Do It Yourself!!
by Steve Jones,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Do It Yourself!! ?
Community score: 4.3
Please watch Do It Yourself!! I need this series to be a success, so that someday, field trips to the hardware store will become just as ubiquitous in anime as beach episodes. Who needs bikinis when you've got cute girls ohhing and ahhing over different screw gauges? What use is the surf and the sea when you can walk down an aisle and pick up an oversized mallet? Of course, DIY already had and nailed their beach episode last week, but by my measure, this rain-spurned adventure to Kurei's place showcases the series' offbeat charm even more blatantly.
Appropriately, given the locale, this is also the most tutorial-rich episode yet. We get not one but three different projects explained and animated in painstaking and engrossing detail. It's so indulgent that, even if I weren't completely on board with the anime's vibe already, I'd have to begrudgingly respect its commitment to the bit. But since I both respect and enjoy them, this episode is a treat that's never boring (except when they're literally boring holes into wood).
I especially like that we get a good spread of skills and techniques between the three, towards varied finish lines. Consider, for instance, all the work that goes into making the coffee dripper, which from appearances, seems like it couldn't' be simpler. I think one of the most important values/appeals of DIY, whether you're doing it yourself or watching somebody else, is that it teaches you how to read the story imbued in all manmade objects. Time and labor may be invisible, but once your eye is trained and familiar with those processes, you can see the traces of it. You can tease out the hands of the person who made them in the past, however distant. It makes the world richer.
On the other side of that equation, the seashell necklace is both the least power tool-intensive and most eye-catching craft of the day. It's also the perfect project for Serufu, whom Kurei tactfully separates from the buzzsaws, lest she get an injury that a single bandaid cannot help with. This doesn't mean, however, that the necklaces are a “lesser” project. They get just as much of a step-by-step walkthrough as the dripper and the tablet stand. DIY doesn't make a distinction between the ferocity of whirling blades and the gentle application of a paintbrush. All tools and techniques have their place, and they're all important when it comes to transforming a pile of stuff into a deliberate something.
I also want to note the seashell necklace's resemblance to a project by a popular YouTube DIY-er named Kiwami Japan. If you follow me on Twitter (which is a sentence clause I might not be able to use much longer!), you might recognize my more colloquial name for him: knife guy. Because his schtick is making knives out of weird stuff, like smoke, bismuth, milk, and UV resin, to name a few. I definitely recommend the UV resin one, both because it's an excellent showcase of his off-kilter DIY storytelling, and because he makes a cute beach-themed knife that would go well with one of Serufu's necklaces. Now, I'm guessing that video probably didn't have any influence on the anime, as I'm sure there are tons of similar UV resin projects out there (I did chuckle at Serufu running into the same problem with bubbles). But for me personally, watching Kiwami Japan's videos over the years has primed me to appreciate what DIY is doing now. Shout out to the knife king.
Anyway, back to the episode, its other draw is the cute peek into Kurei's remarkably normal life outside of the toolshed. I'm with Shii; I was expecting to see all kinds of biker gang memorabilia, but rustic handmade shelves for her shoujo manga make for a good aesthetic too. The cookie part is great too, although that's more for how close Serufu and Takumi came to smashing her dreams of becoming a baker. And maybe they should have. I must say, though, that I definitely feel the lack of Purin's presence this week. When she's interacting with the group (mainly Serufu), she adds just the right amount of surliness into the mix. A little friction goes a long way, whether you're sanding down some wood or chipping away at the resolve of your tsundere childhood friend who refuses to admit how much she wants to build a treehouse with you.
Do It Yourself!! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Steve is a regular freelance contributor to ANN and also the guy who called Arataka Reigen an internet sex symbol that one time. Feel free to roast him on Twitter about this. Otherwise, catch him chatting about trash and treasure alike on This Week in Anime.
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