Comic Party: Special
Special, an interesting word. It can mean something that starts from the original and expands upwards. Bringing new money and longer duration to make something stronger and deeper than the original. Then again... it could mean special as in something cheap and nasty thrown in to get some more money out of you.
And here's the glossary entry for doujinshi in case you don't know the term. The original anime was all about a young guy getting involved in the doujinshi field.
None. Nothing happens. Although the girls do wear bikinis while nothing happens.
Oh, alright. For some reason the main characters in the comic party world have all gathered together (which doesn't make much sense) to host a doujinshi market at a hot spa resort (which makes less sense). While there, and making use of the baths (cue. obligatory spa scenes), they are thrown into a strange adventure. An adventure which makes it clear that the history of earth, and even the universe itself, has been based around the power of doujinshi. But surely such a story is too... stupid... to be real?
Dumb. Offensively so. And completely unnecessary. I'm very glad that comic party was popular enough, or contained sufficient cute girls, that a special was thought worth while but this is a pretty sad piece of work. Not really strong enough to be interesting in its own right and demeaning, rather than extending, the original series. Not too surprising though, the story is told in 3 micro-episodes of about 5 minutes long. End result being almost as much time spent re-watching the opening and credits from the original comic party as is getting new story.
It manages to actually push into the realm of awfulness with two design decisions. The first is the 50 billionth re-use of the obligatory anime naked spa scene. That really adds to the depth and intelligence of the show. Of course, when they move directly from the hot springs into the adventure it turns out that the girls were all actually wearing bathing suits since I guess being nude for the whole show would be a bit obvious. None the less it means that the entire female cast spends the entire show running around in skimpy bathing suits which is vital to the dramatic tension.... I don't think.
But was comic party just about pretty girls? Well, you sort of wish it was when you see how they weave doujinshi into the story. In the original it was related to the creative urge of one of the characters, a model of the real world doujinshi culture, and the interesting people involved. Here it is just really stupid. Wired into some epic plot that re-writes history, religion and the nature of humanity as being fundamentally determined by doujinshi. I'm almost certain this plot was cooked up in an hour or two while under the influence of alcohol.
It makes some token efforts to be clever. There's some references to itself, some cultural jokes (actually the "vinyl book" joke was quite good) and some references to To Heart. In other words it doesn't take itself too seriously, making it clear the whole thing is a bit of a joke, and one designed for the fans. It's just that there's far too much `stupid' and too little that is clever or funny to actually make it worth watching. Let alone actually paying money for it. And the characters, which were the strong point of the series, cannot really shine in such a short time and a stupid plot, although Taishi makes a spirited attempt and there are isolated flashes of character.
The animation itself is nothing special. The character design is decent enough but the actual animation is a little bit sloppy and lose. It often moves a bit poorly, lacks detail, or looks a little bit odd. Although part of this is that the characters have a distinct tendency to be `semi-super-deformed' when at the extreme ends of their characters. The coloring also tends to be a touch splotchy and minimal at times. The voices are good, doubtless the same people from the main series, but with so many people, so little time and so weak a plot there's not much they can do. I didn't notice any new music of interest.
So far there are no reviews of this titlette from my regular sources.