Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! / Eizōken ni wa Te o Dasu na! is a Japanese manga series written and illustraterd by Sumito Ōwara since 2016 and it has now been adapted into an anime! From the 5th of January 2020 Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! has aired every week on the Crunchyroll streaming service and I’ve fallen in love!
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! takes place in a high school in Japan and follows the adventures of three students Midori Asakusa, Sayaka Kanamori and Tsubame Mizusaki. The three girls have vivid imaginations and want to create an anime club in which they can create animated anime. The problem is that there is already an anime club which Tsubame is banned from attending and the other issue is that the anime club just watches and reviews anime. To resolve this situation, they convince a couple of teachers that they plan to create a live-action film club, the Eizouken of the title. Unaware that the girls plan on making an animated film in their club, they get the thumbs up and that is how Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! begins.
So far Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! sounds like a regular high school ‘slice of life’ anime. But it is definitely not. Midori has the most amazing imagination. During her spare time she has drawn out a map of the whole school and surrounding buildings, then changes it into this amazing new steampunk like world. Tsubame really wants to be an animator and can instantly understand and visualise Midori’s world. She is then able to create characters and objects that would appear in it. The girls even envision themselves in the world so that they can understand the workings of the different objects and really analyse how they would be animated. Sayaka is more level headed than the others and very money driven. She’s not as imaginative as Midori and Tsubame however she’s extremely good at keeping them on track and focused. She’s reluctant at first to join in with Midori’s vision but as she starts to see the idea develop she understands the work that will be involved in making it come to life. Due to this Sayaka is very good at giving realistic deadlines and explaining why Midori can’t make every background herself and that Tsubame can’t animate every single frame.
The character design in Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is quite simplistic, but quirky and unique. The bold design definitely illuminates the characters’ personalities too. Personally, I really love the character design as it’s quite refreshing after watching a lot of detailed characters in anime. But there might be another reason for this, as an animator we call it pencil mileage. This means that every extra detail you add to a character has to be drawn over and over again on each frame, this takes time which means it costs money. The other reason for this could be that the animation is beautiful and the extra pencil mileage money was pumped into making the animation mouth-watering. Each character is animated beautifully, even the scenes in which they are analysing their animation is amazing. The simplistic character designs accentuate the shift in style when the girls step into Midori’s world. When the characters are enveloped in this imaginary world the anime changes style and adopts a watercolour look with a feeling of ‘concept artwork’. This helps the audience quickly recognise that they are no longer in the real world, but in the hazy imagination of the girls.
As a 2D animator watching an anime about animators is really fascinating. It also brings a sense of nostalgia. I would highly recommend this anime to anyone, especially if they are into animation and art. It certainly isn’t the shonen or shojo anime that we are used to and Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! almost slipped under my anime radar! I am so glad that I’ve been able to find and watch such an entertaining, funny and incredibly beautiful show which is definitely a change from the norm.
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! has inspired me so much that I’m off to sharpen my pencils and do some drawing! Note, this anime has the catchiest intro song ever, you have been warned!
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! has no UK age certification, but I imagine it will be a PG. It is currently only available in English subbed and I currently believe there will be 12 episodes this season.