3 Jun 2012

Kanon Anime review

English: Kanon
Synonyms: Kanon Remake, Kanon 2006
Type: TV
Episodes: 24
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 5, 2006 to Mar 15, 2007
Producers: Kyoto Animation, ADV FilmsL, FUNimation EntertainmentL
Genres: Drama, Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

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. 

This anime is a remake of the 13 episode long Kanon anime (31.01.2002 till 28.03.2002), which is based on a very popular Japanese eroge (hentai anime game). Many fans complained the first Kanon anime lacked animation quality and did not adequately present the awesome story of the original eroge. A length of 24 episodes and Kyoto Animation now responsible for production and animation will hopefully be the key to create an appropriate and satisfying Kanon anime this time.

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...

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 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 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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Anime opening titiles:

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