On fan-made anime: excellence in mediocrity
I have lost the will to read for the past month. I guess that my body has remained lethargic: studying has been especially difficult these past few weeks. After coming out of the disease, I really didn’t and don’t want to do much. I don’t even have the fortitude or patience to draft my posts properly: all you’ve basically seen the past month were primarily knee-jerk reflexes and essays of reaction. I realized I haven’t even finished a novel in twenty days, and that’s a very big thing for me. I’m trying to change this; hopefully, this post will be better.
Even before the release of the controversial and oft-discussed Touhou OVA produced by Maikaze, there was an animated rendition of a Touhou Sound Holic episode (I don’t know what this means, but I assume it’s akin to audio dramas of anime series). It was done by fans: even the comment of the torrent was a warning: it specified that the episode was for fans only. Normally, warnings like those are enough for me to stay away from such releases. Because I was feeling good that time, however, I hazarded to download the ‘episode’ and promised to watch it.
I didn’t expect much from the fan-produced OVA. Still, after ten minutes I was already yawning in boredom. Of course, having promised myself that I would finish the animation, no matter how bad it would have been, I kept on watching. Hoshi no Kioku (the title of the OVA, or perhaps more accurately, OAD), did not possess the technical prowess of the Maikaze OVA. I doubt that the seiyuu in the episode were professional. Its animation, if it could be called as such, was primarily composed of iridescent colors swirling and spiralling around in circles. Neither the art (clearly fan-made) or the story was strong in particular. Yet I forced myself to finish it.
I’m glad I did.
After seeing the entirety of the episode, I could only be astounded at the supreme amount of effort that a few avid Touhou fans poured into the completion of their project. I am pretty sure it didn’t have the aid of professional voice-acting (the bulk of the cast’s voices were done by about three people) or assistance of anime studios. Compared to some series commissioned by anime studios, however, this was marginally better. Despite being solely done by amateurs, I believe it was better animated than Gun-doh Musashi. For all its penury, Musashi still had more budget than the animated sound episode. I’m not saying that the Hoshi no Kioku OAD was excellent; I am saying, however, that while it didn’t possess much budget or material, it compensated with sheer effort and audacity. No matter how unpleasant the OAD seemed, the thought of some people passionate enough to try and surmount the odds despite everything made the viewing worthwhile. At the very least, it’s a lot more than some anime studios and some anime series where even the passion necessary for the creation of good anime is evidently gone. This alone merited the price of admission, which was nothing more than 50 minutes of my time. For all its banality and ugliness, Hoshi no Kioku was a good production.