It’s the beginning of August. The ten webcomics featured in this month’s roundup celebrate various relationships, and stories, with girl’s love themes and characters manifesting those themes. Webcomics featured are mainly from WebToon*.
Do It Yourself!! (Dū Itto Yuaserufu!!) is an original slice-of-life and DIY anime. The series is directed by Kazuhiro Yoneda and written by Kazuyuki Fudeyasu. It is produced by Pine Jam, a seven-year-old Japanese studio known for series such as Kageki Shojo!! and Just Because! In addition, Koyubita Beru’s online manga adaptation began at the same time as the anime. This review will have spoilers.
Reprinted from Pop Culture Maniacs and Wayback Machine. This was the fifteenth article I wrote for Pop Culture Maniacs. This post was originally published on December 11, 2022.
The show’s plot is simple and sweet: Serufu Yua (voiced by Konomi Inagaki) is an easygoing first-year student at Gatagata Girls’ High School who joins the school’s DIY club after the club’s leader fixes her bike after she crashes. Her name, in Japanese order, is a homonym meaning “yourself”, as in “do it yourself”.
After joining the DIY club, Serufu makes new friends. This includes a third-year named Rei Yasaku (voiced by Ayane Sakura), also known as Kurei, who is the club leader, and a shy first-year named Takumi Hikage (voiced by Azumi Waki).
Serufu is later joined by an overly friendly, and energetic, girl from Southeast Asia named Kokoro Kōki / Shii (voiced by Karin Takahashi). Shii does not go to the same school, but is an external member of the club. These friends, and others, attempt different methods to gain more club members, so the club can remain at the school.
Humor is central to Do It Yourself!!. For one, Serufu is very accident-prone, causing her to always wear bandages on her face and arms. As a result, she often spends time in the nurse’s office, for which she has perfect attendance. Her laid-back mother (voiced by Kikuko Inoue) even hides power tools in the house so that Serufu doesn’t hurt herself. Adding to the humor are occasional scenes when Serufu, and her mother. eat pork while her pet pig, Meat, sits and shutters at the thought they are eating animal meat like him.
The series excels at being low-pressure and without drama, for the most part, in contrast to currently airing series like I’m the Villainness and I’m Taming the Final Boss and Bibliophile Princess, which are filled with dramatic storylines from beginning to end. At the same time, Do It Yourself!! is optimistic and uplifting.
The anime’s characters are more than simple caricatures. For instance, Yua’s friend, Miku Suride (voiced by Kana Ichinose), is given the nickname of “Purin” by Serufu since is tsundere about her true feelings. She often gets worked up, especially when it comes to Serufu. There’s also her housemate, Juliet Queen Elizabeth VIII (voiced by Nichika Ōmori), also known as Jobko. Although she is a prodigy from the U.S., due to a language mix-up, so she ends up in the wrong school. She gives Miku the name “Pudding”.
The series is not a simple slice-of-life story like Azumanga Daioh or Non Non Biyori. It doesn’t shy away from harsh realities. For example, after everything seems lost at the end of the ninth episode, when materials the DIY club has been collecting for their treehouse are gone, the show does not take a dark turn. Instead, it remains upbeat. The club members are successful in gathering necessary excess materials along the way. They also learn that their club advisor, and school nurse, Haruko Hoketsu (voiced by Yumi Kakazu), was once a club member!
Do It Yourself!! touches on the “clash” between technology and hand-made materials. Purin goes to Yuyu Girls’ Vocational High School, a high-tech school, while the other characters attend Gatagata, which is next door. Instead of saying one method, or one school, is better than another, the show gives the lesson that DIY ethics can mesh with techno-optimism and technology itself. Jobko is a perfect example of this, as is Purin, to an extent, combining their skills together for benefit of others.
Similar to currently airing anime, such as Encouragement of Climb: Next Summit, Management of a Novice Alchemist, and Bocchi the Rock!, the show contains yuri subtext. This is most evident between Serufu and Purin, with the latter having feelings for the former. Additionally, Kurei and Takumi bond over a similar interest in a fictional manga named Sunflower Girls.
The show’s writing pulls you into the story and makes you want to watch more. This is unsurprising since the show’s writer, Kazuyuki Fudeyasu, is known for his work on Black Clover and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. He has also been a screenwriter on well-known series like Encouragement of Climb, In the Land of Leadale, Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina, and Is the Order a Rabbit?.
Ryōhei Sataka writes the music for Do It Yourself!!. He is known for work on the iDOLM@STER series, Classroom of the Elite, D4DJ, and Boarding School Juliet. The music of the series is simple, easily fitting with the themes and story.
The writing, story, and music are enhanced by the show’s voice talent. For instance, Ichinose depicted protagonists in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, Carole & Tuesday, and If My Favorite Pop Idol Made It to the Budokan, I Would Die, while Sakura voiced characters in Wandering Son, Love Live! School Idol Project, and Spy x Family.
The show’s other voice actors are known for work on series such as The Aquatope on White Sand, My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, Tokyo Mew Mew, and Komi Can’t Communicate. Their talents are put to good use in the series.
Do It Yourself!! is a perfect embodiment of the DIY ethic. Although it is sometimes grating to see the characters use power tools and other tools without any safety gear, that might throw off the “cute girls building things with their hands” vibe that the show is going for.
The series falls short only by dragging out the tsundere nature of Purin toward Serufu too long. If the series is only be 12 episodes long, it would be unfortunate if Purin spends more time with the DIY club in the opening credits than in the actual episodes. However, it is a distinct possibility that the series will continue into another season.
If another season of Do It Yourself!! was developed, it could focus on the strengthened friendship, or even romance, if that plot was chosen, between Purin and Serufu. New characters would likely get introduced, as the DIY club would expand after the “secret” treehouse is built.
Serufu reminds me little of Izumi-kun in the romcom anime Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie or even Milo Murphy in the sci-fi action comedy, Milo Murphy’s Law. The difference is that Serufu has no backpack like Milo for any eventualities, nor does she have a sweet girlfriend, such as Shikimori-san, with excellent reflexes who rescues her from dangerous situations.
The focus on friendship, a do-it-yourself attitude, and peaceful family lives is a nice breather from the realism depicted elsewhere. There are no physically or psychologically abusive parents, similar to those in the short-lived sports drama series, Stars Align, nor any like Mother Gothel in the Tangled films and animated series. While such depictions are truthful as there are real-life relationships that some have with their parents or guardians similar to those depictions, it can be disheartening and depressing to see those depictions, at times.
Do It Yourself!! stands out as a strong slice-of-life series during a fall anime season filled with romance and drama. It has a different tone than other anime. It is more carefree, sometimes even happy-go-lucky. For that reason, I recommend the series wholeheartedly.
Do It Yourself!! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.