Canvas 2 ~Niji Iro no Sketch~ is a romance anime based on a visual novel. I personally did not get the chance to play the game, but I do plan to eventually. I am not sure whether fans of the game would like the anime, but its important for them to know that although all heroines are in the anime and all of them have their moments, the spotlight is completely on Elis and Kiri; therefore, if you are a die hard fan of any of the other heroines prepare to be disappointed.
Very few harem anime have a logical setting, but Canvas 2's setting is, to a certain degree, logically acceptable. The main character, Hiroki, is an instructor for a school's art club. Obviously, he has students, many of them female; therefore, the great number of females around him does not feel unnatural or unrealistic at any point during the anime.I described the anime as harem, but it really is not. Its a love triangle, and that fact becomes completely apparent by the first four episodes.
I would have rated the story higher had I got a more satisfying ending. A satisfying ending could be a happy, bittersweet, shocking, or melodramatic as long as it provides the person watching the anime the necessary closure. Pounding your desk in irritation and aggravation is not what an ending with good closure should make you do. The only reason is I rated the story 6 and not lower than that is because the conflicts of specific arcs were resolved, more or less, beautifully and everything was going so well till the story took a sudden and rash change that ruined it all for me personally. I knew the ending before watching the anime, and I actually thought I would like it, but as I watched the episodes, I slowly realised how much I will hate the ending once I am finally done with the anime, and truth be told, I was infuriated with the ending. I wonder how I would have reacted, had I not accidently spoiled the ending for myself.
To be brief, the story is good but ends horribly.
The animation is nothing special. Truth be told, for an anime produced in 2005, you would think it would look better than this. It does look like someone that came out in 2003. The character designs are shallow. The main way you will differentiate between the characters is with their hair color. All minor characters look like carbon copies of one another. It is not bad, but it could have been a lot better.
The soundtrack is great but not really memorable. Dramatic music played at dramatic points of the story and happy pieces of music played at points, but the ending song really stands out in my opinion, and the song is still stuck in my head (its been months since I finished watching the anime)
The three main characters are Hiroki, Elis, and Kiri.
Hiroki, like many main male characters from visual novels is very normal and average in personality and behavior. Nothing in him really stands out, except the fact that he does not retaliate once taken advantage of as shall be seen. That probably is the only thing about him that stood out in the anime. Had the anime focused more on his painful past and showed his emotions during that period of his life, I think he could have been a lot more interesting.
Elis is Hiroki's cousin as well as student. I will admit that she is the reason I decided to watch the anime. Very few romance anime involve cousins, and one that does is what I wanted. I kept searching, unearthing anime till I found that Canvas 2 and Kanon have cousins in them. I had heard of Kanon before but did not know that it involves cousins, but Canvas 2 was a completely new name to me, a name that I have never heard or read of before. The anime's anonymity fueled my curiousity, so I went on to watch it. Now, let me talk about Elis herself. She is an annoying yet cute brat that constantly and consistently clings to her "onii-chan," much to his dismay.
Kiri is your typical, caring, loving childhood friend. Nothing makes her that unique, but she does have this aura around her when she is first introduced that makes you wonder in what way is she related to Hiroki's past.
Overall, I would say that the anime is ok, but the horrible ending made me forget how much I loved earlier parts of the anime. Others might actually like the ending; therefore, to each his own. One should give this anime chance, but I think it would be good to have have another anime to rebound on immediately once you are done, so that you do not feel too irritated contemplating the ending like I did.
I had a chance to try out the Visual Novel the anime is based on, and I have to say the anime did not do it justice. The character designs in the anime look terrible and bland when compared to the designs used in the VN. Another thing is, the anime focused too much on Elis and Kiri. Yes, they're the main heroines and they play a major part in the VN even if one does not take their route, but the anime should have showed more elements of the routes of the other characters. Take this as an example, the only way I knew that one of the girls in the anime is a heroine is from the anime's ending that displayed them all. There is not a single part of her route in the anime. The other heroines(excluding Elis and Kiri) all had at least an episode, more or less, but I don't think it was enough, and this is bound to frustrate fans of the VN who plan on watching the anime. There was never really a harem of girls in this romance anime. It was plain and simple, a love traingle, and all the other heroines have no purpose other than serving as filler material.