Do It Yourself!! – Episode 1

By: Alex Henderson October 5, 20220 Comments
A group of girls posing in a wooden work shed, as if looking into the camera for a photo. They are holding various tools and pieces of wooden furniture

Crunchyroll, which has long underpaid its employees, has currently declared its intent to recast the English dub of Mob Psycho 100 rather than even consider meeting with SAG-AFTRA representatives to discuss unionizing their dubs—this would help actors gain access to things like health insurance, and help make up for lack of residuals. People continue to pressure Crunchyroll to change their stance on social media; we encourage readers who are able to take part.

What’s it about? Clumsy and airheaded Serufu has just started high school, separated from her childhood best friend Miku for the first time. On the way to class, Serufu’s bike gets into a brawl with a light pole, leaving her without transport… until a mysterious upperclassman on high-tech rollerskates slides over and fixes it for her. Intent on saying thank you, Serufu tracks this stranger down to the shed at the back of the school and finds herself in the DIY club. Could fixing, building, and upcycling be the hobby for Serufu—and the way to rekindle her friendship with Miku?

I’ve been hungering for a hobby show this year, and I’m hoping Do It Yourself!! might do the trick. So far, it’s definitely ticking the boxes: it’s charming, cute, and mixes silly character antics with technical detail to make the world feel grounded while also being cartoony and larger than life.

An orange-haired girl is hammering a nail into a doorframe. She looks curiously over at a second girl, who is waving her hands around her head and spluttering in shock
Unfortunately I can’t make a pun about this show “nailing it” until later in the season!

The characters are fun. Miku has a snooty tsundere schtick that gets irritating real fast, but it’s counterbalanced by Serufu, who is such a dreamy goofus that she’s immune to any of Miku’s posturing. Miku puts her nose in the air and rants about how her high school is so much better than the measly safety school Serufu got into, and no, this grumpiness is totally not because she misses her old friend and is upset they didn’t get to go together!! And Serufu will just respond with a loopy smile and say something like “haha, sure. Did you want a snack?”

It remains to be seen if this dynamic will grate on me with too much exposure, but for now it’s really funny. I certainly hope it doesn’t get old, because it seems like this odd little friendship is the emotional core of the series. Serufu, in her wayward logic, thinks that if she can rebuild the bench they used to sit on together as kids, their relationship will go back to the way it used to be. It’s certainly out-of-the-box thinking, but hey, it might just work—if Serufu’s chronic clumsiness doesn’t get her into some sort of horrible DIY-related injury along the way.

A pile of fallen wood planks and boxes with a pair of legs sticking out from under it. A hand, making a thumbs up gesture, is also poking out the top. Subtitle text reads: Y-yeah. I'm great.
Good thing this girl has the resilience of a Looney Tune, otherwise she’d be seriously at risk

Lucky for Serufu, she has at least two people looking out for her: the diligent school nurse, who I imagine will get to know this poor girl very well over the years; and president and sole member of the DIY club, Yasuka. While we haven’t seen too much of her yet, Yasuka makes a strong first impression. She’s delightfully competent, and it’s fun to see a character with such outwardly “tomboyish” hobbies, skills, and style.

An unexpected boon of cute girl hobby shows is that you sometimes get female characters showing off their interest and expertise in activities that wouldn’t be considered traditionally feminine! I can’t promise that the show will wholly lean into this and engage with the ways it’s potentially playing with gender expectations, but hey, presenting Yasuka matter-of-factly as a master of carpentry and repairs—and presenting her as the cool, admirable senpai—is pretty neat.

A girl and a small, cartoony pig in sunglasses sitting on a roof sipping hot cocoa. Behind them, the sky is painted in bright blue watercolor, dotted with moons and stars

DIY!! is also really fun to look at—there’s something charming about the simple lines and blocky shading of the character designs. It does a lot of work to add to Serufu’s messy, scruffy vibe, and the homey, woodsy feel of Yasuka’s workshop. The watercolor backgrounds are lovely, and while it threw me at first, I find there’s something very fun about the casual integration of what feels like “near future” technology. Delivery drones are always whizzing past, the school bus seems to be a funky monorail, and Miku has a cute household robot (maybe the equivalent of a Google Home or Alexa?) in the shape of a jellyfish.

These high-tech aspects are just set dressing for now, but I wonder if the show will incorporate them into the DIY plotline somehow: something about getting back to basics and learning how to make and repair stuff with your own hands, perhaps. I’m really not sure what DIY!! is going to go for overall, which is fun! I’m willing to open my heart and let this show surprise me.

As of its first episode, Do It Yourself!! has goofy girls, a charming visual style, and a chill vibe—all ingredients for a tasty slice-of-life experience. I’ll be keen to see how the relationship between our two main besties develops, and keen to see Yasaku continue her role as cool, non-traditionally-feminine senpai with a drill. And also maybe find out why Serufu’s family seems to own a dog, a cat, and a… pig? In the middle of the suburbs? Oh well. A question for later, and fantastic mascot potential for now.

About the Author : Alex Henderson

Alex Henderson is a writer and managing editor at Anime Feminist. They completed a doctoral thesis on queer representation in young adult genre fiction in 2023. Their short fiction has been published in anthologies and zines, their scholarly work in journals, and their too-deep thoughts about anime, manga, fantasy novels, and queer geeky stuff on their blog.

Read more articles from Alex Henderson

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