Do It Yourself!! Has Timely Themes of Labor & Automation In the 21st Century

The Do It Yourself! anime series is an amusing edutainment anime premiering during the Fall 2022 anime season, and it also has elements of “cute girls doing cute things” with power tools, but there is much more to this series than initially meets the eye. Do It Yourself!!‘s setting, and the ideological clash between Yua Serufu and her friend Miku, are actually more timely and relevant than ever.

Do It Yourself! takes place in a town where cutting-edge technology means everything, and practically no one cares about traditional arts and crafts. In fact, the accelerating pace of technological advancement may make Yua’s DIY club obsolete, and even the very concept of human labor might become a thing of the past. A fully automated world might be right around the corner in both Yua’s world, and reality.

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The Real-World Relevance Of Automation & Human Labor

Even Do It Yourself! has a charming and innocent tone as a “cute girls doing cute things” anime series, some aspects of this show feel more serious, or even urgent, given the context of today’s world. The tradition versus modernism theme isn’t just a clash of old vs new; it feels more relevant to real-life more than ever before. The tsundere character, Miku, enthusiastically embraces new technology, and favors cutting-edge inventions and AI over everything else, which is why she scorns Yua’s woodworking hobby.

Miku even looks forward to a future where everything is automated with AI, and human labor will become a thing of the past. Yua brushed it off and resumed her own work, but Miku’s words might be more disturbing to viewers.

There is already a growing debate about the role that automation plays in the modern workforce and most major industries. Robots, advanced computer programs and self-driving vehicles are already here, and there are concerns that such things put too many people out of work.

Anything that can be done by hand is already being done by a machine that never asks for a paycheck or paid time off. This, in turn, branches off into topics such as universal basic income to support millions of people who were permanently put out of work, among other topics. Perhaps Miku wants a future where Yua can just goof off all day along and collect her UBI check without having to ever get her hands dirty, literally or otherwise.

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Subjective Views On Technology In Do It Yourself!! & Real Life

The debate on human labor versus automated labor can enter subjective fields as well, mostly art, with debate surrounding whether such heavy use of automation is evil, or at least excessive. Right now, in the real world, this topic is huge, nuanced and still being figured out, so there are no easy and clear-cut answers just yet, objective or subjective. No one can definitely say that it’s bad or an act of evil to have robot arms and AI programs join the workforce as mechanical employees who don’t require pay, but the world of art has different ideas.

Art is a medium in which anyone can make any claim or argument, with art being the most universally recognized form of expression or even protest, which includes TV shows, movies, and anime. Do It Yourself! is hardly preachy with this sentiment, but that appears to be a subtle message throughout the anime, and the characters behave accordingly. Yua, the defender of traditional labor, is a protagonist who is both charming and relatable as a girl who wishes to improve at her hobby, with the power of friendship on her side.

Meanwhile, Yua’s tsundere friend Miku is antagonistic and unsympathetic, acting as pragmatic and cold as the AI-driven machines she loves so much. So far, Miku’s main role is not to provide a meaningful alternative to woodworking, but to serve as an obstacle, an unlikable foil to what the traditionally minded main cast are striving for.

Miku’s character almost acts like an example of what not to do in the face of automation and the larger-scale of manual labor jobs. Do It Yourself! isn’t taking a definitive stance on that topic, but then again, in fiction, heroes tend to gain power the slow, honest way with hard work while villains prefer to seize instant power at a terrible price to get ahead quickly. In subtle ways, that’s what’s happening here in Do It Yourself!. Anyone can make a robot do their job for them, but it takes a true hero to roll up their sleeves and go through pain to get some gain.

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