As a young child, Aizawa Yuuichi had often visited his cousin in the city; however, something drastic happened to keep him away for seven long years. Now, Yuuichi returns, his memories of those days are simply gone.
Settling into the wintry town, Yuuichi comes across several young girls, all of whom are connected to his past. As he befriends them and continues to interact with them, the long forgotten memories from his childhood begin to resurface...
A boy named Yuuichi is moving to a town he lived in seven years ago. However, he doesn't remember anything. When living in this town, he meets a lot of girls, all with tragic stories, and he helps them.
Sure, the concept sounds like just about any other anime based on a visual novel would be. However, despite several other shows of that type, this actually does remarkably well.
Well, to be honest, this show has got to be one of the greater shows I've ever watched, no doubt! The story is just so good it leaves me astonished at times. It starts out as a pretty normal show of its genre. You're also introduced to several of the girls, but it doesn't touch upon all their stories at once. There's some comedic moments every now and then.
At first it might seem like it's just some slice of life series, but the story progresses a lot from its initial stages, and as you're taken through the individual girls' story arcs, you'll be taken away. It has good a lot of good moments, some romantic, some dramatic. However, just about everything that happens in the story later on will base itself on supernatural elements (mostly miracles), which makes a contrast to the earlier parts of it. That's not really a bad thing though; I at least found it most enjoyable.
The animation in the series is really awesome too; the character designs, details in environments and everything just looks awesome. The lighting which you find in many of the afternoon scenes is pure awesomeness too; it really makes the scenes moody; and very dramatic if that's what the scene is about.
The characters of Kanon is really awesome. The girls' stories are just awesome to behold, and Yuuichi's own background with them is very intriguing, and it ends up making you wanting to know more about it. The main hero, Yuuichi, is also a very interesting character in his own right. To be short about it; they are awesome and you'll love them (at least one or two of them).
The music in this anime is really great as well. There's a lot of nice piano themes, so if you enjoy good piano themes you'll definitely enjoy the music in this series. The show's got some good music aside that too, and the OP and ED themes are magnificent.
There's nothing to say on the sounds aside the music, and the seiyuu do a great job on their roles; the characters' voices are very good.
All in all, this is a lovely anime, a true masterpiece. If you like anime series based on visual novels, you'll enjoy this. If you haven't watched any anime series of that kind, watch it anyway, because you'll love it.
To 'Not Helpful' voters (and you 'Helpful' voters too): Feedback greatly appreciated =)read more
This was a series that allowed my emotions to run wild. Each of the characters is presented with their own tragic tale of the past. Even the supernatural and fantasy elements are carefully intertwined in the story in such a way that it does not stick out. This is truly an excellent series.
The development starts out rather slow and silly and can get a bit dull. I was on a hiatus with this series for almost half a year before I started watching again. It is set up like a harem series, but it is different from them, which sets it apart from other harem series. It is not a harem in a story; it is a story with a harem. There is a difference, and Kanon does it extremely well. Look at all the anime out there. Many of them have similar plots, but what makes some better than others? The execution of the story, and this is where Kanon shines. There is a constant air of mystery behind everything: the characters, the setting, the season, and so forth. The story is emotional, dramatic, and even light-hearted at times. With this nice blend, a seemingly simple story of a new boy surrounded by a group of girls becomes a unique tale. The only major problem was that when one of the girl's arc ended, they completely disappeared in another character's arc. This style feels way too much like a visual novel, and lacks blending and character interaction.
There is not much to say about the art and animation when it is done by Kyoto Animations because most of it is a regurgitation of what other fans have already said: absolutely amazing, gorgeous, and stunning. The setting and season of winter are extremely well drawn so that it puts the viewers into that setting. Falling snow has never look so good in an anime until now. It does not just fall; it falls in a way that I could watch it forever. The art style, though it's very clear, colorful and crisp, is a bit generic. The designs are of the eyes, a staple in these types of stories, were a bit too large and I did not like.
Ah, canon, canon, Kanon. There are reasons why this series is called that, and one of the more obvious reasons is the presence of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major. Such a lovely piece, especially for one who has already played it. Besides that, the music complements the mood very nicely. When things get dramatic and sad, it is the music that allows those tears to run free. Although I did not find any one track that stood out for me (except for well, the obvious one) the music was nice and fitting. It would not be a soundtrack that I would listen to without the anime playing though. The voice acting was also very good, although every time Yuuichi opened his mouth, I immediately thought of Kyon. It does not help that those two look uncannily similar.
The characters in this series were a bit generic but that's not necessarily a bad thing with the right development and execution. They did all have their mysteries, problems and development. Every character, from the first time they appear on screen, seems to have a mysterious side. Each of them are different and stands out. And Yuuichi is such an awesome lead. He can be a bit insensitive and playful at times, but he truly is a nice guy and it's not surprising that he's so well liked among the girls. The major downside in this series is the lack of interaction among the girls. Once a girls' story arc is done, they aren't really seen all that much until the end. It would have fleshed out their characters more if they interacted more.
I enjoyed this anime all right; enjoyed it to the point I cried through episodes nonstop. It might have also been the fact that I marathoned three or four episode at once, so the water works just seemed to never stop. There were times where I laughed out loud, times where I cheered (the ending), and many times where I bawled my eyes out.
Overall, I enjoyed this series immensely. It has a touch of everything: drama, comedy, supernatural elements and so forth. I thought it was a very enjoyable series despite its flaws. 8/10read more
Kanon is the the last of the Kyoto Animation animated Key visual novels that I had to see. Somehow I'd managed to watch all of Clannad, Clannad After Story and Air. While writing staff and directing staff differ slightly with each iteration, there's an incredibly clear singular style between each anime. It's a style that with each series of theirs I watch, and those inspired by its nakige formula such as Ano Hana, I can increasingly see the strings for. Strings that are made from the bloodied remains of mentally deficient little girls killed mercilessly and dangled limply from the fingers of Key writer Jun Maeda as he coos "who's now the perfect image of a woman, yes you are, yes you are".
Here is the general outline for a Key story arc. First you introduce a little girl. She is supposedly a teenager the same age as our asshole lead male character. However at every single turn we are establishing how childlike they are. They look 6 years old, they act like they’re 6 years old, the male lead constantly treats them like they’re 6 years old and outright tells them they might as well be 6 years old. Each girl has their own little quip that in one girl’s case might as well be her saying “goo goo”.
They are also depicted as fragile and weak and needing your attention. A bunch of them are in the slow process of dying, either through poorly explained illnesses or magical illnesses. They’re emotionally fragile and with each arc fall apart in their own ways. One girl in particular has her own rotary functions and general maturity, what little of it there was, stripped away from her. The reasons for this shift usually comes straight out of the writer’s backsides, such as a character’s mum getting randomly hit by a car because we needed little girls to be more emotionally unstable.
Their emotional instability and life view all appears to come from when the girls were 6 years old (as in actually on this planet for 6 years, not just emotionally 6 years old). The childhood promise is the most powerful force in the world of Kanon, capable of raising the dead and conjuring ghosts. According to the world of Kanon, all relationships are born from before the age of 6 and everyone you meet since then might as well not exist. Nearly all the girls in Kanon are desperately trying to get back to the relationship they had with the male character from when they were 6.
You get the uncomfortable feeling that the writers believe that the 6 year old mindframe for women is the ideal. Not just so you can comfort them as they slowly die, but from a romantic standpoint too, and whenever you try to strip them off this childlike state the show punishes them for it. Kanon operates on horror movie logic where as soon as a girl displays anything resembling romantic feelings it gets stripped from them. Even if their romantic feelings come from a desire to just be together with someone because they’re lonely, as soon as anything resembling romance happens is when the show starts killing them.
That is this nakige formula. Key aren't the only people who do it, but they’re certainly the most famous. Bring in a female character. Make the male lead belittle her in s’life segments for her immaturity so he can establish his place as above her. Reveal that she may have romantic feelings for her. Then strip the girl of any independence either physically or emotionally and then usually kill her.
Normally a reviewer will say that the worst thing a piece of entertainment’s can do is be boring, but that’s not Kanon’s problem. Certainly it is mind-blowingly boring since practically all the humour and conversations consist of a girl with no mental capacity being told by the main character how stupid she is. But the real reason I hate Kanon so much is the bits after that. The rinse and repeat of taking a little girl, stripping her of all agency and then killing her in order to draw tears from the audience, who invariably fall for it each and every time.
Not that I blame you. The same way I don’t blame people for clicking on buzzfeed clickbait articles on web advertising. They are designed in that insidious way to get you to click on them, and its only once you realise that do you stop supporting this “You Won’t Believe These 8 Ways Miley Cyrus Hates Minecraft Pokemon” headlines by not clicking on them. I know you think Kanon, Clannad and Air are emotional because they made you cry, but punching you in the face and breaking your nose would probably make you cry too. That doesn’t make the punch a 10/10 emotional piece of high entertainment. All they are doing are taking weak creatures and killing them to draw a reaction from you. Stop falling for it. Please.read more
I’ve never been extremely fond of the whole slice of life/drama series in anime. From where I stand they seem like boring, by-the-book series that never go anywhere, do anything, and have a main character that is as interesting as a window curtain. This in mind, when I go into such series, there’s a certain bit of apprehension, or dread if you will, cause I know that it will be about 50% walking around at school and 45% drama that has no substance.
This doesn’t mean I’ve never enjoyed a slice-of-life(Clannad, SNAFU, School Days(joking)) but when I first looked at Kanon, I just felt the urge to laugh. A series based of a Key Visual Novel adapted by Kyoto Animation, that has 5 equally adorable girls on the cover? Right, think I got this. There’s going to be some boring bloke who has some reason to be new to the setting, there’s going to be one girl who has the personality and emotional capacity of a certain Evangelion character, there’s going to be another girl who looks and acts about 5, and the entire cast has some kind of dark past or trauma that will rear its ugly head by the end of the series. Granted, I did get that, but it’s not as straight forward as it seems.
Lets begin with our protagonist: Yuichi Aizawa, the teenager who has just moved back to a city where he spent like two weeks staying with his aunt and cousin, in order to go to school there. He actually pretty normal, but the one thing he has going for him is massive snark. He reminds me vividly of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya’s Kyon, only without the ability to occasionally keep his mouth shut. He always seems to have something to say about everyone and everything, and this wit is what drives the shows comedy. It’s actually pretty funny too, and that’s good, cause bland comedy and repetition get along like a toe and hangnail. Despite this, Yuichi proves multiple times that he actually cares a lot for other people, and will do anything for anybody who thinks needs his help. I really like his character, and he makes a great protagonist for the show.
Next up is our “main girl” Ayu Tsukimiya, the aforementioned 5yr old looking girl. She tends to be in the center of whatever is happening, acting like a sidekick for Yuichi and helping him with his problems. Since the show follows an ark format, this allows her to be always in the background while we concentrate on a certain girl, but always in the show. This builds a lot to her, and is crucial for the show’s final ark, which just so happens to be about her. She’s an eccentric and overly optimistic girl, but of course she has a dark past that shapes why she acts the way she does. Actually she’s not quite as well rounded as some of the other characters on the show, but she’s clearly the one the show wants to focus on. It’s like being told to watch grass grow while a giant panda is floating in the sky behind you, firing gamma rays from its mouth. Yes I cared what happened to her by the end, but I can’t help but feel that might be due more of the time I spent watching her than actually character likability and complexity.
The rest of the supporting cast is ridiculously strong, each with their own backstory and screen time. While I can’t talk about them all, keep watch for the Misaki sisters, who probably had the best developed ark in the show, Makato Sawatari, an unassumingly complex girl whose arc came the closest to making me shed a tear, and Minase Nayuki, Yuichi’s cousin, who is really hard to wake up in the morning. I’m glad the show was able to build such strong characters, since the plot certainly isn’t going to get of its ass and help forward the narrative is it? Character driven is something you could use to describe Kanon, and in my book, that’s a good thing.
Now the biggest problem I have with these kind of shows usually is the way they handle drama. What I hate, and what these shows usually do, is put drama in there for the sake of it. For example, I’ll cry because a puppy died, yes, but it actually takes a good show for me to cry because I liked that puppy. I knew its motivations and personality; its fears and dreams, and I can see how it all built up to the event. See what I mean? It’s easy to have a tragic backstory, but it’s harder to make the viewer truly care. Luckily, with Kanon they avoid this problem, and whatever empathy or sadness I felt for the characters, it was because they were well built, not for the sake of it. While some characters lack true depth, I really don’t have a problem with any of them.
If there’s one thing I didn’t lack how the show handled, it was the supernatural part of it. It just seemed like something thrown in there to increase the drama; because apart from when it was important to the plot, everything is typical slice-of-life. Now, the supernatural elements were OK in a anime like Clannad because they were used sparingly, just enough to give the show a sense of wonder(besides from that bullsh*t ending) but in Kanon they don’t seem to really have a reason for it. OK Kanon, the fox girl I can buy, but by the time demons and ghosts are showing up, my tolerance is waning. If they wanted a supernatural theme, just make it an integral part of the show, not a catalyst for drama escalation! But I digress.
The music for Kanon is really quite average. While it provides really nice ambience for the series, especially during the emotional bits, nothing here really is worth listening to on your own. As for animation, Kyoto Animation did a fantastic job. While character design in nothing of the beaten track(though that is probably more the visual novels fault more than Kyoto Ani’s) the animation is lovely and high quality, as expected from this certain production studio.
While not great, Kanon is still well worth your time if you’re looking for a character driven drama. It’s emotional, funny, and if you’re suffering from a void from finishing your new favorite slice-of-life, probably one of the first things you should pick up. I didn’t cover everything, like the lack of cohesion between the story arcs, or the amount of convenience that Yuichi would meet all these girls and make such a big impact that they would remember him like a decade later all in the span of this one visit to his aunt, but I’m not going to fixate on it too much. It’s good, you should watch it, and if you don’t have a soul as black and dead as I do, you might just shed a tear or two. Till next time.
Final Verdict: 7(.5)/10
P.S: So wait, she just recovered from that illness at the end without any explanation? Oh, nevermind.
For this review and others, feel free to check out my blog! (Link on profile) read more
Voice actors make our favorite characters memorable. They give characters, well... character! Anime would be nothing without their hard work and dedication. But which voice actor is the best at his job? Let’s take a look at the top 10 male seiyu (voice actors) on MyAnimeList to find out!
Tropes are everywhere in anime. Perhaps no medium is more dependent on them than this one we love so much, so here are a few thoughts on this seemingly overwhelming subject to serve as a doorway to the complex world of anime tropes.