Watch it. Watch it now.
WARNING: Anime contains moe.....a LOT of moe. But good moe!
Now, i was recommended this because of my love for Clannad and I have to say that was spot on. Almost too spot on. We follow Yuuichi as he returns to his cousin's town which he hasn't been to for 7 years. He has forgotten a lot from his past at this time and various chance encounters with certain girls slowly reveal the truth....
Right, off the bat I thought this would just be a standard, run of the mill romantic comedy harem anime, but i was far from the truth. Not saying that it's a bad thing, like i said, Clannad was amazing and that's basically my description, however Kanon brings something a little different to the table. For one, it has a very supernatural-esque feel to it, especially the overlying story which turns out to be quite complicated and altogether, uneeded. I understand that perhaps it's trying to be very deep and thought provoking, but there are points where you go "Wait.....what?". However, to combat this they have some genuinely amazing moments; parts that made me cry with laughter and made me cry with sorrow, this show is an absolute emotional rollercoaster. Similar to Clannad, we witness various story arcs relating to the different girls of Yuuichi's past, and I personally found them much more.......enjoyable than the overlying story, nevertheless, i thoroughly enjoyed the show and would happily watch it again.
Kyoto Animation never do wrong in my opinion, their animation to me is always on top form and always manages to really make you feel the emotion coming from the characters, whether it is sadness or joy (especially joy, I dont remember laughing along with a character who's also laughing his ass off). However, i gave it an 8 because i found that the actual character designs were kind of off, mainly that every girl's mouth seemed too small or too high up on their face. Now that i've said that, that's all you'll be able to see! But I got used to it pretty quickly and in the end it added to their cuteness.
Now normally I'm not one for criticizing sound as to me it always feels like it fits, but with Kanon, the opening especially, works really well. Everything is very slow paced, piano based and it sits in with the mood perfectly, really aiding in the immersion.
Due to the sheer amount of characters that we get to know intimately, i'll keep this brief. The characters are adorable,brilliant and an absolute joy to watch. Seriously, seeing Nayuki all sleepy in the morning, or Matoko messing around with Yuichi or even Ayu's little cute moments, I loved watching them and each specific character was especially well written. One note however; I watched Clannad prior to this, hence the recommendation, and i watched both Clannad and Kanon dubbed (just cos it's easier to watch if I'm just putting something on) and the characters Kitagawa from Kanon and Sunohara from Clannad, are literally THE SAME PERSON. They're both the bumbling comic relief, same hair colour and style, similar relationship to the protagonist and to make matters worse, SAME ENGLISH VOICE ACTOR. This really annoyed me at the start, like REALLY annoyed me, because i didnt want a Clannad copy, i wanted something similar but new. But i bit my tongue, ignored it and was pleasently surprised. Sure they may be similar but hey, i loved Sunohara in Clannad so i was bound to like Kitagawa.
Dubbed or Subbed?
Now this is a really really hard choice. The dubbed version is really good, especially if you're not into moe because the english voice actors take most of it away (except Ayu, there is nothing that will make her not cute) and it's actually done really well. The acting is top notch, the script well thought out, it was a good experience to watch it dubbed. BUT, and this is a big but, I realised that after watching the dubbed version, it seems the Americans decided to CUT OUT parts of the show. Un-Freaking-Believable!!!!!! Taking out parts of the story, especially the part that I was choked about (In Shiori's story arc) really really annoyed me, and i think those parts would have made it a much more immersive and touching story. So it's a tough one. The story is a sad one, with some great bits. Honestly, watching it dubbed was great, and it gives me a reason to watch it again subbed now, but for first time watchers? I would recommend what i'm doing literally because if you watch it subbed, you probably wont want to watch it dubbed even though the acting is really good and worth watching, however i do understand that it's a pain to re watch it to see what you missed.