Keep Your Hands Off Eizoken: The Anime About Anime

From sports, to music and cooking, hobby anime have become a subgenre of their own. Yet ironically, there aren’t that many that cover the stories of aspiring animators. Luckily, Keep Your Hands Off Eggs is the only one you’ll ever need.

Keep Your Hands Off Eggs is a 2020 anime about a trio of high school girls who embark on the complicated mission of producing their own original anime. The story first appeared in manga form, written by Sumito Owara in 2016, but was later adapted by Science SARU, the production company founded by Masaki Yuasa. Yuasa is one of the more accomplished anime directors in the business, having also delivered such classics as Devilman crybaby, Lu Over The Wall and The Tatami Galaxy. Both versions have been showered with awards, and it’s easy to see why. Eggs is a certified delight from the very first moment.


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Animated With Passion

Midori Asakusa is a young girl who has been amazed by anime from a young age. Some of the first scenes we get with her are simply moments from her childhood where she sits under blankets completely transfixed by her TV screen. These are the moments that birthed a love of animation in her. If you’re an anime fan, these scenes will likely be extremely relatable. For Asakusa though, animation grows into more than just a hobby. By the time the story starts proper, she’s a high school student, pursuing a future as an animator with all the drive of Naruto trying to become Hokage.

Of course, making anime by yourself is a herculean task, so Asakusa really can’t get far without help. Luckily, she soon encounters a fellow animator in the form of Tsubame Mizusaki, a popular student model with wealthy, celebrity parents. Due to her social status, Mizusaki isn’t allowed to pursue her passion for animation, and the two quickly bond over their shared struggle. Luckily, the final member of the trio, Sayaka Kanomori happens to be a shrewd businesswoman. She has no love for animation herself, but has the strategic skills necessary to allow her friends to chase their dreams.

This core trio is so bursting with enthusiasm that the show’s visuals literally bend to their imaginations. Some of the best sequences see reality itself transformed into the concepts in Asakusa and Mizusaki’s heads. From a flying dragonfly robot to a spinning windmill, the girls get to physically interact with their concepts, allowing the animators to really push the wonder of animation from two directions. Not only are you seeing beautifully animated sequences, but the infectious enthusiasm of the main cast makes it all seem even more magical. The sound in these scenes are even made up of Asakusa’s own childlike sound effects, adding to the charm of it all.

Getting Technical

Eggs isn’t just driven by passion though. The show makes it very clear that enthusiasm alone will not create quality animation. As the group’s manager, Kanamori is the main one sending this message. While you fall in love with her friend’s drive for animation, Kanamori’s dedication to the details is endearing in its own right. When their school won’t allow them to make a club for their animation, she’s the one who manipulates their messaging to get their club approved. When the club space turns out to be a run-down shed, she’s the one who manages to get all the equipment they need to get started and fix the place up. She even manages to expertly manipulate Mizusaki’s social status to get their anime more popular.

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These are just a few examples of how dedicated Eggs is to give its audience a complete view of the animation process. Even in the characters themselves, we are told that Asakusa and Mizusaki are background and character artists respectively, which helps make their partnership even more fruitful, as they struggle with each other’s specialties and need each other to make a complete product. Everything from animation styles, to animation equipment, sound design and marketing are covered in enough detail that this show could genuinely be used to teach about animation. This led it to even be reared on an education focused Japanese TV channel.

It’s All Worth It In The End

As any artist will tell you, the production process can be extremely painful, but it’s all worth it when you get to show off your work. Eggs understands this, so it makes sure to put emphasis on those moments when the girls get to air their films. Similar to the imagination scenes, the film debuts attempt to wow you from two directions. The films themselves are carefully animated to look realistic for what 2 animators could pull off in their free time in a few months. Despite their rather simple nature though, the audiences are shown truly appreciating the work and effort that went into them. You get to see bits and pieces of each film every episode, but this is also when you see the full films for the first time. The buildup to each of these films makes every one a wonder to see, even though Asakusa and her team have a hard time appreciating it despite the flaws.

all in all, Keep Your Hands off Eggs ends up feeling like a genuine love letter to animation. Anyone who watches it is sure to learn a thing or two about the medium, and if you’re an animator yourself, you’ll certainly appreciate how accurately the show represents your work. It seems almost crazy to say, but this might be a show that loves animation even more than Haikyuu loves Basketball or Yuri On Ice loves ice skating.

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