Musings and Reflections – Winter 2020 Week 1 and 2

One phrase impressions

Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! (Ep. 1) – Creativity rules!
Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! (Ep. 2) – Wheels are hard to animate, aren’t they?
Dorohedoro (Ep. 1) – Extra weird.

Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! (Ep. 1)

  • It’s extremely weird, but I don’t think I ever connected to a character as quickly as when young Asakusa said she was car-sick. Feel, you, poor kid…

  • Usually I don’t particularly enjoy Yuasa’s work. It’s probably mostly erroneous preconception, but I can’t make myself like all the squash and stretch exaggerations he uses. Somehow that animation technique makes everything look extremely cartoonish and thus unbelievable and unrealistic. Yeah, we are talking about an animated medium in the first place, but I seem to prefer a law of volume conservation and constant dimensions. However, if various animation techniques are used as a way to explore fluidity of child’s imagination, I can do nothing but wholeheartedly approve. Scenes where imagination and creativity run wild are precisely those where I believe Yuasa is the perfect man for the job. Great.

  • While the speed of dialogue sometimes brings back memories about the insane speed of Tatami Galaxy, there’s surprisingly little of exaggerations that I dislike. On the contrary, I quite liked the dynamic animation as well as ever-changing Yuasa camera angles. Minimalistic facial expressions (a reminder of Hisone to Maso-tan or Girls’ Last Tour) also are a very good choice.

  • Also, the show is an instant reminder of Shirobako (obviously), only in a more childish and endless-imagination sort of way. I guess I needed an anime just like that – some people finding something in common and pursuing it just because it’s fun.

  • Appreciation for the acknowledgment about all the hard but not always noticeable work concept and background artists do.

Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! (Ep. 2)

  • I really like the dynamics between Asakusa and Kanamori. One is an oddball dork brimming with ideas and creativity while the other is a scarecrow of a girl who’s apparently interested only in doing stuff practically just because she’s got nothing better to do (by the way, deadpan girls are the best). I’m not sure where Mizusaki stands, but so far she also is a welcome addition – you need much more than creativity and some management talents to be successful. Well, the bottom line is that the characters comfortably show their differences while actually being united under one goal. Great.

  • The fact that Asakusa’s and Kanamori’s voices are especially low (considering it’s an anime with (kinda) cute girls doing (kinda) cute things) is refreshing to say the least (low-voiced girls are the best).

  • The environment seems to be very important and inspirational for the girls. I guess one just needs to remember the last episode and Asakusa’s fascination with the surroundings. The sense of wonder is still here and hopefully will last for long. Someone has probably already compared this city to something straight out of Hayao Miyazaki’s folder and that wouldn’t be a bad comparison. When environment seems to be almost a character itself, it brings a whole new dimension and depth to the story. More shows should create pursue such an effect.

  • Shirobako already showed how hard it is to make an anime, but Eizouken brings a whole new perspective, showing how pumped-up the girls were about animating a simple water wheel, and later on giving the smallest of scenes where the wheel is actually turning because of the heavy rainfall. So much attention can be (and should be) given to such small and seemingly inconsequential background details that end up being featured for only a blink, but it’s really the truth that such details actually bring the environment and consequently the whole anime to life.

  • I think the next episode should bring in some kind of a conflict as I doubt that the show can survive on good vibes alone. I’d guess that there’s a potentially juicy confrontation with the real anime club. Might be, might as well not. Also, Mizusaki’s parents could provide some drama, but that would probably be on a smaller scale – posing a threat to only Mizusaki herself and not the whole group.

  • Bottom line: animation is hard, but end result is wonderful.

Dorohedoro (Ep. 1)

  • Well, that’s something. Lizard-men, people inside lizard-men, some kind of magic, old-school looking animation… The start was confusing to say the least, but in a good way of confusing. For example the first episode of Baccano to me was so incomprehensible that I considered ditching that show right away. In Dorohedoro, however, the mysteries just make me more curious.

  • I think MAPPA is doing a very good job of adapting older-looking manga. Banana Fish didn’t really work on me, but I certainly appreciated it. As I do Dorohedoro. For now.

  • The aesthetics are something. All that rugged world reminds me of all the good stuff of 80s and 90s – you know, Mamoru Oshii, Gainax, Yoshiaki Kawajiri and stuff. Pretty much the imagination of Hayao Miyazami turned extremely dark. Charming.

  • CG isn’t something to joyously exclaim about, but it’s passable. Caiman’s head is probably the worst part of it, and that’s not great, knowing how frequently it’s on the screen.

  • The comedy doesn’t really work on me. It’s just Caiman being overenthusiastic for no reason. Well, it isn’t bad, but already pretty repetitive to the point of being annoying.

  • I can’t say I’m sold or that I really liked the episode. I guess it is the world what captured my interest the most.

  • Actually, I have put Dorohedoro manga on my reading list quite a while back. Now I skimmed through a few first chapters to see if it has a similar feeling as the anime. Well, it kinda does, but not completely. Obviously, CG is absent in the manga, so everything looks far more organic. Another natural problem is simplification of character designs to make them easier to animate. Nikaidou in the manga looks a lot cuter, at least by my standards. Caiman not having an obnoxious voice is also a plus. Still, I’ll gladly enjoy the anime for now. There’s definitely some interesting stuff going on. At the worst case, there’s always the manga to come back to.

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