Is Do It Yourself worth watching? – This week in Anime

Is Do It Yourself worth watching?  – This week in Anime

This “girls join an ailing club” anime has largely stayed under the radar, but its stunning animation and humorous character writing are reason enough to remove it from the backlog.

This series continues Crunchyroll

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chat log are not the views of Anime News Network.
Spoiler warning for discussion of the series going forward.


Steve

Chris, I’m sure many of our readers are looking for last minute gift ideas with the holidays approaching. Lucky for them, I’ve got just the thing to help: an anime chock-full of cute, eye-catching crafts you can make at home, with lots of precise and technical animation. Plus a pig with sunglasses. Doesn’t get more festive than that.

Chris

Careful, poor Meat there worries about enough in general without worries about him specifically winding up a Christmas ham.

DIY is a big umbrella, so sure, if you think about it, it includes cooking food you’ve grown yourself.

The devious characters on this show haven’t upgraded to that sort of thing Silver spoon levels yet, so instead we’ll have to settle for them building an adorable miniature Oinky-Doink Cafe for the little stick meat to live in.

And if you find yourself interested in such projects, which make great holiday gifts, this show would love to teach you how…Do it yourself!!.

And look, I get it, in a season full of chainsaw men and mercury witches, a feel-good show about girls who are big on woodworking probably isn’t at the top of anyone’s anime priority list. But I’m here to convince you of that Do it yourself!! is a special little sleeper hit with lots of action, drama and incurably clumsy heroines.

Damn, DIY even seems to have been eclipsed in the cute-girls-doing-cute-things category by this season’s Bocchi the Rock!. Which is certainly not fair; there is plenty of space under the relevant awning for several shows. And even if it wasn’t, the girls in the DIY club could add an extension in an afternoon or two.

It helps with that DIY goes for a different vibe than Bocce. The all-important comfort you mentioned is undoubtedly its defining feel, making it a successor to Relaxed camp more than anything else (hence we give DIY a shout-out when we talked about its movie a couple of weeks ago).

Yes, spiritually speaking, I would pin it the closest Relaxed camp also. And as with that show, the x-factor that pushes DIY beyond the bounds of your average esoteric hobby, anime is, fittingly, craft. Everything comes together in a meticulously cozy package, from character design to writing and animation. The vibes are impeccable. I mean, just look at Serufu’s design. Look into her mouth. It tells you everything you need to know about her personality.

She doesn’t have to tell you, “No thoughts, mind blank”; you can look there and see for yourself!

This story being anime original and true to the show’s core mission was a blessing for FUR PICKLEits production. The freedom they had to create everything about it themselves from scratch, so that the setting and characters like Serufu are perfectly refined, allows these important moods to come through clearly.

It keeps up Relaxed camphis silly humor too. Like, the main character’s full name is Yua Serufu, purely because of the terrible wordplay it allows, which the show continues to please the audience’s ribs time and time again. I respect that so much.

They are very proud of it. The way they should be.


As far as I can tell, all the characters’ names are puns in Japanese, and some are much more strained than others. Convenient, but Serufu gives everyone great nicknames. Like Jobko.

Perfect character. Perfect name. No notes.

They had to give Jobko a distinctive nickname, given that her full name is far too common and typically American.

I must have known at least three girls named this in sixth grade.

Jobko is the most relatable character in the show for me personally. Yes, we may both be Americans with painfully boring names, but more importantly, we both know the acute pain of learning kanji.

This is not a joke, this is life.

The acute relatability of a skilled genius who is also a small, lonely child who cannot read.

Jobko reigns supreme for many reasons, including mixing up some of Serufu’s already impressive nickname shenanigans.

Poor Purin/Pudding will be lucky if even her mother keeps calling her Miku going forward.

Perhaps the extent of her tsundere attitude has propelled humanity’s progress into the technological near future depicted in DIY? We may never find out due to Purin’s terminal inability to admit his feelings. Both for Serufu and the handicrafts.

Purin is the secret sauce that ties the whole show together. She is tsundere in an almost refreshingly classic sense. Like a worn t-shirt that boomerangs back into style. The streak brightens noticeably when she’s around, because it inevitably turns into an opportunity to bang on her stubbornness.


Jobko stone cold murders her here. It is so good.

The poor girl is in a bad way and I don’t think I would have her any other way. Apart from providing chemistry for Serufu, Jobko and others, Purin’s position to the rest of the cast presents a clear goal and motivation for Serufu, from the beginning of the story and continuing throughout it.


The goofy cutie just wanted to connect with a friend she felt she’d drifted away from, and if she had to make more new friends and develop new skills to do it, well, win-win.

Plot twist of the century. Poor Rei went from basking in the mystique of being the coolest, most capable club president to wondering how she ended up leading a crew of true child geniuses.

It’s another part of the show’s style: Everyone has their distinct strengths and weaknesses, but book smarts or natural dexterity shouldn’t dictate how enjoyable it is for someone to hang out with, making everything from trinkets to treehouses.

Rei, for example, is introduced with pipe wrench first. Thus, she leads the club and most of the crafting activities, which benefit from painstakingly precise technical animation and storyboarding.

Every time someone pulls out a power tool, the show turns into a YouTube tutorial, and I mean that in the best possible way.

The contrast between the loose, animation-friendly character designs and the lovingly rendered real tools is a real stylistic highlight.


Also, anything that gives us more pictures of anime girls using power tools is an obvious win. Everyone knows that.

And if they don’t know, Shii can knock some sense into them.

The last time I saw a cat with a club that big was in one Tom and Jerry cartoon.

We don’t joke with the cat.


It’s the future! We have no idea how far the splicing of human and animal DNA has gone in this hypothetical setting! It makes perfect sense for Shii to be an experimental human/cat hybrid.

The near future setting is a cool detail and a conscious one when you consider DIY in the context of rapidly advancing technologies, including the current hot-button issue of AI. This is all the show covers in the text! Like Serufu, it has a surprisingly good head on its shoulders.

I was initially worried that the series might be condescending or dismissive of technology, but that’s not the case. DIY recognizes that it will always be a necessary place for progress in a forward-looking society, but also claims that there is no reason not to integrate it into the pure joy of creation. Jobko is a good example of that balance, using apps to measure rooms and create blueprints, all still in service of doing things like hanging hammocks and building wooden forts.

Yes, there’s a lot of nuance and consideration in the interrogations of how work and technology interact, which isn’t surprising when you consider that one of the people behind the show’s original concept is (probably) Mitsuo Iso. He is not directly credited, but someone named IMAGO is, and given the context of that word in Dennou Coil, along with DIY’ers thematic fascinations, that’s pretty obvious.

I also can’t think of many anime creators outside of Iso who would give a pig both sunglasses and a power drill.

At least the pig is wearing eye protection while using that thing, which is more than I can say for 99% of the tool use in this series.

As DIYI love you and what you do, but when you already acknowledge in several scenes that there are going to be safety issues with some of these activities, maybe you should also introduce the most basic precautions to the audience while otherwise giving these lovingly detailed tutorials?

Serufu is lucky that she lives in a cartoon world where plasters can heal all wounds. The show is a bit too light-hearted to handle anything more serious than that. Although it was fun to find this past week DIY dipping its toes into some honest-to-goodness drama.

One of the heaviest drama bombs of this anime season comes from the healing craft show! I was surprised by how effectively the series commits to that, including ominous flashes of lightning and held shots that suggested Serufus’ smile and optimism were gone.

Serufu goes into a dang fugue state and has to be fished out of it by the love of her life and a couple of wooden planks.

I’m surprised this wasn’t the series finale considering everything going on. Especially with how it ends with Serufu finally proposing to Purin with the classic romantic gesture we all know and love.


The Witch from Mercury’s famous proposals have nothing on the raw passion of your crush asking you to build a treehouse together.

Both DIY and Chainsawman teach us that power tools are the fastest way to a person’s heart. In one way or another.

The show has found its way into my heart, in the milder sense, throughout this season. Her Serufu, er, self, in particular, is a character that has become very near and dear to me. It’s nice to see someone who struggles with some things and is aware of it, but still has friends who are happy to include her, help her, and let her exercise her unique talents.

While you look after her as much as possible.

Of course. DIY is an exemplary and enjoyable iteration of the hobby anime genre, and I will be sad when it finally has to go. It’s one of those shows that feels like a true labor of love, much like the craft made by the girls. And I can’t say that many other anime have made me want to pick up a hammer and nails and apply some elbow grease, so DIY’ers in a completely separate layer.

It’s funny that the show serves as an example of joyful creation for its own sake. It shares seasonal space with many glossy, high-profile adaptations and franchise entries. Doing everything yourself means staying true to yourself, after all.

So please join us as a fellow DIY devotees! Or meet the wrong end of Shii’s crowbar! It’s an easy choice!

I know I wouldn’t take that chance.

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