Gensou Mangekyou: Memories of Phantasm
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Gensou Mangekyou: The Memories of Phantasm is a 15-minute fan-produced special as part of the fan-based Touhou Project, released at Comiket in August 2011 on DVD. Winter will not go away, and the local shrine maiden is in a funk. It is up to Marisa the Magician to figure out why are return Spring to the land!
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
ep. tl;dr review: Fan-produced all-girl fantasy story; Inconsequential but an interesting exercise in amateur animation.
Spoiler-free Episode Summary: The land remains under a blanket of snow, with winter stubbornly holding on even though the cherry blossoms should already be emerging. However, the local shrine maiden, Reimu, lethargically remains pent up in her room, unwilling to do anything. Enter the spunky Marisa the Magician, who confidently heads off to discover the reason behind winter’s cold grasp. But as she fights the demon behind the mystery, she may have bitten off more than she can chew.
My Impressions: The Touhou Project has been around for fifteen years, even though I’ve never heard of it before; although that’s not a surprise, since it has largely been limited to the fan-produced Japanese gaming community and dojinshi circles. And now, there is an anime story produced based on the characters. Granted, it is only fifteen minutes long, and it was produced without voice acting, but it’s a start.
As far as the quality of the animation and the character designs go, it’s essentially on par with what you would expect from any professional-level animation house. The storyboarding and the flow of the story from scene the scene, however, is noticeably lacking. And the story itself is less than stellar.
Set in a fantasy world populated by all sorts of cute girls (I don’t recall seeing a male character), it’s basically a battle between the “good girls” and “bad girls” in a magical fight…sort of what you would expect from a simple console game, no surprise given its origins. I suppose the very specific target audience this is aimed it would be familiar with what’s going on, and who exactly all the characters are, but for me it was just a pretty routine anime fantasy battle.
In the end, it’s really nothing special when compared against all the other anime out there. But as a 100% fan-produced project, it’s a decent start. Of course, it’s built on a pile of cliches, as one might expect from something borne out of the otaku-steeped dojin culture, so don’t expect something innovative or interesting. But it could turn into something more, if someone with a captivating story and the ability to put it to paper decides to give it a go. There are fan-dubbed (in Japanese) and subbed (in English) versions now available as well.
The verdict: – Thumbs-down for this particular story, but I’d be interested in seeing other projects.
- Opening sequence on Youtube.
- Info resources: (No My Anime List entry), (No Animenewsnetwork entry), AniDB, and (No Wikipedia entry).
- If you like this, you might also like: Koihime Musou maybe, or Galaxy Angel.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “First, the animation is really good. Everything looks nice and clean, the special effects are well-done. The only thing that strikes me as a bit ‘off’ is the coloration, it seems a bit ‘muted’ if that makes any sense. It’s only a character thing, and the backgrounds are flat-out amazing…Finally, the music is just wonderful. The entire soundtrack is a lot of high-quality remixes and I would buy it in a heartbeat. I think this may be the closest we get to a ‘real’ Touhou anime.” – The Grass Feels Like Pants
- That’s all I could easily find through Google. Not much for the blog fan reactions, at least in English.
ROUND ONE RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round One: Busou Shinki: Moon Angel, Blood-C, Mawaru Penguindrum, Kamisama Dolls, No. 6, Dantalian no Shoka, Uta no Prince-sama, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Kamisama no Memochou, Nurarihyon no Mago Season 2, Natsume Yuujinchou Season 3, Usagi Drop
Thumbs-down for Round One: Double J, Morita-san wa Mukuchi, Mayo Chiki, Nyanpire the Animation, Carnival Phantasm, Copihan, Yuruyuri, The Idolmaster, Sacred Seven, Manyuu Hikenchou, Blade, Higurashi no Naku Koko no Kira, Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi, Twin Angel Twinkle Paradise, Baby Princess 3D: Paradise Love, Rou Kyuu Bu, The World God Only Knows OVA, Sorette Dakara Ne!, Gensou Mangekyou: Memories of Phantasm
Coming up next: Astarotte no Omocha EX, R-15, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Season 2, Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai OVA, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes OVA