First Impression: Keep Your Hands off Eizouken!

Asakusa is a high school freshman eager to join her school anime’s club. Dragging along her curt, avaricious friend, Kanamori, she goes to the club’s opening day screening, seeking a place where she can nurture her childhood dream of creating an anime taking place in the world in which she lives—an incongruous, futuristic urban center where trees and ocean mix freely with building styles old and new. What she doesn’t expect, however, is to run into another would-be animator, and one who is a famous model to boot, and how their budding friendship might also be the beginning of a creative adventure.

The first few frames of Eizouken immediately remind you who the director of this piece is—if you’re like me, you’ll make comparisons right away to Kaiba and Ping-Pong, two other acclaimed series from the mind of Masaaki Yuasa. While it looks different from those series (especially the latter), the rich creativity of the animation is just as strong. This story of three girls creating an anime is ripe for a director who can take us into the world of animation, and Yuasa does this especially by bringing Asakusa’s concept art to life. The scene at the end of episode one is thrilling, a whimsically Miyazaki-esque escape into the world of an amateur animator’s sketches. Absolutely captivating. I have a habit of dropping Yuasa’s works, growing bored with them after being initially stunned, so I’m approaching this thinking that could happen again, but for all those who have found his works to be masterpieces, it looks like he’s delivering again.

Keep Your Hands off Eizuouken! can be streamed on Crunchyroll.


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