After discovering and tracking a giant robot, Asakusa finds the Robot Club as well as her own club-mates. She then learns that the Film Club is being contracted to produce a promotional anime featuring the model, which is maintained by the Robot Club and will be center-stage in the school’s culture festival. The trio delve into some utility tunnels beneath the school in search of reference material and inspiration – after overcoming some obstacles, they put their findings to use.
Equipped with a general proposal, they make their way to the Robot Club to refine specifics, only to interrupt a spiel by the leader denouncing them for remarks made during their initial meeting regarding the potential realism of giant robots. Once they get a better feel for where he’s coming from, a sort of understanding is reached and the two groups collaborate on the robot’s design.
Eizouken continues to be a pleasantly quirky little show. This episode seems rather interstitial in the grand scheme, but there are a lot of small moments that stand out, like Mizusaki somehow identifying Kanamori’s imperceptible haircut, or the long shot of the negotiation table right after the awkward meeting of the clubs in the second half.
…which is, of course, revealed to be a normal table only after a moment of mutual pathos.
Watching Asakusa process her surroundings through a lens that has probably seen too much TV continues to be endearing as well, since her responses can vary from leading an escape from an underground leaf dump with borderline mechanical efficiency to having an existential crisis after discovering that her club-mates are working with another club.
One bit that I thought went under-explored was Asakusa’s attempt to combine the Japanese words for turtle (kame) and crab (kani) by taking the first character of one and joining it with the second character of the other, ultimately resulting in… kani (crab). It’s not really translatable, but nobody calls her out on it even after she says it out loud, which makes me conflicted because I do appreciate the subtlety but I was kind of hoping for a raised eyebrow or something. Cut for time, perhaps.
Another bit that goes by pretty quickly is the scroll of the Robot Club robot’s history, all the way back to its original creation by enthusiasts of the old French film The King and the Mockingbird, which is a very real thing (just like the novel The Future Eve and the automaton Gakutensoku – these folks dug deep). Interestingly, the “shift in the group’s focus to giant robots” didn’t seem to hold for the second and third designs, which were pretty obviously modeled after the more human-sized figures from
Lost in Space [Edit: Forbidden Planet] and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, respectively.
While this episode overall may be a small dip in momentum, it provides a look at important aspects of the creative process. I myself hope to one day visit real-world locations used as reference for some of my favorite anime. If I have anything approaching a real complaint, it’s that the show only seems to have a couple of audio tracks for the imagination sequences. While I’m not sure how I feel about them popping up in every episode, they at least continue to be used well.
Keep your hands off of that dial~
(boy, that one’s a bit of a stretch, eh? If I’ve ever actually used a TV with dial controls, I don’t have a clear recollection of it. Does anyone even say “Don’t touch that dial” anymore? That’s gotta date back to the days of radio. How out of touch am I?)