- Titles: DIY!!
- Genre: Cute girls doing cute things, slice of life, vegetarian mixed messaging
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: PINE JAM
Serufu Yua has always been clumsy. So clumsy in fact that it’s even been a constant source of concern for her best friend Miku. But now that they are both in high school, Serufu wants to prove that she can get by without relying so much on her childhood friend and Miku is happy to oblige. Well, she says she’s happy, but I’m not so sure. You would think that a clumsy and distracted girl like Serufu would be the last person who should join a Do It Yourself club. What with all the power tools and potentially dangerous projects, she’s liable to get herself killed. Surprisingly though, her clumsiness doesn’t really affect her much at all. Instead of constant trips to the hospital, Serufu finds herself making a whole group of new friends who she can share construction projects with and enjoy her high school life. Now if she can get enough people to join to save the Do It Yourself club, that would be great. Especially if she can convince Miku so that it can be like old times again!|
I immediately decided to watch Do It Yourself as soon as I saw the key visuals. I don’t know if you’re like me, but I watch DIY content on YouTube all the time. It’s sort of a comfort genre for me Combine that with cute anime girls and a striking art style and I really couldn’t ask for anything more. It reminded me of Simone Giertz. That’s one of the biggest compliments I can give to anything really.
It seems that PINE JAM has been around for a few years but I had personally never seen anything of theirs before. I really like the art style of Do It Yourself!!. The colours as well. Great soft colours that are just so relaxing to look at.
I know that the character designs and therefore the art style was probably dictated by the manga and the pastel hues are just a Cute girl anime staple but what can I say, I thought they combined to create something really nice to look at.
I have written a few times that certain shows in this genre look great but simply don’t stand out and end up being interchangeable with other shows in my mind, as far as the visuals are concerned. Well, that’s not the case here. I thought the sharpness of the character designs made them more memorable and the little visual touches, like Serufu’s pets, that all look like they came out of a children’s show or the constant drones in the sky (I wonder if that’s in the manga cause it was NEVER explained) kept my attention on the images on the screen.
Story & Characters
I find that anime fans tend to be of two minds when it comes to Slice of Life as a genre. Some will think that nothing much happens in these shows and might even accuse them of being an excuse to watch cute anime girls and not much else, therefore finding the genre boring. Others will say that these are shows where nothing really happens but are a great excuse to watch cute anime girls and are therefore great!
I jest. I actually quite like Slice of Life anime. In fact, I have always been a huge fan of stories that can be described as “nothing much happens” both in and outside of anime. I think it takes talent to tell a small tale and that there is beauty in the mundane. However, I understand that the genre will not be for those seeking thrills and twists.
Do It Yourself!! is no exception. It’s a fairly tame little story about a bunch of girls joining the Do It Yourself club at school. The climax of the show is when they build a small treehouse together. As I write this I can’t help but think how is that nothing much? Building a treehouse is super cool. I wish I had built one in school. Heck, I kinda want to build one now but I’m afraid of hurting the trees and myself. I’m not really making much sense here. Let me try again.
Do It Yourself!! does have a plot, one that could be used to make a fairly eventful storyline. However, the show chooses to go a more meandering route without too much connection between episodes, and as such, the end result feels fairly directionless. Yes, there is a specific destination but we’re taking the scenic route and we’ll get there when we get there. And that is part of the charm of the show.
It’s nice that episodes aren’t all hyper-focused on a specific goal. That way, we can just follow along with Serufu and her friends and enjoy the moment rather than think about what comes next. I did feel like the show lacked some follow-through at times. As I mentioned in my synopsis, Serufu is very clumsy. In early episodes they really insist on it, making it a defining part of her character. But then it’s like the show forgets about it for episodes at the time and when it shows up again it’s more of a very minor inconvenience. She comes off as not crafty rather than terminally clumsy like she was presented.
Miku is a tsundere character who is mad because she feels left behind by her friend but she just kind of gets over it. At the very end of the series, we learn that one of the main characters lost their mother and has had a strained relationship with their father ever since. That information is just dropped in the last episodes and we don’t know if that relationship is ever salvaged. A lot of the relationships and themes in Do It Yourself don’t get resolved and I’m not sure if that’s a flaw in the writing or a feature.
Little things like that give me the impression that the series either adapted everything in the manga as it came up and didn’t bother to tie up loose ends if those plotlines are dealt with later on in the manga. Or that the author occasionally lost track of minor b-plots. It’s a small grievance but it did mess with the flow of the series for me.
There are so many things I really liked about Do It Yourself!! and it could have easily become one of my favourites but I also had a slight issue with the characters. You see, there’s nothing really wrong with them but to me, they felt kind of flat. Like nice girls and all but that’s it. Serufu was a bit too much of a space cadet and she didn’t have a proper foil in the show to counter that so she was very difficult to relate to, at least for me. She felt more like a caricature and that clashed with the rest of the cast.
As for the rest, well they are all nice characters with their own personalities but again, I just never felt like I got to know any of them properly. It isn’t as bad as when I watched Miss Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles, but I got the same type of vibe. That the characters had been given a handful of traits each and that’s pretty much it. Basically, they got developed in spurts and I felt like they needed more time to really get fleshed out. For me, this lack of depth in the characterization hindered my enjoyment. I ended up liking the show but I didn’t love it. And I think I would have if it featured slightly stronger characters.
You might like this anime if:
You don’t mind lighter characterizaton and enjoy a nice show about not much.
My favourite character:
Kouki, I liked her style!
Here’s a guide on how to create a perfect cocktail recipe yourself!
- Every time we see drones – what’s up with that?
- Every time the bench comes up – You’ll know it when you see it and take a sip
- Every time anyone is afraid of the club leader – why?
- Every time Meat is traumatized – get a vegetarian snack
- Every time Puring is being tsundere – take a sip
- Every time Purin insists her name is not Purin – take a sip
- Every time anyone gives a thumbs-up – yay!
- Every time Jobko speaks in English – take a sip (not if you’re watching it dubbed – silly!)
- Every time we see Purin’s jellyfish robot – take a sip
- Every time Serufu has a new band-aid – take a sip
- Every time they do the Do It Yourself chant – join in
- Every time Purin has to study – take a sip
- Every time they mention the Sun Girls – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.
9 thoughts on “Do It Yourself !!- Just Short of Great”
Irina, what are your favorite youtube channels?
That’s random. I have pretty eclectic tastes but I often just put YouTube on as background noise. Anyone to suggest?
I don’t have any suggestions, which is why I asked for yours 🙂
You mentioned Simone Giertz in this post, so I checked out a couple videos. I like her mix of curiosity & enthusiasm. You can really feel Simone’s passion for her work. Plus she’s very friendly, and doesn’t take herself too seriously. She seems like a good egg.
Oh, wait! I’d strongly recommend Harry Mack. He blows my mind, with his freestyle rapping. More importantly, he’s such a gem of a human. If you have a little time, I think these nine minutes perfectly encapsulate him:
See, I knew you’d come through! I watch a lot of doll remodeling videos lately…
Gojou from Dress-Up Darling would be proud 🥲
Ooh, this was one of my favourite shows this year.
Stuff not getting resolved is a feature of slice-of-life in general. You don’t do full stories; you excerpt life. Do It Yourself actually has a little more follow through than other shows in the genre.
The main strength of the show, for me, is the mood it sets. I don’t normally notice sound design much, but there was a scene where it started to rain: at first we’re in the self-built hut of the DIY-club, and we have the heavy platter of water drops on wood, then we pan outside and we get the more dispersed wash-down you’d get outside, and finally we get to Miku’s home, which is fairly modern and sound-proofed – and all of that adds perfectly to the mood and characterisation.
I thought the characters actually had pretty well-defined personalities; we don’t get much backstory or drama, but that’s part of the genre. I think my favourite example of character interaction is when they introduce Jobuko, and she clashes with the club president, who’s pretty harsh to her. Jobuko storms off and pres says something like “What is she? A grade schooler?” And glasses girl who’s been sitting there watching quietly, says something like, “Well, age-wise, yes.” It’s not in the writing so much, as in the bodylanguage (though it’s in the writing, too; at the time you’re watching the scene you’ll probably still remember that glasses girl was originally afraid of pres, so there’s some implied devolepment here).
But again, characterisation isn’t the main draw of the show. Most of all, I just love how it looks and sounds. The character designs are great, and the animation style shifts from looser lines around Serufu’s more dreamy daily life to pretty precise around power tools with little effort. I just loved the production here, and the mood it set was something I sorely needed.
I’m sorry, I have to disagree with you. And that’s very rare. I watch a heck of a lot of slice of life and character traits getting forgotten, unexplained motivations and dropped establishing threads have not been the norm in my experience. There is definitely worse than Do it yourself in that regard but I have also seen much better.
The production was really gorgeous. It drew me in right from the first episode.
Hm, I didn’t analyse Do It Yourself, so maybe I’m forgetting stuff? I certainly never had problems with motivations (why people did stuff), not sure if it’s because I didn’t care, or because I read into stoff. I did notice dropped establishing threads, but since I don’t expect things that are that basic (as cat girls backstory, see picture caption) to become relevant during club activity. And I feel to the degree that you make those sort of things into character arcs you move away from slice-of-life to something more plot centered (for example, I don’t consider A Place Further than the Universe slice-of-life anymore, precisely for this reason: too much follow-through; plot takes over). As for character traits being forgotten, yeah, they certainly toned down Serufu. I did notice that. Other than that I didn’t really notice anything.
I feel if they’d expanded on the characters it wouldn’t have been the same show. Maybe I’d have enjoyed it even more? But at the same time, maybe it’d have detracted from the mood? It’s hard to speculate when it all comes down to non-existent execution. I guess I’m simply fine with what I’ve got?