Kanon 2006: Blast from the Past

Sad Ayu in Snow
Sad Ayu in Snow… Uguu…

Kanon is probably the most blogged about show this season, and for a good reason. Kanon (game) was first released on the PC in 1999 as an renai eroge. More accurately, it should be said that it was a visual novel, since the story was what drove the rather linear game. A year later, and all-age version was released. Dreamcast and PS2 versions were later released, with new voice acting. The game was a hit, though not instant, and became a cult classic. The subsequent games by Visual Arts, Air and Clannad, were great hits as well. Even today, people are still buying Kanon, with different fan translated patches on the internet.

When an anime version of Kanon was released in 2002 by Toei Animation, it got mixed reviews. While most fans and viewers like the story of Kanon, many complained about the animation quality and the pacing of the show. Personally, since I haven’t played the game when the anime was released back then, I didn’t realize there was much more to the plot then what was shown by the series, and I was quite satisfied in that aspect. Yes, the pacing was a little rushed towards the end of the series when they had to wrap it up, but it was ok. As for the animation, I felt that the character designs and animation did indeed need some work, but I’ve seen worse.

Kanon in Air
Cameos of the Kanon girls in Air

Since then, a small animation studio began to draw a lot of anime fan’s attention. It started with Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu. Then all hell broke loose when Air was released (at least to Visual Arts fans). It was rather unfortunate for Toei that the Air Movie was release about a month after the TV series, and many, if not most people compared the two. It was almost one sided in favor of the TV series, and many fans of the series could not help but wonder what Kanon would be like in the hands of this small animation studio based in Kyoto. Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid was released soon afterwards and Kyoto Animation made a name for themselves. Another instant cult favourite was released a year later: Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (凉宮ハルヒの憂鬱). Right before the airing of Suzumiya, KyoAni announced the plans for releasing the Kanon in the fall of 2006. While there was a lot of rumour stating that Suzumiya was only 14 eps long because KyoAni wanted to do Kanon, the general consensus was: “We can’t wait!”

Come October, and we finally got to see Kanon. So far (5 eps as I write this), the show proves to be as much as expected. Excellent animation by KyoAni, great voice acting by the original cast (save Yuuichi, more on that later), and a soundtrack that brings tears to fan’s eyes. As far as I could tell (which doesn’t say a lot), the anime follows the game rather closely, but with the introductions complete now, how will the show develop? Will Mai and Makoto’s stories get the shaft again? Will Nayuki get ignored as usual? With 24 episodes planned, I believe that all the girls’ stories will be covered, with much more detail than in the Toei version.


One thing that distracts me, and I think a lot of people on the internet, in the show is the voice of Sugita Tomokazu (杉田 智和). Don’t get me wrong, I love his voice acting in Honey & Clover as Mayama Takumi and Suzumiya Haruhi as Kyon. But while Mayama and Kyon sound rather different, Kyon and Yuuichi sound rather similar, especially when they are being sarcastic. Worse, they actually look similar. Nevertheless, Sugita does a wonderful job making Yuichi such a colorfully sarcastic bastard that the antics in the show that I actually laughed out loud many times.

With ultra cute girls, a sarcastic harem master at the helm, and the king of beautiful animation KyoAni, what could go wrong with this show? Why aren’t you watching Kanon already?


5 Responses to “Kanon 2006: Blast from the Past”

  1. 1 badger11 November 10, 2006 at 5:29 am

    Despite the similarities between Kyon and Yuuichi, I think Yuuichi is going to become a for more developed character than Kyon ever had the chance to be. to me, his attitude and the way he acts are the key to seeing them as different characters.

  2. 2 uhsieh November 10, 2006 at 9:55 am

    That’s true, Kyon doesn’t get developed much, even in the novel. Yuuichi is going to pwn Kyon in just about every department except for weirdness (and he gets the girl XD ). Yet while watching Kanon I get this nagging feeling that there is Kyon somewhere inside Yuuichi, especially when he said “yare yare”. Just can’t shake the feeling, that’s all.

    I guess it come down to who came first. If Kanon is aired first, people would say that Kyon is a Yuuichi copy, without all the slickness with the girls.

    Yare yare….

  3. 3 Dada April 20, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    Buna ma cheama Andrada dar poreclamea este dada si sunt fan anime si cel mai mare fan la mew mew! Daca imi scrieti acestui mesaj scrietzi-mi in Romana!

  4. 4 charizardpal April 16, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    I’ve played the game. Yuuichi is just as sarcastic in the anime as he is in the game, scoffing at girls, teasing them for their ludicrous ideas, etc, so they didn’t just copy Kwon because Yuuichi was already like that in the games.

  5. 5 harry May 22, 2010 at 8:56 am

    well too be honest i love kanon (2006) but too be honest i think it is one of the saddest animes i have watched not as in soppish i mean emotionally sad and it’s kyon not kwon xD

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Please don't ask me where you could download the anime/movie/dorama. Check Tokyo Toshokan first, please. Thanks.

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