From my limited experiences in watching how doujinshi works in anime, there seems to be a little spectrum on how it’s viewed. On one side, you have an idealistic notion that doujinshi makes everything right in the world if one has a passion for following it, as exemplified by Comic Party. Something must be working for Kazuki to get the many admirers (mostly female from the ones we see on the show) that he does. In the middle of the spectrum is something like Genshiken, where we get a more realistic view on how doujinshi is “enjoyed” (it’s not something to be proud of) from what the club members talk about, but that seems to mostly focus on the less than wholesome examples prevalent today.
Doujin Work falls on the other end of the spectrum. It too provides an idealized appearance of doujinshi, as we look through the perspective of people who create the works that people in Genshiken would enjoy, for example. Like Comic Party, the characters we see aren’t exactly people that we would probably actually get to know in real life as otaku. The anime should be more enjoyable on that regard then it currently is given it’s source material, and I can’t help but think the reason is because the anime isn’t using it to its full effect.
As stated by other blogs, the manga-ka for Doujin Work is one Hiroyuki, a.k.a Gogi Power Hiroyuki, and people who like Tsukihime doujins (the ones that aren’t NSFW that is) would be hard pressed not to know his name. He’s probably most known for That’s Why I Assault Ren, which brought to memes the popular phrase “A Cat Is Fine Too”. In that, and in others, we see a side of Shiki Tohno very different from that seen in the game (I hope), anime, and manga. This Shiki is unabashedly deviant, and this concept is played to great success through this and other Hiroyuki doujins (e.g., J-JAM IT IN!).
It’s enjoyable to watch as Mr. Eyes of Death Perception tries to justify things such as being passionate about little girls and bloomers and being unrestrained in terms of what he’ll fornicate with. The funny thing is, he’s in complete control of himself and comfortable with his powers, so despite his ill intentions (or for some people, because of them), you can’t help but feel some admiration for his goals. Other characters join in on the act too, such as one doujin when Kohaku emphatically (restraining herself to the point of trembling even) joins in with Shiki in trying to persuade Hisui to flash them (of course in that sense, it’s probably only because Hisui is involved. Twincest is win-win). In this sense, Hiroyuki does a great job of taking things too far, but not far enough to stop laughing at what’s there. These doujins are a hilarious guilty pleasure to read (so wrong but oh so right), and a nice look at an alternate reality that some people might have longed for. 😛
I get disappointed in the anime because Hiroyuki’s brand of comedy present in full force in his doujins and the Doujin Work manga is severely in animated form. For example, when Najimi gets that love game, in the anime we see how uncomfortable she is in just bringing it home, but we she her play it in the manga, and we see her mind being broken. And his famed rendition of Shiki was the prototype for Justice, though we don’t see much of that in the anime; as of five episodes, all we see is him being overprotective of Najimi and in a seemingly just friendly relationship with Sora. The manga takes him almost to Shiki’s level, though he reins in his feelings well. It only seems as if the anime adaptation of Tsuyuri is closer to the manga than anyone else, but just that it’s not enough for me.
Hiroyuki’s stuff is perverted (never to the point of it being NSFW, however) and it relishes in that fact. I also think the humor adds something to the moment; a situation tends to become more humorous the less decent it gets. And when used properly, we can actually relate to the situation; actually seeing Najimi play the game rather than just having it in her possession makes the moment more incredulous, and better. We can feel her distress at playing it, and most of us could probably understand the situation, although it wouldn’t be quite as bad. It’s awkward, and maybe a little intriguing, and that’s a nice effect; that’s what a guilty pleasure is supposed to do. However, the anime doesn’t seem to want to use Hiroyuki’s influence, and the only thing guilty about the anime for me would be me being disappointed at what could have been.