Eizouken is an anime that shot out of the gates in its first episode, breezing by easily with that feeling of unlimited creativity and imagination. Kanamori’s retorts bite at the overly passionate duo of Asakusa and Mizusaki, and bring the space rangers back down to earth. That was true in episode one, and it’s true of episode seven; little has changed. The hook was defined early and hasn’t evolved or developed – if anything, it’s degraded, because none of this is a system shock anymore.
We’re beginning to really bite our teeth into the mecha arc, whereby the team are asked by a mecha fan club to animate for them. Giving the show some much needed direction, the team have had to spend their resources wisely and blackmail the sole member of the sound design club so that they can put all the pieces together.
This all feels like a handwave. Why shouldn’t it? We came to see Asakusa nerd-out, explaining the nitty-gritty of what you see when a rocket takes off, and Mizusaki try to figure out all the motion and put that into words.
But, I’ll take a step back and ask: are any of these people friends?
There is some strong chemistry, as previously alluded to. Some of this characterisation is personal too, such as Mizusaki intrigue in human animation relating specifically to her disabled grandmother – who she is really fond of. It’s almost sweet, but comes across too shallowly, because she’s not doing it for her gran, but because she is nerding out. Her passion means that none of this really means anything personally.
Much like her, Kanamori is as tight as ever. There’s a brief moment she is swayed towards Mizusaki’s love of animation and smacks a tsundere-like acceptance towards her. But, again, it’s not a character development, or a natural progression. She’s still the same handful of words that defined her in episode one.
Speaking more broadly, Eizouken takes an episode out to do a bath episode this week, but it didn’t really commit to the new setting. It let the girls play around with water for a couple of minutes, but it comes across far too egotistically – as if they are barely cognisant of each other. The charm is running out; this is an anime treading water. It desperately needs a kick up the butt, because its appeal is drying up, wilting.