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Random Musings – The Calm Before The Storm »« Kanon – 24 (END)

FreezeFrame: A Key Paradigm Shift

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Ok, let’s get the obvious out of the way first:

KyoAni did a fabulous job with Kanon. As usual, the technical aspects of the anime were all top-notch, the directing was solid, the voice acting award-worthy. Each character was unique, their stories significant, and in the end, quite memorable. Kanon 2006 was successful in distinguishing itself from not only the original Kanon but also Haruhi, which was an initial foreboding I had in the earlier episodes. I honestly believe that it was pretty much the absolute best anybody could have done in making Kanon, or any harem anime, for that matter.

That said…

I think it’s a total waste of ability and resources. A studio of KyoAni’s caliber shouldn’t be doing harem shows, which have traditionally just been there for the sake of showing off some more girls in maid outfits or nekomimi or some other ridiculous stuff like that. Not that I don’t appreciate it – it’s just something I feel is better left to the “lesser” studios and not the oharuhiliness that is Kyoto Animation. If my understanding is correct, the main reason they picked up Kanon was because of the success of their initial venture into the visual novel genre, AIR.

The way I see it, it’s like if Studio Ghibli decided they would make more money doing hentai. What if Totoro’s fat tail was on the front side of his body? What if Kiki used her broom for more than just transportation? What if “Laputa” actually meant “La Puta”? Could Ghibli have done it? Sure. But did they go ahead with cheap flattery and quick indulgences to make a quick yen? No way – they took their time to craft masterpiece after masterpiece that audiences around the world have held in the highest regard. In that same way, I’ve always hoped that KyoAni would start picking up material of a higher “moral standard” (I like using that one). I keep referring back to Haruhi because it was a perfect marriage of script and studio – the novels are fantastically written, the anime fantastically realized and produced. Kanon, while being one of the most serious and dramatic hgames, is still held back by the whole concept of these games – to play through the storyline of each girl and experience all the “perks” that come with a developing relationship.

If you step back and look at it, the way all the individual and separate storylines were tied together was by the whole “yume…” blurb at the beginning of the episodes. It’s a weak connection – but then again, it’s probably the best thing anybody could have done to bring some unity to an otherwise disjointed series about a bunch of girls who would have had no contact with each other if not for this one guy.

But enough ranting. Here’s the chaser – no matter how I, or any of us may feel about Kanon, the fact remains that it was a superbly produced series, one that I believe may finally put the traditionally indulgent harem genre into the realm of sanity and integrity. For the first time, I can actually take one of these shows seriously. And it took 24 episodes for the king of TV anime to pull it off.

I guess, in other words, I finally get it.

CLANNAD? I’ve never played it or even heard of it outside that it’s another one of KEY’s works – but if KyoAni is doing it, we may as well start penciling it in as the best anime of the season.

In the meantime, Lucky Star is going to rock, you can bank on that.

-jaalin

March 19, 2007 at 11:50 pm
74 comments »
  • March 19, 2007 at 11:57 pmGx-Testament

    I can’t imagine Kanon made by any one else but KyoAni now. I’m definitely looking forward to Clannad.

  • March 20, 2007 at 12:04 amOmni

    It’s funny you mention Studio Ghibli since it was announced yesterday that Miyazaki Hayao’s next film will be a work called Ponyo on a Cliff.

  • March 20, 2007 at 12:08 amHudson

    Just goes to show that no matter it’s origins, an anime can come out as a masterpiece. Love Hina, Shuffle, and now Kanon are 3 best made harem animes. Let’s just PRAY that Bandai DOES get their greedy hands on this one.

  • March 20, 2007 at 12:09 amHudson

    DAMNIT! I ment:

    “Let’s just hope that Bandai DOESN’T get their greedy hands on this one.”

  • March 20, 2007 at 12:22 amDrakron

    Here lies the issue, harem does not need to be ecchi.

    Harem type is old … Tenchi is harem, Love Hina is harem … many animes are harem or contain harem elements without being ecchi.

    Sure when you what things as “Shuffle!” its no wonder having such impression of harem but the issue is eroge adaptations that likely end up with ecchi elements.

    Besides morality? excuse me?

    “Koi Kaze” as a example … it deal with incest that we can see as immoral but its a difficult ADULT subject to deal, in fact the 8th episode was not aired in Japan for the fact it dealt with DIVORCE that is kinda a taboo subject in japan.

    Perhaps western … excuse me, American moral values are not the same as in Japan, perhaps morality is relative.

    Also a curious fact … Kyoto Animation did “FMP Fumoffu” that is Ecchi … never had much of a “moral” high ground to start with.

  • March 20, 2007 at 12:27 amZeroblade

    Technically, they should be doing other, non-harem shows, but the fact of the matter is that the main goal is money. Studios need profit to survive; without it, they can’t make any other good shows.
    Also, Key’s writing is still good stuff, so even though they do Visual Novel adaptations, at least they’re picking some of the best source material to work with.

  • March 20, 2007 at 12:27 amferro

    Common KyoAni! use your “top-notch” for something else, rather than one more harem show.
    I’m waiting to see it in the next Full metal panic.

  • March 20, 2007 at 12:36 amJS

    Whichever way, what KyoAni does rocks. So I’ll be watching whatever comes out of their studio.

  • March 20, 2007 at 12:46 amShinova

    Your (as in the author) definition of “harem show” seems pretty loose, as in anything involving a guy and several female characters. Whether a show is REALLY a harem anime or not depends on more than just the ratio of female characters to male characters.

  • March 20, 2007 at 12:47 amShinova

    And while some of us may dislike them for it, what KyoAni decides to animate is none of our business, and especially so since we’re not even their primary demographic.

  • March 20, 2007 at 1:00 amAvexMode

    Fate/Stay night should be done by KyoAni. How about that?

  • March 20, 2007 at 1:11 amNekozama

    Loli look on Fate stay… cant imagine that eheheh

  • March 20, 2007 at 1:35 amJay^2

    no clue wut La Puta is… @_o…
    and i love your FreeFrames!! They’re so puzzling and make me think outside of the box. (which usually i never do… -_

  • March 20, 2007 at 1:36 amSyaoran Li

    Oh man, you put a hard theme here…

    KyoAni sure is one, if not the best, animation studio of this last 5 years, so is natural to expect from them top-notch quality and greatest show; like Haruhi Suzumiya no Yuuutsu, Full Metal Panic! & AIR. Then, why did they pick Kanon? You know, I always think that I you truly love what you are doing, everything is going to be perfect, detail by detail, scene by scene, line by line, so, if they manage to bring their staff to love every single project, is that a good signal than whatever project they pick will hit highest scores. Like an old song in my country say “If I don’t love what I do, I don’t see any meaning of doing it”. I’m sure that KyoAni pick it up Kanon for some strong reason, like they did with Full Metal Panic! (Taking it away from GONZO) and then hit the spot with Haruhi Suzumiya.

    Yes, you may be right, with their great talent in every aspect, and the long time it takes to do an anime series of this high marks, is reasonable why you point this out. I’ll be glad to wait another year for more Haruhi, or another two years for more Full Metal Panic! Because I know is going to be a wonderful job for sure!

    Way to go with KyoAni, keep makes us proud of you! Lucky Star and CLANNAD, here we go!

  • March 20, 2007 at 1:53 amJeff Lawson

    I cringe when I hear Kanon labeled as a “harem” show. Because, as Shinova alludes to, one guy and multiple girls does not necessarily a harem show make. Not in the traditional sense, at least.

    And, for that matter, I don’t think it’s fair to label Kanon an “H-game”. Indeed, the original version of the game included sex scenes simply out of necessity. However, they were more a bonus than anything else, and where only included such that the game would survive in a market where sex scenes were not only the norm, but expected. Thankfully, these scenes were removed from later releases of the game.

    Kanon is a visual novel, plain and simple. You don’t “play” the game as much as you “read” it. There’s nothing you can do to change the course of the story, really, and each girl’s arc plays out independently of one another. In other words, each girl’s story is a mini-novel of sort.

    So, excepting the fact that you’re dealing with multiple storylines as opposed to a singular storyline, how is the structure of Kanon all that different from the structure of light novels such as The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi?

    Kanon is not something to be taken lightly. It’s practically an institution in otaku culture. It’s been suggested that KyoAni pursued the project in response to continued requests from fans. And, given how spectacular a job the production team did, I suspect they relished having the opportunity to work on Kanon. So, don’t you think it’s a bit impolite to say, “It’s beneath them?” The halls of KyoAni are probably crawling with Kanon fans.

  • March 20, 2007 at 2:14 amSyaoran Li

    I’m with you Jeff, since KyoAni made a good choice.

    Is like a fansub group; they pick it up a series because they love it so much. For example, in my language (Spanish) there is one fansub group that over four years has done almost over 100 projects between series, OVAS and movies. Of course, sometimes they take their sweet time to do it, but you can be sure that their work will be perfect. You can say the same about KyoAni, as you can say the same about any choice you do over your entire life.

    For me, Kanon was one of the series that introduce me to the anime culture. Since I was little, I liked so much Japanese animation (mecha specially) but thanks to series like Kanon, I could expand my field of vision about anime. Now I have an open mind to pick up whatever show that sweet my tastes, from a slice of life series (my favorites) to a melodramatic harem series (drama and romance are the best combo). And for damn sure; if someone have to do a remake of Kanon, that someone had to be KyoAni.

    You were right, we couldn’t have more Sagara, Chidori or Tessa in FMP, or maybe more Haruhi, Kyon and Mikuru in Haruhi Suzumiya; but a real anime fan will gladly wait patiently for when that time comes. For now, we can enjoy such memorable shows like Kanon.

    Owari.

  • March 20, 2007 at 3:08 amJason-Sama

    Actually it’s better that KyoAni do these kind of animation than just doing one or two types of genre only, do you see GONZO also one of the best animation studio doing only mecha anime? The answer is no, right. Even GONZO is starting to do love story (like ahum RomeoXJuliet).

    These top notch animation studio should be improving the quality other anime genre not only in mecha. Besides since KyoAni did AIR, their coorperation with Visual Art’s/Key original works are adding up and people are more to interested in H-game turn anime. Am I right? KyoAni keep up the good work with CLANNAD.

  • March 20, 2007 at 3:34 amSon Gohan

    My definition of harem anime is a series with a male protagonist who becomes romantically involved with 3 or more girls. Kanon is definitely an harem series. One of the best, sure, but still an harem series with all the limitations of the genre.
    I would like to see KyoAni do some more intelligent animation. Come on, they already did AIR and Kanon. Do we really need CLANNAD?
    I would not mind if they could do 2-3 series at the same time, but since they only do one series at a time, this means that new Haruhi and new FMP seasons are delayed. ;_;

  • March 20, 2007 at 3:43 amTolitz

    Most of this stems from people’s norrow-minded view of genres in anime… and the harem genre has gotten a lot of flak from seemingly “high-browed” people who claim to watch “intellectual” and “realistic” anime rather than their hated (insert any anime from any popular genre here).

    In a few blogs I have seen people passing up on any harem anime series and making judgements on it without even watching a single episode (or sometimes after only watching just ONE episode). This close-mindedness has been adopted by other people who want to pass themselves off as “sophisticated” otaku (if there is such a connotation).

    While I agree that there have been many anime series in the harem genre that have been downright “ridiculous”, that doesn’t automatically make the genre itself “ridiculous”. If I based the entire mecha genre on, say, Dual Parallel Adventures (which coincidentally was also from the “harem” genre), wouldn’t that be unfair to the genre itself, which has produced brilliant series like Zegapain, Code Geass and even my old fave, Rahxephon?

    So saying that KyoAni has better things to do than “waste their time on another HAREM anime” is not only arrogant and elitist, it’s also a sign of contempt for the harem genre and everyone who supports it. It also shows the lack of knowledge you have on the Key games as well as the harem genre itself, especially if you think that every title has to be “ecchi” influenced or provide a generous dose of fan service.

    And just because there’s more than one woman interested in one man, it doesn’t automatically make it a harem anime. It amused me before that most elitist reviewers didn’t hesitate to downplay Suzuka coz it reminded them of Love Hina, which was a harem anime, therefore it didn’t need to be taken seriously. Most people underrated and under-appreciated Da Capo (first season), because not only was it harem, it had incest.

    Yet a “reverse harem” like Ouran High School Host Club gets stellar reviews, and ignores the fact that it’s a bunch of guys infatuated with one girl! People will say “but it’s so good!” and totally ignore that it was, in essence, just another harem series. Double standards in anime? You tell me.

    I stifle the urge to say “I TOLD YOU SO” then you said that you now “get it” … but this particular blog entry makes me think that you, in fact, still don’t get it ;)

    But good post, nevertheless – in a “stepping on the ant hills” kind of way :)

    - T

  • March 20, 2007 at 4:19 amFortMan

    Son Gohan:
    My definition of harem anime is a series with a male protagonist who becomes romantically involved with 3 or more girls. Kanon is definitely an harem series. One of the best, sure, but still an harem series with all the limitations of the genre.

    Since Yuuichi didn’t get romantically involved with anyone beside Ayu, would KyoAni’s Kanon still fit into your categorization of “harem anime”?

    Genres are useful illusions, but illusions they still are.

    I have not played the game, but from impressions (never actually heard of negative ones on this, even) from peeps who have played the game, I’m looking forward to Kyoani’s Clannad already.

  • March 20, 2007 at 4:44 amLana

    Wait, if you are counting shows like Code Geass as being ‘harems’ because there is a guy who at least 3 girls have a crash on, then shouldn’t Suzumiya Haruhi count as a ‘harem’ too? There are a lot of shows which incorporate harem elements but the main beef of the story is something a lot more serious, so I think the term ‘harem’ needs better definition. Both Code Geass and Shuffle are in theory ‘harems.’

    My personal opinion on the whole ‘harem’ thing is that anything, if it’s done well, is worth watching. Like with music, I will listen to almost any genre as long as it’s a good song. So why shouldn’t anime be that way too? All the flack that ‘harems’ get is the same as every other mecha show that’s not gundam getting branded ‘another Eva-clone.’ That doesn’t mean they will automatically be bad.

    As for Clannad: I’ve heard a lot of good things about it from bloggers with whose opinion I generally agree, so I will surely give it a try. Would I like to see the second season of Haruhi or Dancing Marry Christmas novel for FMP animated more than Clannad? yeah, but that’s not the end of the world.

  • March 20, 2007 at 4:50 amShippoyasha

    I “got it” since Air, which is amazing if you ever paid much attention to the series.

    I don’t think any genre is low enough unless we’re talking pure hentai or fanservice shows. I’d rather leave it up to KyoAni’s discretion, though I think they need a break from doing harem 24/7.

  • March 20, 2007 at 4:52 amDave

    Higher moral standing? Like AIR has higher morals, being a h-game also produced by Key. I bet not once did anybody, when watching AIR, think this is where the h-scene is, except those few curious of just how ill-fitted those h-scenes were. Same is said of Kanon. Kanon had a great story to tell and KyoAni brought that out, regardless of its source material.

    Besides, no bleach/pool trips. No hot springs. No strange outfits. No confrontations between any of the girls. In fact, none of them are even fighting for Yuichi’s love. Nowhere in the anime is the classic cheese line “if its with you its okay” even heard. I don’t see how one can associate Kanon with a harem anime aside from, that Yuichi is simply surrounded by girls. Kanon is as much a harem as Haruhi is with Kyon being surrounded by Haruhi, Nagato and Mikuru.

  • March 20, 2007 at 6:15 amtj han

    Guess what? I totally agree. The reason why I don’t like Kyoani is because of this… wasted resources. Look at them when they did Fumoffu and TSR! It was far far better utilisation of their style.

  • March 20, 2007 at 6:18 amMutio

    Ok, now lets stop this discussion about what is a haram anime or not, the case is better defined with “what Kyo Ani fans would like to see” not Key fans.
    First of all you should take a look @ KyoAni as COMPANY.
    What does a COMPANY wants to do? Right, they want to make MONEY.
    To make much money you need to produce something which appeals to a wide AUDIENCE.
    Key is one of the most popular visual novel companies in Japan, their games well known. KyoAni is also well known, because of Haruhi and now even more because of Kanon.
    Take these two aspects together and it’s easy to understand why they decided on doing a Clannad series -> good business, high income.

    Now lets become more personal and involve my opinion and emotions (as all of us do).
    I loved Suzumiya Haruhi, FMP and Air. And I also think Kanon is a masterpiece.
    Now the reason why I’m completey unpleased, maybe even a bit angry that KyoAni is doing Clannad as next is that it also has an depressing story (like Kanon). I have Clannad here and know quite much about it. Also Key is known for doing sad visual novels (although Little Busters, their next title, looks quite funny and I hope for an happier story).
    So the point is, I’m watching animes to RELAX myself. Kanon, everyone should agree with that, has some funny scenes, but much much sadness as well. I’m working in a nursing home and see people passing away is part of my job. That’s why I need to forget about that from time to time, that’s why I watch anime, and Kanon or Clannad are definetely nothing to relax me.

    Back to the thing with harem: I think for a harem anime it should be absolutely obvious that there’s a couple of girls loving the male protagonist. In Shuffle! that’s the case, in Kanon it just isn’t. I think the problem is here, that people see the GOAL of the game
    (which is to get all the girl, even if you have a much more complex story, that’s still what this game want you to do) as standard for the anime. Now the difference is here, that this goal isn’t existent in the anime.
    Conclusion: Kanon anime is not a harem. Kanon game is a bit of harem.
    If you wish, read the review on our site and pm the author more more questions about the game: http://www.visual-novels.net/vn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=115&Itemid=52

  • March 20, 2007 at 6:55 amRednights

    No to this article. Waiting on real To Heart ramake ………

  • March 20, 2007 at 6:58 amTolitz

    The reason why I don’t like Kyoani is because of this… wasted resources. Look at them when they did Fumoffu and TSR! It was far far better utilisation of their style.

    KyoAni is yet to let me down so I’m just waiting for whatever they cook up… Wasted resources, you say? Are you a KyoAni business insider? Good business isn’t wasted resources. The Kanon remake was “requested” by a huge number of fans. If you want FMP to get here faster, get a huge number of fans to sign YOUR petition…

    Wasted resources indeed ;)

    - T

  • March 20, 2007 at 7:17 ampuyo03

    I laugh at tj han’s response, and I bet he will never come back to see how much he got pwned!

  • March 20, 2007 at 8:07 amKaito

    “A studio of KyoAni’s caliber shouldn’t be doing harem shows, which have traditionally just been there for the sake of showing off some more girls in maid outfits or nekomimi or some other ridiculous stuff like that.”
    That’s quite a misconception you have there. If KyoAni were to do ANY Hgame conversions at all, it’d be Key’s Visual Novels. They’re not just some shallow, fetish-exploiting, visual
    porn novels. Rather, they’re masterpieces, each with their own beautifully scripted drama-tragedies. If there was no substance to the Key Visual Novels, I wouldn’t see any reason at all for KyoAni to animate them other than to fill the niches and satisfy fans of the original Hgames.

    Then again, if you haven’t heard of CLANNAD, then you were probably oblivious to Key’s history anyways. (or just trying to stir up trouble with FreezeFrame =P )

    Nevertheless, I wouldn’t mind see another one or two FMP series being animated by KyoAni, if they had the manpower. =3

  • March 20, 2007 at 8:16 amGStrike-

    I thought the first kanon was pretty good and didn’t want them to remake it, but while watching Kanon 2006 I noticed that I was wrong really wrong. Tyoko Animation did a wonderful job with AIR and Kanon 2006. now I just want Tyoko Animation to remake Fate/Stay Night ^^

  • March 20, 2007 at 8:50 amAiras

    Zero no Tsukaima by KyoAni…. OMG…. I would love that……
    Zero no Tsukaima was good, but so incomplete…

  • March 20, 2007 at 9:57 amTotali

    FMP TSR was done by Kyoani!

  • March 20, 2007 at 10:22 amRasmiel

    How can anything be “wasted resource” when the said thing brought ‘just’ a harem anime to being one of the best shows of the season? Sorry jaalin, I like your entries, but this one doesn’t make much sense for me.

    In the meantime, Lucky Star is going to rock, you can bank on that.

    The only thing I can agree with.

  • March 20, 2007 at 10:48 amnot me

    Some people like dark chockolate some dont…

    the point is who cares?

  • March 20, 2007 at 11:10 ambrooklyn otaku

    I’M WITH ” NOT ME” THE MORE IMPORTANT TOPIC IS THIS… BRING ON THE SPRING SCHEDULE OMNI………….BRING IT BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • March 20, 2007 at 11:16 amSon Gohan

    Fortman:
    I admit that KyoAni’s Kanon is a rather atypical harem show since it has little to none fanservice. But the definition of harem fits Kanon nonetheless. We have one male lead and 5 main females + Sayuri, Kaori and Amano. The only other recurring male character is Jun, mainly used for comical relief. The male lead spends a lot of time with the female cast and develops strong bondings with all of them. So, what would you call such a show if not harem?

    Lana:
    Code Geass is a sci-fi anime with harem elements. The difference is that the focus of the show is Lelouch’s trial to overthrow the Britannian empire, not his romantic feelings for his “haremettes”.

  • March 20, 2007 at 11:48 amquanttbits

    >>the harem genre has gotten a lot of flak from seemingly “high-browed” people who claim to watch “intellectual” and “realistic” anime

    Intellectual anime… like… wait. Wait. Don’t tell me Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu!
    ————————————————————————–
    HAHA. took the words right out of my mouth.
    Haruhi was like the annoying little brother/sis you wanted to throw out the window.
    LIke you’d be able to stand a RL haruhi. I’d shoot her on the spot.
    Seriously the only good thing about that show was Mikuru beammmmu.

    WAIT WAIT. How about we add in “code GAY-ass”?
    1. Why isn’t Suzaku dead, and wth did they even END UP on the island? I just don’t GET it.
    (obviously it weaves in several interesting sociopolitical factors. quite intelligent.)
    IE – it’s boring to watch. I’d go read Hovel or some post-modernist if I wanted to think that badly, seriously.

  • March 20, 2007 at 11:53 amtypicalz.

    what’s wrong wtih harem anime, anime is anime, its not real anyways. totally disagree with wat u wrote all the crap about morals

  • March 20, 2007 at 1:11 pmDM

    People are complaining about Kyoani wasting resources just because the shows they release doesn’t fit their personal preference, but they’re obviously doing those shows because they know what the majority prefers. They make anime for money, not to please every whiney otaku.

  • March 20, 2007 at 1:23 pmclaudius

    Jaalin, I made the same point several hundred posts ago in response to Omni’s-gushing-like-a-schoolgirl CLANNAD post. But in the end it’s up to Kyoto Animation to pick what shows they do.

    We should just accept the fact that there will never be another Full Metal Panic series (unless another studio somehow acquires the rights to it). Kyoto Animation definitely looks like they won’t be doing anything like that anymore. However, I think it’s pretty certain that there will be more Haruhi at some point. And this, in my opinion, is much better than these silly animated dating sims.

  • March 20, 2007 at 1:37 pmdeltazechs

    I will simply watch anything created by Kyoto Animation. Continuation of FMP would be nice, but I am always open to material I’ve never seen before.

    And wow, if KyoAni keeps it up, will we be seeing at least one KyoAni every season? Cause so far it feels like they haven’t rest yet since last year April, they’ve been chunking out series one after another. Now that is awesome.

  • March 20, 2007 at 2:18 pmShippoyasha

    I actually don’t think it’d be bad if KyoAni tries to make a fanservice-y harem for once. If anybody can pull it off well even in the genre’s conventions, KyoAni definitely could.

  • March 20, 2007 at 4:54 pmTolitz

    Haha, reading this thread, I can just imagine all FMP junkies going emo and doing the “silent scream” effect in their bedrooms…

    To all those baka who downplay harem just coz they can’t get their FMP fetish going, this does not mean KyoAni is NEVER gonna do an FMP series EVER AGAIN. All these “omg, KyoAni is gonna do another silly harem, and will NEVER do FMP again, *sob sob* *emo emo*” is seriously making me crack up…

    Considering that it took KyoAni more than two years to follow up Fumoffu with TSR, some of you people are just so damn impatient that you slam everything you don’t like – akin to whiny little five-year-olds who wrecks everything coz he’s not getting his favorite toy.

    And for that, we who enjoy “great, fun anime” as opposed to limiting ourselves to pseudo-sophisticated-brainfart series are indeed rubbing it in to you people. We are having fun… the KyoAni train is on a roll… get on or get out of the way ;)

    - T

  • March 20, 2007 at 5:19 pmcbhl

    To those who say that FMP was a better utilization than Kanon: Frankly, I haven’t watched FMP at all, and so my personal, uninformed status is that FMP itself was closest of all to being any “waste of resources” (if there was such a thing — IMO, there wasn’t). That said, I haven’t watched FMP, so my opinion is probably too biased to be worth anything. (I might want to see if there’s a copy to watch somewhere… Hmm…)

    To everyone else: I think everyone is entitled to their opinion — jaalin has presented a reasonably objective statement of his opinion… although I notice the lack of the “Omni disclaimer” in this post compared to the October one he linked to… (I wonder… Is this because we’ve figured out by now that jaalin does these, or is it because jaalin forgot?) I liked Kanon, but that said, I don’t think I want to see another episode of Kanon (in its current form) ever again. *shrugs* And yes, businesses tend to first look at the people sitting outside the window… THEN they might consider overseas buyers. (Think Microsoft/X360 and Japan. AFAIK, they don’t mix that well.) Anyways, I’m looking forward to the North American DVDs of Suzumiya Haruhi… I hope I can afford them by the time they come out, though. ^^”

  • March 20, 2007 at 5:54 pmnowhere man

    I wonder if I’m the only one who thinks Kyoto Animation is overrated…? Just because they produced Haruhi Suzumiya, everyone praises them as one of the best animation studios around. Personally, I think BONES and J.C. Staff are better. Well, they’ve made shows I enjoy more than KyoAni.

  • March 20, 2007 at 6:39 pmFireChick

    Yay! I never got to finish Kanon (both original AND remake) yet but I will soon! I’m gonna see Lucky Star and Clannad! Besides, Tsukasa, Konata and Kagami look really cute in their anime designs! For some reason Nagisa looks alot like Ayu.

  • March 20, 2007 at 6:50 pmDG04

    I believe most people consider Kyoto Animation to be one of the best animation studios around is because of the production quality in the shows they produce. The detail they put into the scenes and even the things in the background. A few examples are say compare the band and dance scenes in School Rumble season 2, the animation in there are mostly just stills and pans of the characters, then compare that to the Enoz concert in Haruhi and the dance scene in Kanon. It is a matter of personal opinion whether or not a studio is “the best around” but Kyoto Animation is hardly “overrated” by any standards. Even if you do not consider it the best they are still one of the best out there.

    As for Bones and J.C. Staff, certainly they have produced alot of quality anime, but by the same measure they have also produced animes that I personally did not especially enjoy. Try as I might I never got into Ayakashi Ayashi from Bones and to be honest the J.C. Staff adaptation of Fate/stay night was a tad disappointing in my eyes.

  • March 20, 2007 at 8:21 pmOmni

    although I notice the lack of the “Omni disclaimer” in this post compared to the October one he linked to… (I wonder… Is this because we’ve figured out by now that jaalin does these, or is it because jaalin forgot?)
    It is because you should have figured it out by now that these are jaalin’s opinions. :P

  • March 20, 2007 at 11:22 pmjaalin

    Kanon really does bring out the worst in me, doesn’t it? I guess that’s what makes it great :)

    This is probably the best FF thread we’ve had – a lot of you have put out really solid arguments. For sure, I understand my position is a “bit” on the biased side – after all, the origins of the harem genre stem from whacky fanservice shows like Love Hina and the more “mature” Ai Yori Aoshi, but I believe there has been a constant evolution from just showcasing cute girls and their antics to one that is less indulgent and more plot driven rather. KyoAni’s Kanon is what I feel finally pushed the genre “over the hump” – hence the title of the post.

    Of course, labeling Kanon as a harem show is another cause for concern. I do this for two specific reasons – one, no matter how you pull and twist at it, it follows many of the elements of traditional harem shows (shuffle, da capo) – you know, with the character setups and relationship dynamics; and two, because of the market where the original product was introduced. No, being a harem show was never a bad thing, but being a part of a market where, as Lawson stated somewhere on page 1, having sex scenes is expected. To me, that’s just “ridiculous” – fortunately, these scenes were not what propelled Kanon. As with many great shows that sit atop their competitors, they are able to transcend the generic standards set by their predecessors. By doing so while remaining so successful, I believe KyoAni Kanon has set a new standard for which future shows in the harem genre can aspire to. Maybe fanservice was just a passing fad, Kanon being the start of a new paradigm in the genre.

    Which is why I’m really looking forward to what KyoAni can do with CLANNAD – how much further can this genre be pushed? Kanon had its weak spots, namely the disjointedness of the different storylines (which ultimately kept reminding me of the whole “harem” of it all), and my hope is that this will no longer be the case in CLANNAD.

    As for Haruhi – cmon guys! It’s so much easier to enjoy than Kanon, which constantly tosses five ton emotional snowballs at its audience. It’s like the lighthearted fun you have spinning the teacups at Disneyland, versus the nauseating yet exhilarating Kanon Splash Mountain. Oh well – whatever suits your taste :)

  • March 21, 2007 at 2:19 amDameyo

    I would like to see Kyoani to take another Toei anime and remake them like they did with Kanon; or at least “compete” with the same anime (don’t know how to phrase it correctly) such as Air or Clannad (Toei doing the movies and Kyoani with the movies, respectively). An Air Gear remake (forget a 2nd season) anyone?
    As for Kanon being a harem anime, I cannot (cannot, not do not) see how Kanon 2006 can relate to other harem such as Love Hina, Da Capo, Ai Yori Aoshi, Shuffle, etc. Just like how I cannot say that Yuuichi 2006 is like Keitaro. Yuuichi 2002, however, imo I can relate him to Keitaro. If Kanon 2006 is a harem, then it is the harem that I cannot find.
    Question: how big of a company is Kyoani right now? I’m not talking particularily about popularity (because I know the answer), but more of financially or company size and stuff.
    Does anyone else here think that a person from Kyoani or someone affliated (friends, spouse, family member, etc) with a Kyoani staff member is lurking through these fansites and forums and taking it into account peoples posts, opnions, etc? Some of fans wish came true such as picking up a tv series of Clannad and Kanon, or even the dance scenes in the episode where Yuuichi held the party for shiori, etc.

  • March 21, 2007 at 3:11 amBOZZ

    Quite an interesting discussion here relating to Kyoto Animation and their recent projects. As has been already mentioned KyoAni is doing these projects to make money, so far their recent works are somewhat in the same field, why would they continue doing that? Because they are making money from developing works that they caters to the fanbase of their previous works.

    I had no problem watching Kanon 2006, I remember watching the Toei edition in 2003 and how painstaking it was to watch it (I absolutely hated the character designs), but I had read good things about Kanon and gave it a try. The one thing that I truly enjoyed about KyoAni doing a remake was they were fleshing out character backstories that Toei either totally ignored or quickly went through.

    Having read a bit of the Clannad manga and reading some bits and pieces on the Clannad wikipedia entry all I can do is look forward to their adaptation and know fully well that it will be amazing.

    I am surprised no one mentioned the one critical thing that makes a harem anime a harem anime, that being that the main character has no redeeming quality initially, he’s generally quite a bit of a loser. :P

  • March 21, 2007 at 10:32 amRasmiel

    >>I am surprised no one mentioned the one critical thing that makes a harem anime a harem anime, that being that the main character has no redeeming quality initially, he’s generally quite a bit of a loser.

    So was AIR not harem? I’m sooooooo confused!!

    Yukito was a loser. He had no home, no money, and made his imaginary living by using his special power (which is to give life to a doll). He sucked so bad he could barely make enough money for a satisfying meal.

    I disagree with the main character being a loser in a harem anime though. Look at Kage kara Mamoru, that show was definitely harem but Mamoru was pretty much a kickass ninja with super pretty boy-ish face under his dorky glasses.

  • March 21, 2007 at 11:15 amBOZZ

    Still who actually liked Mamoru (from KKM) for his bas ass ninja skills? I think there was like only one (or maybe even two) character who might have.

    When I said loser I meant more along the lines of the archetype of harem leads, Tenchi Masaki and characters like Keitaro from Love Hina. Another thing is that harem titles seem to be, a little on the series side in terms of the story, that’s how I don’t see things like Air as harem titles whereas eroge anime adaptations like Tsuyokiss on the other hand fit more of the role of a harem series. :P

  • March 21, 2007 at 11:47 amBOZZ

    I meant to say “serious side” not “series side”, my bad…

  • March 21, 2007 at 4:12 pmDG04

    >>>Whaaaat? Was anyone seriously disputing Kanon’s position as a harem show? THE MAIN DUDE HAS LIKE SEVEN GIRLS WHO WANT IN HIS PANTS AND THE FOCUS OF THE SHOW IS HIM PICKING ONE OF THEM. The end.

    What? I thought the focus of the show was about Yuuichi’s relationship with all those girls and the small miracles that happen in his life. I certainly didnt see the “seven girls who want in his pants” as supposedly the focus of the show. I see Kanon as more of a drama with harem elements, otherwise we might as well as label Code Geass a harem considering Kallen and Shirley are more blatent about wanting in Lulu’s pants and all the sister con undertones. If you choose to only see one aspect of a show and ignore the others then you are not seeing the whole picture for what it really is.

    >>>As for Haruhi – cmon guys! It’s so much easier to enjoy than Kanon, which constantly tosses five ton emotional snowballs at its audience. It’s like the lighthearted fun you have spinning the teacups at Disneyland, versus the nauseating yet exhilarating Kanon Splash Mountain. Oh well – whatever suits your taste

    While Haruhi is an easier watch, especially for the casual anime watcher then something that is emotionally heavy like Kanon, I personally rate Kanon’s story telling a few notches higher. Haruhi is great for what it is, a light comedy and I certainly enjoyed watching it every week, however one cannot deny that it is still a fairly shallow anime relying on the situational humor that Haruhi and her unique personality brings about. Ofcourse I have read the novels and yes the plot does start to develope somewhat and the characters do slowly start to develope but just looking at the anime gives you very little in anything besides comedy.

    I am curious about one thing though(ok few things actually lol). If anime like Kanon are such a waste of Kyoto Animation’s resources, then what would be considered a good use of resources? How can an anime be considered a waste of resource or unworthy of Kyoto Animation if it is a well written, plot and character driven emotional story?

  • March 21, 2007 at 4:46 pmlolikit

    >>I see Kanon as more of a drama with harem elements, otherwise we might as well as label Code Geass a harem considering Kallen and Shirley are more blatent about wanting in Lulu’s pants and all the sister con undertones. If you choose to only see one aspect of a show and ignore the others then you are not seeing the whole picture for what it really is.

    I consider Kanon a romance-drama with harem elements… unless your vision of drama is so different from mine, how is that not a harem show? ^_^;; I’m not trying to look at only one aspect really. I see the main character, I see that all that “happens” is him interacting with a comparably vast cast of female characters, I think “harem.” Maybe I didn’t get Kanon at all!

  • March 21, 2007 at 5:15 pmFortMan

    @Son Gohan

    I just pointed out that the definition of harem anime you have posted didn’t work so well here, that’s all.

    I think some of us need to separate Key’s Kanon from Kyoani’s Kanon here. Sure, there’re more female characters in the show, but U1 only get romantically involved with one of them. (I don’t think he even notice Nayuki’s attraction to him yet) Heck, H&C Mayama would be more “harem” male lead than Kyoani’s U1, with him winning the hearts of two ladies and all. (Not that I think he is, just to point out how fleeting categorizations are sometime)

  • March 21, 2007 at 7:35 pmDG04

    @lolikit

    I believe its a matter of having a differant opinion on harem shows. I see harem shows as stories where the main or atleast a good deal of conflict and “suspense” comes from which girl the male lead will pick, and sometimes the main draw of the series is excessive fanservice. To me, if you label a show by a genre like harem, mecha or action means that that is the main focus and draw of the show, certainly Kanon has harem elements but hardly a central focus, as opposed to the emotional drama. My comment in my previous post was not really directed at you but rather just generally to people biased against Kanon solely for the reason of it being percieved as a harem title.

  • March 21, 2007 at 8:12 pmpsgels

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Jaalin. Kyoani can produce some interesting visual effects and animation, but it feels just wasted on these “moe-shows”, as I like to call them. I don’t know about how others feel about this, but I’d rather view a political drama like Saiunkoku Monogatari than see a guy who keeps hitting on every single girl he sees, like in Kanon. Okay, I only saw the first ten episodes, but they were enough to convince me that the show was trying too hard to attempt some drama, up to the point where Makoto’s final scenes became just annoying.

    The things that annoy me about harems is that it’s too standard of a formula. We always have one guy and a number of girls who cling around him. Code Geass could also be considered a harem, but luckily it features more important characters than just the main characters and his “haremettes”. Most (emphasis on most) harems I also checked out (which are quite a few, actually) were also full of illogical plot events. After seeing a female fall in love with the main character for no apparent reason for the umpth time, I really lost my faith in this genre.

  • March 22, 2007 at 5:14 amDrmChsr0

    Blahblahblahblah FUCK.

    jaalin, go play planetarian, then look at your words.

    I swear you’ll look at Kanon in a different light.

    It is very obvious that your hate for VisualArts/Key is making you see things in a different light than others.

    If you’re a floogin’ Harutard (which I think you are), well, disregard. You’re too steeped in your obsession to even think about trying something new.

  • March 22, 2007 at 9:55 amkrazy

    Hey, one man’s meat, another man’s poison. All I can say is, everyone has their own viewpoints, and these differing opinions can be on opposite ends of the scale. So don’t get angry if someone thinks way differently from you, or try to force your own opinion down on another. It’s just a sharing of our own viewpoint, we’re all entitled to it.

  • March 22, 2007 at 10:39 amtj han

    People don’t get it. “Wasted resources” refers to the immense amount of time, effort and money spent adding all that beautiful animation and detail to a non-action series. Look, you can easily have a Kanon that’s just as good but without all the frills.
    Psgels is the hawt boy. Jaalin too.

  • March 22, 2007 at 10:54 amDG04

    @lolikit

    I guess thats where our views on this differs, not much we can do as we’ve pretty much stated our thoughts on the matter clearly. To each his own.

    @DrmChsr0

    I think jaalin mentioned Haruhi once and that was as a remark on how similar the begining looked, considering Kyon/Yuuichi has the same seiyuu and similar additude its an easy first impression to make if one hasnt played the game. The impression I got was that jaalin didnt dislike Kanon, only that he felt the series as a whole was held back for being in the harem genre and an adaptation of a visual novel where your attention was split between too many girls and very little to tie it all together, not that he hated Key’s works(though I could be wrong).

    Like krazy said calm down its just a differance of opinons.

  • March 22, 2007 at 11:06 amAlias

    Actually, Kanon is closer to a drama anime rather than a Harem anime. Serious;y, sometimes, the narrowmindedness of the western community astonishes me. You people always say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” but that’s exactly what you are doing now. Just because it’s a “Harem” anime doesn’t nesscerily make it stupid, or in Son gohan’s words, not “intelligent”. The moment you read the words Harem and Anime in the same sentence, you automatically judge it as bad anime, which isn’t nesscerily true. Just because one anime in that genre is lousy or “Lame”, doesn’t make the genre itself lousy or “lame”. Furthermore, Kanon lacks most of the major components that makes up typical Harem anime, mainly by replacing the classical “Bumbling idoit” main charater with a more “Guy who stands back and fires scarcastic comments” Esque charater. In fact, Jun posses more traits of those than Yuuichi.

    Then we have an actual plot and charater development throughout the series, unlike most other animes which usually reserve that portion until towards the final few episodes of the series, if they even have development at all. The main thing to keep in mind is that Harem animes are basically Sitcoms; it’s just that most of the situations in which the comedy is derived from are generally Ecchi in nature. Kanon is more of a Anime-fied soap opera than a Harem; either that or a totally new form of Harem that defies regular harem rules. In anycase, Kanon is one of the best Animes I’ve seen in recent times. Hopefully, they will have a couple of OVAs that either goes into the storyline of Rumi or properly conclude the series, because I didn’t particularly like how they left it “Hanging” at the end.

  • March 22, 2007 at 11:08 amDG04

    >>>People don’t get it. “Wasted resources” refers to the immense amount of time, effort and money spent adding all that beautiful animation and detail to a non-action series. Look, you can easily have a Kanon that’s just as good but without all the frills.

    …ok so non-action series are automatically “wasted resources”? Just because there are no fight scenes and people bleeding enough to fill a blood bank does not mean the series can’t have quality animation. By your standards I am guessing that a second season of Haruhi would be wasted resources too?

    Also in my eyes it is not just the animation and the “frills” that makes Kyoto Animation a great studio, but also the fact that in all their visual novel/light novel to anime adaptations, they have managed to keep as close to the original as possible and while there may be deviations it still remains true to the “spirit” if you will, of the original work.

  • March 22, 2007 at 5:53 pmpsgels

    “You people always say “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” but that’s exactly what you are doing now.”
    I’ve been saying the same about RPG-adaptations, but do people listen? No, of course not.

    Seriously, though. I gave Kanon a fair chance. And what did I get after 10 episodes? Well, a rather boring series. It’s true that I bash harems, but what else do you expect when you watch tons of them and none of them really stands out?

  • March 22, 2007 at 6:51 pmTolitz

    If you think something tastes bad, even if you allegedly “give it a chance” and taste it, it’ll eventually still taste bad coz you’re always looking for something in it to support your earlier perception…

    Those who hate harem anime with a vengeance won’t turn a new leaf on the genre overnight. So it’s really no use convincing people who don’t want to be convinced. My only beef with the whole matter is these people treating those who actually LIKE this genre like they’re all clueless “non intelligent” people.

    As krazy said… [b]one man’s meat, another man’s poison[/b]… those who hate these kinds of shows are better off just settling with their “one fight that lasts 5 episodes” type of anime… or something similar that has one testotesterone-filled youth destroying the world…

    You either love it or you hate it. I am fortunate to be one of those who love these kinds of stories. I won’t lose sleep over someone else’s opinion against it – they’re entitled to it – as long as they don’t try to impose theirs on mine ;)

    Peace!

    - T

  • March 23, 2007 at 1:35 pmKurogane

    The way I see it, “Harem” animes are like durians, there are some who vouch by it’s taste, while an equal amount of others hate it with such passion they wished it wouldn’t exist in the first place.

    This argument is like one of those people who hate durians bashing Mother Nature for “wasting her time and resources” on durians, just because they don’t like it. If you don’t like the fruit, just honestly say so. Don’t go around blaming other people for it instead.

  • March 24, 2007 at 12:42 amsagematt

    I finally get it.

    Good. So the whole post was unnecessary. Wait, that’s not good at all.
    And I don’t see any “paradigm shift”, not on Key, not on KyoAni.

  • April 10, 2007 at 8:24 pmklazyguy

    either u like it or u don’t…don’t shove your nazi-like hate opinions to others. Anime is sth that’s to be either enjoyed or left alone, not to be a flamming detabe topic.

  • April 11, 2007 at 3:40 amDGreater1

    Jaalin wrote:
    >>CLANNAD? I’ve never played it or even heard of it outside that it’s another one of KEY’s works – but if KyoAni is doing it, we may as well start penciling it in as the best anime of the season.

    In the meantime, Lucky Star is going to rock, you can bank on that.

    CLANNAD? You’ve never played it before so I won’t comment as much… but penciling it as one of the best anime because it was made by KyoAni? I disagree :)

    It will go down to one of the best because it was made by KEY and was adapted faithfully by KyouAni… erm… KyoAni

    The 4koma adaptation Lucky Star will surely be one of the top talk about KyoAni though :) Because people (foreigners to be exact) will surely think… Why did KyoAni decide to do a 4koma adaptation? Look people… KyoAni staffs aren’t stupid, they chose that material because they know how good the material is, and always… I mean always remember that KyoAni’s target audience isn’t the foreigners but their own people (Japanese)… So if you can’t get the hype, it just mean that you don’t understand the hype of 4koma stories =P So I advice people not to activate auto-pwn me mode… Oooops… I think I put this Lucky Star comment in the wrong blog… (copy paste)

  • October 10, 2007 at 1:19 ampixy

    no matter what the hell it is, mecha, harem or whatever, KyoAni will ALWAYS nail it. ‘nuf said

  • October 11, 2007 at 11:37 amdeltazechs

    @pixy

    You said it. For mecha, KyoAni did the FMP Second Raid, which I thought was way better than GONZO’s first season of FMP.

  • November 3, 2009 at 4:25 amKey

    Kanon is not “harem”. Calling it that is offensive to the drame/ romance genre fans.