Comic Party: Revolution is a twelve-episode series based on the Comic Party PC game by AQUAPLUS. The series, which is a pseudo-sequel to the popular Comic Party, rejoins lead characters Kazuki and Mizuki in their college years. Kazuki, who began the original series as an aspiring comic artist, still draws doujinshi in his free time. However, life has intruded, as college courses a part-time job, and countless adorable girls seem to distract him from his work. While some may argue that it’s not a bad problem to have, Kazuki needs to knuckle down. The annual Comic Party event is approaching fast, and he needs to get his latest work done in time!
Well… kind of. When they get to it. Comic Party: Revolution, unlike its predecessor, doesn’t have a fixed plot. Each episode is self-contained, and focuses on group activities, from summer beach trips to tennis tournaments and cosplay battles. Because that’s what doujinshi’s really about, apparently!
No, really. What the hell is it?
The original Comic Party was an adaptation of the visual novel of the same name. The series revolved around Kazuki, and his growth as an artist in the doujinshi world. The series focused on the friendships that could be made, and the relationships that form in the subculture, as well as the challenges of creating a book from scratch. The was a love letter to the doujinshi subculture, and became best known for its generally playful nature and fun parodies. The series proved popular in Japan, to the point that it spawned numerous spin-offs and countless imitators.
Comic Party: Revolution began its existence as a 2-episode OVA. Because of the short format, it was decided that the series would be best presented as a pair of shorter stories. The OVAs proved to be popular, which caused two episodes to become four, and eventually became the basis for a thirteen-episode anime series, with the four OVAs serving as the first four episodes to the show.
Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. Episodic OVAs have been successfully adapted to full seasons on countless occasions. In planning for Comic Party Revolution, though, the writers forgot about pesky little elements like plot and character development. The idea that Comic Party was about a ragtag group of doujinshi artists is pretty much thrown by the wayside early on. While there is some lip service to this through the series, it’s clear that these elements were added as somewhat of an afterthought.
Instead, the show is comprised of one lackluster misadventure after another. The plots are bland and predictable, and the cast never really grows or changes as the series progresses. Attempts by the cast to endear themselves to the audience ring hollow, and have a strange “fakeness” to them. At the same time, the two-dimensional side characters, which were fun in small doses, become utterly intolerable in Revolution as they’re pushed front-and-center on numerous occasions. At the same time, the acting on both dub and subtitle tracks is generally lackluster. The Japanese actors lack the “punch” of their original performances, and the dub actors generally sound stilted and bored through the entire series.
The experience is topped off by a shocking reduction in production values. The character designs were reduced to boring, flat-painted characters that lack in detail. The animation is inconsistent to a fault, with most dialogue scenes having literally no movement outside of characters’ mouths. Once fan-service enters the picture, though, it becomes abundantly clear where the show’s budget went. This further cements the feeling that Comic Party: Revolution was little more than a cynical cash grab.
And you want me to watch this WHY?
Comic Party: Revolution is the perfect example of how not to make a sequel. The lifeless plots, shallow characters, and bottom-of-the-barrel presentation combine to create a perfect storm of mediocrity. Depending on the crowd, Comic Party: Revolution can inspire two vastly different reactions. Some will react with jeers and snark, others will have people rushing for the door. In either case, the experience will have the entire room squirming.
When and how long should I screen this for?
Like Superior Defender Gundam Force, Comic Party: Revolution works best with a build-up. Start with the first episode of the original Comic Party as a palette cleanser. Then, after the credits hit, hype the crowd. Talk about the demand for a sequel, and how it inspired so many spin-offs and knock-offs. After you’ve sufficiently built the series up, put it on, and screen for about an episode. Watch the crowd reactions, and be ready to change out if the crowd begins to lose interest.