No, I’m not talking about that atrocious show that Toei came up with. I’m talking about the Kyoto Animation adaptation that aired from fall to winter of 2006. This was one of the first anime series that I first watched (not including Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc.). Anyway, Kanon (2006) was adapted from its famous counterpart visual novel created by Key, Kanon. I’ve not yet played the visual novel, but it garnered a great legacy apparently spawning two anime adaptations, some more spin-off games, manga, drama CDs, and light novels.
The premise of this series is very much like other harem series, but despite that it still does great. The cast of Kanon has many and is widely varied. We have 5 heroines, Tsukimya Ayu, Minase Nayuki, Kawasumi Mai, Sawatari Makoto, and Misaka Shiori with the main heroine being Ayu. We also have one hero, Aizawa Yuuichi, and several supporting characters, Akiko (Nayuki’s mother and Yuuichi’s aunt), Amano (knows about Makoto’s mysterious circumstances), Sayuri (Mai’s friend), Kaori (Shiore’s elder sister), Jun (friend to Nayuki, Kaori, and Yuuichi), and Piro (a cat). The synopsis of Kanon is this:
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…
Each heroine has her own arc throughout the series with their own drama and plot. First arc up is Sawatari Makoto’s arc, which personally made me tear up quite a bit at the end of this arc. I’m not going into details so that I can allow those who haven’t watched Kanon to watch it now and see it. Makoto is a mischievous girl who has amnesia about herself, who has an idiosyncrasy of always saying “auu~”. She likes to play pranks on Yuuichi, most of which backfire on her, and she loves nikuman (meat buns). I found this arc very emotional and Makoto’s character to be very likeable with her mischievous personality.
Next up is Kawasumi Mai’s arc, which is my favorite arc out of them all. Mai is a third-year schoolgirl who hunts demons at night, and her idiosyncrasy is being silent most of the time. Mai was usually labeled as a delinquent for strange incidents in the school due to her silence about fighting the demons. As a result, she was looked upon as a strange girl. She also has her best friend, Sayuri, supporting her the most and was only one of two who believes that she was not involved in the school incidents. One of the most memorable scenes for me in Kanon was the dance scene in this arc, which was amazing and beautiful. But this arc ends off at a good point with Yuuichi (reunited childhood friend) helping her out.
Next up is Misaka Shiori’s arc. Shiori is perhaps the most “normal” girl of all the heroines, which may have contributed to her being one of my top favorite Kanon characters. Shiori is a sickly girl whose sister, Kaori, worries so much about Shiori. Shiori was not expected to live much longer, and Kaori is in despair about the looming death. I would say that this arc was probably the most down-to-earth arc despite the fantasy ending, but no matter. It was still a very nice arc, although the plot was kinda predictable.
The fourth arc is the shortest arc of them all. Minase Nayuki’s arc deals mostly with her mother, Akiko, and also with her relationship to Yuuichi. Nayuki is a slow girl who is very fond of animals. She also has always been in love with Yuuichi (first cousins can get married in Japan.). To be honest, I felt that this arc was rushed and that the “shocking event” was kinda unrealistic. I do wish that the director had spend more time on her arc.
And now, we come to the last arc, Tsukimiya Ayu’s arc. Well, to be more specific this arc was more spread out throughout the series culminating at the end, but whatever. Ayu is an energetic, airhead girl who was reunited with Yuuichi after 7 years at the beginning of the series. Ayu also has amnesia like Makoto, only that she is searching for something that she lost but cannot remember what it is that she was looking for. I felt that this arc was okay as it ended off the series at a good note, but somehow I can’t really get myself to like Ayu. Maybe it’s because of her personality or her annoying idiosyncrasy, saying “uguu~” all the time, but nevertheless I feel that Ayu’s story was okay.
Overall, Kanon was a great series even if some arcs were rushed or not up to my expectations. Kanon was one of the first anime series that I’ve watched about 5 years ago and for that, it has gained a memorable place in my mind. This series also introduced me to Kyoto Animation, which I am now a huge fan of, and also to other series such as Air, Haruhi Suzumiya no Yuuutsu, and Clannad. It also introduced me to visual novels as well, even though I have yet to even complete one visual novel after all this time. -_-
Oh well, here are some more pictures from Kanon!