Touhou Anime Huge Success


The highly divisive (unofficial) Touhou Anime Project has given rise to a doujin anime of very great quality indeed, one which looks set for commercial success and continuation, much to the distress of the substantial contingent of detractors the (unofficial) anime has attracted.

Since the reproduction of the (unofficial) Touhou Anime almost certainly being tacitly permitted by Nico and Maikaze (it has been reported innumerable times, and the admins have locked the tags, as they were developing into a microcosm of the war between pro and anti, so clearly they know of it), I will just reproduce the video below (subbed HD version):

Part 1:

Part 2:

Link thanks to Ichiro Ino on the forums.

Original version if the above fare badly:

Player 1

Nico. It should be interesting to see when (if) it gets deleted, as it is unlikely the anime could gain 100,000 views in less than a day any other way.

The seiyuu work is absolutely fantastic, and the animation and overall production quality seem much better than we might expect, certainly being on par with the less admirable sort of commercial anime.

Between the fact that many places are now sold out, and that it is restricted in distribution to doujinshi outlets which rarely service overseas customers, the (unofficial) DVD looks as if it will be difficult to get, but fans are still advised to support it with a purchase if possible, so as to ensure its continuation and hopeful further adaptation.

In fact, many of the anti-anime contingent are livid that the (unofficial) anime, or “parasite anime”, is even being distributed on Nico or similar at all, keenly repeating the commandments laid down by ZUN. Strangely, nobody seems to be taking any notice of them.

Many even suspect that the project has external backing, which would explain much…

The (unofficial) anime ends with a very unambiguous “to be continued”, but the details of this are unclear, leaving fans to await further developments as they are sure to do – they seem fairly confident of an OVA format across several episodes leaving the story in need of continuation as they do.

Further works, whether doujin in nature or commercially produced, are sure to be a pleasure to behold if this level of quality continues or is improved upon.

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    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    14:48 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)


    Avatar of hiroy_raind
    Comment by H_R
    05:46 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    since they're going to make sequel, I surely hoped the making wouldn't take as long as the first episode...

    Avatar of Miroku74
    Comment by Miroku74
    03:28 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I watched it again.

    Despite the negative aspects others mentioned, I still enjoyed it.

    People new to the series won't have their expectations built up over how a seiyuu faithfully portrayed this or that character, or how much better than the Doujinshi it was drawn.... they'll go into it without those preconceived notions and just *enjoy* it. ^^

    Comment by kareal
    05:02 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    all these shit you guys and those guys sprout.

    Advancement? Not following ZUN's words?

    Who the hell cares, it's not some masterpiece or anything, it's just not shit, that's all. All these trolls are using ZUN's words to fuck around and then there's this opposing group that keeps saying it's a big advancement for touhou community....

    the fuck, people, the fuck?
    Did anyone even see how boring it was? It had barely any story; and the plot seems like it came directly from ZUN's scripts which are completely stupid (hey, you have to admit, his stories are pretty stupid). As an anime first episode, it was uninspiring, boring, a visualfest, and quite frankly, fairly unanimated (we had a 45 second fight scene, maybe less). For an anime it was pretty much a failure. Now before anyone flames me, all I'm saying is that it's not worth all the criticism or praise it's getting. Those of you who do watch anime often should know that the first episode is supposed to hook you in, but since touhou is now a mass circle-jerk fest there's no need for that. From my perspective Maikaze is capitalizing on the stupidity of the touhou mass. I wish people would just give up and admit that it's shitty and move on, amazing backgrounds or not.

    Comment by The Emerging One
    08:32 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I see what you're getting at, and I can agree with at least some of what you say. However, it seems as though you're judging this as if it were its own anime. You gotta consider the fact that it's still a doujin product. IMO, this means that you have to look at it and keep in mind that it's not really meant to stand on its own. In that respect, it makes a little sense that it doesn't really "grasp attention" since (I would assume) a majority of the audience already has a background in Touhou and the doujin community that surrounds it.

    If MAKIKAZE was trying to make a product that stood on its own, then I am willing to stand corrected. Otherwise, that's how I feel.

    Comment by Yoneda
    14:59 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    >IMO, this means that you have to look at it and
    >keep in mind that it’s not really meant to stand
    >on its own. In that respect, it makes a little
    >sense that it doesn’t really “grasp attention”
    >since (I would assume) a majority of the
    >audience already has a background in Touhou and
    >the doujin community that surrounds it.

    I guess that is what he meant when calling it a 'circle-jerk' so actually you agree with him (and me) on terms of analysis, although your interpretation seems to be more positive. I also believe that there isn't that much 'background' handed out by the actual games which one should know about before approaching the anime.

    ZUN has proven great aptitude in character design (maybe not so much the actual artwork) but his actual writing which eventually fills these characters with life is IMO not on a level worth an anime adaptation. It may very well be fitting for a shooting game, though. If he were skilled and interested in good writing more than in all the other aspects of game design and development he probably would have used the Touhou Universe for a series of visual novels instead.

    ZUN is definitely not a master of all the trades he practises (the bane of all one-man-projects) but he is at least clever enough to avoid basing his works around his own creative weaknesses, i.e. story-telling and character development. The allure of the Touhou Universe is clearly in its expansiveness, not in its depth.

    And that is probably why Touhou fandom (including the anime) often looks absurd to the spectator. Fans of Touhou, like fans of everything else, tend to act like they were 'insiders' of something the general public is missing. Not bad in itself, but the problem with Touhou IMO is that it offers absolutely no depth in which the 'real fans' could hide from the public, with the actual characters and their connecting background being quite shallow. People look at its huge character roster and jump into believing that the Touhou Universe must be huge and being an 'insider' would be cool. It may have more characters than UC Gundam (did someone count?), but how diverse are fan discussions about each cast when compared? With properly written universes you sure have a lot more to talk about than you have with Touhou. IMO the only meaningful 'insider' discussions you can have about Touhou are those dealing with the actual games, i.e. about the differences in scoring etc between the various franchise entries and about the differences between the various approaches and tactics for playing them (gracing, bomb usage etc).

    And this should get a lot clearer after acknowledging that the anime, since it is largely doujin, is in itself just another fan discussion. No wonder it is lacking story and plot. There's just not much to talk about.

    Comment by kareal
    17:11 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    why the heck are you guys so good at saying stuff

    :| not fair.

    Comment by kareal
    05:11 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    well, I see I'm confusing there so here

    tl;dr it's not amazing or bad, and fuck ZUN and Maikaze, he didn't build the community, and Tokine sucks at animating. Just enjoy it or something, if you want.

    tl;dr TAKEITEASY

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:06 01/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yoneda: thank you.

    kareal: It's just practice. Take it easy ("yukkuri shiteite ne", to use common parlance). At least you can see how this turned out and be less flame-y in future.

    I went and bought a copy, and I'm glad I did. It's really nice. Yes, it's a bit bland, but as was pointed out, the Touhou universe really only shines because the fans create so much of it, like character personalities and whatnot.

    Consider why it seems bland. This is a very high-risk project (finances and reputation, etc), and given the breadth of the fan base it's impossible to please everyone anyway. Best to do something you can be happy with *yourself* first, and something that pleases a significant number of people. Episode 1 was extremely conservative because the risk was high; they had to test the waters to know where they can go.

    Now for something (very) silly, wish I'd posted it in time for the "OMG DOES IT HAS SUBTITLES QUESTION?!?!??" []

    Obligatory U.N. Owen remix:

    Comment by michan
    04:26 01/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It is working for me.
    Well, for a western who know nothing but the name Touhou, I mean. I'm still curious about this Touhou thing.

    Avatar of C27
    Comment by C27
    18:24 01/01/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    First off, go play the games... then explore the community a bit. Zun warned us about people jumping in simply because it's "the new cool thing" without having any desire to learn or understand, and I'm seeing his point.

    Comment by Techno Ted
    12:31 06/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't intend to start a chain of flaming or anything but,

    I found this anime abysmal.
    I have only played a couple of the games and found that I just didn't have the reflexes for them but, I have alot of fan art that I'm quite keen on, so I thought I'd give the anime a try.

    Now I'm the kind of person that is obsessed with anime as a whole and as such I very rarely drop or dismiss any anime.
    Upon starting up this touhou anime, first thing that hit me was the character design, It was terrible, the eye's looked awfull and too close together and I just couldn't get used to them, the design in general was just very off-putting.
    At this point I did something I've only ever done with one other anime (Naruto =.=), I skipped through it, which may null my opinion on it but it was just mind numbingly boring to watch.

    I just think it's riding on the fame of the touhou franchise and it's cult followers are just cutting their noses off to spite their faces when they call it a great anime.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:51 07/01/2009 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    > I have only played a couple of the games and
    > found that I just didn’t have the reflexes for
    > them but, I have alot of fan art that I’m quite
    > keen on, so I thought I’d give the anime a try.

    Fair enough, but it's worth knowing it goes a lot further than just the games.

    > Upon starting up this touhou anime, first thing
    > that hit me was the character design, It was
    > terrible, the eye’s looked awfull and too close
    > together and I just couldn’t get used to them,
    > the design in general was just very off-putting.

    Ahaha~ welcome to Touhou. ZUN isn't exactly known for his great art; indeed, it's infamously pretty poor. The *designs* have some flair though.

    > I skipped through it, which may null my opinion
    > on it but it was just mind numbingly boring to
    > watch.

    It's very much a "service piece" (ie. for the fans). It *will* be pretty boring if you're not a hardcore fan.

    > I just think it’s riding on the fame of the
    > touhou franchise and it’s cult followers are
    > just cutting their noses off to spite their
    > faces when they call it a great anime.

    Correct! It was made because Touhou is popular right now. You can decide their exact motives for yourself (love or profit), but let it be known that doujin works rarely turn a profit, nor is it an expectation.

    Your application of "cutting off one's nose to spite one's face" appears to be incorrect; you could say that if the hardcore devotees were *denouncing* it, but even then you'd be on shaky ground.

    I suspect you'll find the hardcore fans are saying they like it, and everyone else is less generous. That's exactly to be expected.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:48 10/07/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I love the games and i love the anime. i hope they continue with it. I only hope the go big with it insted of only 20-30 episodes unless they are epic beyond belife.

    Comment by kodama
    18:33 12/08/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Where can I get this? I'd love to see it in decent res.

    Avatar of Soth
    Comment by Soth
    11:02 02/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I got a copy while I was in Comiket.
    Since I'm not a hardcore Touhou follower, I'm weighing up if I keep the copy to myself or if I try to sell it since it's still unopened...

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:08 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You just casually queued for (as a guess) an hour or so and happenned to pick up a copy, but you're not a hardcore fan? That in itself is hardcore, sir.

    P.S. I'd say keep it, do you really need/want the money that bad? (coming from an "avid" Touhou fan)

    Avatar of Soth
    Comment by Soth
    11:12 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now that you say it, I guess I'm more fan of Touhou than I want to admit.
    And after a line of over an hour and half, I think now that is better to keep it for myself.
    Thanks, Anonymous.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:16 03/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Guard it well, or it may disappear in the middle of the night...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:13 21/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Here is link to a working video:
    (Full Quality HD with subtitles)

    Avatar of alex1_phang3
    Comment by alex1_phang3
    02:17 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    ZUN is gonna be so pissed . ..

    Btw, this is good stuff . . . as long as they dont spoil it, its more than welcomed to continue it

    Comment by Rakuen
    19:31 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I stand corrected... somehow.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:09 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Are you sure it's 'fansubbed' Artefact? I read that the DVD came with English subs?

    Comment by iapfah
    20:12 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    It did, Artefact is just a MORON who doesn't know what he's talking about.

    Just kidding, Artefact, I love you. :<

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    What a delightful attitude.

    Strangely, none of the Japanese sources mentioned it had English subs, and seeing the fancy subs used by the "fansubbers", it is not exactly obvious.

    Avatar of Piroko
    Comment by Piroko
    20:36 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    C'mon now, iapfah. Be nice. xD

    Artefact, is it confirmed throughout that the DVDs originally came with English subtitles, courtesy of Maikaze themselves.

    Other than grabbing the ISO myself and others, as well as the few people who were lucky to obtain a copy(;_;), stated that it originally came with subs. That's as much proof as I have.

    Comment by iapfah
    21:14 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    You can read the whole thing at

    And seriously, I was kidding, guys.

    Avatar of Piroko
    Comment by Piroko
    20:53 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Correction *it is confirmed =.=

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:10 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The subs were actually made by somebody from MAIKAZE staff who is fluent in english and frequents some english touhou forums, and proofread by a member of the western community.

    So yeah.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:29 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    The quality is good, I want more fighting scene but that would of course add time and cost make.

    Art work feels very hand drawn which is what I feel anime now adays really lack.

    Voice acting is top notch in my opinion. I'm very looking forward for DVD purchase and next episode.

    Comment by ipood
    20:15 01/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    More like feels very computer coloured and vectored, where are your eyes at.

    Comment by iapfah
    19:08 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Definitely better than expected. The trailer had me thinking it would be good, but obviously a doujin work, though I almost forgot it was unofficial while watching it. I especially loved the backgrounds; they perfectly convey the mood.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:32 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Watched it a few hours ago and I was very impressed. While the character designs weren't as appealing as I would like from a Touhou anime, the voice acting and overall animation were both superb for a "nonofficial" work.

    Hopefully there's a little more action in the second episode as the short battle between Patchy and Reimu was awesome.

    Nakahara Mai is now forever ingrained in my mind as the voice of Reimu <3

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:04 12/11/2010 # ! Neutral (0)

    nahh the best doujin voice for reimu is miko (Karin Fujisaki)
    she made me a fan in first place

    Neko Miko Reimu ai shiteru
    Neko Miko Reimu nani shiteru
    Neko Miko Reimu shuran yurari
    Neko Miko Reimu muron furari

    hard to forget

    Comment by liangyinglee
    19:14 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Marisa's voice sounded kinda off to me for her character...

    Comment by ipood
    20:12 01/01/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Very off, I was expecting some energetic loli voice. Remilia and Patchouli also sounded pretty odd to me.

    Comment by e-jump
    21:23 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    She may need some tea

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    >>Nakahara Mai is now forever ingrained in my mind as the voice of Reimu <3

    Cue screams of rage from ZUN and the anti crowd...

    Avatar of DmonHiro
    Comment by DmonHiro
    19:09 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Glad to hear that, cause Nakahara Mai is my official Reimu voice.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:21 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually, there has not been a big anti-anime campaign here in the west. Everyone is enjoying it, while trolling is kept to a minimum. So this is the best case scenario, the (fanmade) anime was good enough to satisfy the fans, but not enough to call attention of other people.

    Avatar of rargy
    Comment by rargy
    18:26 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    There is a subbed version on tokyotosho. Haven't watched it yet though.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:30 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    it already comes sub

    as if they know already how many westerners are going to download them from the net

    Avatar of tflops
    Comment by tflops
    18:34 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    As expected for the Touhou productions.

    Comment by イチロ イノ (Ichiro Ino)
    18:41 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    It should be a huge succes, seeing that there are many touhou fanmades out there

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact
    19:02 30/12/2008 # ! Questionable

    Thanks for the update, I added the HD subs.

    Avatar of Miroku74
    Comment by Miroku74
    21:59 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Considering what I've seen so far of the anime, I may just be a new fan :).

    Very well done from what I've watched so far. I'm not as familiar with Touhou as many others would be who followed it before... but I'll be keeping my eyes open now.

    Comment by Komidol
    21:48 30/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Get the OP + ED in mp3 format here:

    Avatar of Zwars
    Comment by Zwars
    00:22 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    overall the episode have good animation and the seiyuus did a great job, in some parts even doesn't seem like a doujin anime, the music is good and well adapted to the scenes, the backgrounds are well maded too, btw in the preview they did a Kikuko Inoue parody (17 years old gag) or was indeed Kikuko talking in the preview?

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:50 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, it is Kikuko Inoue. She is the narrator, who is most certainly Yukari Yakumo.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:17 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think people's standards must be lower for a doujin anime. Yes, it looked great (if inexpensive, which is fine by me), and sounded terrific -- but it was deeply boring.

    Avatar of Bastille
    Comment by Bastille
    02:21 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's on par with most of the non-action oriented doujinshi out there imo. I don't think they were intending to make something that would make outsiders who watch it flip out and want to get into the series, but simply something that would please the fans who have played the games and read most of the doujinshi.

    Though some of the animation cutbacks did indeed cost it some points, like Aya not using her wings at all.

    Comment by antxlee
    17:53 31/12/2008 # ! Neutral (0)

    when she went n back within 5 secs thats not the use of wings?
    well, it isn't shown i guess...

    n is it just me or tanaka rie just doesn't fit my image as sakuya..

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