Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is probably the best anime of the Winter season, so let’s review what we can of its manga and learn a bit more about how a certain mangaka came to live out the dreams of his lively characters.
Who is the creator of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!
Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! mangaka is Sumito Ōwara, who, at the time of writing, seems quite young for a mangaka at just 26 years old. To put this into perspective, Ōwara would’ve been just 17 years old when (Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! anime director) Masaaki Yuasa was directing The Tatami Galaxy, and yet, just 10 years later, he’s now working with Yuasa. Ōwara isn’t just helping to oversee the anime adaption of his manga either, he’s credited with the ending’s key animation! This whole project must’ve been like a dream come true for him, not least of all because, if his writing is anything to go by, Ōwara loves anime and has always wanted to be an animator.
How is the art?
Sumito Ōwara’s art has a lively and loose feel (one may even say, easy breezy!). He isn’t concerned with drawing beautiful, delicate girls, rather, he’s emphasizing their frantic energy, burgeoning talent and playful sense of humour. Every page is packed with little touches. Right now there’s only five chapters of the manga (unofficially) translated into English, but I still needed a few hours to read them because there’s so much going on, be it Midori’s imagination crafting a spaceship out of nowhere or Sayaka’s determination to keep the other two grounded, there’s an enjoyable push and pull between the girls’ dreams and the harsh reality of making anime.
Is the anime faithful to the manga?
The anime isn’t 100% faithful, but then, what is? Nothing from the manga is notably missing in the anime, it’s more that Yuasa and co. are embellishing Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! by adding new scenes that only make it better. For example, in the first episode, we witness the moment that Midori fell in love with anime: sat on her sofa, eating junk food and watching Future Boy Conan (directed by a young Hayao Miyazaki, no less.) That was an anime original scene, and it’s a great example of how Yuasa’s sensibilities match Ōwara’s own. Indeed, before being offered the job of directing this anime, Masaaki Yuasa knew about it by reading what people were saying about him online (doing what is otherwise known as an “ego search”). Apparently a fan had suggested that Yuasa would be a good fit for an anime version of Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! and off he went. The rest is history.