Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is in a few words—a great cluster of creativity. What I meant by that is not only the refreshing and intriguing devices imagined by one of the main character, Midori or how the background designed by her is otherworldly and is brimming with infinite possibilities. No.
I’m talking about the interchanging art style between the monotone draft version, lightly painted drawings and its final colourful product—all three processes in each episode, within the show itself. It’s not everyday that this idea of approaching stories would work, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World managed to pull it off because it incorporates a gaming style to it with the movie directed by Edgar Wright, the master of transition. Director Satoshi Ken holds that tittle in anime, especially with Paprika, and not many anime get to accomplish what he’s done with his style after he passed away.
Until Eizouken appears. With three main characters that seek to do something but didn’t have a chance to, they are teaming up to create something they could never have imagined: one to present her creativity, one to earn money from their activity and one to chase a prohibited dream. And by deciding to move forward, they have, quite literally—changed the perspective of the world they live in.
Halfway through the narration—sometimes even before it starts—they are perceived as being subtly teleported into worlds drawn with different art styles, elaborated in different settings, and governed by different logics, where they would be witnessing the creation of various transportations that Midori could think of. But, it doesn’t stop there.
They’d ride and test out the machines, fully utilising the term ‘anime logic’ to engage in diverse activites like flying inside a mechanical firefly, diving inside a transparent high-tech fish or simply pause and spend the little time they have to watch the world floods before their eyes.
It’s this level of imagination incorporated inside their grounded reality that makes the storytelling of Eizouken much more impactful. Because their theme is in essence, a story about animating animation, they could intertwine fantasy with reality that transcends different dimensions—to an extent that none has ever thought of.
It brings out the fun of creating a new world, the enjoyment in recreating movements in characters and the struggles in getting the minimum fund for the projecy to run. Though it’s not as detailed as Shirobako in terms of the whole production process, but it has its own merits and managed to encapsulate the joy and hardwork poured into forming a harmonic teamwork. Because eventually, that’s they have only one goal—to have fun.
So, amid the changing perspective that are portrayed to us, where do we draw the line between what’s real and what’s not?
And that’s part of the fun.
This is how Eizouken has managed to accomplish a different level of storytelling that employs the literal sense of its theme and jump around it. Despite bearing a few flaws, it is nonetheless an interesting anime that plays on the idea of creativity itself, capturing what a vivacious world would look like. You could join in the fun as well, but just one reminder…
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!