Kanon

September 15, 2006

I’m not really sure how closely the anime Kanon follows with the pc game itself, but that’s not important here. Yeah, it’s another one of those hentai dating games turned into an anime because of its popularity. So probably why I’d watch this was maybe because of the harem thing. No, I’m not a pervert. Just that I read the storyline somewhere saying something about some touching story with some touching emotions bla bla bla, how the girls with some past comes to this guy and eventually why they leave him. Something like that. But I didn’t felt so.
 
So the main protagonist of the series, Yuuichi Aizawa, is the only main leading guy just like Rin in Shuffle, Junichi in Da Capo, and Kaoru in Ai Yori Aoshi. After 7 long years of being away from the town he once used to visit as a child, he finally returns. Also, because he was away for quite a long time, he couldn’t remember much of it during his younger days. Looks like there’s something he wants to forget.
 
Once he arrived at the town, he’s being greeted by his cousin, Nayuki Minase, who came to pick him up back to her mom’s place. Yup, he’s going to stay at his aunt’s place, Akiko. Save the hassle of searching for a place to live and rental problems. Byt the way, Akiko seems too young to be Nayuki’s mom, as I thought it was her elder sister in the first place. But she’s a nice and good person. So, you might have guessed it already, Nayuki being the first girl Yuuichi encounters, also harbours some sort of a crush on Yuuichi since childhood, and is keeping that crush in her heart eversince. Yeah, another case where I-can’t-confess-to-him-directly.
 
You’d wonder why would Nayuki like such a person in the first place. Not only Yuuichi’s blood related, but you’ll notice that Yuuichi likes to tease people. Not in a very bad way, of course. But it’s just a harmless one. And not just with Nayuki, but the other girls that he’ll encounter as well. Oh, one thing I want to mention is that, Nayuki seems to be a heavy sleeper. With all the alarm clocks she has, and when it rings away, she can still sleep. Funny girl.
 
Anyway, since Yuuichi has moved back into this town, he’s gotta settle down and continue with his life like enrol in a local high school and things like that. Taking his usual walk downtown, he bumps into another girl, Ayu Tsukimiya, a girl with a backpack with angel-like wings. Hmm… She seems like she’s running away from somebody. In order for her not to get caught, she pleads for Yuuichi to help hide her. Yeah, this girl has stole some takoyaki, her favourite food, from the shop owner. Though, Yuuichi was reluctant to help her at first, I guessed he pitied her eventually.
 
But because of some words that Yuuichi said, it brought back some memories to Ayu about some promise back in those days. Thus, Ayu was convinced that this was the Yuuichi they both made a promise to each other when they were younger. Though, Yuuichi doesn’t seem to remember it. Oh yeah, Ayu’s favourite word seems to be "Uguuu…". At least that’s what she always say when she’s in a bind or things don’t go her way.
 
During one of those coincidental outings with Ayu, I’m not sure I remember this part well, but some small fracas caused Ayu to bump into a nearby snow-ladden tree. And the snow fell onto a girl sitting next to it. It looks like a sickly looking and shy girl. Before anything happens, she ran off. Then there’s also stuff that Ayu dropped from her backpack during that bump. One of the items seems to have triggered some sort of memory effect thingy. Though I’m not sure what it is, but I guess it’ll be the thing which’ll be instrumental in the later part of the series. I think. 
 
As usual too in school, Yuuichi and Nayuki in the same class also make friends with others. The more prominent ones are Nayuki’s best pal, Kaori Misaka, your typical smart, hardworking model student, and Jun Kitagawa, your typical other supporting male character. Though I felt that Jun didn’t really made and impact throughout the entire series. And at times as Yuuichi takes a peek trhough his classroom window, he always sees that sickly girl that he and Ayu bumped into earlier on, standing waiting at the school gates. Who is she? We"ll’ find out later. Also, there’s another girl whom Yuuichi saw standing alone in the school compound at night. And with a sword in hand, I guess that made Yuuichi even curious rather than "I shouldn’t be messing with this one". More on her later too.
 
So to round up our girls-that-Yuuichi-meets-and-will-effect-his-live, she showed up during another one of those coincidental encounters between Yuuichi and Ayu. She appears from some box (funny way to hide and then appear), and challenges Yuuichi. Yup, she’s Makoto Sawatari. She claims that she has a score to settle with Yuuichi, but can’t remember what it is. *Smack*. Another memory deficient character, but she’s definitely certain about getting revenge on Yuuichi as he’s the one. And while trying to figure out that reason, Makoto stays with Yuuichi and Nayuki for the time being. Guess she’s got nowhere to go too. Plus, she’s quite ‘blur’ and ‘naive’ of certain human customs. Like there’s this one part where Yuuichi asked her to go buy some erotic magazines, which Makoto didn’t know what it was. But Yuuichi’s plan backfired when she really goes to the store and asked out loud for such magazines. Yuuichi must be blushing as he didn’t expect her to go through with it. And Nayuki’s calling him a pervert. Hehe.
 
Basically, that’s how Yuuichi encounter those girls. So there’ll be events to make Yuuichi closer to remember his past with secrets and memories resurfacing. And also how Yuuichi help those girls with whatever their problems and overcome it. So now I’ll just blog on that.
 
So the first girl that Yuuichi ‘helps’ is Mai Kawasumi. The third year student whom Yuuichi saw standing alone in the school compound at night wielding a sword previously. You’d wonder why the school allowed her to carry such a weapon to school. Dunno. But the reason she carries a sword is to fight off demons at school.  Seems those demons only appear at night when the school is deserted.
 
Because of this, she usually gets into trouble with the student council president. At first looks, he seems like the obnoxious and arrogant guy. Yeah, he’s always targeting Mai, blaming her for breaking the school windows and destroying school property and accusing her of being a delinquent. He’s even threatening to expel her from school if this happens again. Luckily besides Yuuichi, Mai’s got a good friend, Sayuri Kurata, who stays by her side and stands up for her no matter what. Though she doesn’t know about those demons, she’s always willing to help her in time of need. So much so to a point she reluctantly joined to student council as the president wishes in order to save her.
 
Anyway, in order for Yuuichi to believe Mai’s words, he stayed back one night with her at school. How true. It seems that there’re actually demons. But why? So some fighting here and there. Anyway, to save time, during the school ball, the demons suddenly attacked. And it is here that Yuuichi made a discovery. That Mai actually ‘creates’ those demons herself and she’s fighting them with her own psychic energy, hurting herself in the process. This explains those wounds were not inflicted by the demons.
 
This is the part where I didn’t understand. After Yuuichi made her realized that all this was her doing, then there’s some sort of a flashback saying that Yuuichi some sort of remembers her that he’d met her before (though Mai says she couldn’t remember a thing). Yeah, something like "I was once with you in your life". Huh? There’s no further explanation on that part. I felt it was mere convenience to the storyline. In the end, she calmed down and things turned back to normal for her. Yeah, she and Sayuri snubbed the student council president too after that for whatever reasons. Yeah! Serves him right whatsoever.
 
Moving on to the next girl, Shiori Misaka, the sickly little girl earlier on. A first year student, she’s always absent from school because she’s always ill with an incurable disease, as Yuuichi finds out. So sad. But she likes Yuuichi because he’s kind and gentle, except the fact that he teases her on occassion. But the saddest part is that her elder sister Kaori (yes, you should’ve guessed it by their surname), doesn’t acknowledged her existance. Why? Something like when she goes, she doesn’t want to be sad or feel lonely, so it’s better off that she doesn’t know her at all. Cruel, but I guess it can’t be helped.
 
Oh yes, before proceeding, this is the most memorable part of the series and the funniest part that I liked best. Yup, it’s the conversation between Yuuichi and Shiori somewhere in episode 5:
 
Yuuichi: Do you want to eat something? How about something spicy?
Shiori: I can’t eat something like that
Yuuichi: Then what kind of food do you eat?
Shiori: I eat food like ice cream
 
A moment of silence and the wind blew…
 
Yuuichi: But I think with your current conditions, you should be eating something warm and shouldn’t be eating something like that
Shiori: Then is there any warm ice cream?
 
The wind then blew even harder!
 
HAHAHA!!! This part especially when the wind blew, it was so hilarious. I purposely watched this part over and over again. Haih… Shiori, Shiori.
 
So anyway, then the inevitable came, Shiori fell really ill and was confined to her bed. It was at this time too that Kaori realized she’s just been hiding her true feelings all along. She’d still really love her little sister. And with some emotional bla bla blas, a miracle happened (can’t really remember how). Shiori’s condition’s starting to get better and she’s on the slow road to recovery. So the 2 sisters resolve to make the best of their times.
 
Next girl, it’s Makoto’s turn. I’ll save the trouble by telling what’s just important. As time goes by, Makoto begins to remember. But not totally. You see, Makoto’s actually a human reincarnation of a fox. That’s right, a fox. Back when she was a cub, a young Yuuichi and Nayuki took care of her when she was wounded (that scar on her chest proves it). In a way, because she loved him so much, she decided to come back in a human form. But the thing is, if she stays too long in such form, she’ll forget how to become human (like the part where she can’t even remember how to hold a chopstick).
 
Actually, I wouldn’t figure out all of that, and so would Yuuichi. The short appearance of Mishio Amano, a mysterious schoolmate of Yuuichi’s, explained it all. I too felt it was more of a convenience to end Makoto’s part. She’s like some sort of understands Makoto and can tell if something’s human or not. Er… But the way she say things, she seems close to Makoto and knows her kind.
 
So as Makoto’s health begins to fail, Yuuichi carries her back all the way to the mountain where she was born. Once they reached their destination, Makoto begins to die. I’m not sure whether she really dies or not. But I guess she went back to her world as she disappears. So sad.
 
Next stop, Ayu. You know what. Ayu’s a ghost! Sorry for the early spoiler. But her part’s the crucial one in recovering Yuuichi’s memories. Notice why she’d always bumped into Yuuichi? Yeah, it’s something like time is repeating itself for her. Also, when they’re young, they made some wish doll as a time capsule in the middle of some forest. Seems like these 2 were some sort of a couple already at such a young age. Some flashbacks, that they’ll always meet here, and this meeting point will be their ‘school’, bla bla bla.
 
But one fateful day, Ayu fell off the tree near where the time capsule was buried. And she was sent to the hospital. No word from her ever since. So this is the part why Yuuichi wanted to forget. It must be real tough for a kid at that age to witness such a horrible accident. But it was too late, Ayu’s gone and won’t be coming back anymore, even as a ghost. Too bad Yuuichi had to relive this horrible experience and feelings again.
 
So next day in school as Yuuichi’s still depressed over what’s just happened, comes another bad news. Akiko had just been involved in an accident and is sent to the hospital. To make matters worse, she’s in a comatose state. This made Nayuki shocked too, but soon after she decided to confess her feelings to Yuuichi. Though, there’s no certainty from Yuuichi of these, but I kinda noticed how he said "I even trampled on Nayuki’s feelings" many times. It’s like he knows the situation and Nayuki’s being depressed because of it, but he doesn’t take any action. Just watching only. Duh! What lah. In addition, Yuuichi’s contemplating to leave town and return home to his mom.
 
So as Nayuki stays by her mom side at the hospital, she noticed a room with a familiar name on it. Surprised at what she has discovered, she quickly calls Yuuichi to come at once. So who’s that mysterious person? Tada! It’s Ayu! Looks like she’s been in a coma all this while and isn’t dead yet. So somehow she communicates in a ghost form. Something like that. Sounds a little far fetched, don’t you think? And as usual, with Yuuichi’s touch some emotional words, a miracle happens. Yup, Ayu opened here eyes once again after a long time. And at the same time, Akiko also recovers.
 
In the end, Yuuichi and Ayu starts dating each other again once she’s been released from hospital. It’s not what Nayuki had hoped for but she accepted it. And they all live happily ever after. At least for Yuuichi (who decided to stay on) and Ayu, Nayuki and Akiko too. Well, Yuuichi’s still that same ol’ teaser, teasing Ayu. And Ayu still going "Uguu…" .Ah well, some things never change.
 
Overall, I guess the anime’s ok and decent. No hentai elements as compared to the game (at least that’s what I read). One thing I notice is that the chin area of all the characters are quite ‘high’. I mean, the characters have such a small nose and mouth and the relative distance between them is small, thus giving them a wide chin area. Looks so funny and ‘ugly’ lah.
 
Before the start of each episode, we’ll have that narration of which sounds kinda sad, depressed, and melancholy something about life, love or dreams. Then I find the mid-intermission a little bit weird. It’s a still picture of one of the anime’s characters and that character will say ‘Kanon’ with a silent background. Sounds weird. I mean, it’s like in Popotan’s case, but the latter sounded much ok with music in the background. I dunno. I just felt weird with this one.
 
In fact, there’s a special 20 minute episode called Kanon Kazahana. It’s some sort of an ending extension of the series. Personally, I felt that if you don’t watch it it’s ok too since there isn’t anything much. But it won’t be fulfilling or complete if you don’t either. So what the heck, give it a try.
 
We see Mai and Sayuri furthuring their studies in some foreign land taking care of themselves. Yeah, they wrote a letter to Yuuichi telling him how they’re doing over there. Then Nayuki’s part of some atheletic track team as she’s doing one of her laps alone at school for an upcoming track meet. Can see that she still have that I-love-Yuuichi-feeling in her. Kaori and Jun are dating though the former doesn’t want to admit it. Ayu who’s worrying about her ugly haircut (looks fine to me) meets Shiori and have one of those girl to girl talk and does some girlie things (like trying to fix Ayu’s hair) before they part.
 
Nayuki on her way home then meets Yuuichi sitting alone on some swing at the playground. Have some little chit chat. That talk felt like there was some I-still-love-Yuuichi kinda feeling. But she didn’t mind it all even though Yuuichi teases her on something, and off she goes. And Yuuichi went his way to meet up with Ayu. Yeah, they’re still dating.
 
Oh, and what about Makoto? We see her brief appearance in a human form over some hilltop next to Amano. Some bla bla blas, something about she can see Yuuichi anytime she wants. And with a gust of wind, she disappears leaving Amano just watching over. Talk about gone with the wind. And then we see Akiko explains why it’s snowing in summer which showers beautifully over town. Actually it’s dandelion seeds. Something about leftover memories from winter, thus the name ‘Kazahana’ (direct translation would be wind flower).
 
And recently there’s been much hype about the remake of this anime series. It’s set to be longer with more episodes and the animation looks a bit better. However I’m not so sure whether the storyline will remain the same or not, or are there going to be major changes or minor adjustments with new characters thrown in. But for now, it seems I don’t have the interest to watch it. But let’s hope for the best anyway.

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