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.
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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. 8/10
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.
Animation - 6
It' the same character design as we've all seen in Air and Clannad. Big, glassy eyes, with proportionately large tears. It's nothing new, but it is polished. Animation wise, it's what we know of from Key. Hair whipping through snow, blades of grass, and orbs of light. No striking animation sequences, or dynamic animation at all except for a fight that Mei gets into, but nothing special.
Sound - 6
Kannon is rife with pseudo-ambient music and music box themes that would make Enya decry the milquetoastness of it all. The opening and ending are forgettably familiar. There
was one good jazzy piano piece that seemed to show up when an obstacle was revealed that was quite good. If only the rest of the music had that charm and added that much texture.
Characters - 4
As has been said these characters are stock. We've seen them all, the sick girl, the loli, the comedy duo, the rich girl, the blond-only-other-guy-in-the-whole-show, the relative with a crush, and on and on. It's all so bland. Mei (quiet girl), gets it right, Yuuichi (the main character) is a weak person that pretends to be strong, hurting everyone around him without a modicum of self awareness. His selfishness disguised as selflessness knows no bounds and no one ever dares to call him out on it. In fact, everyone loves him for it. This phenomena results in the show having no character development for the main character at all. In fact, I only think that one character "develops" and it was just her behavior suddenly changing. Shiori's (sick girl) lack of knowing the name of what's ailing her is the main example of the lack of thought and depth that writers put in characters. Of course, they only want viewers to shed tears, so the most superficial of characters is all that's needed if they can make you cry, right?
Story - 4
Wrong. If Kanon were a horror story, more would make sense, because, just like every other Key series, Kanon systematically tries to murder every focus character in the male protagonists' Messiah Complex wake. Except that they don't even have the ball to stick to a single death in the show; moments later the writing backtracks (once it scored the tears from viewers hearts) and magically brings characters back to life.
If I took this show seriously, I would think that this was some horrible misogynistic fantasy about a boy who is the only person capable of saving all these girls lives within the span of what? Two months? Once Yuuichi has saved the girl of the arc, we don't hear of them ever again until the end when, of course, we have to have the pussy parade to show how much the protagonist has accomplished. Kanon is the worst offender in the Key series of trying to have some pseudo-metaphysical lore intertwine with the plot in that it directly affects these characters in the most mindboggling plot twists. Faith healers, fox spirits, girls with magical wishes? Furthermore, the overall plot development is set aside for the gir of the arc stories so that, by the last four or five episode they try, in futility to make the story work.
To confess, accept and lose someone you love all in the same episode, without any buildup whatsoever, what is that supposed to do? Am I supposed to feel bad? The writing doesn't let characters organically grow with one another in exchange for the "mystery" factor so that, once the leads are together, you ask yourself, What makes her more special than the others?...you forgot about all of these girls, and didn't remember them until it was too late. It's the same with her. Why is she special? Ridiculous.
Enjoyment - 3
So Kanon left a bad taste in my mouth. I actively avoided this show, because I already knew what was going to happen once I read the synopsis, and guess what? I was right. I couldn't even get behind the one character that I should have liked, Jun, because he was so randomly placed, and had little impact on the story. If anything, I had to drop my score of Clannad, because whatever originality I saw in it vaporized the moment I completed this show.
Overall - 4
In the show, the writers try to draw a comparison between Kanon and Pachabel's Canon in D. If only Kanon could be so groundbreaking; instead it comes off as merely derivative and uninspired. It is clear that Kanon was a testing ground of ideas, characters and setting for the more thematically tight (if also anemic) Air and Clannad. Kannon forgoes plot, character, and logical development for trite gimmicks intended for the emotionally immature to shed tears of empathy, leaving the show is thematically vacant and lacking ambition.
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