Kanon - Reviews

sothis's avatar
Aug 7, 2005

Kanon is quite possibly the most generic dribble ever to come out of a dating-sim series, as far as the romance goes. It is filled with the most stereotypical characters: an annoying, whiny, yet needy girl, a clutz that sounds like a 5 year old, who also acts like one, the outcast, the girl who is inevitably dying, etc. In addition to the textbook romance type story, the series can't decide what kind of show it is. It ranges from generic romance, to weird supernatural/horrorish (which ends up being LAME and unrealistic), and also a depressing tragedy of sorts related to death. Quite a bit of the plot is unrealistic, which makes the romance seem even more fake and game-related. And that's really what this series comes down to... it doesn't try to hide the fact that it's based on a game. You know how some series like this, you know they are based on a game, but they still might seem like it could be real life? Not so in Kanon... it literally feels like it was adapted right out of the game. Good? Not as far as I'm concerned.

Not to mention, the crux of the entire series (Yuuichi and his random amnesia) is never even explained!
I've seen a lot of series in this genre, so it isn't like I am discriminating against this one only. I don't mind the dating sim look, but Kanon is just bad. The character designs are utterly terrible. Yuuichi is the best example, I think. Very pointy face, eyes that aren't the same size as anyone else in the show, but also very horizontal looking and wide. Hair that looks like a toupee. Female designs are totally generic and boring, with textbook eyes that take up half the face, hair that looks exactly the same on each person (including parents, who look like they are 15 too). Barely any shading was done with characters, especially the faces. Combined with the dot of ink that comprises the nose, the characters themselves are just not attractive to look at from an animation standpoint. Also, the hair shading was fairly ridiculous and bad looking (such as a horizontal white line across parts to indicate the light shining off of it, I guess?).

Besides the hideous attempt at character design, the rest wasn't too bad. Attention to detail was fairly well done, such as the reflection of the characters in a store window. Backgrounds decently done. The colors used were fairly random, sometimes good, and sometimes very dull or bad looking.

All in all, extremely average animation.. not in the sense that it looks old and bad, but that it is EXTREMELY generic. Plus the awful character designs.
Completely standard textbook dating-sim game music. The occasional vocal track is played, but usually piano type tracks were played.

Voice actors I guess accomplished their goals, with syrupy sweet little girl voices for most of the characters, making them seem even more childish and immature than they might have been. There are barely any males in the series, but Yuuichi's voice was fine.
As you surely remember, I mentioned already that the characters were incredibly generic and textbook. Honestly, you are so emotionless towards them because of how generic they are, that I can't give this score anything decent. When finding out a character is terminally ill, I rolled my eyes and thought "of COURSE they needed something like this in the show". You understand every character from the beginning, because you've seen it all before. Many times, in other series. The relationships between the characters seem paper thin and are uninteresting. Yuuichi's choice seems random, which some people might enjoy over the type where you know exactly who he will choose. In addition, the sense of fantasy that is thrown in occasionally makes you not able to take it seriously. I like fantasy shows, and I also like drama/romance type shows. But putting random bits of fantasy into a romance show just makes it unrealistic, and you can't take it seriously.
If there ever was a good place to use the word "asstacular" it would be for Kanon. I forced myself to finish this show because I've wanted to see it for awhile, but my god, it was difficult to watch 13 episodes (plus the Kazahana special). It's literally just like watching any other dating sim.. whether it be Memories Off, or "With You", or (MUCH BETTER) Kimi ga Nozomu Eien... but instead of being short like the first two, it's 13 episodes. I have no idea how anyone would want to sit through that much of generic dating-sim action, myself.. but maybe you'd enjoy it. Usually the redeeming factor of these series is the animation, and it didn't cut it for Kanon. Dave, at one point, was talking to me and saw Yuuichi's face on the screen and said something along the lines of "wow, that guy's face is messed up".

As far as rewatchability, I hated this one, so what do you think?

Bah. I wouldn't touch this one with a 10 foot pole again.
2/10 story
4/10 animation
4/10 sound
2/10 characters
3.5/10 overall
DGFischer's avatar
Jun 5, 2021

It has been a curiosity when watching Clannad and Air.  Productions were made first by Toei Animation, then by Kyoto Animation.  The Clannad Movie came out in 2007, followed by the Clannad series which ran from 2007-2009.  Air Movie ran in 2005 and afterwards the 13-episode Air series came out in the winter months of 2005.  Now we have Kanon, two series first developed by Toei Animation in a 13-episode set in 2002, and Kyoto  Animation with their extended 24-episode run in 2006.  Toei, in their work on Kanon, would develop some of the characters for Air three years later.  Kyoto would pick up these characters for their second runs.

The question persists, who did the better job?  IMHO for Clannad, Kyoto.  For Air, Toei.  This review will cover the efforts of the first showing by Toei in 2002.  In a few weeks, I'll try to get a review on Kyoto's 2006 Kanon.

As for the premise of Kanon, Yuuchi Aizawa has returned to the city he left seven years ago, a place he has few memories.  We are led to believe that it was because of the cold winters, the setting for the story leading up to the resolution in spring.  Yuuchi knows little of the town, but there is a bevy of girls who know him.  This leads to a series of situations, some comedic, but for the most part, ominous.

Akiko and Nayuki Minase open their home to visiting Yuuchi.  Technically, you consider the mother and daughter as relatives to Yuuchi, kind of like cousins ... until you discover that this familial relationship was based on the friendship with Yuuchi's parents.  And Nayuki has been hiding her feeling for Yuuchi.

Ayu Tsukimiya is a frantic girl who first runs into Yuuchi (literally) after stealing food from a vendor.  Taiyaki, Ayu's favorite, is something Yuuchi claims not to know much about ... but there is a suspicion that he knows more about the treat.

Makoto Sawatari is a mischievous girl who loves to bother Yuuchi.  You think at times whether she is for real.  Maybe she's not.

Shiori and Kaori Misaka are sisters.  Shiori appears to be dying, and for this reason Koari rejects her.  Yuuchi find Shiori quite endearing, and he has difficulties understanding why Kaori, normally a sweet girl, to be acting so selfishly.

Mai Kawasumi is an anti-social teenager who wreaks havoc in the school in her campaign against monsters stalking the school.  A pariah among her classmates, her friend Sayuri Kurata vouches for her.  Yuuchi fears for Mai's sanity ... until he sees her monsters.

Jun Kitagawa is a boy who tries to be Yuuchi's friend.  But, in harem, I can't say he's a good fit for the story.

The essence of the story is the recovery of the memories Yuuchi has lost, or better, the one event that blocks these memories.  It involves one of the afore-mentioned females, and, with the likelihood that these gals will get hurt, hospitalized, or just vanish from the scene, chances for Yuuchi to discover his past seems remote.  But, with the coming of spring, more than memories will be recovered.

Kanon has all the classic designs of Air and Clannad, which is ironic, seeing that Toei's 2002 Kanon is the first of the three classics to develop.  Keep this in mind when viewing the second Kanon of 2006.  The remake would be wise to hold close to the facial features and the softer, muted colorations.  The sad, lilting melodies.  Then again, four years might offer technical changes which will give Kyoto an advantage when giving the second showing of Kanon.  Plus, Kyoto wil have the extended series with eleven more episodes, which will avoid the cramped feel the plot had, particularly at the climax and resolution. 2006 Kanon.  By this time Air would have been presented and we are still awaiting Clannad.

The 2000's did give us some gems.  Twice.  Three times.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
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jypsel's avatar
May 27, 2020

**spoilers in this review!

Huh... I'm starting to think my deep-seated love for AIR TV was a fluke.

I have watched a lot from what came out of this studio at this point: Clannad, Clannad: After Story, Angel Beats!, AIR TV (and the movie), and now Kanon.  I'm also nearly finished with Kanon (2006), too.  All of them have fallen short from the absolute glory that was AIR TV (in my opinion, at least).  I think I've finally realized why. 

AIR TV gets flack because it doesn't focus on the girls as much as its subsequent series, Clannad and Kanon.  For people who never played the dating sim, this made it seem much more like an actual anime instead of harem garbage.  However, for people who enjoy the dating sims, it's not going to do well. 

I don't think this version of Kanon will, either.

I'm actually not sure why some people love this.  The story is bizarre.  A young man loses his memory and finds it while helping out random girls in the new town he's moved to.  The things he has to help with are equally bizarre...one girl is fighting demons in the school except there actually are no demons, joke's on all of us, I guess?  Even though it shows him fighting said demons, too.  Perhaps they're supposed to be representations of their internal demons?  Then why were they seeing the same thing?  Can I get a "yikes"?! 

And the entire arc of Matoko being a fox reincarnated? What on God's green earth?  I get that there have been other strange situations occurences throughout anime and I also get that AIR TV had a reincarnation arc but there's a pretty substantial difference between being reincarnated from a goddess versus being reincarnated from a fucking fox.  

If this anime had just focused on the end girl, it could've stood a chance.  However, it also would've turned a lot of people off who enjoyed the dating sim so perhaps they were between a rock and a hard place?  Either way, the entire plotline, if you can even call it plot, just ended up being trash. 

The animation is absolutely laughable, which is pretty much a solid consensus considering you can find people absolutely roasting it to this day.  There's a reason the remake included more episodes and an entirely different animation style.  It was hilarious and actually helped me throughout the anime because sometimes it looked so terrible that it took my mind of the idiocy that was happening. 

The sound was not impressive, but also not horrible. It's nothing compared to the far more consistent 2006 version but the OP was nice enough. Some of the voice actors made my skin crawl because I do get exhausted with how high pitched some of them force themselves to get, but this is a general complaint.

The characters were just as horrid as the "plot" because they made up what little plot there was.  They were not fleshed out, the women were clear fodder for the protagonist, as is the case with basically all harem anime, and said protagonist was not fleshed out, either.  Other than his random amnesia and tendency to be an ass, his personality was completely blank and boring.  How on earth are you going to make a dating sim-turned-anime and make the characters boring?  Who signed off on this? 

My personal enjoyment was in the negatives.  Why did I inflict this punishment on myself?

Overall, don't watch this.  If you absolutely must, at least try out the 2006 version.  Save your eyes and your sanity.  

2/10 story
1/10 animation
5/10 sound
1/10 characters
2/10 overall
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CharacterPhilosopher's avatar
Nov 25, 2020

This show was okay. Another visual novel adaptation by KyoAni earlier in the studio's life. The visuals are pleasant, as well as the music and sound. However, the characters and story were just sort of your run of the mill Key Visual Arts characters. They were fun in ways similar to characters from Clannad After Story, but they lack a lot of the weight and thematic significence that After Story carried. The show also suffers from a pattern similar to that of Clannad's first season. It's decent. Watch it maybe, but if you have something better to do. Do that instead.

5/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
6/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
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