This last week has come and gone and with it the shifting view on the most popular anime this season. Every week gives each anime another chance to claim the spotlight and leave an impression on viewers and after a slow start this season, each anime has built to the episodes they hope will leave behind a lasting impression.
This week had a couple of series that I thought were memorable with Somali and the Forest Spirit introducing the second human character and bringing some tense drama with it and Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! delving into the creative mindsets of various individuals.
This past week’s episode of Eizouken presented a perfectly constructed situation of what it means to be your own worst enemy as a creator. Episode 6 showed the difficulties Asakusa faced as she continued to fine-tune her illustrations to make her content loved by everyone. She starts to over-analyze everything and eventually go off the rockers to scrap everything and go with a logical design that breaks the entire premise of what they were originally hired to create. This sporadic thought process is masterfully built up as she continues to face criticism no matter what she creates that she eventually reaches the point where she will do whatever it takes to make her work loved by everyone.
If you are a creator yourself then you will recognize the dilemma, it is an impossible task. Nothing will ever be loved by everyone and there will always be someone that has a problem with it but as a creator you are your worst critic and so we see her go off the rails and truly believe that this new idea will be the utopia of creation. But it took her friends around her to get her back on track and show her the reality that she is seeking the impossible.
What makes this episode so memorable is that it serves as a calling to other creators that their work will never be perfect and that it is ok. The only thing that truly matters is if you are happy with your own work and to never seek validation for your work from others. It’s something that always seems to apparent and like common knowledge but when you pour your heart and passion into something only for someone to not like it, those lines can easily be blurred.
In the episode, we are also introduced to a new supporting character named Doumeki who is the only member of the audio club that Eizouken brings on board through a mutual agreement. For their anime, they need sound effects and currently have none at their disposal so they enlist in Doumeki’s help and a vast library of effects. When they show Doumeki the effects they did have on hand, she begged for mercy and went to a trash can to throw up. A humorous way to showcase just how serious creative minds take their work.
Overall, the character interactions and the the methods the show uses the showcase the creative mindset and journey will make this episode one of the most iconic this series has to offer.
The other show this week that took the spotlight was Somali and the Forest Spirit. There is only so much the series can do without following the same formula and visiting new towns, building upon the world and have an optimistic and wholesome vibe to it. The magnificent thing this series does aside from the breathtaking visuals and world is recognizing its weaknesses before they become apparent and hold the story back by mixing things up. Spicing up the recipe and adding a flair of drama, episode 5 introduced another human character, Haitora, into the mix with his harpy companion, Uzoi.
The two are traveling in search of a cure for Haitora who is dying slowly of a disease when his harpy companion, comes across Somali and her father. Uzoi is able to figure that Somali is a human through her scent and decides to travel with them across the desert with her ulterior motives hidden until they reach a cave to stay the night. It is revealed that Uzoi is deeply in love with her human companion and wants nothing more than to save him and believe that the cure can only come from Somali’s blood.
The wholesomeness of the series takes a back seat and lets the dark undertone rise to the surface for the first time and gives us a taste of what the rest of the series may hold. What makes this plotline so memorable is how rooted it is in everything that the series has built up to. Humans are nearly extinct and there is a greater issue as to why Somali and Haitora must have their identities concealed and because of this, finding a cure isn’t exactly feasible so when Somali enters the picture, Uzoi decides to take advantage of it. Her plan follows a logical thought process and act of desperation since she holds no ill intent towards Somali but refuses to lose Haitora.
The episode ends on a cliff hanger with with the subtle change in tone over the course of the episode and the dark undertones rising to the spotlight, episode 5 will hopefully lead to something bigger later this week. The series shows promise that the bigger picture will eventually become clear in the weeks to come.