Touhou M-1 Grand Prix…the THIRD!
I managed to get it last night, due to being a filthy pirate hooker (also the nickname of choice for Skarre the Pirate Queen from Warmachine) and watched it until about 2am after which I had to rush to sleep due to the fact that I will be in terrible trouble if I keep staying up late and can’t keep up with my parents’ vacation schedule. Also, I like sleeping. Anyway, Yellow Zebra’s newest addition to the Touhou M-1 series takes, not the form of a Drama CD, but a full length DVD complete with flash animations and better sound quality! This alone had me very impressed, all of the new art looks very well-drawn compared to the previous M-1’s. I thought those animations in the trailer were just to tease us and make the product look awesome but that is indeed what the entire thing looks like! I am very impressed. If I have to make a criticism though, it’s that they don’t look terribly good from any other angle and whoever the artist is, he really needs to practice drawing characters from angles other than front-center. Those were the times that they looked their absolute best, but then they had to go and turn in order to talk to each other. That said some of them do look really good, particular props go to Tewi and Aya for looking good no matter what angle they’re drawn from.
Moving on to the actual skits themselves, there are four semi-finalists with one wildcard entry that was not revealed. First up was returning fan favorites Yuyuko and Youmu with a skit about food and Yuyuko’s increasingly zany attempts to steal a kiss from Youmu after a failed pocky game. Much laughs were had at both their expenses, though I began to notice that Youmu did not sound the same as her previous incarnation, whose voice I liked a lot more than the current one. It seems more normal and more natural but somehow just doesn’t fit after hearing the other Touhou M-1’s. Please, Yellow Zebra, bring the old Youmu back.
For the first time, Aya and Momizi enter the M-1 Grand Prix as Wind Girl and put on a strong showing. I instantly fell in love with Momizi’s design and voice actor, she’s just so lovable~ Anyway, Aya decides to quit her job and become a freelance photographer while Momizi wants to take up Shogi after she leaves because she’ll have nothing to do. Then there was some kind of sketch with Momizi trying to be an old woman which was pretty funny and involved Aya being a perv, and it ended up being pretty funny.
Speaking of the judges, this session had Rinnosuke and Eirin as the MC’s and Yukari, Suika, Kanako, Suwako, and Sikieiki as the judges. The interplay between them was pretty amusing, and Yukari had a truly frightening moment. Suika didn’t say much but handed out sake liberally, causing problems for Sikeiki who had to retire later, to be replaced by Komachi. In true Yukari fashion, she gapped away and was replaced by Ran. Oh yeah, there was some pretty funny shenanigans involving EX-Keine and Rumia and Wriggle doing a short sketch that ended poorly for poor Wriggle-chan. Oh well, at least it amused me, but Wriggle will be missed.
Next up was another M-1 veteran in the form of Tewi, doing a sketch with Rinnosuke under the name TeiKourin. She was trying to open up a shop or something, it wasn’t really that funny in my opinion, except the part where she managed to out-trick Rinnosuke and steal loads of money off him. Finally we have returning fan favorites Witch Doll, Marisa and Alice, who did another roleplay type sketch with Marisa fooling around. This was probably my least favorite, I guess it was some kind of interview that ended up with Alice getting a little upset. Well, there were some highlights involving the unfortunate fate of Kiri-chan and Mari-chan…man, Alice is someone you don’t want to piss off. Oh, and don’t ever call her old (there were a lot of old lady jokes traded throughout the DVD)!
Finally, it was time for the wildcard duo and it turned out to be…Reimu and Marisa, under the name Miko Miko Spark! Well, I guess those who understood Japanese were probably expecting this one since one of the prizes was the title of ‘main character’ or something. Anyway, they put on a pretty amusing sketch about getting boyfriends, with Marisa having some truly amazing lines and animation to go with those lines (“darou ne”). Made me crack up. Oh yeah, Alice goes into yandere mode and runs away crying after she finds out that Marisa has put a robot double of herself to distract her. I was crying too but for a completely different reason. Come on, Alice, Kisume is a fine pairing!
So with all of the scores tallied up and resolved, TeiKourin and Miko Miko Spark advance to the finals! Tei and Rinnosuke give an even more lackluster final performance that wasn’t funny at all, probably because I didn’t even understand what was going on. Lily White gained the power to announce the coming of Comiket, or something. She was also drawn really weird. Basically it was crap. Maybe I’ll like it better after I understand Japanese. Because of a…ah…unexpected turn of events during the intermission Miko Miko Spark showed up to the finals drunk off their faces and still managed to put on a good show. Although it wasn’t really as funny as their first one, the antics of a drunken Reimu and Marisa (on Suika’s sake no less) on stage are something that everyone should see at least once. So what was the judge’s final decision? I’ll leave that one for you to watch.
After the conclusion there are a few neat extras to watch on the DVD, which really just add to its awesomeness, including a followup to a previous M-1 sketch where Flandre tries to teach Cirno how to do manzai, and a remastered version of the famous Patchu-Meiling sketch. I’ve always wanted to see the whole thing animated and I’m glad that they took the joke to its logical conclusion. JAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
So, tl;dr, my favorite sketch was Yuyuko and Youmu and I’m butthurt that they didn’t get into the finals or win. Momizi is love. Tewi is not funny. Drunken Reimu and Marisa are. I’ve been pronouncing Sanae’s name wrong all this time. The third M-1 doesn’t have any truly classic sketches like Patchu-Meiling or Yakumo Chen but I think in terms of overall quality they’ve gotten better.
Oh yeah, yandere Alice doesn’t go on a killing spree.