Don’t Mess With The Video Society!; Visualizing Imagination

Eizōken ni wa Te o Dasu na! or Don’t Mess With The Video Society! is an anime about an inspiring journey of making animation & bringing the imaginations to screen. It shows the passion and hard work of the people behind the scene and the struggle they put up with. The anime was aired in 2020 and animated by the animation studio Science SARU.

Overview

There is something charming about watching passionate people do the stuff they like. They giving their all to achieve something is really inspiring. In this anime, we see three highschool girls trying to visualize their imagination and ideas. The concept is handled masterfully with the characters, dialogue, animation, and world-building. The anime pretty much explains all the steps of making anime. From sketches, concept arts, character models, in-betweens, voice acting, sounds, music, etc. It also shows how to make a scene compelling and enjoyable. All that also comes with what the animators have to go through and overcome like staying up all night, sometimes falling behind schedules, and putting up with higher-ups. But despite all the circumstances, our lovable characters are determined enough to see it through. It’s really interesting to see their imagination carrying them to do the thing they love to do. Which in return can inspire us to do things in real life.

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Characters

The main trio Midori Asakusa, Sayaka Kanamori & Tsubame Mizusaki have their quirks & traits that stand out. Their introduction to their respective roll in the story gets adequate attention to ground them as distinct characters. They all have their own set of issues in life that they have to overcome to reach their goal. Asakusa has a playful mind that allows her to see everything differently and explore the vast world around her. She always carries a heavy backpack & a sketchbook to record her adventures and draw sceneries in detail. Kanamori is quite the opposite. She doesn’t seem to have any interest in making anime but she does enjoy her work. She always has an intimidating presence and calculated approach to life. Seeing her get her point across in different situations is always entertaining. She takes the role of management in the company. And lastly, Mizusaki, who had to battle her way out to seek out her dream. She has the same level of passion and interest in art and animation as Asakusa. She has a talent for understanding human anatomy and choreography. All three of them together form a club where they work on making anime. But due to circumstances, it’s called Eizouken or Video Society.

The main trio, Mizusaki, Kanamori & Asakusa (from left to right)

Presentation

The anime does a fantastic job of presenting its theme and concept. The setting, the interaction among the characters, the location things take place, everything is distinctly memorable. The place the anime is set in is Shibahama which has rivers, canals & bridges everywhere and the school, houses, buildings, shops, offices, etc. are built around to cope with the environment. That makes it a playground for the main character Asakusa’s creative mind and an inspiration. The trio goes exploring in different places and abandoned areas for location hunting for their anime. Where ever they go, they sink into their imagination, think of concepts & ideas even from the smallest things they come across, and even make an explanation of how a certain machine works, and how the story is gonna play out, ultimately creating an entire world from a single topic. This just shows how far imagination can get in terms of creativity. That can also make our minds wander and find potential in many things that we may think are insignificant.

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Video Society Club Sign and Asakusa & Mizusaki posing like the sign
Asakusa’s thought on the sign

The animation & art style is pretty interesting. Every character’s design, movement, and body language speak of their character. When they embark on their imaginary world, the animation shifts to abstract art design, emphasizing their creative aspect. The anime they make contains small stories which are delivered better than most shows, sometimes without the use of dialogue. This is the perfect example of a certain way of storytelling- Show not Tell.

Conclusion

Eizōken ni wa Te o Dasu na! is an anime about expressing thoughts, being creative, and seeking out dreams. This may not be the anime for everyone but this is a must-watch. Whether someone is interested in how animation is made or not, it can be enjoyed by all. You can tell that the manga artist Sumito Ōwara put a lot of heart into it when making this story. The number of details and references put into this is something to think about. All in all, this is a great show.

Trivia

Eizōken ni wa Te o Dasu na! won the Grand Prize at the 24th Japan Media Arts Festival.

Alternate Recommendations

If you are interested in anime which is about making anime then you can check out Shirobako which also shows the details of the animation process. Another anime is Bakuman, which is similar in terms of themes & concepts but it’s about making manga.

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