This week we have another anime series that (sort of) celebrates the anime fan, much like the animated segments in Otaku No Video did. However, this series has significantly more romantic comedy elements, and is also considerably more focused on one particular field – the act of making a fan/small press comic or doujinshi.
Cast, Crew and Other Info
Kouichi Toochika as Taishi Kuhonbutsu
Masami Kikuchi as Kazuki Sendou
Riko Sayama as Mizuki Takase
Kaoru Morota as Yuu Inagawa
Shizuka Ishikawa as Eimi Oba
Sumie Baba as Chisa Tsukamoto
Mie Sonozaki as Aya Hasebe
Akiko Muta as Reiko Haga
Miho Yamada as Minami Makimura
Directed by Norihiko Sudo
Written by Hiroshi Yamaguchi
Animated by Oriental Light and Magic
Available from Amazon.com
Kazuki Sendou is an ordinary high school student who is good at art, but isn’t particularly interested in doing art for a career. He’s also in a semi-steady relationship with one of his classmates, Mizuki Takase. However, things get shaken up when one of his friends from grade school (and fellow classmate) Taishi, persuades him to write, draw, and publish a small print comic, or doujinshi (doujin for short). Taishi, along with another doujin writer, Yuu Inagawa (who just moved to the area from Osaka) take Kazuki under his wing and teaches him about making and publishing doujin, while Kazuki tries to juggle his art with his schoolwork and his relationship with Mizuki, who doesn’t totally approve of doujinshi in general, because of its association with Otaku.
The High Points
I like that for all intents and purposes, there are no love triangles. The only romantic tension is directly between Kanzuki & Mizuki, over Mizuki wanting Kanzuki to spend more time with her, while Kanzuki tries to find the time to work on his doujin. Considering that this is an adaptation of an eroge (porn game) with all the porn removed, they could have still kept some love triangle aspects. I’m particularly pleased with how they resolved things at the end.
Also, to be honest, the time they spent on how doujin is made (along with some of the stuff behind the Exhibitions & Spot Sales) were pretty interesting to me. I’m not going to say I know there everything there is to know about doujin now. However, my appetite is whetted.
The Low Points
Now, one of the Japanese cultural eccentricities I’ve picked up, not just from anime but from various classes I’ve taken, is that bluntness, frankness, and directness is considered rude and in poor taste. Now, normally when this lack of directness comes up in an romantic comedy anime, it usually comes up with regards to characters admitting their feelings to each other, which is enough of a challenge in the West that I usually cut them some slack. In Comic Party on the other hand, this cultural bit comes up after Kanzuki’s second manga does horribly because he (basically) tries to pander, and he gives up Dojin. Because directness, bluntness, and frankness is generally bad, what we don’t get is a motivational speech persuading Kanzuki to get back on the horse. What we do get is a 4 episode arc (in a 13 episode show) where Taishi, Yuu, and others try to manipulate Kanzuki into picking up the pen again.
While this show is based on an eroge, there is little to no nudity of any kind, nor violence, nor profanity.
Originality – It’s an adaptation, which docks it a point, but the subject matter is certainly different from your standard romantic comedy. 4 out of 6.
Animation – The Animation quality is pretty good – and while there isn’t anything mind blowing, this isn’t the kind of show that necessarily needs mind-blowing animation. 4 out of 6.
Story – Aside from the “How Kanzuki Got His Groove Back” arc, the show is pretty solid, with everything flowing smoothly. However, the offending arc takes up almost a 3rd of the series, which rather substantial for a bad arc. 3 out of 6.
Voice Acting – The characters are pretty good, and I particularly thought that Kaoru Morota’s (Yuu’s VA) Kansai dialect was pretty good – noticed it right away (though I’ve seen a lot of anime, so I’ve heard a bunch of it). 4 out of 6.
Emotional Response – I was certainly rooting for Kanzuki and Mizuki, as well as rooting for Kanzuki to succeed. 5 out of 6.
Production – The music is good (though I probably won’t be getting the OP), and the rest of the score and sound effects are fine as well. They re-use a few themes, but they’re re-used consistently, and aren’t overused. 4 out of 6.
Overall – This is definitely a good anime, and I’m certainly going to watch the sequel series – Comic Party Revolution. 5 out of 6.
In total, Comic Party gets 29 out of 42.