Anime? In my Touhou?!
Oh man, what to do, what to do? As you’re no doubt aware by now Studio Maikaze will be releasing their long-awaited Touhou anime project at this year’s Winter Comi and has recruited some fairly big names to voice the characters. Personally, I don’t know any of them except by the roles that they’ve done so I can’t comment on that. What really got me interested in this subject was the massive internet backdraft that has resulted from the news. It has touched every corner of the Western Touhou community, every board that I frequent has at least two topics on the subject.
It’s quite understandable really. After the almighty trainwreck that was the subbed version of Touhou Project Side Story, people feel threatened by the prospect of another anime adaptation so soon afterwards and the memory of it is fresh in their minds. But there’s another dimension to this issue; it seems that ZUN himself has voiced his opinion on the issue and has indicated at least general dislike of the direction this whole thing is going. Old news by now, I’m sure, but work and games had put it out of my mind. However, I can no longer say that this doesn’t concern me as an avid Touhou fan. I can’t pretend to have no opinion.
I don’t mind the fact that Maikaze have completed this project. I am both impressed and honoured by the fact that so many well-known seiyuu have agreed to participate in what is essentially a doujin project and I am excited by the prospect of finally seeing a well-done anime adaptation of Touhou. On the other hand, after having read through the various translations of ZUN’s comments I can definitely see his point. No matter what anyone else says, the loss of a freedom that doujin artists have traditionally had to interpret the Touhou characters in whatever way they want is a legitimate concern. It doesn’t matter what the underlying reasons for that comment are, if any.
At its core the Touhou community has two parts. Yes, you heard me, two. Doujin artists cannot claim ignorance of the games, just as the gamers who “understand what Touhou is all about” cannot deny that the doujins have attracted many people and helped to grow the community by introducing them to said games. Even me, I first heard of Touhou through its doujin community and then went on to try the games, becoming an avid player. The thing is, I always fear the day when I become one of those people who rejects the rest of the fanbase just because they don’t actually play the games. I’ve always despised elitism in all its forms, and that includes the It’s Popular Now It Sucks mentality that seems to be present in the western Touhou community. Even so, I can still understand where they’re coming from and both camps have legitimate concern. I’m not sure that I would want to see a massive influx of people who irritate me either, nor would I want to see artists unable to do what they have been doing.
Man, it’s hard to sit on the fence sometimes. I wish we had some chairs at least.