The first episode of “Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!” titled, “The Greatest World!” shows what kind of story will be depicted in the anime “Eizouken” in a totally compressed way.
In the spring of her first year in high school, Asakusa Midori gets acquainted with her charismatic reader model classmate, Mizusaki Tsubame, following an incident that occurred at the screening of the Anime Lab.
When she was a child, Asakusa dreamed of making an anime after watching the TV anime episode “Nokosareshima no Conan” (as you can see, it’s clearly from “Future Boy Conan”). On the other hand, Mizusaki wants to be an animator.
Together with Asakusa’s old friend with a producer trait Kanamori Sayaka, the trio launched the “Eizouken”.
The story looks like it focused on a “club activity” so far, but it is actually hard to say. “Club activities” are related to the school days, in other words, they are connected to a specific period of time.
On the other hand, this work is deeply connected to the kind of philosophy, “what is the attractive aspect of the animation expression?”, and also it is focused on “the appeal and strictness of production”.
This is a very unique work where, instead of a “business world”, the story shows a ridiculous setting of a fictional high school where the core part depicts something severely real (here I want you to interpret it in the sense of “the truth about the world”).
The climax of the 1st episode is that Asakusa, who drew only buildings and mecha, and Mizusaki, who drew only characters, got together in order to create the “All-purpose Manned Flying Pod Kairi”.
While drawing it, the trio enters the depicted world of Kairi, and then they rode on it in order to escape from the enemies.
The technique of expressing the reality of the world perceived by the trio in the form of “entering the drawn (anime) depicted world” is a feature that often appears in the original work.
In the anime “Eizouken”, this scene is expressed with a pencil-drawn rough background and a mechanism of watercolor touching, while the sound effects are created by humans so that the world inside the image is clearly drawn.
After repeating this “immersion in the image” several times, episode 4 titled “Hold That Machete Tight!”, is a turning point of the first half of the story. The screening of the first short film produced in the Eizouken was also shown here.
To express the impact of the short film, the anime has inserted scenes that show students feeling a shock wave, and then witnessing the ejected cartridge falling directly beside them at the venue.
The last panel of the original also depict the students in the setting of the short film but the anime expressed it in a more in-depth manner.
The first entrance to draw this vertex is the scene of Kairi in episode 1.
There is still something to notice about Kairi’s launch scene.
In the anime, there is a scene where, since the catapult does not work, Mizusaki and Kanamori have to push out the Kairi in order to take off.
This was screened at the 1st episode of the Anime Lab screening which is a response to the scene of a flying machine appearing in “Conan” (“Future Boy Conan”), which was praised by Asakusa.
The flying machine that appeared in Conan is a small-sized pod that floats with an antigravity device.
However, in that scene, the flying machine was not able to lift up because of a malfunction. Therefore, when Conan pushes it up from below, the flying machine starts to emerge lightly.
This shows the fact that, since the antigravity device is working to a certain extent, the machine gets lighter in weight, and it can be pushed up by hand.
In order to aptly express the reality of pushing through the hand’s touching, the presence of an unknown vehicle called flying machine, and the effects of the antigravity device have a sense of a great reality.
The same effect occurs in the scene of pushing the Kairi. While being pushed forcefully forward, the Kairi starts to advance slowly.
Here too, the act of pushing out by hand and the sense of weight perceived by the slow movement of the machine gives a sense of reality.
This means that the ideal expression in the anime that Asakusa has seen, is strongly alive in her imagination.
There is also a reference to “Conan” in the original work, and the scene of the flying machine being selected was the plus alpha of the anime. In addition, the scene that shows Kairi being pushed out was also added directly to the anime.
In the anime adaptation, new arrangements that enrich the details of the original work, are given everywhere.
Furthermore, the number of lines where Mizusaki talks about the charm and difficulties of drawing has increased, and also various kinds of information related to the animation, such as how to use a shooting script, how to insert a rotating windmill, and how an automatic in-betweening in computer-assisted animation works, are shown.
These details highlight the appeal of animation production.
In the Kairi scene, another connotation can also be seen.
Just before entering the Kairi world, Asakusa declared, “This is the greatest world that I thought of. I drew it in order to depict it. Now my creation is real! “.
At that time, the world surrounding Asakusa was the retro-futuristic texture features and buildings that she drawn in her sketchbook.
After that, the trio who flew off on the Kairi slipped through the gaps between the buildings and jumping into an open world.
There, a huge landscape that have never been seen before in the universe and earth, spreads everywhere. At that point, Asakusa mutters, “This is the greatest world…”.
The “greatest world” that Asakusa mentioned about before taking off on the Kairi, came out of her.
On the other hand, the “greatest world” she sees at the end is shown as “an unknown world that was not inside her.”
Considering the cooperation from Mizusaki and Kanamori was indispensable, during both the Kairi departed and when slipping through the buildings, this “unknown world = the greatest world” could not be reached alone.
Asakusa’s “The Greatest World”, which had been drawn and created by herself, was changed.
This series of scenes deeply shows that the animation production is a collective work.
The main aspect of a collective work is that things that cannot be done alone, can be done with the help of various people.
To reach the “Greatest World”, Asakusa must work with “travel companions”, “accomplices”, and “co-workers”.
Considering from that viewpoint, the scene where Asakusa meets with the members of the art club in the 6th episode titled “Let’s Do Better Than Last Time!”, though it is a short one it contains a great meaning.
This scene shows also one of the processes where Asakusa, though her lack of communication skills, “creates a cooperation circle”.
Furthermore, in the 4th episode, when Asakusa is speaking sharply during a heated discussion with the Student Council, she is not outbursting her emotions only. She understands that she’s doing it to get closer to the “Greatest World”, and that intention is clearly shown on her face (she had teary eyes, maybe because she was nervous).
In this way, the Kairi’s scene of the 1st episode achieves the three most important elements, that the whole series is trying to draw; “Depicts the reality of animation thought by Asakusa, and the others.”, “Introduces the storytelling through the image scenes”, and “Let Asakusa understand that the greatest world can not be reached alone”.
These elements are also depicted in the original, but the anime makes them clearer and sharper.
When thinking in this way, it seems that the drama’s destination that the anime is aiming at is a scene contained in the second volume.
I am looking forward to seeing the second half of the anime, also to see if my conjectures are right or not.