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Manga / Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

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"I forgot that they're in their own world, too."
Sowande Sakaki referring to the titular club

At a young age, Midori Asakusa became fascinated not just with anime but also with how it was made. Now a first-year high-schooler, she dreams of creating an anime with a setting based on the unusual "dungeon-like" campus of Shibahama High School. Still, she hasn't taken the first step to creating anime, insisting that it's impossible to do it alone.

When attending a screening by her school's anime club, she and her longtime friend, the money-minded schemer Sayaka Kanamori, encounter Tsubame Mizusaki, a rich and famous fashion model who also happens to be a classmate of theirs. While fleeing from a handler who is trying to prevent Mizusaki from joining the anime club on orders from her Fantasy-Forbidding Father, Asakusa and Kanamori learn that Mizusaki wants to become an animator. With Asakusa & Mizusaki finding a common interest and Kanamori seeing an opportunity to rake in some cash, the trio team up to create an animation club to make their "ultimate world" a reality!

Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! (映像研には手を出すな!, Eizouken ni wa Te o Dasu na!, lit. "Don't Mess with the Motion Picture Club!") is an ongoing manga by Sumito Ōwara that begun serializing in the Seinen manga magazine Monthly Big Comic Spirits in 2016. A 12-Episode Anime television series adaptation by Science SARU ran from January 5th, 2020 to March 22nd, 2020. The series is directed and written by Masaaki Yuasa, with Naoyuki Asano providing character designs and Oorutaichi composing the music; it notably marks Yuasa's first foray into an animated series (as opposed to his usual portfolio of feature films) since DEVILMAN crybaby in 2018 and the first television series produced under his directorship since Ping Pong in 2014. It was also the last television series produced under Yuasa's directorship— and the last of his projects to be released— prior to amicably leaving Science SARU just three days after the final episode aired. It is not, however, his final project with the studio period: that position goes to the film Inu-Oh, released in 2021.

The series is currently being simulcast on Crunchyroll.

A live-action film debuted on September 25, 2020, also spawning a six-episode TV mini-series that premiered earlier on April 5th, 2020.

Compare to Shirobako, a more idealistic take on a group of friends wanting to make an anime together (while still further exploring how the industry works), and Girlish Number, another series about anime production with a far more cynical edge to it.

This series contains examples of:

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: A Freeze-Frame Bonus calendar and the expiration date on Mizusaki's credit card shows the anime is set in the year 2051.note  This means the anime that inspired Asakusa was over 70 years old when she first watched it. However, the future as portrayed in the series doesn't seem very futuristic aside from some slightly more advanced technology and some implications that Japan has become more racially diverse.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Played with. Like real-life Japanese student councils, Shibahama's student council holds power over whether or not school clubs get approval and funding, but it's presented as rather extreme since there's also a "Security Club" whose whole purpose seems to be to enforce the student council's ironfisted will (to the extent where they conduct stop-and-frisk procedures on anyone wearing a robot costume like Mizusaki's when the council decides to arrest her for breaking the Culture Festival's rules). However, Kanamori points out that many of their grievances with the Motion Picture Club are actually the school's responsibility, and she even lampshades how the council is wielding their authority like a blunt weapon.
  • Activation Sequence: Gets brought up and demonstrated by Mizusaki when both the film club and robot club are discussing the concept of the mech's design in Episode 5, with her making the point of it showing how creators of mech anime put faith in the human pilot, rather than automation.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the live-action adaptation, all three main characters are portrayed by real fashion models, often making it hard to see Tsubame as the pretty one of the trio.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Asakusa and Mizusaki's collab fantasy was primarily about launching and flying their mech. The anime turns the scene into one inspired by the action in Conan of the Lost Island, where the three girls use the mech to evade capture by two men resembling Mizusaki's bodyguards.
  • All for Nothing: After Mizusaki and Asakusa call for help while they're stuck on the rooftop, Kanamori smashes through a wall to bring the ladder back upright. Cue the two of them standing right behind her, revealing that they just slid down a pipe to the ground instead. Kanamori proclaims that they'll be paying for the damages.
  • Amateur Film-Making Plot: The series follows an understaffed, underfunded high school film club's attempts to produce three animated short films. Though two of the members are gifted animators, they struggle to get work done due to their overactive imaginations, the student council trying to shut them down, and their amateur collaborators (voice talent, composers, etc) being inexperienced and difficult to work with.
  • Ambiguously Brown: A number of people at Shibahama, both students and non-students, have noticeably dark skin tones but no confirmed nationalities, including Sowande Sakaki from the student council and Doumeki from the Sound Club. Since the story is set in 2051 and there are signs written in numerous languages including Japanese, English, and Spanish, it's implied that Japan has become more racially diverse in this setting. Driving the point home is the fact that while Asakusa's fairly light-skinned, her father and especially her brother have noticeably swarthier complexions, implying that she herself is mixed-race.
  • An Aesop: Your work will never be perfect and these flaws will always be inevitable especially when working in a genre like Speculative Fiction. What matters in the end is the completion of your work, the resonance it has with the people seeing it, and being done to your satisfaction even with major changes and compromises. Just because it can be better doesn't mean you can't take pride in what you've accomplished.
    Asakusa: There's still a lot of room for improvement.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The anime adaptation ends this way: the Motion Picture Club's Shibahama UFO Wars turns out to be a success both commercially and among audiences, and Asakusa's "Ultimate World" has finally come to fruition, but there's still room for improvement and more projects to be made, and the Motion Picture Club is more than ready to keep going. The final shot before the closing pan-out is of Asakusa eagerly presenting ideas for future projects to Kanamori and Mizusaki, indicating that even though the anime is over, the Motion Picture Club will still go on, making more projects and adding more and more to Asakusa's "Ultimate World."
  • Animal Mecha: The flying mech conceived by Asakusa and Mizusaki resembles that of a dragonfly.
  • Animation Bump: This happens in the anime on multiple occasions, particularly during the fantasy sequences and the short films made by the club. In-Universe, this ends up deconstructed as Mizusaki's attention to detail has prevented the girls' first short film from progressing past its first four cuts after about a month into production, forcing them to come up with ways to cut corners in the limited time they have left.
  • Anonymous Band: The artist the Motion Picture Club outsources to score Shibahama UFO Wars operates under the pseudonym "Part Shouji" and is only seen wearing an elaborate, face-concealing mask. Incidentally, the anime adaptation's ending theme is written and performed by Kami-sama, I Have Noticed, themselves an anonymous, pseudonym-donning, mask-wearing band, though it's unlikely Part Shouji was designed with them in mind.
  • Art Shift:
    • Asakusa's Imagine Spot during the anime's prologue is based on her doodles, rendered in a style much more reminiscent of a child's pencil drawings.
    • Likewise, the Imagine Spot in each episode shifts to watercolor backgrounds and machinery to highlight the fantasy. The flashback to Kanamori's childhood in episode 9 is also done in this way, right down to the people in the scene, which offers an interesting contrast between the conventionally-drawn present-day Kanamori and the watercolor "Minimori."
    • The scenes from Conan of the Lost Island are done in Hayao Miyazaki's style. These were recreated from scratch since the production staff did not have permission to use the actual footage itself.
    • Part of the third episode's fantasy sequence is done up with rough animation drawings as the trio discuss about how their short is going to play out.
    • Finished In-Universe animation is depicted mostly without visible outlines and with greater use of pastel tones, including both the aforementioned Conan of the Lost Island and the Motion Picture Club's own projects, likely to help differentiate these sequences from animation meant to be taking place in the "real" world.
  • Ascended Meme: One of the promotional posters for the live action movie features the main trio in poses reminiscent of their memetically famous "Eazy Breezy" dance poses.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Asakusa and Mizusaki can lose focus pretty easily if Kanamori isn't there to remind them of the bigger picture. At one point, they get distracted by a butterfly and a tanuki in quick succession.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Used during the Public Bathhouse Scene to avoid showing anything too explicit, as fanservice was never a main focus of the manga to begin with. The anime additionally adds in towels to hide the girls' chests for the brief moments in the scene where they're above water.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The town and especially the school where the story takes place have a bizarre, chaotic architecture of mismatched buildings, odd floors, and so on. Just as an example, the school's faculty office is in an empty indoor swimming pool, and the school's clock is where no one can really see it. Asakusa also seems to have been inspired by it, as nearly all of her backgrounds have a similar chaotic feeling.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Throughout the series, various characters can be seen with Apple product pastiches (including iPads and Macbooks), but with the apple logo replaced with a stylized peach.
    • One of the fans that Mizusaki meets on the train wears a "Sipknt" cap.
    • From paying careful attention to the UI for the program Mizusaki uses to animate, one can see that it's a pastiche of Clip Studio Paint, a popular real-world piece of software used for digital art and animation, right down to the timeline layout and cel specification system. The main difference is that the logo, which is only barely visible on account of its small size on Mizusaki's tablet, features a rectangular P with a whitish-gray outline instead of a rounded P in a whitish-gray square.
    • In episode 11, the various games in Mr. Fujimoto's collection include a Captain Ersatz version of Pac-Man, a game called Rizard Quest, two Usagi Fantasy games (specifically VII and X) and a game called Mughead. He also appears to own "Usagi"-brand versions of the Game Boy, PlayStation Portable, and Sega Nomad.
  • Book Ends: The first idea Asakusa and Mizusaki come up with together is a helicopter designed after a dragonfly; at the very end of the anime adaptation, as the camera pans out to show Asakusa's "Ultimate World", the very same helicopter can be caught hovering among all the other ideas she and Mizusaki worked on over the course of the series.
  • Bowdlerize: The anime's version of the manga's Public Bathhouse Scene adds towels onto Asakusa and Mizusaki for moments when their upper bodies are out of the water (the manga already used Barbie Doll Anatomy, so this just takes that a step further).
  • Brick Joke:
    • During the first episode, Mizusaki gets strawberry milk spilled onto her uniform and has to get it washed at the laundromat. After the girls stay longer than expected and have to rush home, they miss the machine saying that the load is done and needs to be removed.
    • In Episode 2, the girls consider using the video of Asakusa falling to get money for their club but are advised against it. They forget about it until the end of the episode when someone does end up sending money for the video— and the aforementioned video airs on TV, much to Asakusa's and her family's shock and horror.
    • At the start of Episode 3, Asakusa suggests a Vanity Plate for the Motion Picture Club— or "Studio Eizouken" as she and Mizusaki call it— that consists of the kanji for "movie" (映) walking across the screen, which Kanamori shoots down on the grounds of it not being their main priority at the moment. At the end of Episode 11, it's shown that Asakusa finally managed to get her way, with the walking kanji opening Shibahama UFO Wars.
  • Brown Bag Mask: Asakusa and Mizusaki end up wearing these during their convention appearances, to give the impression that Mizusaki is trying to hide her identity. Kanamori believes that this impression will actually make people more interested in the final product, by adding that sense of mystery and intrigue. The fronts of said paper bags end up growing soggy as they talk with them, by the way.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: A recurring element throughout the series is that a good number of characters are fairly eccentric yet are capable of incredible things, with Kiddie Kid prodigy animators Asakusa & Mizusaki being the most prominent examples. Heck, one could argue that this series is set in a world filled with bunny-eared lawyers.
  • Club Stub: Doumeki is the sole member of the Sound Effects Club. She ends up having to give part of her storage space to the student council, but Kanamori convinces her to become the Eizouken's audio consultant in exchange for letting her use their club room.
  • The Coconut Effect:
    • A lot of stuff from mecha genre gets examined this way— everyone involved is fully aware how urealistic they are and how troubling the engineering would be, but they are also a staple of a genre to the point you can't have mecha anime without indulging in the cliches and tropes.
    • Kanamori patiently listens to Asakusa's explanations about why there are no visible lasers in their upcoming animated project, only to coldly remind that the movie is going to be watched by in-universe Lowest Common Denominator and thus they have to use visible beams, or the townfolk are going to get confused. Asakusa has then an epiphany how to keep her artistic vision and still make sure everyone in the audience got the point— it simply takes extra effort than using tired conventions.
  • Company Cameo: The head of Science SARU's monkey mascot appears as a Freeze-Frame Bonus in the anime's opening.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: A lot of Eizouken girls' interactions with the Robot Club involve the idea that using a giant humanoid robot for military purposes isn't very practical, since humanoid robots lack the stability, profile, and armor of something like a tank, and any culture that could build giant robots suitable for combat would probably be better off building better tanks. This is part of why they don't see a reason why the robot can't have a more fantastical bent to it (after all, it's already a bit unrealistic). It's also a Berserk Button for the head of the robot club.
  • Creator Cameo: In Episode 10, the file full of voice actor auditions that Mizusaki browses through during production on Shibahama UFO Wars lists various members of the show's production staff, including Science SARU co-founder Eunyoung Choi, as applicants.
  • Dance Party Ending: Asakusa envisions one for Shibahama UFO Wars, only to have to scrap it after discovering that Part Shouji's score for the film is a poor fit for it; the silent animation ultimately becomes a bonus feature on the DVD release, with plans to upload a finished version online in the near future.
  • Dancing Bear: invoked, Kanamori suggests this as a marketing tactic, attracting people to their films less because of their quality and more because they were made by semi-famous amateur model Mizusaki. Mizusaki, naturally, finds this very annoying, though Kanamori says that she just wants to use this to get butts into seats, and once they do watch the films, they'll be hooked.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Each of the four-episode arcs of the anime focuses on a particular member of the trio and their role in the Motion Picture Club. The first third focus on how Kanamori serves as both a guiding and grounding force for the club, making sure they stay on-track and recognize their limits while still giving room for them to express their passion. The second third focus particularly on Mizusaki, her relationship with her friends and family. The last third places focus on Asakusa and the intricacies of her creative mind, both good and bad.
  • Decon-Recon Switch:
    • The show acts as something of a middle ground between the grounded but mostly idealistic tone of Shirobako and the realistic cynicism of Girlish Number, alternating between showing the real-world difficulties with anime production while still showing how, in the right hands, it can be used to create material that is both visually and artistically strong.
    • A notable recurring theme throughout the series is that excessive idealism and excessive cynicism are equally dangerous for production, and the best work can only be done when one is able to perform under a more grounded form of optimism. Asakusa and Mizusaki first find it difficult to get any work done because they get too far ahead of themselves in terms of expectations as a result of their excitement towards finally getting to create anime, and as a result come dangerously close to biting off more than they can chew, leading to Kanamori having to corral them into more realistic footing for their situation as a studio consisting solely of two unpaid animators. However, Kanamori is careful to make sure that she doesn't discuss production too negatively, instead bringing up alternative methods that can allow Asakusa and Mizusaki to express themselves artistically while still allowing them to get their demo reel done on-time. Later, Asakusa's anxieties about her own capabilities lead to her taking an overly negative viewpoint of her work both past and present, and comes close to dropping out of the Motion Picture Club's giant robot film altogether due to her own growing cynicism towards what the final product might look like. Once again, it takes Kanamori to get Asakusa back on her feet, this time by turning her towards a more positive frame of mind; as with before, she doesn't go too far with it, ensuring that Asakusa doesn't fall back into the same model of over-idealism that first impeded the Motion Picture Club, while still rekindling her confidence enough to complete the giant robot anime within a frame of mind that is optimistic yet still realistic. Both of these negative situations are Truth in Television, as many who've worked in media production across different mediums can attest.
    • While it's never addressed directly, there is a lot of in-universe Executive Meddling on behalf of the deeply cynical and greedy Kanamori, but it's very much depicted in a positive light. Rather than being the obtuse exec that doesn't care about anything else than profit and trying to crush the poor artistic souls working on their passion project, she's the voice of reason for the whole group. She keeps the rest of production team focused on their goals, keeps them on-schedule, and rather than just saying "no," points out legitimate practical reasons as to why Asakusa and Mizusaki have to make compromises at the cost of their artistic ambition— with many of these reasons being for the sake of their physical and mental health rather than just for profit. Her cynical approach might make her look like a grump at face value, but in the end she cares about the final result being delivered rather than being trapped in Development Hell by over-ambition and/or underwork. She also takes full care of various things that the artists themselves are unable to attend to (be it due to other commitments or lack of capability), like providing additional materials, tools, advertising, outsourcing, and legal management, often without even mentioning it so as to not distract Asakusa and Mizusaki with things that've already been taken care of. It's very easy to end up with the impression that the reason their animated projects end up finished and screened is because of Kanamori's cold and calculative focus on organisation, rather than occurring in spite of her.
  • Deleted Scene: Happens out of necessity in-universe, with Asakusa scrapping the Dance Party Ending of Shibahama UFO Wars due to Part Shouji's melancholy piano score being a poor match for it and due to the Motion Picture Club not having enough time to commission a more fitting piece in time; the animation for the scene is ultimately included as a bonus feature on the DVD release, with a promise to upload a finished version with a more fitting score online in the near future.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The student council's response to the Motion Picture and Robot Clubs using bottle rockets and megaphones against Culture Festival rules is to have Mizusaki arrested and sic the Security Club on anyone who might be in league with her (read: anyone in a cardboard robot costume).
  • Downer Ending: Shibahama UFO Wars finishes on this note, with the two parallel protagonists raising their hands in surrender as they're taken into custody by the same people they tried to make peace with, and having discovered that even though the two sides know the truth, they still want to fight it out. This is in contrast to the originally intended ending, which would have been on the other end of the spectrum.
  • Energy Weapon: Asakusa and Kanamori get into an argument about this in the ninth episode. Asakusa argues that a laser weapon shooting a visible beam doesn't make sense, because lasers are invisible to the human eye in most conditions, while Kanamori argues that it's hard to depict a weapon that fires invisible shots and most people don't know or care about how lasers work anyway. Asakusa does get her way, but she has to add extra cuts to imply a firing weapon rather than simply drawing a beam by Spent Shells Shower.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Whenever Asakusa's concept arts are on screen, they are full of additional informations, written all around the doodle and explaining further the details. Subtitles tend to cover those, too. And you absolutely need to pause to read it all.
  • Funny Afro: When Asakusa and Kanamori go to the anime club's screening, Asakusa is unlucky enough to sit behind a student with a large afro that blocks her view of the screen.
  • Generic Cuteness: Averted; each character is given a highly distinct design that differs from the more common and oft-criticized trend of Only Six Faces in anime and manga, and oftentimes these designs shoot more for uniqueness than looking overly moe. Asakusa and Kanamori in particular both have very distinct character designs, with Asakusa having a round face and beady eyes in contrast to Kanamori's longer face and semi-permanent bared teeth. This also serves to make the cute looks of Mizusaki, a popular model In-Universe, stand out much more. Even then, Mizusaki's eyebrows are noticeably thicker than the other two girls' despite being more conventionally attractive.
  • Hero of Another Story: The titular club is just one of many at the school they go, who all have their own issues and escapades to deal with on a daily basis just like the club members the story follows.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: During the airing of their short film, the audience is utterly gobsmacked by the final result. The film club, on the other hand, immediately starts grumbling amongst themselves about the clunky editing, missing shadows, and poor color choices— something the committee seemingly takes notice of when approving their budget, as it suggests this wasn't the best they could do.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: Various techniques of "cheapening out" animation and lowering production costs to the bare minimum are discussed while the anime adaptation is made using many of these same techniques when necessary.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The head of the robot club strikes a chord with Asakusa and Mizusaki because they all have outlandish dreams (being a giant robot pilot, space explorer or a superhuman, respectively).
  • Imagine Spot:
    • Asakusa's prone to daydreaming whenever she's inspired by something she's doing, typically marked by a full schematic of the imagined item/scene in the manga or an Art Shift in the anime.
    • In the first episode, when Asakusa and Mizusaki are designing a hypothetical flying machine, the scene eventually shifts to the three main characters actually building the machine and escaping from Mizusaki's handlers in it.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The student council committee are pretty strict, but their points about how the erstwhile film club has damaged school property and participated in disrupting activities are pretty accurate (at least, from their perspective). However, the rumor about the club keeping a wild tanuki as a pet is really just a rumor.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Invoked in-universe; Kanamori doesn't hesitate to use Mizusaki's fame to attract people's attention and get them to watch their work or follow them on Twitter.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Mizusaki apparently attempts this every night before going to bed, to no avail.
  • Kappa: These youkai are apparently one of the local legends in Shibahama, as it's common to see shrines for them around town (possibly owing to the large number of impromptu waterways, many of which used to be old roads). Asakusa later decides to have them be the "invaders" instead of aliens for their Shibahama-centered short film, though in this case they were originally humans who evolved to live underwater rather than youkai. The message of the short film is how the kappa realize they're no different from the humans and vice-versa.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Because Science SARU had support, but not legal permission to use Future Boy Conan in the adaptation, the scenes from Conan of the Lost Island were painstakingly traced frame by frame, recolored, and the music cues and sound effects remade to match the original. Some brief dialogue from the show itself also changes Lana's name to Kana.
  • Limited Animation: Enforced In-Universe when production is unable to move past the first four cuts of the club's short film in Episode 4, with Kanamori threatening to release it either incomplete or as nothing but still images if Mizusaki keeps going at her slow pace. They ultimately compromise with the latter accepting to use alternative methods of animation to get the short finished in time.
  • Loophole Abuse: Kanamori's a master at this.
    • She's the one who convinces Asakusa and Mizusaki to become the Motion Picture Club. It's nominally not an anime club which Mizusaki's family forbade her from joining, but they can still make animations on the down-low since animated movies are still movies.
    • When the secret plans for the club are blown, Kanamori also convinces the staff to allow them to animate. Although there can't be two clubs that do the same thing, the anime club is called the Anime Research Club, and therefore isn't expected to make anime in their studies. The Motion Picture Club, on the other hand, is expected to put a film out, and they can't exactly do that if they're denied the proper supplies for their chosen film medium.
  • Magic Realism:
    • The series utilizes considerable elements of this in its depiction of Asakusa's imagine spots, which feature her, Mizusaki, and Kanamori apparently being physically transported to the worlds she creates before interacting with them as naturally as they do with the real world.
    • Epsiode 5 also has the Robot Club join them in the imagine spot as the two clubs try to design the short's Mini-Mecha together.
    • Episode 7 makes particularly prominent use of this trope, with Asakusa & Mizusaki's play-fighting being depicted as a genuine "energy barrier vs. energy beam" sequence while still maintaining the public bathhouse setting, and Asakusa's water roller coaster fantasy starting with sketched water filling up the restaurant she and her friends are currently eating at, neither of which is treated as particularly outlandish, and later episodes make further and further use of seamlessly integrating Asakusa and Mizusaki's fantasies.
    • The anime adaptation's finale goes all-out with this, depicting Asakusa's "Ultimate World" finally becoming a reality once everyone in Shibahama watches Shibahama UFO Wars: towering buildings sprout from the ground, and Asakusa & Mizusaki's various creations manifest within the real world, with a pan out to the Earth in space showing the planet being surrounded by the human and kappa airships from Shibahama UFO Wars.
  • Mascot's Name Goes Unchanged: Crunchyroll's subtitles for the series refuse to translate "Eizouken" in the title partly for the sake of brand recognition; in regular dialogue, meanwhile, the subtitles alternate between leaving it untranslated and translating it as "Motion Picture Club". Typically "Motion Picture Club" is used when referring to the main trio's organization in the context of school club politics, while "Eizouken" is used in all other contexts. Also borders on Too Long; Didn't Dub.
  • Mini-Mecha: The robot club Mecha (-model) is a bit on a small side for a fictional mecha, with Eizouken girls noting that any Kaiju of its size class will be no bigger than a giraffe. This is what ends up prompting the decision to make the mecha and kaiju in the giant robot film considerably bigger.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The story begins with Asakusa discovering her passion for animation after watching an expy of Future Boy Conan as a young child, before flashing forward to her first day in high school and carrying on from there.
  • Modern Stasis: The story takes place in 2051, but aside from some slightly more advanced technology and more racial diversity among Japan's population, it doesn't seem much different from the modern day.
  • Nipple and Dimed: While the Public Bathhouse Scene in the manga features brief moments where the girls' chests are uncovered and in full view, they're drawn without visible nipples, partly due to the scene not being made with fanservice in mind. The anime's version of the scene, meanwhile, takes things a step further and gives them towels to wear whenever they surface above collarbone level.
  • Once an Episode: Asakusa's fantasy sequences happen about once every chapter, often with Mizusaki playing along.
  • Only in It for the Money: Kanamori flatout tells Asakusa and Mizusaki that she's supporting their dream purely because an anime made by a fashion model would be exactly the kind of thing that'd be easy to monetize.
  • Potty Emergency: Mizusaki finds herself needing to take a bathroom break while she and Asakusa are stuck on the club's rooftop after the ladder falls over. By the time Kanamori brings the ladder back upright, it's revealed that they already took care of it since they slid down a pipe to get to the bathroom.
  • Public Bathhouse Scene: The main trio use the public bathouse in Episode 7 to wash up after getting wet from the rain. Here, the main trio discuss their personal lives and play around in the water. Notably, unlike many female-centric takes on this trope, the appearance of it in this episode isn't played for fanservice, in part due to the manga and anime having a deliberately gender-neutral feel to it.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Used by Asakusa in-universe as a justification for defying typical conventions in her works, pointing out that the way certain tropes would actually work in the real world are incredibly different from how they're depicted in fiction. This gets her into an argument with Kanamori at one point when Asakusa points out that a laser-based weapon wouldn't actually generate a visible beam, with Kanamori arguing in favor of the Rule of Perception and The Coconut Effect by pointing out that laypeople wouldn't understand the real-world properties of lasers and would be able to more clearly understand that a shot was fired if it appears in the form of a visible projectile. Asakusa eventually chooses to compromise by using a variety of cuts to better indicate that something was fired without needing to show an unrealistically visible beam.
  • Real Robot Genre: The episode with the robot club focuses heavily on its conventions and contradictions, with the head of the club being at the same time disdainful of the idea that the robot would have flashy weapons or New Powers as the Plot Demands but also shunning the idea that a military robot is Cool, but Inefficient. Eventually, the film club resolves that just because robots are inherently unrealistic doesn't mean that you can't find ways to sell them to the audience as real.
  • Rule of Cool: Discussed in Episode 5, where the main trio discusses how often this trope tends to play into many common tropes regarding mecha designs, before ultimately choosing to strip the design of their mecha back a bit to make it easier to animate. Of note is that this trope is outright mentioned by name in Crunchyroll's subs.
  • Sailor Fuku: The girls' uniform at Shibahama is an odd mix between a sailor fuku and the western blazer uniform common in Japanese high schools; it consists of a pleated skirt, blazer and necktie, but the shirt underneath has a sailor collar rather than being a typical dress shirt. During the flashback to Asakusa and Kanamori's meeting at the start of middle school, they're seen wearing more conventional white sailor fuku.
  • School Forced Us Together: How Asakusa and Kanamori first met. Both of them lacked a partner for a two-person activity in middle school gym class, and the coach, against the Shrinking Violet Asakusa's wishes, paired her and the stonefaced, thuggish Kanamori together. Despite the rough meeting, the two eventually managed to form an Odd Friendship, with Asakusa describing Kanamori as her "comrade" in a conversation with Mizusaki.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot:
    • Invoked in the production of the trio's first short film. The plot is entirely a result of their circumstances and the limits of their skills, plus some brainstorming. The story of a girl fighting a tank came about because Kanamori wanted something basic and flashy, Asakusa is good at drawing machinery and working on concepts, and Mizusaki wanted to draw a human figure. Also, the girl's facemask resulted from Asakusa's suggestion that it'd be easier to animate, but it would still allow Mizusaki to show off her work with expressions in closeup (while adding the implication that the girl is on an alien planet, which explains why she appears to be superhuman).
    • The creation of Asakusa's story for Shibahama UFO Wars comes about thanks to this trope, being the result of her collecting wildly disparate ideas influenced by her exploration of Shibahama in order to create a cohesive story.
    • The eventual tone and themes of UFO Wars weren't what was initially intended; it was supposed to be a fairly upbeat adventure with a happy ending, but due to the final soundtrack being way off, they had to rework the story into something more somber and ambiguous.
  • Seriously Scruffy: In Episode 12, Asakusa, Mizusaki, and Doumeki all visibly end up like this after working all evening to fix the anime before a midnight deadline.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: When Asakusa begins dumping information about the anime she and Kanamori are watching at the club screening, she talks about actual composition aspects (such as scale, weight, contrast, etc) one would utilize and pay attention to when professionally making an animation.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Occurs in-universe and is played for drama at the end of episode 11, when the Motion Picture Club learns that the musician they outsourced Shibahama UFO Wars' soundtrack to turned in a single somber piano track that plays throughout the entire film, despite it A: sounding nothing like the original demo, and B: being an extreme stylistic mismatch for what's meant to be an action film with an upbeat ending. The final production ends up being edited into a much more ambiguous affair to fit the soundtrack.
  • Sick Episode: Episode 11 features a scene where Kanamori is left bedridden from an illness (presumably due to jumping into one of the town's waterways to rescue Asakusa after the latter fell in by accident), leaving her out of touch with the school's treatment of the Motion Picture Club for a short time (while keeping her further in-touch with the rest of Shibahama's support of the club) and leading Asakusa and Mizusaki to visit her in order to continue communicating effectively about Shibahama UFO Wars. Kanamori eventually decides to get out of bed and rejoin Asakusa and Mizusaki in person after noticing how much time's being lost as a result of staying at home.
  • Start My Own: Since Asakusa and Mizusaki want to make anime but Mizusaki isn't allowed to join the anime club, Kanamori comes up with a way to get around that by having all three of them form the Motion Picture Club.
  • Streisand Effect: Invoked in-universe during the finale, when Kanamori has Asakusa and Mizusaki don paper bags to give the impression that Mizusaki is trying to dissociate herself from Shibahama UFO Wars and consequently increase public interest in the production.
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • During the Imagine Spots, the sound effects used are composed primarily of sounds someone could make with their own vocal cords, with the objective of enhancing the idea that they occur in the characters' own headspace. As the scenes become ever more real and immersive for the characters, the amateurish sounds effects get progressively traded with more professionally produced sounds.
    • The fourth episode initially features a lot of amateurish pans, zooms, and lighting effects as the Motion Picture Club attempt to hide the cut costs for their hurried production.
    • The background art made by the Art Club and Asakusa are visibly low quality, with obvious paint splotches and some pixelization in areas.
    • The final part of Shibahama UFO Wars was made last-minute, and though the most important parts look quite nice, there's a few shots that were clearly made last-minute, and another few shots that had to be recycled to fill time (they play the "airship flies in the way of another ship's guns" footage several times). The overall coherency of the shots also noticeably drops, showing the way it was stitched together.
  • Suckiness Is Painful: The girls annoy Doumeki into becoming their sound consultant by showing how limited their own audio techniques are. Asakusa demonstrates the same walking sound effects no matter what ground texture she's on or footwear she uses, and Doumeki gives in to their offer, not being able to listen any more such unprofessional sound work.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Despite Asakusa and Mizusaki being downright prodigies when it comes to animation, it's also shown that the workload of the job weighs on them a lot, with Mizusaki walking away with hand blisters and Asakusa having to pull all-nighters. It's the main reason Kanamori is a cog in the group, as she's good at making sure that Asakusa and Mizusaki don't kill themselves from overwork and overambition. Additionally, Mizusaki's own insistence on richly-detailed character animation and Asakusa's refusal to outsource (owing to her difficulties with interacting with and leading people who aren't already her friends) continuously bog down the pace at which the Motion Picture Club is able to work, to the point where their first two projects both end up having to be completed at the last possible minute.
    • Episode 4 recasts the various gags surrounding the trio's clubhouse in a somewhat more startling light, demonstrating that, while amusing, stuff like letting wild animals roam the building and smashing through a wall are signs of institutional dysfunction in a professional setting, and this information— combined with the emergence of rumors that exaggerate some of it— would've gotten the Motion Picture Club shut down if it weren't for Kanamori and Asakusa's persistence in screening Hold That Machete Tight!
    • Episode 6 provides us with some good examples of when people take their clubs too far; the Sound Club's soundproof room renders them unable to follow orders to vacate, complaints directed at the Drone Photography club involve "invasion of privacy," the Exterior Club spending excessively on renovations, and so on.
    • Episode 6 also shows why exactly using royalty-free Stock Sound Effects is typically avoided in professional productions; the amount of sound recordings that are both in the public domain and easily accessible is surprisingly low compared to the stuff that's under some form of copyright, and as a result, the Motion Picture Club's attempts to use royalty-free sounds in their giant robot film makes the whole thing sound jarringly cartoonish.
    • Episodes 6 and 7 in tandem paint a surprisingly realistic picture of the pros and cons of outsourcing work to other departments; while it saves Asakusa work on background design and speeds up production by splitting up the labor among multiple parties, the Art Club doesn't necessarily know everything that Asakusa has planned out in her head, and takes certain liberties that conflicts with her own vision (such as drawing a landscape scene during sunset instead of sunrise and adding in a car intended to be drawn as a cel) thanks to them misinterpreting her instructions. Furthermore, while the female artist in the Art Club is willing to accept Asakusa's criticism and make corrections, the male artist is much more resistant, angrily accusing Asakusa of being indecisive in her directions and nearly walking out on the project altogether. As a result of this, Asakusa is chewed out by Kanamori by both being too vague with her direction and for redoing the backgrounds herself while juggling directorial, animation, paint and editing duties at the same time. Only to then snap at Mizusaki when she chimes in, noting that she's just as much to blame given her extreme attention to detail being the other main reason why the girls are behind schedule.
    • Episodes 11 also shows the risks of outsourcing music scoring as well; while it definitely saved time for the Motion Picture Club by allowing them to focus on the animation and the rest of the sound design for Shibahama UFO Wars, the musician they contracted turned out to be much more finicky than expected, swapping out their original demo recordings with a single, unfitting piano piece, the Soundtrack Dissonance of which isn't discovered until right before the Motion Picture Club is expected to start manufacturing DVDs for the film. This ultimately forces the club to work themselves to the bone over the course of a single night to recut and retool the film around the piano piece, as they don't have enough time to commission a more fitting replacement soundtrack; by the time they're finished, they're close to passing out on the spot from sleep deprivation.
  • Tanks for Nothing: The robot club president fears that Eizouken will avert this, and depict a tank winning against their Mecha.
  • Teen Genius:
    • Not in the traditional intellectual way, but both Asakusa and Mizusaki are prodigies when it comes to animation, albeit in different fields. Asakusa can draw incredibly intricate machines and backgrounds, while Mizusaki has a strong eye for character design and key poses. Notably, unlike most examples of this trope, flashbacks show that both Asakusa and Mizusaki reached their level of talent through realistically high amounts of practice and passion rather than being inherently prodigious.
    • Kanamori also counts thanks to her knowledge of marketing and business management. Kanamori's effective marketing skills allow the Eizouken to receive sufficient funds and publicity to strengthen their club's survival and she also manages relationships with other clubs and groups to support Eizoueken's anime projects. And that's not even including her willingness to use underhanded tactics to ensure the compliance of other non-compliant clubs.
  • True Companions: The main trio's dynamic becomes this over the course of the story, with the three girls growing increasingly close to the extent where they're practically family; by the end of Episode 8, Asakusa outright calls Kanamori and Mizusaki her "comrades".
  • Vanity Plate: Asakusa suggests one for the Motion Picture Club featuring the kanji for "movie" (映) walking across the screen. While Kanamori initially objects on the grounds of it diverting attention away from the club's first project, Asakusa does eventually get her way by the time the animation for their third film is finished.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Doumeki throws up twice offscreen upon hearing the horrible amateurish sound effects the Film Club uses for their anime.
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Asakusa and Kanamori are already friends, and the plot is kicked off when they first encounter Mizusaki trying to flee from her bodyguards.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: After a stressful meeting with the art club almost pushes Asakusa to cancel their robot anime, Kanamori is forced to step in to assure her that everyone involved is looking to her for direction because they think she is fully qualified and capable for the job. This also happens to be the same moment where Kanamori casually tells Asakusa that she genuinely thinks she's amazing at art.
  • You Didn't Ask: When Kanamori reveals that she had already gotten approval for their overnight stay despite Asakusa's fears that they're trespassing, Asakusa yells that she could've just told them that, to which this is Kanamori's response.



Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!

A young Kanamori's deadpan composure visibly breaks.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / NotSoStoic

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