|How a Doujin Is Made.||1 out of 1 user found this review helpful.|
When I was a little kid, one of my favorite books was “How a Book is Made” by Aliki. Since I loved reading, learning about how books were made (albeit a highly simplified depiction of how books are made) was of particular interest to me. I'm still a voracious reader, and to meet my literary appetites I've expanded my diet of reading material to western comic books and Manga. So, when I learned about Comic Party and how it was about making a doujin, that appeared to be something that would scratch the same sort of itch that How A Book Is Made did, with some added romantic comedy elements.
The series follows Kazuki Sendou, a relatively ordinary High School student with artistic talent who is roped into making a doujin by his Hot Blooded otaku friend Taishi Kuhonbutsu, who wants to become, basically, an Otaking. However, Kazuki's girlfriend, Mizuki, doesn't like Doujin because otaku go to comic sales, and she thinks they're icky. This leads to the essential conflict of the show.
The show's plot itself basically covers most of the aspects of what goes into creating, publishing, and selling a doujin, with some elements getting simplified for pacing reasons. While this is going on, Kazuki meets all sorts of interesting people related to making doujin, whether they're other doujin creators, printers, or people involved in organizing spot sales. I'm not going to say that this show taught me everything there is to know about making doujin, but I'd like to say I know the basics now.
However, the show has some pacing problems. For about a third of the show, coming right before the series conclusion, we get a little arc that I'm going to call either “How Kazuki Got His Groove Back” or “How Kazuki Solved His Writers Block.” The as the second description says, the arc basically has Kazuki putting out a bad doujin, losing confidence, and having to get it back. Now, I normally wouldn't mind an arc like this, and they almost execute the arc well. The problem is that it takes to long to pull off. They conclude the storyline, essentially, at the point where I, as a viewer, are coming to the realization that if they take any more time on this arc they won't be able to wrap up the series in time. That's not necessarily a good thing.
Additionally, while the show doesn't particularly set up any sort of love triangle in the show, Kazuki and Mizuki's relationship tension results in making both characters look bad. Kazuki looks bad because he's neglecting Mizuki in favor of working on Doujin. Mizuki also ends up looking bad because she's getting upset over Kazuki's ultimately innocuous hobby – he's not writing pornographic doujin, he's not spending all his time watching anime, nor spending all his budget on figurines. He's being creative, and he's doing it because (it is ultimately revealed) Mizuki has often said that he's a great artist and he should express himself through his art more.
This ultimately leaves us with a decent show, not spectacular, but decent. I enjoyed it, but viewers seeking another romantic comedy series should probably go elsewhere. Someone looking for a more comprehensive take on how doujin is made than Doujin Work should probably give this a shot though.
This is adapted from a review I wrote for Bureau42.