Kanon (2006)

Title:Kanon (2006)
Kanon Remake
Kanon: The Complete Series
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - KYOTO
KOUDA Mariko
Music - MAEDA Jun
Original Concept - KEY
R1 License - FUNimation
SEKI Tomokazu
SUGITA Tomokazu
One snowy winter's day... I sit on a bench near the station, waiting to meet my cousin Nayuki Minase; it`s been seven years since I last saw her.This place is far from the town where I was born and lived until yesterday. This is where Nayuki lives with her mother, who has offered to take me in, now that I am forced to move so suddenly. And this is the town in which my faintest, cloudiest childhood memories are set...

A young man, Yuuichi Aizawa, gets off a train and leaves the station as he enters a town that is blanketed by snow. He left the area seven years ago and has now returned to his memories that he left behind. Although his past is blurry in his mind, the girls that still remember him and that he had relationships begin to help him remember. While this happens, the bad memories of his past also begin to come back, and will eventually haunt him.

Announced by TBS and Pony Canyon at the Tokyo International Animation Fair 2006.

A remake of the Kanon series which was shown 2002, based on Key Visual Art`s visual-novel by the same name. This time production and animation is done by Kyoto Animation, the same team which was already behind the Air TV conversion, as opposed to Toei which was responsible for the 2002 series.

On July 4th ’08, it was announced that R1 License for this title has been transferred from ADV to FUNimation.

3:06min Series Opening & Ending - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
Ayu, Kaor, 00, Mish, Sayu, Nayu, Mako, Shio, Mai, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 10 10 10 10 9 7 Xenoknight [series:1323#2967]


The proud winner of two seperate awards... review coming after I rewatch the anime...

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Monday, February 02 2009. Created Sunday, September 21 2008.
Rent 9 9 8 9 8 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1323#1552]
The Pros: This remake of Kanon improves on some of the problems found in the 2002 version. A major improvement is the episode length of the series. With the series at 24 episodes, Kanon 2006 has more time to devote towards character development and natural scenes between characters in the series. It's fun to see more of the serious or funny developments in character relationships that are seen in the series such as Shiori's times meeting Yuuichi, Nayuki's oversleeping habits, or scenes of Yuuichi teasing other characters. Speaking of Yuuichi, this version of his character had a big difference in personality which was refreshing to see as he was more witty and sarcastic while retaining some of his "nice guy" character traits found from the 2002 series. He's voiced by the same seiyuu who voiced Kyon from Haruhi Suzumiya which could explain why some folks think Kanon was taking jabs at Kyon's character with Yuuichi's new personality. Also unlike the original version, Kanon 2006's main cast is still mentioned once their character arcs are resolved as we see them at one point or another later in the series. In terms of animation, Kanon 2006's character designs and artwork have improved quite a bit from the 2002 version as they are better detailed and smoother. More music from the game was used for the remake, which is especially made clear with the introduction sequence to the series. Seeing the intro sequence to Kanon is very intriguing and would make new fans of the series feel a sense of mystery surrounding who each of the characters are, which is enhanced by the slow buildup of the music.

The Cons: While an improvement over the 2002 version, Kanon 2006 still has some flaws to it. Some of the resolutions to the character arcs have a deus ex machina feel to them as events come out of nowhere to better events with the characters. One character arc will feel a bit open-ended as viewers won't know the fate of that character until the end of the series. In addition, there were some events in the series that seemed forced in order to push along certain character relationships (especially with Ayu and Yuuichi).

Facts on the Series: Nothing at all since whatever I know is already included in the anime summary.

Last updated Thursday, January 17 2008. Created Thursday, January 17 2008.
Unevaluated Forbin [series:1323#1573]
Analysis : 6 Episodes watched.

Watching this of course.

It's playing out a little different so far.

  • Naiyuki and Mai look too much alike
  • Ayu remembers Yuuichi right away.
  • Kaori appears to join the harem (Different than Kanon 1).
Edit : This Yuichi is more on the ball this version of Kanon, Makoto can't even get close to messing him up. In fact, he's reminding me more and more of Kyon as it goes on.

Last updated Friday, November 17 2006. Created Wednesday, October 25 2006.
Buy 10 8 8 8 8 8 AstroNerdBoy [series:1323#436]

Having loved the original Kanon anime (I've never played the original game), I was most excited to hear that a 24-episode remake was in the works. Having seen the original leads to pluses and minuses, but for me, this was a good remake on the whole.

As with the original, the pacing starts very slow. Knowing this would likely happen, I found I enjoyed returning to the world of Kanon. Traveling the streets of Moriguchi, Osaka with Yuuichi and the others was really like returning home, or to a favorite place (indeed, should I get to return to Japan, I plan a trip to the real city). I just enjoyed the ride.

If you've seen the original, you basically know the central plot and what will happen to each of the girls. From that perspective, the impact of the series is lessened because you already know the main things that will happen (which is why "enjoying the ride" is crucial IMO). On the plus side, it is fun seeing all of the clues and foreshadowing that the anime writers put out there because I know what they mean and imply.

The order the girls are handled is somewhat different for this version with Makoto being the first girl who's story is resolved. Because there are more episodes to work with, the girls are given much more character development than before. This makes for a more interesting story overall. Unlike the original series, the girls aren't just forgotten once their stories are resolved (sans supporting character Amano, who after becoming friends with Yuuichi during Makoto's arc, is forgotten until the final episode). That was a big complaint of mine in the original.

The writers tended to play down the supernatural stuff at first, which bothered me. Eventually, they could play it down no longer since supernatural events play major roles in most of the girl's stories. The other thing that bothered me was the final episode. Its not a bad episode but things feel a bit rushed. But that's a minor complaint.

Bottom line: I'd buy this (especially if FUNimation ever licensed it), but I found it hard to review for some reason. If you are a fan of the original series or the game, I think you'll like this. If you liked Air, I think you'll enjoy this too.

Last updated Sunday, March 18 2007. Created Saturday, October 14 2006.

Rent Stretch [series:1323#628]
(All episodes watched):

I watched the first episode of the original Kanon series, but found it to be appalingly uninteresting. It was hard to believe that was a series which would eventually involve swordplay and monsters, it seemed more like an extremely generic high school romance series. Consequently, I shelved it. Just for the hell of it, I took a look at this remake. Now this is more like it! These characters are distinctly interesting and amusing. I recognized the voice of Sugita Tomokazu, plus the sarcastic attitude of Yuuichi is much like that of Tomokazu's previous role, Kyon in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. In fact, it's as if Kyon had been transferred to a different series; SHnY is very popular in Japan, so maybe this was intentional. Also, the character designs are very similar--I thought I recognized another SHnY character, Mikuru, at one point. No doubt this is because Kanon is also a production of Kyoto Animation. So, early on Kanon 2006 is a fun, silly, yet witty show which I'd gladly watch even if it never got any more serious. In fact, I sort of wished it would stay like this!

As time goes by, weird stuff starts to happen, and angst gradually supplants comedy. It was difficult for me to make sense of the bizarre events, or sometimes to take them seriously. One thing to keep in mind: each episode does start with a mention of "dreaming", after all! But the show remained intriguing and fun nevertheless. For me, I think the most exciting and thrilling moment of the series as a whole was when Kyon and Mai danced together at a school ball--it just made me want to giggle. The show also did a good job of conveying the anguish that the characters were enduring at times. In the end, Kanon provides a credible (but far from complete) explanation of just what has been going on all along--it would've really sucked if the conclusion had been as vague as they often are in anime. Overall, very impressive--and to think that this was all based on a video game! Actually, I think games in this class have reached a level of sophistication at which they are now referred to as "Visual Novels". It shows! I'm curious enough that I may look into some other anime with similar origins.

Last updated Thursday, April 12 2007. Created Friday, October 13 2006.
Buy 9 10 8 8 7 10 Devil Doll [series:1323#752]
[Score: 83% = Buy-. Other recommended Romance/Fantasy Drama animes: Video Girl Ai, Kanon, Clannad (TV), Chobits, Shuffle!, To Heart]
  • Drama: High (you won't believe it until you've seen it yourself)
  • Comedy: Low/Med (Yuuichi occasionally has some really cool lines, especially in this gloomy context)
  • Action: Low (fighting scenes are short and rare)
  • SciFi: Med/High (all is not what it seems)
  • Ecchi: Low (naked thighs are about it)
"Kanon 2006 is nothing short of a masterpiece. Marvelous art, incredible animation, beautiful music, 26 episodes of a detailed incremental development of all characters, and a breathtaking story of a guy that's not the usual wimp for once and the girls who surround him aren't his harem. This show is the best thing since sliced bread, and it's absolutely impossible not to give it a perfect score. You can't compare it to the mediocre variant Toei made of this story four years earlier..."

Well, this is what the majority appears to think of this anime, most of all those people who played the game. Me, who has seen Kanon 2002 first and never played the game, I am disappointed. My problem seems to be that Kanon 2006 tries to provide a story that's fully compatible to the game - and this doesn't work for me.

In a game where you play the hero it's perfectly fine if this hero is able to do anything given you made the correct assessments and decisions because finding out what you have to do is the goal of a game. While you're guessing and even backtracking through the arcs you'll experience surprise, thrill, fun, and challenges. And in the end - you win, hopefully.

But what if you're looking over the shoulder of someone who knows the perfect path through the game, who doesn't make any wrong decisions, who solves every problem regardless of the difficulties (including that you have to raise one of the girls from the dead by doing nothing in particular)? That's what Kanon 2006 is. Half-way through the series I found out that the hero can't possibly fail in saving any of the girls who're in need of his help, and I couldn't feel the impact of a tragedy any more.
Add to this situation a character who's able to magically heal everyone (in a drama that's full of lethal illnesses!) and acting as self-proclaimed oracle giving the male lead hints about which game arc to play next (Kanon 2006 is a concatenation of all five arcs of the game while these five arcs are shown more in parallel in Kanon 2002). I felt patronized like a child that's being guided through this show and not expected to be able to understand it by itself.

Kanon 2002 basically told the same story, with only minor twists and shortening of the individual arcs. But Toei made one significant change as to make a good drama of the game: They downgraded the male lead character from a hero to one role of many while at the same time upgrading two of the girls as to become influential for the outcome of the story. While in Kanon 2006 Yuuichi is the sole hero of the show and the guy to fix anything, in Kanon 2002 he's the victim of his own past and fighting a battle he can't win by his own but only with the help of other characters who have to grow during the process, and surprise the audience by doing so. These same side characters that made Kanon 2002 a great experience for me are there in Kanon 2006 as well (and you even learn about the past of one of these girls that Kanon 2002 never explained), but they're lifeless. Every girl in Kanon 2006 is just standing there, suffering, and waiting for her prince to come and save her. Which of course happens because the game player is said prince. In Kanon 2002 the side characters are at least fighting for their own happiness as well as for the happiness of those who are most important to them.

Don't get me wrong: Kanon 2006 is a wonderful animated version of the game. The Art is marvelous, the Animation is incredible at times (even more so for a 26 episodes TV series with a limited budget), the Music is the score of the game and not that different from the one Kanon 2002 used (unfortunately my favourite Kanon 2002 title is missing), the dialogs are great, and certain Characters are fleshed out in much more detail (I would really love Mai if she were not who she turns out to be in the end, and Kaori's development is very nice). But the Story doesn't deliver for me because of its immense focus on the lead. And merely concatenating five arcs that couldn't have happened in the same universe because they influence each other, and thus being forced to drop important characters even more ruthlessly than in the 2002 version because they would stand in the way of forthcoming arcs, isn't the way to do it.
I would love to see the Kanon 2002 story animated the Kanon 2006 way and with the number of episodes Kanon 2006 had to provide much more background about the girls' stories and those many witty dialogs that make Kanon 2006 an interesting watch. (EDIT: Actually this anime was released only one year later.)

Like the whole series, the ending has good and bad aspects. Too many dreams and time jumps during the final arc, the impact of the last wish dominates the whole story and makes a number of previous events completely irrelevant, the key scene wasn't even shown, and the final episode was much more thrilling in the 2002 version. On the other hand, the way the side characters became important during the final arc (most notably Kaori who's my silent hero of this version of the story), the way all the girls (even Makoto!) managed to support Yuuichi in the end, and the development of Nayuki (who was my biggest disappointment for most of this show) made me upgrade my ratings so that this series ends up with a "Buy" recommendation, just 3% lower than its predecessor (which I still prefer).

Last updated Friday, June 25 2010. Created Sunday, April 02 2006.

Other Sites
Kanon 2006 Original Site http://www.bs-i.co.jp/anime/kanon/

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