As if we needed any more evidence on anime becoming mainstream and accepted, Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! has been named one of the best shows of 2020, both as an international release and just in general. The list was formulated by New York Times’ authors James Poniewozik, Mike Hale, and Margaret Lyons. There’s some pretty good shows on here. A lot of which I have not seen. But some that I have and enjoyed. What We Do in the Shadows is one such show. It’s very good.
But you didn’t come here to hear about not anime. You’re here for anime. At least I would assume as much. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is a show that I find myself really appreciating as an artist. I’m not a very good artist, more on that later (yes it is relevant), but I can relate to the show in a way.
A quick synopsis of the show, it’s another anime about anime. Essentially a trio of first year high school students get together to form an anime club at school so they can work on what they want to. Well what two of them want to. The third is just there for the money. Which is fair I guess.
Normally at around this point I would put my endorsement in, but honestly? The best endorsement is going to be that in the New York Times article. I’d honestly recommend reading that if you need a reason to watch it. Which is an interesting thought because wouldn’t that mean that you do want to watch it? Why not just watch the show if you are interested in it? Why don’t I just draw if I want to? Why do I need motivation?
I think I’ve been in a weird mood since watching Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! Let’s just keep talking about the show. It’s very pretty. I really enjoy its color pallet. And more than that I love its style, especially its characters. Sayaka Kanamori, the tall one for those unfamiliar, has such a fun character design. They all have fun character designs really. Also I love the animation. It feels so alive and energetic and wonderful and- I love this show.
There was a bit there where it hit me that this show feels a lot like Ping Pong: the Animation which is one of my favorite shows. Surprise surprise, they have the same director. Also the same director as Devilman Crybaby. He’s directed a ton of shows I like. I’m probably going to rewatch his stuff once I’m done writing this.
To quote the New York Times article, the show “is an artful rendering of the creative process.” That includes both the good and the bad. You see the outcome of perseverance, and also the burnout and self doubt that comes with it.
That whole spiel about me not being good at art is a subjective fact borne of my own self judgment. Something that is unfortunately a common part of art. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! explores that, even if just a little bit. Art can be hard, animation especially. It’s exhausting and frustrating, especially when what you create isn’t exactly perfect. Self doubt turns into lack of motivation as you don’t want to disappoint yourself. Why do I not draw even though I want to? What’s stopping me? These are real questions, and ones I don’t have the answer to.
Being creative is hard. I didn’t know that’s what this article would turn into when I began writing it, but here we are. In a weird sort of way, writing this is a way to motivate myself to get back to my personal work. To remember that not everything has to be perfect. You don’t need to be motivated to draw. I feel like these are simple facts, yet they can be so difficult to remember. Hopefully this can serve as a little reminder for you as well. Maybe motivate you to get back into something you love. These things can be hard, I realize that. But I believe in you. Don’t let your self doubt stop you.
Oh and sorry I ended this on a sentimental note, I’ll be better about that next time.
Houston based Sequential Art student who is stuck in the past. Has a habit of going off topic. Loves Berserk, Video Games, and literally nothing else.