Asakusa wants to join the Anime Club at school because she aspires to create it in her future. She drags along her friend, Kanamori, who’s singularly minded on making things profitable. At their first meeting, they triumphantly rescue Mizusaki from her body guards, and the three discover their hidden talents would compliment each other perfectly: Asakusa draws insanely detailed worlds, Mizusaki loves creating characters, and Kanamori has a producer’s attention to detail and scheduling. The three form their own club, Eizouken - a group for Moving Image Studies. They piece together a “studio” in a dilapidated building, scrounge together some tools, and create their first pitch for the Student Council in hopes of having an actual club budget.
This is a very different manga than most. It definitely highlights the creative process and how immersive it can become - several times, one or all three girls will become “transported” into a fantasy world as they talk about facets of a vehicle or a landscape, but they were really in the clubhouse the whole time. This otherworldly explorations can be a little jarring at first because they come without explanation that they are make-believing. It is refreshing, though, to see a manga with a cast of female characters who are not sexualized, and none of them currently are involved in any sort of romantic entanglement. They are just three individuals with a loose friendship and the common goal of creating Anime.
The art in this manga is a lot more unpolished than most, except for the scenes of imagination we get, which are actually so full of detail that you can spend some major time looking at the scenes and the provided schematics of vehicles. The people are not super carefully drawn, however. It is more reminiscent of something like Recess than the highly stylized world of manga. The characters are drawn fairly comically though and they’re very expressive for being pretty simplistic.
Dark Horse rates this for ages 12 and up. Aside from some of the more technical things in the vehicle specs, there isn't anything in this volume that would make it inappropriate or difficult for younger readers.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 5-12
Publisher: Dark Horse
Publication Date: November 17, 2020
ISBN: 9781506718972 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: Elementary School, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Friendship, School Life, Dark Horse
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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