Fantasy Kaleidoscope is a doujin short anime based off of immensely popular doujin game series Touhou – sharing another characteristic in common, they’re both very incredible for a doujin work.
There have been a few attempts to animate Touhou in the past – although forgetting about those and focusing solely on this one, Fantasy Kaleidoscope, it’s rather incredible to say the least as it’s seemingly the ideal recreation of the Touhou universe in a lively animated form.
Most notable, to suffice for the lack of voice acting, only sub-titles were used in conjunction to the sound effects. The characters still moved their mouths like normal when speaking however, this was quite a good move for several reasons.
Considering it is a doujin work, rather then spend the additional time or effort on voice acting, which could also have had a massive chance to go wrong and ruin the entire animation as the voice makes the character in a sense, they worked around it in a respectable fashion. As the visuals are artistically amazing, the movements are fluid all around, and as a character begins speaking they do so in a manner one would expect. There are no strange or awkward movements, nor any lack of necessary detail to indicate speech.
Said simply, the characters were illustrated acting out the speech so well, you attribute voices to them in your mind when reading the subtitles.
Onto the visuals, as mentioned they are exquisite. The girls are all true to their original appearance and the scenery is quite lovely. The highlight of the episode is a scene in which Marisa is engaged in battle with a certain someone – a magnificent representation of the spiraling bullet hell can be seen. Flashy effects and vivid colors were used precisely in devising the ideal scene.
Back on the subject of sounds, the effects are wondrous and powerful in engulfing one into the atmosphere. The ambient music makes up for much of whatever alternative sounds could have been included yet were not, such as the voice acting. The single weaker aspect is it seems at certain points are no sound effects even though one would expect there to be, yet perhaps this is merely debatable.
It concludes as a strong piece, with an ending allowing for more and as an animation certainly worth watching whether fan of Touhou series or not.