「映像研, 爆誕す!」 (Eizouken, Bakutansu!)
“The Eizouken Takes the Stage”
This week’s Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! might follow the same pattern as most school anime centered around creating clubs, but with the chaotic energy surrounding the trio, the premise is flipped on its head. It’s such an interesting idea that, rather than trying to accrue a certain amount of members to allow their club to exist, the main trio’s largest obstacle is pitching the club to differentiate it from the Anime Club on a fundamental scale. It’s an obstacle that could only be cleared by the shrewd and erratic minds that encompass our protagonists. Or at least going by the Miyazaki Hayao / Shinkai Makoto technicality of creating anime under the pretense of still being films nonetheless.
I’d like to kick things off by offering my humblest apologies to Kanamori for misjudging her character to such a large degree in my analysis of the first episode. This episode allows her to fully come into her own and prove to be one of the most valuable members of the group by the virtue of being the only one to ask what kind of anime they want to make. The ambitions of Asakuza and Mizusaki as a power duo are lofty and expansive, but to reign in their vision from being a hodgepodge of disconnected daydreams, they need someone like Kanamori to come up with the logistics behind getting the girls focused, getting them to agree on what kind of story they want to tell, and come up with a list of items they would need.
That’s not to discount the other two girls though as they are also fun to follow with what they provide for the anime. Much like with the first episode, Asakuza’s wild imagination gives the anime some of its more visually playful scenes. Her ability to visualize the fantasies she wants to bring to life extends beyond the fantasies that play out in the scenes she wants to animate. As the girls try to salvage the rundown shack that acts as their clubroom, the girls start to imagine all of the furnishings they could add to it to model their workspace after the polished and lively offices that Hollywood animation studios work with.
Mizusaki’s familiarity and love for the tools utilized in anime call to attention another fascinating aspect of this anime; its depiction of animation as a labor of love. As they rummage through the older tools for anything they can work with, Mizusaki is able to quickly recognize the painted cels and cameras that animators of yore would have to work with to create anime. With her and Asakuza’s discovery of a sketchbook showing a moving windmill, the anime goes into intricate detail on how physics would translate when working with mapping out new cels to show movement. It’s captivating to see how much attention is paid to the process of animation to the point that the main girls are further drawn into how to be able to execute a scene as simple as moving a windmill naturally, even as they imagine a wild scenario to get the wind necessary to spin the windmill.
It’s great to see how Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! isn’t just about trying to celebrate a person’s creativity that would compel them to want to make anime, but the passion that a person can have for the nuts and bolts that go into animation. It’d be easy to have an anime that’s merely about idea people coming together to carelessly fart out material without considering for a second why or how they made it. But with Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na!, it’s far more thoughtful about what goes into both creating animation and searching for the details that inspire you to create anime. And with how chaotic our main characters are, it lends to some of the more amusing solutions to their problems such as intimidating their counselor enough about anime production fitting well into a Film Production Club’s description to be accepted and submitting a video of Asakuza falling from a balcony to a viral video show to make a quick 30,000 yen. In it’s second episode, it helped to solidify its proof-of-concept as an anime that captures its fun and anarchic personality through its visual aesthetic and its lively cast. It’ll be neat to see where the show goes from here and how they are able to make use of the bare minimum to make their fantasies a reality.