「コメットAを目指せ!」 (Comet A o Mezase!)
“Aim for Comet A!”
After the Robotics Club’s anime short wrapped up, all hands are on deck for what the Eizouken’s next big project will be. While their past two projects were created as a result of Asakusa and Mizusaki’s respective imaginations, this episode helps bridge the gap for Kanamori to contribute towards an anime concept by diving into her memories of her childhood in Shibahama.
Moments in the series where Asakusa and Mizusaki imagine their concept art coming to life around them give Eizouken its own identity as a celebration of the creative process, but Episode 09 gives these scenes a unique spin. As Kanamori takes her friends around the town of Shibahama as a teaching tool for having promotional prowess to back up their talents, she reflects on the events in her life that lead to her placing a higher priority on making money.
In this instance, the concept art-like creative space they navigate around are the memories of Kanamori’s childhood, which gives us insight on how her mindset contrasts with her two friends. Because Kanamori is always thinking realistically about the outcomes of her actions, the vivid thoughts she mulls through aren’t of dreamscapes or fantasies, but rather the distant memories that had a direct effect on how the decline of her relatives’ liquor store taught her about promotion.
It is an amusing episode as a marketing whiz given how much of its content revolves around networking and promotional material. Kanamori represents the necessary evils that come with trying to get ideas off the ground, and in this episode, it comes out the most prominently with how she navigates social media like Instagram to gather interest for the Eizouken, their creative process, and items they can sell to accrue enough money to rely less on other factors that dip into their revenue stream. Where instead of working alongside the Robotics Club as they take a large chunk of the profits, Kanamori is more eager to work alongside the Fruit Ramen restaurant as they are both fans of their previous anime and have enough influence in the city to help fully back their next project, especially if it’s an anime about the city.
Asakusa and Mizusaki’s creative spaces hinted at the mechanical look of the city of Shibahama’s infrastructure, so naturally, the tail end of this episode focused on Asakusa’s efforts to visualize the storyboarding behind their latest project. It also marks a pivotal point in Asakusa’s outlook on storyboarding as she reflects on their past two anime shorts and realizes how framing is a performance within itself. As a result, she foregoes thinking of a fully formed plot for a “Shibahama vs. UFOs” anime in favor of creating a dynamic introduction to envision a falling comet. To get the same level of energy as the billowing smoke from their last anime or the darkness giving way to the bright planet outside of the aircraft in their first anime, she spends the remainder of the episode mapping out just how crucial it’d be for her to picture animation as a performance. It’ll be a long road ahead to get the anime’s story going, but it’ll be exciting to see what their approach will be this time around.