Doujin Work

April 12, 2008

Anime and manga has got to be the most successful exports from Japan to the world. So much so that even till today there are many fans who are still drawing their own works called doujinshi. Probably its a growing trend too. Thus, I was interested to find out how and what a doujin fan goes through in life, the obstacles they faced, when I heard about the anime Doujin Work. Okay, maybe after watching it, at least this is just a tiny part and doesn’t amount to any generalization.
 
As the works of doujins are a continuous and seemingly endless process, this anime series is just a short one lasting only 12 episodes. Furthermore, each episode is approximately 12 minutes long. That doesn’t mean this series has nothing much to offer but I can assure you since it’s basically a comedy genre, you’ll see doujinshis in a comical lime of light. Oh yes, though I wouldn’t consider this series to be a total ecchi, but there’ll be suggestive talking and sexual subtexts to indicate so. I guess you have to have that if you’re doujin is on yaoi or yuri. Okay, so it is a little ecchi.
 
As introduced in episode 1, Najimi Osana is accompanying her pal Tsuyuri in a train and the former is telling the latter how she had just lost her job. Something about her tickling hair nose which resulted in her hair sensitive boss to think she’s referring to his wig. The next few lines of conversation may seem perverted because Tsuyuri’s saying how she’s staying up late at night doing something ‘perverted’. When Najimi asks if she had ‘found someone’, Tsuyuri replied that ‘she did it by herself’ and asked if Najimi would like to ‘help her’ too. Of course Najimi gets embarrassed and says that they’re just friends. And all those perverted passengers are eavesdropping and fantasizing whatever perverted thoughts they can imagine. Yeah, note the jumbo-like ears and perverted grin on their loser faces.
 
Soon we find out that Tsuyuri isn’t doing perverted stuff on herself because the next day, Najimi gets to know that Tsuyuri does doujinshi art and her theme is rape. Ah well, makes no difference either. Najimi follows Tsuyuri to a doujin expo whereby Tsuyuri herself has a booth there. Not really a booth. Just a table to put one’s work for sale and display. I’m sure Najimi is still shocked and embarrassed about Tsuyuri’s work but she can’t believe her ears when Tsuyuri calls her booth Panty Revolution. What’s that? Panty Revolution. Erm… Panty Revolution. Okay Tsuyuri, you can stop repeating it now, Najimi gets the point (blushing). Najimi asks if it’s profitable doing such stuff and Tsuyuri mentions that a successful doujinshi could make 10 million Yen! Who says you need to be a successful businessman to earn that much.
 
Their conversation has been interrupted when a man in a suit comes by their booth. Najimi recognizes him as her childhood friend (ironically, Najimi’s entire name means childhood friend too!). He is Justice. Yes, that’s his name. Though I’m not sure if it’s his pen name or what but I kinda notice that he always wear a suit no matter what the conditions. It seems Justice is a famous doujinshi himself and there’s a little girl Sora who’s always clinging around him. I’m not sure what is their exact relationship but they’re quite close. Najimi took the liberty how much Justice makes from selling doujinshis and he replied 3 million Yen (30,000 books worth 100 Yen each). Wow! That’s a lot! But Justice says that with the high printing costs, he’s left with nearly nothing. So what drives him to continue? Just like other doujinshis, it’s their passion! Plus, it makes them happy knowing that other people enjoy their work. But I guess this statement isn’t getting through Najimi’s head as she’s thinking more about the money she could make, and thus loudly declares that she’ll create her own doujinshi and make her 10 million Yen out of it. Feels like she’s taking the easy way to get filthy rich. Ah well, dreams are made of this. And please Najimi, don’t stand on the table while proclaiming your future calling.
 
Since Najimi is new in this area, she has to do some research first. In episode 2, Najimi finds out that the current most popular doujinshi theme is hentai (porn, perverted). It’s tough for Najimi trying to hide that she’s not a pervert. Well, she dropped her ‘research materials’ and Tsuyuri picks it up and says how she dropped her porn stuffs, prompting all those eavesdropping perverted losers to have their own wild fantasies. Later the duo arrives at a store selling eroge (erotic adult games) so that Najimi could pick out 1 for her research. Najimi must’ve never felt so embarrassed in her life. Furthermore, a guy named Hoshi seems to be staring at her. He must be thinking Najimi’s a pervy. Anyway they picked some maid game. Once they leave the store, Najimi thinks she has to hurry home before anyone can see her and misinterpret the situation. Too late, her friend Tomoko spots her and asks her out for a drink. No choice, Najimi has to oblige. At a cafe, Najimi’s trying her best making up weird excuses not to reveal the stuff she bought. Too nervous. Najimi even accidentally spit the whole juice at Tomoko’s face, drenching the girl.
 
Najimi soon leaves and starts testing the game back home. Najimi’s so innocent for a first timer. Blushing too much after watching those erm… you get the point. She quickly slam shut her laptop when her parents call her. Phew! Close shave. Since she has no peace of doing her research, she calls Tsuyuri and decides to go to her place to watch it. Better than getting caught red-handed by her parents. It’s late at night and Najimi tries to go there in a hurry but is stopped by a policeman who wonders what a girl like her is doing at such an hour. Najimi is cool with everything so long as the cop doesn’t ask what the package is. Oh well, Najimi may think God is playing a cruel joke on her because the policeman eventually asks what’s in it. She panics and decides to make a run for it. Soon 3 policemen are hot on her trail. Najimi then crashes into a pile of garbage. The policemen then examined the package and Najimi thinks it’s over. Since they didn’t see anything in it, they didn’t suspect anything wrong. Tomoko then shows up and the cops soon leave. Though Najimi’s secret is safe, she’s surprised that she has lost her eroge. So Najimi and Tomoko had a little chat and Najimi is trying not to reveal too much. I mean, she’s saying that her stuff is there and that only special people can see it. Just then, Hoshi comes up to Najimi and says he has found her. Why, he handed Najimi the eroge that she dropped while she was being chased by the policemen. Yeah, so happen she zoom passed by Hoshi when that happened. Oh oh. Secret’s out. I take back what I said earlier on about Najimi’s most embarrassing moment. This has to be the number 1 all time embarrassing moment. Oh how she’d wish somebody would just kill her. Tomoko tries to sooth things by saying how that she’s probably a special person, perhaps why she can see it. I don’t think it’ll work. So has her perception on Najimi changed? Dunno. This will be the last we’ll see of Tomoko.
 
Najimi gets some advice on an important ingredient for a successful doujinshi from Justice in episode 3. And that is… love. Najimi is confident and thinks she can write one now. Several days later, we see Tsuyuri and Justice are in the same college as well. More sexual subtext conversation between Tsuyuri and Justice. Tsuyuri’s saying how Najimi has ‘given birth to something’ and has ‘suffered more than enough pain’ while doing so. Justice misinterprets and thinks Najimi is pregnant with a child but of course Tsuyuri is referring to her doujinshi. It gets worse when Najimi comes in and unknowingly plays along and agrees with Tsuyuri. Woah. Justice must’ve unleash some super frustration punch on the wall. Justice then misinterprets and goes into shock mode further when he asks Najimi about her ‘partner’ and that girl thinks he’s asking about her customer. Back at Najimi’s place, she shows Tsuyuri her completed doujinshi entitled Love Typhoon. Hmm… There’s lots of improvement to be done and I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I think at 1st glance you can really tell the quality (the paper quality is a separate issue). Oh well, since it’s Najimi’s 1st time, forgive her.
 
On the day whereby doujinshis gather at a convention called Comiket, Najimi is all excited to earn her 10 million Yen. But with only 30 copies? Oh well, it’s a start. A journey always begins with the 1st step. Okay, nobody’s buying her work. Don’t just panic yet. Justice then comes by and sees Najimi’s Love Typhoon. He gets even more shock and thinks Love Typhoon is the name of her child! Besides that, I think Justice too thinks Najimi’s doujinshi is of ‘questionable’ quality (besides the paper). When the whole day seems entirely hopeless, Hoshi then comes by and starts reading Najimi’s book. Looks like he’s taken quite a liking. Yeah, he’s mentioning how he like girls drawing ero-manga. In Najimi’s embarrassment, she screams if he is sexually harassing her, which attracted the attention of other visitors. They too start browsing Najimi’s work. Hoshi then decides to buy a book, which delighted Najimi as she hugs him. The other patrons too got excited and wants to buy one but Tsuyuri says how they’re not guaranteed a hug if they buy one. This prompted the losers to lose interest quickly as they dump back the book and leave. Justice thinks Hoshi is the one responsible for Najimi’s child and confronts him to force him to acknowledge it. Of course Hoshi doesn’t know what’s really going on but I guess Najimi couldn’t be bothered with all the commotion because she’s so happy she’s got her 1st 100 Yen and swooning over it.
 
Najimi does a part time job in episode 4 but didn’t tell Tsuyuri what is was. So Tsuyuri along with Justice and Sora decides to follow Najimi. Even though Justice’s confusion that Najimi is pregnant is cleared, he still has his suspicions over Hoshi. They arrive at a building which Najimi 1st bought her 1st eroge. To their surprise, they find Najimi in a cat waitress outfit serving people. I’m sure Najimi’s as surprise as them upon seeing the trio. Why, Najimi even goes by the name Luna-chan while working here. Still, Najimi has no choice but to serve her ‘guests’. It’s quite funny to see Tsuyuri spitting out water on Justice’s entire face. Just then, Hoshi appears and Justice gets into confrontation mode again. He demands to know how often Hoshi comes here. Najimi says every day since he’s working a floor above her. Najimi soon comes out with their order and asks what words would they want to write on their order as this is part of their service. Tsuyuri gets cheeky and says "Najimi is a dirty girl". Haha. Najimi just squirted the whole ketchup on it. Meanwhile Hoshi wants to know Najimi’s real name but Justice won’t allow it. Yeah, another confrontation mode from the overprotective towering childhood friend. But Hoshi says he can do some magic on Najimi. I’m not sure about this part because Hoshi shows Najimi some card filled with the cafe’s stamps which proceeds to make Najimi do some cute cat-like promotional stint. Even after that, Justice still won’t allow Hoshi to date or marry Najimi. Justice realized too late that his slip of the tongue causes him to blurt out Najimi’s name and now Hoshi knows it. Najimi then reveals that the main reason that she’s working here is so that she could have easier access materials for her doujinshi. But I don’t think Justice is gonna give up. That’s because he decides to apply working at this cafe too to safeguard Najimi. I don’t think Najimi is gonna like it. Offer rejected! Ah well Tsuyuri, get away from this madness while you still can.
 
Najimi has completed her 2nd doujinshi in episode 5 but feels somewhat unsatisfied. Tsuyuri suggests she should have a rival. Meanwhile Tsuyuri spots a depressed Justice and wonders what’s wrong. Justice told her that he saw Najimi and Hoshi going into a love hotel together. Of course it was for Najimi to do further research. Tsuyuri decides to be the scheming little devil and plays with Justice’s confused mind. So Tsuyuri, Justice and Sora are at Najimi’s apartment to help her out on her project. Tsuyuri quips "Doing it with 2 people is more fun than doing it alone", which shocks Justice even further. Justice has had enough when Najimi says her next scene is a love hotel and that he is gonna administer his own justice on Hoshi. Justice burns the midnight oil over his new doujinshi so much so he hasn’t eat, sleep nor bath. Not to mention any change of clothes. Yeah, I wonder if that suit stinks. And when Najimi and Tsuyuri came over to help, he’s like a zombie! Even Sora is afraid of him! The girls are helping Justice finishing his 500 page manga (woah! Extreme!) but since Najimi is screwing things up, Justice kicks them out. Even poor Sora. On the day of the Comiket, Najimi finds that a girl, Kaneru Nidou, sitting next to her and is also selling her own doujinshi. If you noticed, this girl is the 1 whom Najimi made fun of in the 1st episode for a brief period when she decides to go into the world of doujinshi. The 2 had a look at each other’s work and are trying to be polite and nice to each other. What synchronized thinking and reaction they have. They’re thinking and analyzing the same thing. So, birds with the same feather flock together. Their criticisms are even bloody similar. Talk about they deserve each other. But I suppose the grass is greener on the other side because they ultimately think that the other’s work is better. Hoshi soon arrives but freaks out to see Justice standing there. Meanwhile Sora is with Tsuyuri at a booth and Sora decides to quell the confusion by calling Justice that Najimi and Hoshi were taking photos together at the hotel. Erm… She should’ve elaborated more. Justice understood and crushes his handphone! Scary. Justice hunts down Hoshi who’s trying to run away from him and is finally cornered at Sora and Tsuyuri’s booth. Hoshi freaks out even further when Justice hands him his 500 page rehabilitation manga… There’s no escape…
 
The rivalry between Najimi and Nidou continues in episode 6 but it seems Najimi has won the ‘competition’ when Najimi’s ever loyal fan Hoshi bought a copy. Though Najimi sold only 1 copy, but it’s better as compared to Nidou’s nil. We also find out that Nidou is a 24 year old businesswoman whose secret hobby is doujinshi. Meanwhile Justice is back to normal and it seems all that confusion has been cleared up (meaning that manga was useless in the first place) but he’ll still keep vigil over Hoshi. At the same time, Najimi bumps into Nidou at a bookstore and it seems the duo are having the same idea about buying a book on how to improve one’s doujin skill. Problem is, there’s only 1 copy left. While the duo are arguing about it, Justice and Sora comes by. Nidou is amazed to see Justice because she looks up to him as a popular doujinshi artist. Plus, she’s a big fan of his. Justice then decides to help Nidou seeing that he thinks its best for both ladies to be rival on equal terms (Sora a little jealous here). Nidou doesn’t need that book anymore. The gang arrives at Nidou’s apartment and it seems she’s sleeptalking! Something about her stuffed toy bear. How embarrassing. She apologizes to them once she’s awake later inside. It seems Tsuyuri decides to make things more interesting by siding with Nidou, pissing Najimi off. Friend or foe? So Justice and Tsuyuri, being the doujinshi pro they are, make a quick assess on Nidou’s work. Another 1 of Tsuyuri’s classic line, "If you stare at this any longer, you’re lifespan will be shortened". Must be that bad, is it? Justice then awes the duo by drawing them an example. That’s how it should be done girls. As Najimi and Nidou practice drawing, Tsuyuri notices Nidou’s bra and panties with bear patterns. An embarrassed Nidou tries to hide them but becomes klutzy and trips, messing up the whole place. And I’m wondering, Justice’s pet python is called Guilty? How contrasting.
 
Hmm… Seems like a little deja vu in episode 7 because Tsuyuri bumps into Nidou in full-face disguise trying to buy an eroge for her research. In Nidou’s panic, she shouts out loud how that she’s doing this because she doesn’t have any ‘experience’. Ah, those loser eavesdroppers again… They think it must be heaven. Tsuyuri decides to poke fire by calling Najimi that she’s gonna hang out with Nidou. At a restaurant, Tsuyuri tells Nidou that she’ll have a better chance in drawing H-manga and would possibly beat Najimi in terms of manga sales. Of course, Nidou is all flustered up with that idea. Why, Tsuyuri even calls Hoshi to buy some yuri manga. Well, since Hoshi thinks that with a rival around, Najimi’s works will improve. That’s why he’s helping Tsuyuri and Nidou out. At Nidou’s place, she gets all flustered up once again when she browses the naughty manga. Hoshi then decides to make some tea which prompts Nidou to think that Hoshi’s a nice ‘feminine’ guy. Uh huh. Tsuyuri again tries to make up some confusion by telling Nidou that Justice can’t leave him alone. So much so, Nidou misinterprets and thinks Justice and Hoshi are in love with each other! Nidou decides to confirm this herself and asks Hoshi if there’s someone he likes. Hoshi answered yes (with Najimi in mind) and of course Nidou thinks it’s Justice. Nidou then asks if Sora knows about this and a confused Hoshi says probably not. So Nidou gets all hyped-up telling Hoshi that he has to confess or else ‘he will hurt the girl’. Oh the misunderstandings. Hoshi thinks it’s Najimi while Nidou thinks it’s Sora. Tsuyuri then tells them that Sora is at the park and to go there to confess it all.
 
At the park, Nidou is spying from behind the bushes as Justice arrives and confronts Hoshi. In Nidou’s eyes, they may seem yaoi. But I assure you, the ‘mutual feelings’ are still there. Hoshi is asking permission from Justice to date Najimi which of course Justice immediately disapproves. Hoshi then went on to blab how he had taken Najimi to that love hotel to do research and he might’ve did it to her if the atmosphere was right. Oops. Justice then demands to know the details and gets up close to Hoshi. Evil aura of hatred emitting. But Nidou thinks Justice is gonna kiss him! Hoshi tries to run away as Justice tries to catch him but only managing to rip his shirt. Yeah, it all looked so yaoi to Nidou. I think she’s really into such stuff from now on as she mentions how she’ll use this as her next work. By the way, Najimi didn’t make much of an appearance in this episode.
 
Another Comiket and the 2 doujinshi rookies renew their rivalry in episode 8. Is it fate that they have to be seated next to each other? Similarly, Justice and Sora’s doujinshi is selling like hot cakes but Justice is worried about Najimi. Yeah, this is the funny part. Najimi’s new ecchi doujinshi is really weird. Why, it only consists of a 1-angle face and features no body at all! Haha! How can one call that ecchi? It’s like self-censored sex! Oops, forgive me. Meanwhile Tsuyuri has finished selling hers and went to check on Najimi and Nidou, whom both haven’t sold a copy yet. Nidou has a peek at Najimi’s work and is amazed. Tsuyuri is trying to make things worse by supporting Nidou and giving her encouragement. Najimi then has a look at Nidou’s work. Woah! It’s more perverted! Though we won’t get to see how perverted it is. Uh huh, Nidou forgot to put those blur mosaics on ‘necessary parts’. Too ero! Tsuyuri than takes her black marker to censor those parts so that Nidou’s manga will have a chance. Hoshi comes by and takes a look at Nidou’s work. Though he isn’t satisfied, he still buys a copy, making Nidou darn happy. Hoshi then turns to Najimi’s. What a total disappointment. After lecturing Najimi on her fear of failure and such, Hoshi runs away without buying a copy. Nidou thinks she has the last laugh but a group of buyers surround Najimi’s booth and is interested. Justice soon comes by to check on them. It seems Najimi has sold 5 copies. Wow. I don’t know there are fans of 1-angle face works. Technically, Najimi may have won because she sold more but Nidou says her loyal patron Hoshi has bought hers and it’s worth more than 5 copies. Sore loser. Later, Tsuyuri gets a little yuri-like with Najimi when the former asks how she’s feeling with her victory. Najimi isn’t satisfied because her loyal fan didn’t buy her work as she strives to do better next time.
 
Episode 9 begins with Najimi, Sora and Nidou dreaming about all the fun stuffs during summer. But Tsuyuri is being like a wet blanket as she responds each of it with a negative outcome. Like all those sweet summer treats will result in food poisoning and stomach discomfort or wearing their yukatas will help donate blood to mosquito. The girls are pissed off and wonders if she hates summer or them or both. Tsuyuri does an evil scheming grin and says she likes them both. Back to the storyline, it seems the girls are at the beach for their summer vacation. But to Najimi and Nidou’s horror, Tsuyuri tells them that this is a drawing training camp. Though Najimi is mad, Tsuyuri says to convey her complaints to the mastermind, Justice. So he’s the 1 behind this. Justice has already advertised some original limited doujinshi sale in the next 2 days. Furthermore, Hoshi has already distributed the 5000 posters and in no time will be expecting flocks of doujinshi enthusiasts here. Looks like Hoshi’s become Justice’s underling ever since that ‘confession’ at the park. How can a rookie doujinshi draw that many in such a short time? Well, better start working. Najimi still can’t believe it and runs away with Justice chasing her.
 
Najimi (reluctantly) and Nidou are hard at work while Tsuyuri is lazing around. Sora wants to play with Najimi but the latter is too busy. Not wanting for Hoshi to end up with Sora, Nidou decides to go with Sora to ‘examine male bodies’. Hoshi has an idea for Najimi to go sketch on the beach and he’ll volunteer as a model. Not if Justice’s around. I guess seeing Najimi in her cute swimsuit is enough for Hoshi to have nosebleeds. That night, as the girls take a hotspring bath, we see Justice and Hoshi sleeping together in Hoshi’s car. I’m feeling some love-hate relationship between these 2. Hoshi is still asking permission to date Najimi and the latter shoots it down quickly. In Hoshi’s rage, he rushes towards the ocean and swims like mad, saying something like he’s gonna keep trying (I think). Back at the girls, Tsuyuri is thinking of driving to the convenience store to get some food since Justice didn’t prepare any food. As they head out, they spot Justice carrying Hoshi from the sea onto the beach. It seems Hoshi has been stung by a jellyfish and partly drowned. So Justice is gonna give him CPR. Gosh! Nidou thinks it’s another yaoi scene! Let your fantasies go wild, girl! Tsuyuri then borrowed Hoshi’s car keys and is gonna get on when a man shows up asking if they know Hoshi.
 
That guy is Ryuuichirou and is Hoshi’s elder brother. In episode 10, we see him as someone working for a popular manga publisher when he realized he has misplaced his manuscript for next month’s manga release. After thinking back, he realizes he has left it on the back seat of the car, the one which Hoshi has borrowed. So I suppose he’s here to retrieve that manuscript. Meanwhile, Najimi and Osana are doing their shopping and they’re being picked up by 2 guys. Partly because it’s a way to get a ride back home. We see the guys trying to hit on them and that Nidou is 1 naive girl, blurting out everything they ask her. Since they find out that she does drawing, they volunteered to be her models. I guess this isn’t what they had in mind because at a beach, Nidou is trying to draw them in a yaoi pose! Closer, closer! Holy cow. I think Nidou has become the queen of yaoi! Nidou even mentions that this is an expression of a ‘beautiful form of love’. Haha. Those guys probably had enough and decides to give their own normal form of love when suddenly something scary comes from across the ocean. Why, it’s Justice! And he’s still in that suit (he did mention it was waterproof). Now that gives a new meaning to running across the ocean just to be with/protect you. The next scene is the 1st time I see Justice without his suit. Because when he gets to know the guys are ‘playing’ with the girls, he decides to join in by undressing himself down to his Speedo trunks. The guys are horrified and makes a run for it.
 
Back at the inn, Hoshi shows Ryuuichirou Najimi’s works, in which the latter says how horrible it is. I think anybody would’ve come to the same conclusion just after a glance. But Hoshi says that Najimi has put her emotion, heart and soul bla bla bla into it. Ryuuichirou notes that he’s just letting his feelings for Najimi in the way and ‘blinding’ him. Hoshi is upset and tells him to get out of the room but Tsuyuri says since it’s her room and Sora’s, they should both get out. Hoshi then quickly does so, but he opened the wrong door and bumps into the closet. The next day, Najimi and Nidou continue with their work and manages to complete it before the big day. Now it’s all set. Just kick back and relax and see the fruits of their labour (money, that is) come in. Unfortunately, the sky darkens and it starts to rain. No choice, they have to move their booth inside. But it seems that those people taking shelter there are interested and bought several copies. See, it’s not that bad. Only thing is, those people must’ve bought the books to kill time because they’re mocking how ridiculous and funny their work is. Ah well, there’s still a long way to go and much for them to improve. Once the rain has subside, Ryuuichirou realizes that he has forgotten all about his manuscript. But to his horror, he finds it drenched and all wet at the backseat of the car. I see they left the rooftop of the car opened. And you know what Nidou’s thinking/seeing when she sees Ryuuichirou and Hoshi together, right?
 
Ryuuichirou is depressed about it in episode 11 since he has to find a replacement for it. Yeah, Ryuuichirou wants to die and is gonna open the train door only to be restrained by Hoshi. Hoshi then suggests that he has 1. If you think doujinshis have nothing better to do in their lives but to attend Comikets and sell their doujinshis, you might be forgiven. Yeah, another round of doujinshi sale as the gang are back from the beach. At Comiket, Hoshi hands Najimi a business card of some company’s sales department. We find out that Hoshi was once a college student. But ever since he found out about Najimi’s work, he has quit college and dedicates his entire life to spread Najimi’s work around the globe. Crazy fella. Ryuuichirou realizes that the replacement Hoshi meant could be Najimi and protests. Hoshi also tells them that he’s been hired by the company and that they have to achieve sales of 30 copies of Najimi’s new manga or else he’ll be fired. Nidou tries to tempt Hoshi to buy hers but he doesn’t have any eye for it and leaves with a copy of Najimi’s manga. Ryuuichirou has a glimpse of Nidou’s work and from the expression that he pulls, I don’t think it’s a pleasant one. We see Nidou’s childish side once more, sulking and acting like a spoilt brat. She’s jealous of Najimi and saying that Najimi’s going so far away and even hugs her. Well, actually Najimi’s still here and hasn’t gone anywhere yet. Also, 1st time seeing Tsuyuri getting hit on the head several times by a pissed off Najimi for saying unnecessary things. Hmm… I’ve never seen that shocking-been-hit expression on Tsuyuri’s face before. Otherwise, she has that stoic expression. At the same time, it seems there are several patrons at Najimi’s booth. I really can’t believe that there are fans of the 1-angle face drawing. And it’s growing, thanks to the internet. In no time, Najimi’s 30 copies is a sell out. However, Ryuuichirou is still having reservations for Najimi as a replacement artist. Hoshi then has no choice but to show him Najimi’s worth by heading back to Najimi’s booth and tells her that she has to try and sell 100 copies. If it is done so in 3 days, then Ryuuichirou will accept Najimi’s work and publish it till the end. Woah. Najimi’s finally gonna have her big break.
 
Najimi is already in dreamland and wonders what she’ll do when she’s a highly super rich successful doujinshi in episode 12. Well, don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Najimi wonders why Tsuyuri and Justice have turned down offers to become a pro. They say that they’d like to do it at their own pace. Then at a store where Najimi’s work is on sale, nobody seems to be buying it. Najimi thinks it’ll be cheating to buy her own work, as suggested by Tsuyuri. But she does so anyway. I don’t think that face mask will work anyway since the cashier recognizes her. Later Najimi receives a call from Hoshi saying that so far only 2 copies have been sold. Besides Najimi, make a good guess who’s the other one? Haha, it’s Hoshi of course. So why didn’t Najimi’s pals buy one? Sora says she’s under-aged, Justice received a free sample from Najimi, Nidou is her rival so she thinks otherwise, and Tsuyuri, well, she doesn’t want to. On the final day, Hoshi tries to desperately sell Najimi’s works but is futile. Just then, Justice, Tsuyuri and Nidou show up and everyone thinks that the famous doujinshi Justice is buying Najimi’s work because it’s good and they all have that herd mentality and starts buying 1 too. In the end, Najimi reached her target of selling out 100 copies.
 
Later at the restaurant, Ryuuichirou gives a happy Najimi a contract to stamp but with 1 condition. Upon stamping this contract, Najimi will have to turn pro and give up her doujinshi. This made Najimi hesitate a little as she think back all those ‘good times’ she had with her friends and foes. But I guess Najimi is taking to long as Ryuuichirou pushes her hand down, making her stamp the contract, and then rushes off. Najimi realizes it and goes after him. Looks like Najimi still wants to be a doujinshi. Because she’s saying how she still wants to shamefully buy eroge, draw her crappy drawings and hand her book to every customer. Najimi’s other pals also joined in the chase. Justice is in front of Ryuuichirou when he tells his little bro to restrain him. Hoshi agrees and restrains Ryuuichirou, shocking him. Looks like this guy still wants to see Najimi’s crappy drawings. But Ryuuichirou manages to overpower him and makes a run for it. I’m not sure what Nidou’s doing with her stuffed toy bear. If she plans to stop Ryuuichirou with that, it failed. Soon Ryuuichirou comes to a construction detour and a diversion causes him to jump over the bushes and into… the river. Ah well, the contract’s ruined. But it seems Ryuuichirou isn’t sad or what. Just smiling. Tsuyuri then hands Najimi a form to participate in the next Comkiet, in which Najimi happily accepts. At least, Najimi’s set and determined on what she’s gonna do. Doesn’t that 10 million Yen seem important anymore? Not if she’s happy and passionate about it. That’s where her real happiness is. And I think the rest too feels the same way.
 
Overall, I kinda enjoyed each and every moment of this short hilarious series. Well, it doesn’t generalize as a whole how doujinshis face but it gives me an idea. I kinda notice that each episode starts on a train. I mean, we see the gang having some conversation on it. I also notice that in each episode there’s a grey little underwear randomly hanging around… dancing… What the? It even has a simple face and limbs. I wonder what it’s all about. Ecchi? Even the opening and ending themes has it. Yeah, sometimes I find it a little irritating to see that smiley face underwear swaying and doing a little jiggle.
 
There are more things which I happen to notice. Whenever the characters turn around, they’ll become like 2D and it’s as though they’re being flip around like paper. Are they paying homage to manga and doujinshis in a way? Ah well, the drawing, animation Also in each episode, Sora gets to dress in different and various cosplay outfits from a maid to a mermaid. I later found out that these outfits are made by Justice for Sora to wear. Earlier on, I did mention that I wouldn’t classify this series as ecchi. Now I change my mind. I find it a little ecchi. That’s because the title screen and the next preview has sketches of the characters in ecchi or suggestive poses. Some are really weird (Justice in a female swimsuit?). Even the title seems to have sexual subtext like "Her First XXX", "Let’s Do It Together" or "The Naked Young Lady". Might as well since Najimi herself is into this theme. Hehehe, not herself but her doujinshi lah. What about that hilarious water-spitting-in-the-other’s-face? Though it doesn’t occur in every episode. But it’s still funny nevertheless.
 
For a short series, I must say the characters are quite wacky and likeable. It’s hard for me to say which character I like most. Nidou is adorable because of her childish and naive character while Tsuyuri because of her ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ and scheming ways. Those who have lolita fetish may find Sora cute and moe and Justice… Ah, I guess it’s his name and suit. No, not that I’m going yaoi over him or what. Though it didn’t end with Najimi-Hoshi as most viewers hope it would be, but I guess Najimi is happy that she’s got her friends around.
 
Masumi Asano is the voice behind Najimi and you may recognize her in other anime roles like Izumi of He Is My Master, Mizuki of Yumeria, Mariya of Otome Wa Boku Ni Koishiteru and Nanako of Da Capo Second Season. Momoko Saito did Tsuyuri who did Uma in Magipoka and Choco in Chokotto Sister. Justice is voiced by Hiroki Yasumoto and he is best known for his role as Sado in Bleach and Tougou in School Rumble. Sora is voiced by Kimiko Koyama who also voiced Uzuki of Happy Lesson. Ito Sakata does Nidou but it seems I can’t find any other anime roles she voiced, so she must be a newbie. She did quite a good job in making Nidou sound shaky, unconfident and amateurish.
 
The opening theme song I~jan! Yuujou by Maki sounds like a hyped-up go superhero song at first. Probably the opening tune made me think so. Then it felt like it’s some cheering do-your-best song. At least that’s what I felt. Plus, the animation here is a little crazy. Is this the world of doujinshi all about? But I prefer the ending theme more, Yumemiru Otome by Mai Mizuhashi. It’s quite an upbeat and lively rock n roll pop song. Hmm… In a way, I kinda feel it reminds me of that ‘neh neh neh neh neh neh can’t catch me’ song. And what in the world is that grey underwear doing there?! Anyway, the animation here is just the girls in their P.E. clothes with their backs facing the viewers doing some funny dance (or is it exercise?). There’s a background music which sounds ‘lively and cute’. I don’t remember which cowboy film it was from but it reminded and sounded like a parody of it.
 
So definitely doujinshis and moreover animes and mangas are here to stay for a long time to come. Those not in this line may think that such hobbies are a waste of time but it’s their love and passion for it that counts. As for me, I’m not really sure if I would venture into the world of doujinshi. That’s because, first and foremost, my drawing still sucks. Big time! Oh Justice, I need your guidance!
 
Doujin Work