One show I don’t think I’ve talked about in this blog much is Eizouken.
Let’s just get this explanation out of the way first (it’s a question that’s been around all season, so I really want to put it to rest) – eizouken (映像研) is short for eizou kenkyuu doukoukai (映像研究同好会), or the “video research association [of like-minded people]”. Obviously no one is going to call it that the entire time, hence “video research club”. On the same note, Kanamori (金森) means something to the effect of “gold forest” or “money forest”, so making her name “Kanamoney” is quite redundant (but still charming).
Sidebar: If TV Tropes is to be believed, “Kanamoney” is actually a subs-only thing and her nickname is “Kanamori-chan” in Japanese.
Now, most of what makes Eizouken so great is actually non-textual, which is why I haven’t really known how to tackle it from day 1. Sure, the very thorough notes of Midori Asakusa and the lengths the subbers will go to translate them all is fine and all, but it’s the wonder that makes the craft we love (and criticise) that makes Eizouken truly what it is. Mizusaki and Asakusa play off each other in a way that feels earnest and they constantly push each other to new heights with Kanamori reining them in.
Furthermore, when the eizouken move to making mech anime, we all get a throwdown (and simultaneously a love letter) to the genre…Scott feels especially called out there. I mean, so-called “real” robots apparently can’t exist precisely because they’re made to look cool, so while they’re fun to write and fantasise about, ironing out the mechanics of said mechs is a pain in the butt.
Sidebar 2: I admit what I write about can be a bit strange sometimes because when I fall in love with something (my own stories included), I fall really hard, but I’m still really partial to how the part of this story with the mech in it came out after all these years. If you want to skip the start of the story (because I admit it is weird), the relevant part is about halfway down the page where it mentions the earthquake and you can read until the end of the next chapter.
Interestingly, the show also gives us some insight into the recording process for sounds, not just the voices. Normally, you’d only see the seiyuu bit because that’s what people find the most intriguing and aspire towards, because then fans can make a tangible mark on the art form they love without drawing themselves to death (which probably isn’t helped by series like Girlish Number and Seiyuu’s Life), but the truth of the matter is that there’s more than one way to contribute to an anime.
Considering the current circumstances are causing borders to close, the look of an international Japan like the one in this work is a bit of a far off dream though…then again, if you want to put it through that filter, “keeping your hands off Eizouken” gets a whole new meaning…
I ended up running my mouth in this post, because I had a feature image and a title for a while but no content. Hopefully, the post doesn’t read like it was written in pieces and then stitched together.
So, how’s your experience with Eizouken? I know it’s already over for some people at this point, which is why I wanted this post out ASAP.