With so many anime series to watch these days, it can be easy for a quality show to slip under our collective radar. That’s why I always try to cast a wide net and watch out for shows that blaze an original path to introduce to you here, rather than only focusing on the latest isekai and harem shows or the 27th season of the latest neverending shounen series. And one show that immediately stood out from the crowd has been Eizouken Ni Wa Te Wo Dasu Na!, or Keep Your Hands Off the Motion Picture Research Club!
One day, a girl named Midori is watching anime while home alone and discovers a classic series called Future Boy Conan, animated by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata in their pre-Ghibli days. Her life is changed forever. “That was the first time I realized that real people made the anime I’d been watching.”
Before long, Midori finds herself forming a new school club with Tsubame, the daughter of two famous actors who wants nothing more than to become an animator, and Sayaka, Midori’s lanky friend, who’s sure there’s some money to be made in anime somewhere. Because Tsubame is forbidden from joining the school’s anime club, they name their club the Motion Picture Research Club (Eizouken), reasoning that animation is a form of a motion picture.
One anime I’m enjoying this season is Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, a show about three girls who want to become animators. It’s a really fresh concept. I especially love the fantasy worlds the characters create.
(Video is from episode 3, so mild spoilers.) pic.twitter.com/7Jr0L8pfWm
— Peter Payne (@JListPeter) January 22, 2020
Without a doubt, my favorite parts of the show is whenever Midori creates a wonderfully complex fantasy world based on her background and mecha designs then takes the other two girls on an adventure inside the world she created. It’s like seeing hand-drawn illustrations from Hayao Miyazaki come to life, and the result is incredibly fresh and new.
I Love Anime That Define Animation and Otaku Culture For Us
One thing I think about from time to time are the really special shows that come to define why animation is important to us. Here are four shows that have done this for me in the past.
Genshiken, the anime that made us all wish we attended a Japanese university so we could be in an awesome modern visual arts club.
Welcome to the N.H.K., the anime that delved into the dark side of otaku culture as we follow the journey into, and out of, NEET-dom by otaku.
Shirobako. The anime that taught us how anime is made, right down to the “white boxes” each episode is delivered to TV stations in.
Otaku no Video. The hit 1991 anime by Gainax helped make the word otaku a household name in Japan and around the world.
And maybe, just maybe, someday we’ll have added Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! to this list of special anime series that have really defined why we all love animation.
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