「実績を打ち立てろ!」 (Jisseki o Uchitateru!)
“Let’s Accomplish Something!”
Continuing from where we left off in the last episode, our third installment of Eizouken has our three protagonists using the money made from Asakuza’s fall to seek out inspiration for a short anime production that is realistic enough to pull off as a proof-of-concept for their club’s existence. In the process, we are treated to more insight on how the girls operate and impressive visual flair as we watch their ideas for an actual anime concept come to life by picturing their initial storyboarding.
Much like with the last episode, Kanamori stands out for being the one person with their hands on the steering wheel. Although her two friends are highly passionate about the ideas they have in mind, Kanamori is the one to get them to stay focused on goals they need to meet in the real world, such as repairing the extensive damage their clubhouse has endured throughout the years and mapping out exactly what kind of anime they should be made with the resources they have.
At the same time, this episode shows how important it is to have the two forward-thinking members of the group be the creative forces behind their output. With Asakusa, the collage of different visual inspirations she’s gathered over time provides a great blueprint for what setting or technology should be expressed for new projects. Whereas she might not have had the means of making these fantasies come to life anywhere but in her imagination, with Mizusaki and Kanamori’s support, they help embolden and empower the grand ideas she has, even if some were created to be scaled back for a barebones production such as the short anime that Kanamori had in mind.
We also get a large chunk of background on how Mizusaki operates as her love for animation as the perpetual force that guides both its world and its characters lends to her personal investment in the concept of animators being actors. To portray expressions that realistically capture the emotional core and intensity of the human spirit would be the main pull towards what gravitates Mizusaki towards wanting to have their first anime feature a human element to it. There are also small shades of her modeling life that we see in this episode with their first brush-in with a large number of ads featuring Mizusaki that are strung along the train they’re riding on. Although Mizusaki shifts into celebrity mode when she comes across two fans of hers, it will be some time before we’re given details on how it affects her to act differently from herself to put on the air of not being obsessed with animation.
Through her inclusion in the group, it even simplified the process of painting out the story as her attachment to humanity and Asakuza’s love for fleshing out the machinery of the universes she creates makes for a great pair to collaborate on projects that combine both. As such, they can efficiently map out a plot for a gas-mask girl with a hatchet fighting against a super-advanced tank in the middle of a desolate, cube-like town.
This gives us one of the most impressive visuals yet as we start to see the girls imagine a fully-realized narrative for a short anime. As we hear them discussing the details of how the short would look, we see the fight between the gas-mask girl and the tank play out through basic sketches and cels. While still-images have the appearance of simple yet detailed cels, the action-packed scenes are shown through increasingly simple motions as the gas-mask girl shifts in-and-out of basic and intricate character models. It’s scenes like this that make me more excited to see how their output comes together, how they’ll be able to conquer obstacles along the way, and how they’ll combine their talents to offer us a distilled version of what they see when they imagine what it is about anime they love.