|Review: Comic Party Revoltion|
I’m going to make one thing abundantly clear: I’ve never been a big fan of comedy anime. As I sit here writing this, I’m having trouble thinking of even five anime titles that I’ve found to be funny (sorry Air TV, unintentional humor doesn‘t count). Most of the visual gags that anime is known for just don’t do it for me. One anime that did make me laugh, however, was Comic Party.
Comic Party is based on a porn game of all things, but director Norihiko Sudo did something crazy with it. That is, he took out all the arbitrary sex and romance. What we’re left with is…wait for it…A STORY. After getting dragged to Comiket by his friend Taishi, Kazuki Sendo is persuaded (or more accurately, manipulated) into creating his own doujin. Sendo’s best friend, Mizuki, is not happy about this because she hates otaku with a fiery passion. It may not be the deepest storyline but it made me laugh while teaching me something new at the same time. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of it sequel, Comic Party Revolution.
It’s hard to say why Comic Party Revolution exists. It was originally released in 2003 as a two part OVA (later extended to four). My best bet is that it was made to promote the recently re-released version of the game and introduce fans to the new characters they added. I can understand this method. I may not agree with it because it bastardized what the original comic party anime was all about, but making an OVA for the sole purpose of advertising is nothing new, just look at Freedom, which is one big ramen advertisement.
What confuses is that over a year later they decided to make Revolution even longer, this time airing on TV as a 13 episode anime. Because of the tone that the four OVA episodes set, Revolution ends up being somewhat of an oddity. It’s both a sequel and an alternate retelling. It’s possible that they made it with the mentality that the first anime didn’t exist, thus making it a sequel to world in the game instead (much how Halloween: H20 pretends that Halloween 3-6 don’t exist). Whatever the creators intention, the result is a mess.
With the exception of the Japanese voice actors, the staff between the Revolution and its predecessor is all new. This is likely why the tone of the series changed so much. In Comic Party they would occasionally parody anime troupes or classic scenes for popular shows. Ironically in Revolution, they do this so often that they end up becoming what they were making fun of in the first place. The personalities of the characters also change dramatically, the most notable example being Mizuki. As I’ve already mentioned, she hated otaku in Comic Party. She must have gotten over this somehow because, in Revolution, she’s a damn magical girl, complete with her own transformation sequence.
Despite my disagreement with the changes, I can let personality shifts slide based on the fact that it is an alternate retelling. The problem, however, is that they make no effort to reintroduce viewers to…well, anything. In a short OVA, that’s fine because it was made for fans of the game who wanted to see their favorite characters goofing off. Even as a TV show, that can work because they probably aired commercials for the game during broadcast. But guess what? This is America and we never got to play that game. So unless you saw the original Comic Party you will have NO IDEA who these characters are and what they’re doing. Even if you did see the original Comic Party, you’ll realize how crappy Revolution is in comparison. It’s a lose-lose situation.
The differences between the American release of both shows is also drastic. Comic Party was released by Right Stuf. They don’t do a lot releases, but my experience is they always do a great job. Comic Party was no exception. It had a ton of extras and a great dub. In contrast, Revolution was (originally) released by ADV, has no extras and a crappy dub. The worst voice was one of the new characters, Suburu, played by Jenny Larson. I have to give her credit though because the voice she used was just as annoying as the character she was portraying.
Release styles aside, the most puzzling aspect of the show is that not once do you find out what Kazuki’s doujin is actually about. In fact, most of the show has little to nothing to do with doujin in the first place. It’s true that doujin comes up in every episode, but it’s mostly done in passing conversation. The most ridiculous part is when Kazuki gets an offer to have his doujin put in a manga anthology. First of all, his work is incredibly unpopular. It’s not bad per se (at least, I have assume as much because you never get to see it), its just that his sales are very poor. Secondly, HE SAYS NO!
So, are there any redeeming qualities to this show? There are, but there’s only two.
This picture is one of them.
This is the other.
But seriously, beside upside-down delusions of graduer, there are a few enjoyable moments. By far, the best part of the series was the baseball episode (#3). It would be silly to repeat all of the joke so let’s say that a Kenshiro clone gets hit in the face with a baseball because he was so overcome with his onee-chan’s supa kawaii moe helplessness (I know, right).
Actually, every time that guy shows up it’s hilarious, but unfortunately his appearances were few and far between. ThePrince of Tennis (#8) episode and the obligatory hot springs episode (#7) are the other two that stick out as being particularly funny. Does that merit a purchase of this set? No, but you can watch the whole series for free on Funimation’s website. I still question whether these handful of episodes would be funny out of context, but since there’s no exposition in the series anyway it’s not much different from watching them as they were meant to be (which is arguably, not at all). Why Funimation saved this show is beyond me. Nobody watched the good Comic Party, so it stands to reason that even fewer people watched the crappy one.Technically, I wrote this for Anime3000, but you should check out fightbait.com all the same.