Nowadays, you can make an anime out of any theme you want. As long as they have that typical Japanese bishie look and the voice acting, speech, dialogue and stuffs are in Japanese language. As for Canvas – Motif Of Sepia, the theme for this one is art. You know, those scribblings on some white sheet that normal and ordinary people can’t make out what the heck it is.
And as usual, since there isn’t anything much to tell or rather sustain the plot, there is only 2 episodes in this OVA. Makes you wonder why they didn’t just finish it off in 1 show and must split into 2 episodes of approximately 30 minutes each. Maybe it’s the suspense at the halfway point. Or perhaps, this is the producer’s way of ‘art’, if you know what I mean.
What more can I say about this anime. I mean, since it has only 2 episodes, the drama should last only that long, coupled in with a few comedy and slice of life elements. Be warned though there’s a short scene which contain adult content. Uh-huh. Did I just caught your attention? So if you want to know exactly where, read on. Thus, let’s start from the very beginning…
Episode 1
In the school’s office, we see out main male protagonist, Daisuke Asou, showing his artwork to the principal. Daisuke’s seemingly uninterested in his work when he reveals some simple and dumb painting. You know, the one where they draw faces of people using certain hiragana characters like ‘no’ for the eyes and such. Outside the office, Daisuke’s childhood friend, Amane Tachibana, is waiting anxiously. Daisuke then comes out of the office and tells her that he won’t get the scholarship afterall. And he looks unperturbed about it. Yeah, he’s really not interested.
So the next day, it’s like nothing bad ever happened. Daisuke yells at Amane to get up because the latter has trouble doing so. Once the finish their morning routine and preparations, then off they walk to school together. While doing so, they’re chatting about yesterday’s event at the principal’s office. At this time we find out as narrated by Amane, that Daisuke’s a gifted artist and they’re both high school students who decided to go to an art school together once they graduated. We also find out that Amane’s some sort of an anpan-infatuated/obsessed maniac. Yeah, she loves them so much and gets upset when Daisuke eats a karepan (curry bread) because Amane thought he had bought an anpan and ate one. What the? Is she getting the feeling of ‘betrayal’ here?
Anyway during school recess, Daisuke and Amane are having lunch at the school’s rooftop when Daisuke’s half-sister, Ren Sakurazuka, suddenly unleashes her flying kick at Daisuke’s direction. Fortunately, the 2 manage to avoid it, disappointing Ren a little. But that’s nothing because Ren’s mad at Daisuke because she felt that he has wasted a good chance to get the scholarship. And it seems that Daisuke has an excuse for everything Ren says as they both argue. Before that, I’d like to mention about that half-sister thingy. Why is Daisuke and Ren half-siblings? That’s because they both have the same father but different moms. Now that explains why they look so close but yet so different. Okay, maybe not. And just like Ren’s best friend, Ai Saginomiya quips "Thus, unknowingly they become siblings". Uh-huh.
But Ai interrupts their argument and says that if Ren gets the scholarship, her brother could get into a good school too. This made Ren a little embarrassed as Ren and Ai soon leaves. Later, the PA system announces to ask Daisuke to meet the principal in his office. As Amane waits patiently outside the office, she is greeted by a transfer student, Yatsu Nanashiro, who’s asking if Daisuke’s gonna continue with his art. Yatsu adds that if Daisuke can’t draw, then he’s not Daisuke. That guy must be really associated and synonymous with art and drawing.
In the evening while Daisuke and Amane are walking home together, he tells her that the scholarship will be decided in the next art tournament. He really seems uninterested in the whole thing. Then Amane yells to him that line from Yatsu but Daisuke just make donno and continues walking. Back home, Daisuke tries to draw but loses interest in it quickly and seems rather unsure about it all.
The next day at school, he tells Amane that he can’t draw, shocking her. Amane then gets emotional and started apologizing because she felt that she has put him through so much but Daisuke doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Then a teacher, Yuu Shinomiya, passes by and recognizes the both of them. Daisuke soon does too and calls her onee-chan. Later while walking home, Daisuke’s incessant talking about Yuu like how she may be his first love and such, made Amane a little worried and gets into one of those spacing out moments. Even back at home, Amane’s got a lot on her mind as she’s thinking of the events that has happened today and feels confused and doesn’t know what to do.
Before you know it, Yuu becomes Daisuke’s class teacher and during recess time, Amane spots Daisuke chatting with Yuu at the school’s rooftop. Yuu’s telling Daisuke that she’s living just next door to him and says that she’ll even come over and cook for him. Of course, this leaves Amane in spacing out mode before she leaves. Typical storyline. One childhood friend likes the other but can’t say it. Then somebody else shows up and gets too friendly with the other person and making the other one having ‘concern’ feelings.
While Amane’s leaving, she saw Ren admiring one of Daisuke’s paintings in the hallway. Ren then asks Amane "Are you gonna let her take him away from you?". Amane replies "Probably he’ll get back to drawing with her around". Ren then leaves since she says it’s Amane’s problem so she leaves it to her. Well, I suppose Ren might seem selfish but hey, she doesn’t want to get involve in other people’s personal matters.
Night comes and it’s a stormy one. As expected, Yuu cooks for Daisuke at his home. Hmm… I’m thinking where are Daisuke’s parents at this point. Though Yuu leaves once she’s done, she has to come back because the rain’s too strong and she can’t find her house key. Soaking wet, Yuu has no choice but to seek refuge in Daisuke’s house for now as she takes a hot bath. But while in the middle of it, a blackout occurs. Daisuke rushes into the bathroom when he heard Yuu’s scream but the lights came back on. In their surprise to see each other, they slipped and ended up in a compromising position. But that’s far as they go. Some blushing here and there. Nothing really serious as they finish up and went to bed. Meanwhile Amane’s feeling scared as she curls up and hides under her blanket in her bed. She’s got Daisuke on her mind and thinking of him.
Episode 2
It’s a clear morning when Amane’s walking to school. She’s passing by Daisuke’s house when she saw him and Yuu coming out together. Yeah, the 2 seem quite friendly with each other, chatting and laughing together. As usual and expected, Amane spaces out once more. Is she gonna do this everytime she sees them together? Perhaps. Amane walks to school alone and looking gloomy. She’s also thinking about what Daisuke said about his first love thingy. Is this getting irritating or what.
At school, Amane decides to have a talk with Yuu and asks a favour from her, that is, not to get close to Daisuke as she doesn’t want him to get hurt. But Yuu responds and asks Amane to continue believing in him. At the school field after having deep thoughts, she spots Yatsu doing her high jump practice and chats with her. During the chat, Yatsu tells Amane "Daisuke will do his best, so I’ll have to do my best". Then we see a short flashback whereby during their elementary school years, Daisuke drew an angel of Yatsu and the latter got so encouraged by it.
Back to present time, Daisuke saw and Amane and Yatsu together and interupts them because he thinks Yatsu’s being nosy but Yatsu got irritated and hits him multiple times (in a funny way, that is). While those 2 are monkeying around, Amane spots a girl watching them but she leaves when she notices Amane looking back at her. That girl, Yurina Kimikage, soon is breathing very hard and drops to her knees. Ren and Ai who’s passing by, asks what’s wrong. Yurina then recognizes Ren as Daisuke’s sister.
Later as Daisuke and Amane walks home together, Amane tells him about a girl watching him the whole time but Daisuke says he doesn’t know anything about it. Suddenly another flying kick from Ren. Luckily she missed and just hit the nearby tree. Yup, Ren’s disappointed again about not hitting her target. But it seems Ren wants an explanation from Daisuke. Yurina then appears and Ren tells Daisuke that this girl has got some business with him. However, Yurina says it’s not important and is going to walk away when Ren tells her that it’s important for her. While Yurina explains like how she has a heart condition and wants him to draw her, Daisuke refuses it, making Ren really mad as she walks away.
At home, Amane’s thinking a lot and by the next day, Amane calls Daisuke to meet her at some tree, a place where they first met and also where they both used to draw together when they were young. Amane wants Daisuke to help out Yurina but he still refuses and he gets angry this time. In his rage, he decides to go home. But Amane says that she won’t move from this spot until he agrees to do so. Daisuke tells her not to be hard headed and heads back alone. Soon it started to rain.
Back home, Daisuke receives a phone call saying that Amane hasn’t come home yet. This prompts Daisuke to remember the event earlier on and rushes out to that tree spot. There, he saw Amane weak and has fever from standing in the rain. Amane still refuses to leave until he agrees. No choice, Daisuke agrees though he doesn’t know if he’ll do well but he’ll try.
The next day, Daisuke prepares to draw Yurina and asks why she chose him. Yurina explains that she’s not afraid of dying but it’s her existance that she’s afraid of. Therefore, she wants him to draw her in detail. Thus, Yurina strips herself naked and starts posing with just a blanket. How can he draw in detail with that sheet covered across her body? I mean, it’s as good as if she didn’t strip naked at all, right? Anyway, Daisuke starts drawing. Yurina then asks why he agreed to draw her. He replies that it’s a request from a childhood friend. Some talking here and I don’t know whether Daisuke really drew Yurina in ever inch of detail till you could see how many strands of hair on her back (if she has, that is) or he’s just taking his time because Daisuke’s painting till evening! So long to paint a portait. Maybe he’s gawking at her body. *Wink wink*.
Later that night when he’s finally done, Daisuke visits Amane and brings her lots of anpan, making her feel happy. Amane thanks him for listening to her request. With that Daisuke hugs her. The next day, Daisuke’s drawing instead of attending classes. Everybody seems relieved that Daisuke has come out of his ‘artist’s block’ (if there’s such a term). Later, Yuu and Amane have another round of chat. Yuu tells her that tomorrow’s her last day of teaching and she wants to go without saying goodbye to Daisuke. Yuu adds "It seems that the Daisuke you trust is the same Daisuke I had in my memory". With that, Yuu asks Amane to take care of him. I guess this settles it for Amane.
As Yurina prepares to undergo her heart surgery operation, she thinks about the time with Daisuke and those last parting words of encouragement and the painting that he gave to her. Yurina seems pretty calm. Maybe it’s the drawing. Then on the day of the art exhibition, Ren and Ai are there when they saw Amane there too. They ask her where’s Daisuke and Amane replies that he doesn’t want to waste time to see his own drawings. So they hurriedly went inside to see. It looks like Daisuke’s painting has won first place and it’s a picture of Amane! Amane soon gets teary and rushes out. Where is she going to? She comes back to Daisuke’s house.
Daisuke’s pretty surprise to see her and the 2 did a little chatting. Amane wonders since she has never been a model for him so how could he have drawn her. He says that since he sees her every day, he can even draw her with his eyes closed. Yeah, that’s how long you both have been together. Daisuke says he wanted to draw the most important thing to him. With that, Amane hugs him and the 2 stare into each other’s eyes before they kiss. Before you know it, the 2 then started to have sex!!! YES! This is the part if you’ve been patiently waiting for. But unfortunately, the version I watched was censored. So I can’t really do into details here. Haha. Must be really a serious one. I mean, we see Daisuke taking off Amane’s shirt, revealing her bra as he’s on top of her and then… Poof! The scene suddenly disappears and jumps to the end with a picture sketch and Amane saying "I love you Daisuke". Yeah, more kissing after that too. I suppose after Daisuke has rediscovered his touch, it makes him realize his love and true feelings for Amane.
Final artwork
Overall, I guess it’s just okay for this short OVA. It really doesn’t amount to anything. Unless you want to watch the related sequel, Canvas 2 – Niji Iro No Sketch. Though not really a direct sequel because the main characters are different this time though Ren and Ai are in it. For me, I’m just stopping here. Then I found out that this series is originally based on a love-sim game as well. Not sure how close the anime’s storyline is related but I read the game’s quite popular. Most probably why it was turned into an anime at the end of year 2001. But somehow like I said, the series is just okay.
Because it’s really such a short series, I was left wondering what most of the other characters’ role are. I mean, take Yuu for example. She’s like entered into Daisuke’s life for a while, then leaves soon after. Not much impact on the series unless you want to consider this as to ‘take up some time space for the show’. Uh-huh, she’s like here today gone tomorrow. And if she doesn’t make her appearance, I think the series could still go by without her. The only funny part which I like most is the part where Ren gives her flying kick. Yeah, that part amuses me a lot.
Another funny thing I find is that this series has no opening theme song and credits but only an ending theme song and credits. It’s like, there’s a tail but no head. Everything else from the drawing, art and animation seems pretty okay (since it’s an art themed series, it could’ve been better, if you know what I mean). Yeah, it’s just standard. With a happy and feel good ending (if you want to take into account that sex part, that is. Hahaha. And I’m not a sick pervert!), this series is pretty much okay if you like watching really short OVAs that don’t amount to anything. At least you don’t have to crack your head over the confusing plots of certain series. A little tension and suspense here and there but it all ends well eventually. Hey, Picasso and Van Gough had it much tougher during their time. But that has nothing to do with the art of anime. Hehehe.

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