History revolves around the many events in the lives of two students from the Outside World - Maribel Hearn and Renko Usami. They are the only members of the "Hifuu Club Activity Record" who are looking for those hidden worlds as Gensokyo, the Netherworld and the Moon.
Now here’s something a bit different from my usual reviews. Instead of looking at an anime this time around, we’re looking at a Chinese Cartoon! That’s right, and a doujin one at that. Hence, I’ll be covering this series episode by episode.
Hifuu Club Activity Record Episode 1 is a Touhou fan video project, and it primarily revolves around a fan interpretation of The First Gensou-Lunar War, framed through the Hifuu Club’s retelling of the events in the Outside World. The premise on its own is rather interesting, especially since the other Touhou fanimes choose to either adapt the games’ storylines or have a more
relaxing tone to it. Hifuu Club Activity Record’s tone is decidedly more serious, though not melancholic. Its story does have higher stakes to it than say Summer Day Dream.
Let me make this clear early on, if you’re not familiar with Touhou as a series, you may want to give this a pass. It’s not the type of anime that would get you into the series, nor is it suitable for anyone who doesn’t know anything about the series. From the get go the main characters are characters from the Music CD spinoffs and the story revolves around a fan interpretation of an event that was only important to the series around the early 2000s.
Now then, Hifuu Club Activity Record is still an enjoyable watch. Original characters are also included in the story but they do not hamper one’s enjoyment of the episode and they are well integrated into the storyline, so good on that. While the story’s actual conclusion and resolution is only found within the official Touhou canon manga/video games, this fan cartoon does provide an interesting prologue, or what if scenario on the events leading up to the Gensou-Lunar War and ultimately Kaguya’s exile.
Storywise, despite being an original story, you need at least a few years worth of Touhou canon in order to fully understand it, primarily Imperishable Night, Cage In Lunatic Runagate, and Silent Sinner In Blue. The stories to the Music CDs aren’t necessary as Renko and Maribel’s interactions can be enjoyed without a thorough knowledge of the series.
The action sequences are serviceable, nothing too exciting, but it works well for what it’s trying to go for in terms of plot progression. Seeing characters like Suika or Yorihime so beautifully and vividly animated in battle sequences make for an enjoyable watch. The dialogue between Maribel and Renko, essentially the narrators for the episode, flow naturally and is quite accurate to their interactions in the series canon. The opening soundtrack and the ending theme are superb remixes of Touhou music and the voice acting is top notch.
Ultimately, Hifuu Club Activity Record is an animation project by fans for fans. If you’re not already a fan of Touhou, I’d say give this one a pass; otherwise, you’re in for a treat.
Hifuu Club Activity Record Episode Moon can be freely viewed on YouTube, uploaded by the creators themselves.