February 25, 2007

Kanon 2006: ongoing thoughts

As the blizzard blew outside last night, I pulled my comfy armchair in front of the computer desk and got caught up with Kanon 2006, watching episodes 17-21 (that's the entire Shiori arc and the beginnings of the Ayu and Natsuki arcs for those of you watching the show).

There are plenty of sites out there covering the show episode by episode, so I'm not going to do it here. Instead, I'm just going to comment about my thoughts and feelings regarding the show.

Maybe I'm just a sap, but this show is really, really managing to yank every emotional string I've got. Be it with the storyline or the visuals, KyoAni seems to have the ability to make me laugh or sob at will, and isn't shy about doing it. As a result, I've fallen head over heels with this series. Even if the story stunk, which it doesn't, I'd like the show because of the visuals. For example, this scene:
Fountain spray AND snowflakes?  Details matter, and KyoAni knows it.
This is almost a throwaway shot, just something in passing, but it's stunning. The lighting on that fountain goes through five or six colors, for example, affecting everything around it seamlessly. It's an effect that would have been impossible to animate well a few years ago, but KyoAni uses it to 'set the mood' perfectly in the Shiori arc.
But the entire show looks as good as this scene. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it's the best looking series I've ever seen, bar none.

I never saw the Toei version of the series, nor have I played the game, so I haven't the faintest idea where this is going to end up. Yeah, Makoto, Shiori, and Mai are out of the picture for one reason or another, so they aren't likely to be Yuuichi's final love (too bad, too, in the case of Mai; I have a feeling that I'd never see any ending in the game other than her's). The common wisdom seems to be that Ayu will be the last one standing, but I can't even guess. For once, I'm stumped, and I'm loving it.

The series is FUNNY, too. A lot of it can't be conveyed in pictures (such as the not-incredibly-subtle [but still funny] eye twitching) alas, but it is. Some of the more obvious humor comes from 'Zombie Nayuki', the girl that can't wake up to save her life:
...and Yuuichi's reactions to her. The bulk of the credit would have to go to his voice actor, Tomokazu Sugita, who also did the role of Kyon in Haruhi Suzumiya.

The worst part of this is now that I'm caught up to the most recently aired episode, I won't be able to marathon the new ones. That's gonna kill me. Actually, what's going to kill me is knowing that there won't be a sequel. There CAN'T be, the series ends when it ends.

As a final thought, when Jun and Yuuichi were dancing during Shiori's birthday party, did anybody else expect them to break into Hare Hare Yukai, the ED from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya? Using my mad l33t 5k1llz with Photoshop, I threw this together:
...aru hareta hi no koto / mahou ijou no yukai ga...
I'm sorry 'bout that.

Posted by: Wonderduck at 04:32 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 When Kanon '06 was first announced as being 24 episodes, a lot of folks wondered whether KyoAni would be able to maintain their trademark animation quality for a full season. With three episodes to go, I think that question has been answered. I'd go so far as to say there's been less animation quality dropoff than in Haruhi (cf. Yuki reading in the clubroom in episode 9).

If you find yourself experiencing Kanon withdrawal after the series ends, you could do worse than to check out AIR, Kyoto Animation's anime adaptation of another game by the people who made Kanon. The plot and characters aren't quite as good IMHO, but the visuals on par with Kanon's.

That's assuming you haven't already seen it, of course.

Posted by: Andrew F. at February 25, 2007 08:49 AM (ZGzG/)

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