Welcome to the world of doujinshi.
Comic Party is yet another anime based on a bishoujo game. This anime centers on a guy named Kazuki and his quest to be a doujinshi artist. Doujinshi is basically fan comics, where you do your own comics, be it original or based on a popular manga or anime series. The anime presents a basic introduction of the subject matter in hand. Doujinshi authors draw their works, go to printing services to print multiple copies, and then sell them by going to various doujinshi or anime-related conventions and events. As expected from a bishoujo title, there are lots of girls with extremely varying attitudes, traits, and hair color. But unlike most bishoujo game to anime conversions, Comic Party doesn’t focus on the girls alone. There is actually a story about the male doujinshi artist and his exploits. And this is not harem either, so those looking for romantic comedies and stuff like that won’t find it here, although a love triangle (of sorts) is actually established near the end.
The anime sports decent art and animation. It also has a soundtrack just right enough for the scenes. Technically this is a fairly average anime, although I was quite disappointed considering the animation studio (Aquaplus) also did To Heart, which is more visually appealing in my opinion. But the story makes it appealing nonetheless. While To Heart presented the episodic approach, focusing on a girl per episode, Comic Party more or less did the same, but included a story continuity. The girls are quite interesting, even one of them doesn’t like doujinshi and otakudom the male lead has. This adds flavor to the story and makes it more dynamic and funny.
Because of my inherent love for spoofs and spinoffs, Comic Party appeals to me in a lot of ways. It references a lot of anime, manga, and game related stuff, some of which I wouldn’t understand because of my limited knowledge of this fandom. Mostly, the anime features To Heart spoofs, including cameos from the anime, and even doujinshi based on To Heart (talk about referencing a reference). You also see cosplay here, and so many references were based on that, including Steel Angel Kurumi and Wedding Peach cosplay. I even saw a Happy Lesson poster in one of the episodes. It took me second looks just to realize some of them though. For example, there were references from Shizuku and White Album, games which were also made by Leaf. Also, some of the dialogue of Taishi (Kazuki’s annoying male friend, a staple in many bishoujo games) includes references from Gundam, among others, which I don’t know too much. In any case, the little things really surprise me and give me a chuckle everytime.
Comic Party is perfect for a bit lighthearted take on otaku stuff like doujinshi and cosplay. It is much more recommended because it has a sequel named Comic Party Revolution, which improves on the original Comic Party anime in many ways. Watch this first though, so that the experience of the sequel makes the series very exciting to watch as a whole.