Monday, September 2, 2002

Comic Party

Genre: Comedy (Parody)
Parental Guidance Recommended
2001 Aquaplus, OLM, KSS. Norihiko Sudo (Series Director)

Comic Party DVDs
Comic Party Art Books & Manga
Comic Party Original Soundtrack
Comic Party Video Games
Comic Party Apparel
Everything Comic Party

Skysenshi's Description:
Kazuki Sendo had always loved drawing and painting with his best friend Mizuki Takase. But when classmate Taishi, who calls them "brother" and "sister" (in English), pulls them into a doujinshi convention, Kazuki's outlook began to change. Soon he finds himself passionately drawing manga and cramming to get into conventions, the biggest of which is the much-awaited Summer Comic Party. As Kazuki meets new friends who help him familiarize the dos and don'ts of doujinshi, he starts to drift away from Mizuki and his regular way of living. Thus begins the struggle of a talented artist.

Omoshiroi. >>> by skysenshi

At first glance, Comic Party would seem like a serialized remake of Otaku no Video. In some sense it is, seeing as Comic Party also paints a rather hilarious yet accurate picture of how life as an animanga otaku practically is. Like Otaku no Video, Comic Party's protagonist gets introduced into anime/manga/ doujin fandom by a friend. The road to addiction starts there.

Remember how Kintaro (Golden Boy) would say: "Hm. This is soooooooo educational!" Well, I could see his round eyes now, widening in excitement at the thought of watching this 13-episode series. For a 21st century beginner in the world of anime, manga, and most especially in doujinshi, where various other talented artists pay homage to their favorite mangaka , Comic Party is a learning experience. As the protagonist, Kazuki Sendo, gets free tutorial off his friends Taishi and Yuu, the viewers also gets to add new fandom vocabs into their mental dictionary. Moreover, you get a sneak peek at how doujin artists (or even popular mangaka) start out and climb their way to the top. As with any other profession, the process is never easy, and our hero finds out that there are so many things that needed sacrificing in order to satisfy his dream. He meets new friends, takes his current friends for granted, lives a happy life.lives a nightmare. The entire story has actually been summarized at the very beginning of the series, when Kazuki has a symbolic nightmare: his middle school friend Mizuki is nowhere to be found and everyone around him is completely unrecognizable. The dream foreshadows the breath of things to come. In the end, it's all just in the mind and our hero eventually finds his happy-ever-after. The key here is that everything is presented in a light and witty way, supported by delightful artwork and a generally cozy atmosphere. Add a whole bunch of wacky doujin fans of different dispositions and you've got yourself a winning formula for comedy.

If you're going to get this title, watch closely and see how far gone as an otaku you are. Are you the determined Kazuki? The realistic Mizuki? The obsessive fanboy Taishi? The popular yet shallow (and brain dead) doujin artist Eimi, who probably can't tell the difference between the words "belch" and "barf"? Or are you just out to wreak havoc in any animanga community you end up in, just like those two annoying "extras" that appear in Comic Party from time to time? Whatever kind of otaku you are, rest assured you'll find yourself relating to at least one character in this show.

I, for one, have learned so many valuable lessons from Comic Party. First is to never take for granted your friends, especially the ones you've had for as long as you can remember because the best of them will always pull you up when your dreams come crashing. Second, there is a great difference between doing your hobby for money and doing it for fun. Third, being popular or commercially in-demand does not equal being of substance; that many popular figures actually just combine other people's ideas, put them crudely together, and palm these off as theirs. Fourth, substance only comes from an artist with natural (innate) ability as opposed to somebody who thinks s/he can become creative by reading various materials alone. Fifth, study your vocabulary to prevent yourself from haphazardly using terms you are not accustomed to. Sixth, there is something quite remarkable about balancing your life while chasing after your life dream. I dare say, these newly discovered, yet deeply ingrained, principles (which I realized after observing Eimi) are enough to make Comic Party one of the most unforgettable titles in my collection.

One last note: Comic Party is actually based on a bishoujo game released sometime in 1999. The anime version was developed by the same team who did To Heart.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 7; Characters 9; Sounds 7

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