「私は私を救うんだ!」 (Watashi wa Watashi o Sukuunda!)
“I Have to Do It for Myself!”
This was a wonderful episode for Mizusaki to be able to spread her wings as the central focus was on animation. While progress on their mecha anime short is still wavering between stability and anarchy, it was a nice breather to get us further aligned with what Mizusaki’s head-space looks like when she approaches animation.
It is interesting to see how Mizusaki had always prioritized “animation” over “anime”, given how much of a contrast it shows between the industry prowess that Kanamori has embraced and the over-the-top anime fantasies that Asakusa had admired from a young age. Where her early obsession with miming certain movement patterns shows how she has a genuine love for animation as a craft that enables her to bring a still drawing to life.
Of the scenes we get of her early upbringing, the moments she shares with her grandmother are the most valuable as she takes in the vivid movement that surrounds her. Her grandmother tossing the remnants of her teacup out into the grass proved to be the very beginning of her obsession with motion. Fittingly enough, the motion of the small puddle of tea swirling in her cup as one swift toss launched the tea into the grass was captured at its greatest detail in this episode’s animation. It displayed the significance of how much effort Mizusaki put into trying to avoid tossing the tea onto the floorboard, culminating with the final scene of the episode when she was finally able to toss it into the grass with the resolve she had to capture the intricacies and beauty behind how people and objects move.
As she meticulously studied how people and objects naturally moved, it shaped her love for animation and applying animation to every aspect of her aspirations. But while her love of animation had been a talent that her grandmother wanted to encourage, given how she had applied her talents to help her walk around the house, her parents hadn’t offered her the same level of attention. Her mother gave her the freedom to do as she wished, but her father had different ideas as he wanted Mizusaki to become a model/actress so that her mother could live vicariously through her daughter’s accomplishments. It’ll be interesting to see how this would eventually shape up with the unstable relationship Mizusaki has with her parents and her preference for her grandmother, but this episode gave us a good gist of this while paying homage to the roots of Mizusaki’s true motives for creating anime.
And speaking of anime, progress on the mecha short is moving with the same trajectory it did in the last episode. Asakusa’s biggest obstacle at the moment is how much ownership she has to take over the decisions made with the anime. With certain departments wanting to take their own liberties with the material such as the Robotics Club member wanting to voice the sound effects or the Art Club member taking personal offense to be told that mistakes were made, Asakusa has a hard time saying no.
This becomes a point of contention for Kanamori since she doesn’t want to take on extra work that should be Asakusa’s responsibility as the director of the project. There are some small victories on Asakusa’s behalf like humorously winning an argument against Kanamori about checking the quality of some test footage. But the coming episodes are likely to show how Asakusa will have to do far more than just fix art errors herself in order to reign in each and every department to get the full potential out of this anime project.