Posted by psgels on 3 March 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews


I originally dropped Kyoani’s version of Kanon after about ten episodes because the characters got on my nerves way too much. Still, after having been completely surprised at how good Air and Clannad’s After Story turned out, so I just had to finish Kanon at one point. This review is going to contain a few spoilers here and there, but in any case, the thing that immediately struck my mind when I picked it back up: those eyes! It feels like they watch right through you!

In all seriousness, though. The reason that Air and Clannad made such a big impression on me was that they started with the biggest heap of cliches imaginable, played a bit with them, and then went into a totally unique and original direction which blew me away in the end. For Kanon I was anticipating something similar. And it indeed started out with a huge amount of cliches: sick girl, tomboy, silent samurai girl, nice girl, energetic male, cute mother, et cetera. However, at the end of the series, I was still waiting for it to turn into something special.

I think that in the end, this series was trying too hard and ended up forced for me. It tries very hard to be cute: there is Ayu with her Uguu~, Makoto with her Au~, Nayuki with her Unyuu~, Mai with her delayed reactions, but all of this feels forced, and even though there’s more comedy in it than any other key adaptation, none of the jokes really live up to the few scenes that Air devoted to it (all the Uguu~s in the world couldn’t even come close to the awesomeness of the Stegosaurus t-shirt). The same goes with the drama: this series aims to be a huge tear-jerker, though I never cried once. It felt like the series kept clinging too much to its harem roots, which resulted in a few very strange plot twists. Twice, we have Yuuichi come very close to a girl, only to dump her in a hospital and move on to the next one.

Parents have always played a very big role in Key adaptations, but the extremely forceful way that Nayuki’s mother inserts herself into the drama didn’t sit well with me either. It felt like the creators were going “we need more drama! Let’s insert a random car crash!”. And there are a few more of these contrived plot twists that only serve to keep the story on the right track, rather than to get the best out of the characters (for example, it was quite convenient for Mai to suddenly lose her powers, otherwise she would have instantly solved nearly all of the problems in this series). The final episodes also included some deus ex machina that didn’t also sit too right with me.

However, do note that this is all compared to Air and Clannad (a very high standard). For me it feels like if you’ve seen both of those, then Kanon doesn’t have anything new or additional to add. However, when you look at the series as a standalone production, then it definitely has some good points. The air of mystery is very good throughout the series, the slice of life moments are also pretty well done, and Yuuichi is actually a pretty good lead for a harem series like this. Not because he’s a continuous sarcastic wise-cracker (that actually was annoying most of the time), but because he’s a seriously flawed character who already made a lot of mistakes in his life. One of the nice things about this series is seeing him realize what an incredible idiot he has been, and learning from his mistakes.

And yeah, this is a Kyoto Animation series, so the animation is very detailed if you can ignore the often very weird eyes. The character-designs definitely aren’t the most appealing ones out there, but the way they are animated makes up for it. There’s one particular aspect of the designs that I did appreciate, though: the architecture of the school that the characters go to. You can see that either the creators spent some time on designing it, or the creators thoroughly searched for some of the best school architecture out there and made an anime version of it.

Overall, Kanon isn’t bad by far. I liked watching it, but it’s just not that good. There’s nothing outstanding, ground-breaking or awesome about it, but it is definitely a good dark mystery romance series. If you like these sorts of very sad romances, then you’ll like this one, but it’s not going to make you see the light if you hate the genre.

Storytelling: 8/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 7/10

17 Responses

  1. kuro says:

    Everyone has different tastes.. As for me Kanon is the best kyoani anime so far. I didn’t see there many love poligons except Nayuki, and Ayu. Makoto And Mai’s behavior was explained very well. I mean I really dislike genetic harems(so many elements were in Clannad first season, thats one of the reasons I was dissapointed with it after Kanon and Air). And to begin with Kanon is prototype of this trilogy ^^ At least Yuiichi sin’t such “Dame Ningen” as Okazaki

  2. Lxre says:

    wow… that’s what i call contradicting yourself

  3. midenz says:

    Kanon, imo, was on par with the first Clannad, maybe even better! Though Clannad ~After Story~ totally blew Kanon awayy!! It’s a pretty good anime overall and enjoyable too, some sad moments here and there and like u said, feels a bit forcd but its still pretty good :] !

  4. wackedfoo says:

    kanon is my 2nd favorite key adaptation after clannad after story. i just think it had everything and was done well, despite the flaws you mentioned. air was just too condensed and clannad’s drama isn’t quite as strong to me(even if kanon’s drama is pretty forced). i think kanon has the best comedy out of all of them too.

  5. Son Gohan says:

    I think that Kanon’s biggest fault was that they didn’t build the Ayu-Yuuichi relationship very well. When they confessed and kissed, it surprised me because they were acting as siblings until the episode before.
    I cried only once, during Makoto’s arc. Her slow regression to infancy was painful to watch. I didn’t particularly care for the other dramas, though I liked Mai.

  6. Ant says:

    Kanon the OVA, which means the first one the original before the 24 or 26 episode Kanon was made, was the first I saw, where the animation was simple, and not that high, and the main characters voice was less mature, I remember watching it to a certain point where I got bored, and stopped and picked it up again, and found myself crying as I saw the rest of it.

    Then Air was released, I noticed the style of drawing instantly which made me watch it, and this too was a great series, an a tear jerker, especially the end.

    When I heard they were going to remake Kanon, I had mixed feelings on whether or not it would be good. and I was happily suprised, it was good, it had the old music “last regret”, and all the characters sounded the same, the animation being upgrade, was another upside. and overall the reminising and the new comedy parts, was good, and i enjoyed it and still brought a tear to my eye.

    Then Clannad appeared, and I was shocked by Okazaki’s voice, but got over that, and enjoyed it, and it ended quite well, though more could have been done for the twins and tomoyo. As I wanted to know more about them. but still another tear jerker.

    But to judge Kanon, after Clannad, I guess everyone has different views ^_^

  7. Lor says:

    i just finished watching Kanon 2006 for the first time. Mostly because Clannad was so ****ing brilliant. (Air is next on my list).
    And coming straight from Clannad which, like Kanon, I marathoned through, I couldn’t help but notice a couple of similarities… (anyone notice that the giant doll that Sayuri gets for Mai also in Clannad, the first Fuko ninja insert after her arc ends).

    Some of these similarities were a bit disconcerting. The Makoto arc and the Fuko arc were just too similar for me to be able to get into it. Possibly because i kept comparing Makoto to Fuko and found her amusing, butl acking (plus the Fuko arc was quite frankly better). Although I will admit that I found the continued references back to Makoto more involving than the amnesia experience in Clannad (8 episodes of character development gone really peed me off)

    That said the Mai arc was MUCH better than the Kotomi arc. In Clannad, Kotomi’s story just seemed a bit… well dull after Fuko. It was good, don’t get me wrong. But I just fpund it excessively clichéd. Especially the who teddy bear thing. Or maybe I was just in emotional desensitivity after fuko… Anyway Mai however was defiantly more interesting than Kotomi. Sure some of its scenes seemed a tad bit forced but it stepped up the drama and brought home more of the supernatural parts of the story (which Clannad watered down quite a bit even though it ends up becoming arguably more magical than Kanon). And lets not forget the dance scene which was hands down my favourite in Kanon (doesn’t hold a candle to Clannad’s first scene though).
    The Shiori arc was quite well done but I do have to complain about how Mai was effectively cast off. She didn’t show up much afterwards and after the Shiori doesn’t show up until the final episode after her story ends. Yes both are explained and the plot works but it seemed to deduct from the final result.
    Nayuki wasn’t very well done to say the least. Her story was told but it kept being broken up into small remote pieces. And even though she and Yuichi had some of the largest amounts of screen time together they just never seemed to get beyond the sibling stage (which they reached early on). Every high point of her and Yuichi relationship was almost always overshadowed by one of the other girls. Even the highlight of Nayuki’s story, were her mother gets comatosed (cliché but what the hell) was dulled by Ayo (or lack there of)
    Which brings us to Ayo. Well she can be broken down into two parts. Pre relationship and post relationship. The only problem I have with Ayo, and I do mean the only problem (brilliant character) is that the transition between the two states is almost none existent. She’t undergoes barely any character development during the Mai and Shiori arcs (ok there is some, such as her moving into their house etc etc but then they begin to act like brother and sister) and then suddenly they are kissing. It just doesn’t seem to fit properly. Especially as Yuichi appears to be closer to both Mai and Shiori (and lets not forget Makoto whom he ‘married’) at that point. This is something which Clannad does so MUCH better. It was obvious who would end up with Tomoya in the end and the story used that (especially when Nagisa was absent from the story for a few episodes) to make their bond stronger. Kanon tries to leave you guessing who will end up with Yuichi… ok maybe the fact that two thirds of the opening credits and the entirely of the ending credits are devoted purely to Ayo gives it away but still…

    And the ending. Well you will either find it brilliant or you will rage. Why, well the last episode tries just a tad bit to hard to give a happy ending. I wont go into it but my only critism is that it too many people were miraculously healed. Even those who didn’t need to be, and yet no Makoto (well unless you count that blurry red shape in the final scene). Sigh. Put this way, if you were one of people who had seen Clannad After Story and didn’t (honestly though, how could you NOT get it) then you might find Kanon’s ending more believable thanks to the highert focus on the supernatural compared to Clannad’s vague references to light orbs and imaginary worlds. Or you might find your self pissed at the emotional manipulation that Key is so darn good at.

    Over all a brilliant series. Had I been given a choice between Kanon and Clannad series 1 then I would have to go Kanon. It’s more much dramatic and its plot is much more final and frankly interesting that Clannads. Kanon is not as linear or developed in some aspects and it doesn’t look as good (weird face make up is an understatement) but if your willing to pass those minor laws over then the story and characters more than make up for them.
    Bring in After Story and Kanon goes out the window but to be able to top the first series is a mark of high praise.

    I wonder how Air and Kanon 2002 match up…

  8. Gotank says:

    Kanon has been by far the best Kyoani series for me. The whole fantasy element that slowly gets weaved into the story is fascinating.

    Interestingly, Ayu’s story was actually what impressed me the most. I didn’t care too much for slow drama that typically comes with impending death situations, so Makoto and Shiori’s arcs didn’t make much impact for me. Unfortunately, we never really got to see Nayuki’s full story, due to how much it would conflict with Ayu’s. Mai’s story was also quite unique and well-conceived though.

    While I actually didn’t enjoy it too much on my first run through, Kanon 2006 has, in hindsight, become one of my favorite series of all time. Cheers.

  9. Solaris says:

    Kanon 200X is a remake, and teorethically comes before both Clannad and Air. You’d speak about Kanon as the reference for the other two, and not vice versa. So discovering some unoriginal arcs in Kanon with respect to Clannad (i.e.) makes the latter at fault.
    Kyoani experimented peculiar narration styles from Kanon to Clannad and we also should remember that both Kanon and Air come from erogames (But not Clannad). So the harem format fits Kanon and Air very well. Kanon IS the most “harem” like of the three and each heroine is belonging to a definite arc. The format is just standard.
    But Air is not random harem. Its genre is evolving into something new thatt will take a definitive form in Clannad. Air is divided into three different sections and the main focus is given to one of the main char. That is one heroine gets promoted from the very start and the other girls remain as secondary chars in secondary arcs. This style has been extablished in the final show, clannad. Anyhow the execution in Air is not flawless, so much it seems to watch three different animes at once. I could speak more in the Air section, eventually. Let me say the last arc is way too forced and depressing in comparison to the first two arcs. I thought it ruined the phatos quite a bit, but alas. overall Air was quite good.
    Clannad, in the end may seem an Harem but it’s not. There is only one main lead heroine selected from the very start and all the other girls are secondary. Clannad is just really the story of Nagisa. I felt quite sad when at half the serie it was clear there was no place for them at all. Clannad lacked in the harem field, after all.
    So three series sharing some similar development, but are very different in structure, each with their good and bad points. I don’t know wich one of the three i liked less or more, but i just fell in love with the nice chars and touching stories. Maybe i liked more some side stories like Kanon’s fox girl or Air’s never born daughter with respect to the main lead girls.

  10. Nalyd says:

    Since Kanon came before Air and Clannad, comparing them and then saying that kanon was the unoriginal factor sounds off a bit. Hmm I thought that Air was the worst out of the three though, I mean it had some good parts to it, but definitely I would personally never rate it over Kanon or Clannad. Kanon and Clannad are pretty tied up for me though, I loved them both! Kanon is near the top of my list for sure. Clannad after story was great till the end, the ending of it left me with such a horrible taste in my mouth though that I couldn’t rate that above Kanon.

  11. Dm says:

    The first Kanon (Toei version) was much better, even though I didn’t watch the whole show! The remake version had too much unecessary drama, while the original kept it more subtle, IMO.

  12. Ferdinand says:

    I watched air, and in my opinion its not that good like people talking about, the story so confusing, I found the dialogue between characters are boring, I never cried at air. however kanon 2006 gets me cried a lot, i like all of the arc especially shiori arc and also i found all of the humour is funnier than air, heck i even choose kanon 2006 over clannad, but clannad after story is different though.

  13. BeeTee says:

    Your review is perfect. Kanon really is a big disappointment after AIR’s tight story and Clannad’s sentimental factor. Although, personally, I loved Nayuki’s Unyuu~ all through the story, the moe factor barely lived up to AIR’s piko piko~ and Fuko in Clannad. There are many implausible bits in Kanon, and IMHO, Clannad’s ONE BIG IMPLAUSIBLE THING AT THE END FOR THE BETTERMENT OF ALL is a far better option.

  14. BeeTee says:

    And, even though Kanon did come out before AIR or Clannad, somehow it felt less original than the other two, and gave an impression like it was made of bits and pieces and residues of the Clannad, AIR

  15. BeeTee says:

    One last thing >

  16. Me says:

    For me, Kanon is an extremely good series. From the first episode they’re pointing towards the last. You wonder who that is, dreaming… You see how Ayu and Yuuichi met when they were young, and they’re not rushing it. They give the correct amount of hints through the series and at the end, I found myself crying while all the threads connected. The athmosphere with this anime- I love it! They’re in a snowy town, they focus on the big tree beside the two young kids, and the lovely hill~ And that cute shopping district. What I think Kanon has, which not many other series have are the symbols- we’ve got the angel which has three wishes- which he goes looking for for a long while, and finally the last wish unfolds and ye.. And then we have Makoto’s bells which she heard from when she was a fox years earlier. And the red hairband, which he never gave to her, but she still wore it, I just think all those symbols is very well executed and makes the series spectacular. The tayaki is also mentioned a lot of times. Everything just claffed in the end. The only thing I didn’t like was the small add at the end where she cut her hair and stuff- cute it was, but it was unncessesary. That will not ruin my impression of this series though, absolutely one of my faves.

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CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Amagi
And man Apocrypha is pretty good but it would be twice as good if it had those two changes Aidan always mentions in the reviews..
Amagi
@Kaiser: I think the male in Kino was a mistake. Having two PoV sounds good, but he's basically just a male Kino, he even looks like her. Someone vastly different would have been way more interesting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd guarantee that sangatsu no lion would be high up, but FINALLY this weekend I'll be catching up.
Niello
@Kaiser, Ugh my phone gitched. What I meant to say was that background was unexpected. Now I see why you're enjoying CotW though.
Niello
@Kaiser, That's unexpected.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed how outright surreal Arakawa was.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: It bothers me that they're stuffing multiple tales into single episodes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, excel saga, I wonder what I would think of it now, its been years.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I actually respect Aidan's coverage of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Yes that edgy villain kid in COTWs was annoying though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I don't care much for the male character that leads some of the episodes in this new adaptation.
@Niello: Its a non-mainstream shoujo that isn't set in a school, moves at a quick enough pace and has some nice background art/chara design, I grew up on shoujo fantasy manga also so theres that.
Amagi
I mean there are parts I like. I enjoyed the first episode, and the part about the country of liars. But many other things annoy me and the last episode was the worst. I also feel like the edgy bomb loli and slapstick Kino don't fit to the rest of the show somehow. Maybe I forgot everything, but the "old" Kino felt like a better character to me somehow, this one is more faithful to the LNs though
Amagi
@Kaiser: I honestly gave up on Kino and I think it's only partly the fault of the new series. I am just so tired of how stupid most of the episodic-characters are unless their are friends of Kino, how everyone gets bent being irredeemable evil for plot's sake and how everything Kino and her friends do gets justified. Maybe I am just too old or boring for this fairy tail like moral bending.
SuperMario
Still have Night is Short review to write... i will get there. I will get there
Anonymous1612237
It's like having potty mouth characters. If you have one, it can be funny and a good comedic relief. If everyone does it, it can come out as mean spirited or trashy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I haven't watched A Bad Idea Gone Wrog, as for now my top priority is to catch up with 2017 anime for the Yearly summary. But I will get on to it when I have some free time
Anonymous1612237
Amagi - Chibi stuff I've seen it mainly work in anime comedies with low budgets like Those Who Hunt Elves, Ranma, Excel Saga, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Nanbaka, etc. I think if you really have to use it in a more serious anime, I think it might work if it was part of one character's gag.
SuperMario
Children of the Whales, along with Juuni Taisen, keep falling out on me. Kino is pretty a hit-or-miss at the moment. I don't mind the last episode's multiple tales though
Niello
Problem about AMB chibi jokes are that they arwn't funny in the first place nor do they have a punch line.
Niello
@Eoghan, Really surprise you put Children of the Whales so high, I'm falling behind on some shows but it is still near the bottom of my list (the absolute bottom remains Kino).
Kaiser-Eoghan
The latest Kino episode was a real slap in the face/insult, really really thought that one segement would carry on for the whole episode and be a redemptive one/getting the series back on form but then it followed it up with crap comic relief segement.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: For now yes.
Lenlo
Droppin Mahou Kaiser?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I no longer care what Dia's gender is, no longer I will lie to myself and deem them female.
Kaiser-Eoghan
5. would be juuni taisen
Kaiser-Eoghan
My rankings for the season based on what I am following: 1. Houseki no kuni 2. Children of the whales 3. inuyashiki 4. girls last tour dropping mahou and Kino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't remember Joseph being all that present from what little I read of the manga.
Amagi
Fear so too. I mean it has a bunch of good ideas and good quality and such, but it feels like it won't be much more than the magical being of the week (or two weeks) and some Elias highjinks inbetween
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still say, I've got the feeling mahou will be wasted potential that won't really go anywhere much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you watch that indie film you recommended yet? Bad idea gone wrong it was called. I just finished it there, budgetary limitations and outside of Matt Jones the acting isn't great, theres a few limp/dead bits too, nonetheless it has its amusing moments here and there to make for an okay comedy that isn't all that essential but amusing enough in moments if your bored.
Amagi
Yeah I think Mahou has some pacing issues. But I also think it would work way better if it was less episodic or semi-episodic.
SuperMario
I normally don't mind the chibi stuff that much but I agree in Mahoutsukai they break the tone and pacing. Serious at one time, fluffy at another...
Amagi
@Vonter: I honestly never like chibi stuff I think. Didn't care back then but nowadays I consider it annoying. One reason is that jokes only work when they aren't pointed out but just happen, sometimes even so casually that you almost miss them. Turning everyone into a chibi for a joke makes it as fun as repeating, explaining or shouting it again (which many series also do)
KTravlos
I have to give it to Altair. It got me reading the manga. The episode this week did skip over a whole manga story, but to be frank it is not too much of a loss. Pacing issues still exist. One thing I noticed was a degrading in animation. They are probably hoarding for the next two episodes which are the major battle.
Anonymous1611511
Just dropping my 2c here: Isn't it too late for the studio to correct such inherent design issue once eps start rolling out?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Angel: The dub wasn't all that impressive in the first place however.
Angel
When Will fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub come out?
Vonter
The chibi stuff sadly, is like watching someone make the same mistake over and over again, without acknowledging that thing isn't coming across well. At this point it seems like an intentional choice rather than just cutting corners. Kinda like when an anime has a decent dub but has that one character with a really annoying voice.
Lenlo
Its continued this willful ignorance, this virtual refusal, to actually address the issue. Thing about the chibi is, the first scene with Silver worked. Then it just got overused.
KTravlos
Mahoutsukai continues denying itself. We finally had some tough questions asked, but the show just ignored them in the 2nd half (with generous doses of chibi). That said Elias true form is terrifying.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: If you enjoy The Scent of the Green Papaya and Cyclo, you can also check out his unofficial third film about Vietnam: The Vertical Ray of the Sun, which is about the modern day of Hanoi. It's my favorite film of his, although I know that artistically it can't compare to his earlier films
SuperMario
And I can say the mafia aspect of Cyclo is more like Hong Kong than Vietnam. But, whatever. I like this one well enough
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I particularly love the score in Cyclo. No wonder later on Tran Anh Hung asked Joony Greenwood from Raidoohead to score his films. His score has the same uncomfortable feeling with this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would have watched an entire story based around that old man in the new Kinos journey episode.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Though while I never found it boring, it did feel it could have had a better narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Cyclo I felt has some reasonable sketched characters and the aesthetic sells the viewer on the environment the characters are living in, Tony Leung was my favourite in it, I also like how some Asian films are able to mix quietness with moments of violence, makes it much more visceral.
SuperWooper
I'd lean towards weirdest thing you've ever seen. It's certainly up there for me.
Masky
...I can't figure out whether Sengoku Jidai with batman is weirdest thing I have ever seen or makes completely perfectly sense and was inevitable it would happen
K-Off
The map design should've been vastly more different, I'd love to hear why they thought it was worth it to keep the same maps as Gaiden. So. Much. Open. Fields.
K-Off
Finally got to playing Fire Emblem Shadow, and 15 hours in I'm already not a fan of the gameplay. The story is vastly superior to Gaiden, but it looks like it missed the point on how to make a good remake. The maps are just as god awful as in Gaiden and for it, (in hard mode) it feels like a game of numbers rather than strategy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I feel drama need not always go for emotions in the audiences but can be effective in a solely cold observational sense and approach.
SuperMario
haha you don't need to spy you know. Like I said Discord chat has been active lately. I find myself more comfortable chatting in there for some reasons.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I spy on the discord chat sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
Worried about this Junji itou adaptation thats coming up, hope it isn't one of those zero animation web-short series.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he still has Flashmob in which he intended to make. Yeah, he started his career quite late but he has had a very successful career
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Potentially could be his last film, he is quite old.
SuperMario
Agree that Happy End has many quirkier moments compared to his other works. Still a solid work but I won't rank it amongst his best
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Watching Happy End, you can immediately realize many of Haneke's favorite themes: the voyeur/camera in Benny's Video, Cache; the latent racism like you mentioned, the idea that killing someone you love is better than watching them suffering, the underlying violence in a normal middle class life in most of his works
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Like with code unknown, its approach to latent rascism is far better handled than for example a terrible hollywood oscar bait drama would handle it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt though had the film been a bit longer, Huppert and Jones could have gotten more scenes, same with Franz Rogowski's character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I did however think that the disjointed nature of the earlier parts were both to the advantage and disadvantage of the film. But it delivers a killer of a last act that I loved.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I finally got around to seeing happy end, I liked the Cache and amour references and how Haneke cheekily managed to insert quirkier moments and even wry ones so seemlessly into the narrative. Fontaine ,Kassovitz and Tringnent had the best scenes, particularly the ones between Fontaine and Tringnent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Physical, non-verbal communication is a far more valuable way of conveying information I believe and more effective in fiction.
SuperMario
Report on Just Because so far: they took on the three-way romance direction, which I initally ain't fond of. But last episode actually was great with the focus on body gestures and natural dialogues, delivering one of the brst exchange the show has this season. A good watch overall
Lenlo
Sadly, the only anime youll probably get like that will be made outside japan, like Castlevania was, and wouldnt be considered "anime" by most of the community. A shame, cause Castlevania was great.
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Featured Posts

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

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Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

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Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

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Dies Irae – 08[Promise]

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Mahoutsukai no Yome – 9 [None so deaf as those who will not hear]

Hello and welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai! Lets hop right into it. First and foremost, let’s talk about Chise. As the main heroine of the show, naturally it’s going to focus on her a lot. This week zooms in on her relationship with Elias and what it actually is. Characters and situations comment on […]

Juuni Taisen – 10 [A Tiger May Die, But It Leaves Its Skin]

Juuni Taisen again expands a huge flashback in the middle of the current story, but this one hits all the right notes because naturally its heart is in the right place. It’s episode like this that I am glad I’m still sticking with Juuni Taisen and regain my faith to the overall quality of this […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 09[Various Countries]

I will likely be spending most of this post talking about one segment of this episode as just as the title suggests, these are a series of stories involving different countries. But before I get into that I must truly question why these particular stories were chosen. I have stated before that I love Kino […]

Houseki no Kuni – 09 [Spring]

Houseki approaches summertime this episode and this week feels like a breather after the intensity from the last few weeks, by that I mean Phos didn’t get into any real trouble by the end of this week. Not to say this episode is anything less amazing compared to last several weeks. One of the factor […]

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The Reflection Review – 45/100

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18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

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Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

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