, there’s no better anime right now that highlights following your dreams. Asakusa and her gang of anime creators are dreamers to the very end. With the help of Kanamori, these dreams are realized, and this is no small feat. Treated as misfits from the very beginning, they are presented with obstacles that prevent them from reaching their goal.
‘Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!’ is a story about dreams and perseverance. No matter how difficult the path is, if you believe in your dreams, you will most definitely achieve them. You just have to take that extra step to make it happen. So, if you love anime and love following your dreams, give this series a try!
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