Unveiled in the most hair-flowy way possible

Fresh on the heels of the revived uguu~ phenomena, Kyoto Animation smacks on another potential armageddon – AUU~

But oh, let’s not forget the flowy blonde hair, or the toothy grin. It’s gao gao stegosaur meets nyoro, all packed into one lolitastic package. It’s the birth of AUU FANG-TAN – how can the fanboys resist!

The original Kanon had all that stuff already, but the trend never caught on – Makoto 2006, however, has all the background to be the next anime superstar. People loved Misuzu-(big)chin, and Tsuruya-san retains a megas-big cult-following – KyoAni reloaded their ammo quick for Kanon 2006 and pumped out a modern-day adaptation of this foxy chick.

That’s pretty clever. But that’s as far as the references go, right?

Well, this IS KyoAni…and they poured on the references in episode 2, many of which you all have pointed out. It did indeed add to the overall entertainment value of the episode – but was it appropriate? Could all those references have possibly hurt the episode, and the show in general?

Take Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, for instance. Overall, a terrific show and funny as hell – but don’t you get the feeling it could have been better? The episode shuffling gimmick was confusing for us all, and I’m not sure it worked out all that great. A means to an end, I suppose, as the not-so-infamous Kyon x Haruhi smooch scene was meant to be the climactic end. As awesome of a show as it was, I couldn’t help but feel that sometimes, the writers were just trying too hard to be clever – and in the process, seemingly cheapened something that could have been so much better. By loading on all these references, doesn’t it seem like Kanon is doing something similar? It is not able to maintain enough self-contained interest such that it needs to reference other shows to remain fresh?

No, I think Kanon 2006 can do it. The Matrix-like symmetrical docking dodging during Taiyaki Heist II was great, and the buttnaked art teacher shows that KyoAni can still pull off random moments with the best of them. And, to KyoAni’s credit, the references were well timed, however slightly out of context.

But…there were too many. Enough to make people forget, if only for a moment, that this is Kanon, not Kyonichi Aizawa no Yuuetsu. Enough to distract audiences from the fact that Kanon is supposed to be great by itself (thereby prompting a remake), not an attention-whore. Just like how the silent yet kick-ass Yuki was a more popular character than the supreme being Haruhi-sama herself (Saimoe 2006 has Yuki beating out Haruhi 1112-991), maybe the more discerning fans have a greater appreciation for subtlety rather than blatant overloading.

To be fair, however, I could just be looking too much into it. Maybe Kanon should only be taken at face value, the humor going as far as “stressed cleverness” and never into the realm of “absolute hilarity”. But then again, KyoAni just doesn’t seem content on having Kanon be “yet another harem anime.” They are, in fact, remaking a somewhat memorable anime into what they hope will become an immortal one.

Does Kanon have the potential to become immortal? Sure, as long as it’s able to carve out its own place separate from SuzuHaru, and not lose sight of its own identity. If we’re still referring to him as Kyonichi by episode 24 – doesn’t that mean Kanon 2006 was just one big expensive sequel to a much better show?

It’s all up to the ones named Auu Fang-tan and Kyonichi. For now, at least.



  1. Yeah, I think it’s a bit interesting to read how other people feel about the show, those that take it apart and will point out those things that deviate from the norm, or are maybe a bit too cliche. I am a big KyoAni and Kanon fan, and have been awaiting this sequel since it was announced. But seeing an alternate point of view on the subject will help me to see the bigger picture.

  2. @ Sigmond

    This isn’t a sequel. Just a prettier version of the first one. Yes i thought the first version sucked, it was so cliche it made my head hurt.

    I mean its pretty much frame for fram like the original except better art quality.

    Atleast with the Negami remake It’s complete different =D

    Yes i did sit through all of the first Kanon. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t like it at the same time. Just dont feel like sitting through it all over again is all.

  3. Jaalin does a good job calling into question things about popular anime that some people don’t want to hear, and some people do. I just wish like dkellis said, he wasn’t so condescending.

  4. @ ctjanus

    Thanks for pointing that out, it’s been a long day, so I had the wording a little off, was doing well enough in that one to correct my typos. Also, the Negima remake wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. The deterence from the manga was fine, but i didn’t really like the art style, it takes away from the characters, and I think it was trying a little too hard to be funny, which it was, but it was in excess.

  5. but why do people love/hate Kanon? Kanon the game, the first anime, this remake, or something else about it?
    I never played the game but did watch the original anime and I can’t say I’m a fan, but I do like this remake because of the animation production behind it. So if you ask me if I like Kanon I could say yes if you mean this version, but if you mean what Kanon is or what it should stand for, then I would say it just doesn’t click with me.

  6. Oh looks like the term “Kyon’ichi” caught on … Who came up with it anyway? Personally I am not that big a Kanon lover, but I think it’s an ok show and I am watching the remake because I am interested to see what Kyoto Animation can do when they go all out(they seem to go all out on all their shows but Kanon has been extra hyped). I think Kyoto Animation can do some really interesting things to this series that the original was lacking (good character design and animation, more development for lesser characters, random KyotoAni-style humor), but that doesn’t mean this version of Kanon will be great.

    And by the way while I am at it: I am not too happy with the whole Yuichi becoming a nicer version of Kyon thing. It’s like they are merging two completely different characters together; granted one has no personality while the other has enough to spare, but it still feels quite odd. But then Yuichi was always the weakest link of the original series …

  7. It’s not that he hates it (I think, it’s just that he doesn’t understand it. It’s fanservice without fanservice (think on that for a minute. They made it because they knew we watch it even if we don’t why (I’m still trying to figure out why I watch it…), so they could sell lots of advertising and make lots of yen, then sell figures to make more yen. That’s why I don’t doubt there’s more Haruhi, Fate/Stay, Mai-Hime/Otome (not just the OAV) on the way.

  8. 1. My wife found Kanon despisable.
    2. In Korean Moe Tournament, Haruhi beat Yuki in quarterfinals, 617 votes to 605 votes. the difference came to be due to the fact that higher percentage of voters in Japan got to know Haruhi and Yuki through the novel, not just from TV. It is possible that for many people in Asia, blatant overloading trumps over subtlety.
    3. My biggest problem with Kanon is that I am having very hard time discerning female characters from each other, visually.

  9. Oh who cares, we just watch as entairnement. Dont think about this too much or do u hate Kanon or KyoAni or what huh?

    Actually I find it hard to to be entertained by shows like Kanon if I don’t think deeply enough. Same with AIR. I derive joys from these golds by understandings the storylines.

    3. My biggest problem with Kanon is that I am having very hard time discerning female characters from each other, visually.

    Hah, wait until one of Studio e.go!’s games get animated. Take a hair style, a set of eyes, lips, and face shapes, and you could probably make more than 70% of characters e.go has ever created. Compared to them, Key’s characters are overflowing with uniqueness.

  10. random thinking. everywhere I go, I encounter at least one(1) haruhi fan(boy)(girl)… yet, what I’ve seen of haruhi has sucked horribly. perhaps the same differences in views that lead me to see suckage in haruhi is the same sort of differences in views that permit kanon to have the cult following it has.

  11. I have to agree with Jaalin with this one. Kyoto Animation surely does anime great justice with high production values and cramming a lot of content into single episodes, but some of the referencing they do always felt a bit off. I always got that kind of feeling with a lot of Haruhi episodes as well. It would be better if they did not bother with silly and deviant references. I’d daresay that they come very close to detracting from the shows than anything.

  12. “the writers were just trying too hard to be clever ”

    Yeah and so are you, Jaalin

    This is pathetic. It’s one thing to do it once. It’s quite another to do it twice. I find it hard to believe that Omni allows this continual bashing of Kanon to continue.

  13. Is FreezeFrame a section to criticize Kanon?

    It’s not like I really care either way, one critic is fine, now it’s looking like Kanon bothers you a bit too much and you’d be better off ignoring it.

  14. I found this article pretty entertaining, as I’ve fully enjoyed ep2 and enjoy people nickpicking each episode, in a good or bad way.

    I have a feeling this article was editted… It didn’t bother me and I enjoyed the jokes and views on KyoAni. I’d have to agree – if we’re still refering him as Kyon, something terribly went wrong with the fact they didn’t spend the budget on a second season of SHnY.

  15. “…the guy who doesn’t understand why people love Kanon”

    let me rephase this… ” the guy who doesnt understand why GUYS love Kanon”

    if we take majority of gender votes who likes kanon alot, its going to be males.

    As much I am just watching Kanon for fun, I dont really like it much… art is too detailing in my point of view.

    I watched original Kanon and it was really good, the art wasn’t best but! It enables people to really concentrate on the storyline instead of the appearance.

    Also… I saw a comment from someone a week ago about Kanon, Da Capo, Shuffle, etc., being a shoujo genre. Let me rephase what shoujo REALLY means. Shoujo is a genre that aim towards female audience. Meaning Ouran is perfectly considered as shoujo whereas Da Capo, Kanon, etc,. are all originally from hentai game PLUS it is aimed towards guys. (would any girls buy a Kaede figure? no…) I think it was pretty stupid how guys call hentai-game anime into a Shoujo genre. I mean seriously… as a shoujo fanatic and as a girl I was disappointed.

    Not trying to be sexist but I wanted to point out my minority view out of this whole discussion and situation.

  16. All I can say is, continually bashing Kanon in two straight posts is a great traffic producer for the blog. As they say in the advertising world, the best way to attract as much people as possible is to make fun of what most of them like.

    I would have to hand it to the writer. As shit goes, the more it stinks, the more flies come to feast on it. Kampai!

    …I just don’t get it. Maybe I’ll finally understand it the second time around. In the meantime, can somebody please explain why people HATE Kanon so much? 😉

    – T

  17. Also… I saw a comment from someone a week ago about Kanon, Da Capo, Shuffle, etc., being a shoujo genre. Let me rephase what shoujo REALLY means. Shoujo is a genre that aim towards female audience. Meaning Ouran is perfectly considered as shoujo whereas Da Capo, Kanon, etc,. are all originally from hentai game PLUS it is aimed towards guys. (would any girls buy a Kaede figure? no…) I think it was pretty stupid how guys call hentai-game anime into a Shoujo genre. I mean seriously… as a shoujo fanatic and as a girl I was disappointed.

    Finally someone explained this. It was bothering me too.

  18. This killjoy routine is really tiresome and boring. Why choose to write about something you despise rather than something you treasure? Frankly it says much more about you than the Kanon series which is the target of your criticism.

    Setting out troll bait may be entertaining for you, but it certainly is neither original nor illuminating.

    If you dislike Kanon and the genre to which it belongs, why not spend your time on Naruto, Bleach, Pokemon and the like? Hopefully those will be easier for you to understand and enjoy. If not, there’s always Scooby Doo. 😉

    The only self-inflicted wounds seem to be your own, my friend. Turn off the TV and go outside.

    If Kanon indeed sucks, go elsewhere. Life is shorter than you think and there’s so many things to see and do.

    Why do some people hate Kanon so much. Maybe they have nothing better to do. Heh.

    Richard 23
  19. >> The only self-inflicted wounds seem to be your own, my friend.

    YES! Has anyone else realized the whole point of this post? It’s not about bias, not about right or wrong, nor love or hate. It’s about reading between the lines.

    At what point did I say “Kanon sucks”? At the very most, I stated my distaste for KyoAni overusing references, for the reason that it would make it seem too much like certain other shows, resulting in a loss of identity. I even stated that Kanon has the potential to be an “immortal” show – a rather large departure from “sucks”, don’t you think?

    On the topic of references, I mentioned that by using so many references, KyoAni seems to be “trying too hard to be clever” – perhaps better stated as “attention whoring.”

    But, as some of you more critical readers have discovered, isn’t that exactly what I’ve been doing in this post? Bingo. What has the general response been? “Trolling.” “Getting old.” “Boring.” If you read between the lines, it’s likely you would have felt like all this attention whoring is almost the same as a sense of dishonesty.

    And that’s exactly what KyoAni will be if they continue the over-referencing. Dishonest.

    So, what have we learned? As shown by this post, people obviously don’t respond well to dishonesty – and yet, Kanon 2006 retains its armada of devoted followers. So minus all the extraneous KyoAni cleverness, and what are we left with? Kanon 2002 plus upgraded art, with the overwhelming reputation of KyoAni behind it.

    And ultimately, reputation is what it’s all about, isn’t it? The show itself has nothing to do with it. Hell, tack on the KyoAni name to Naruto and give it the same top-budget, bleeding detail art that comes with every KyoAni feature, and I’m sure you’ll get an even bigger following. Given their excellent track record, it isn’t surprsing that everything KyoAni touches is automatically assumed to be gold – but come on, open your eyes people! What’s starting to happen is that KyoAni has established a formula for success – excellent art with reputable source material, and bits of random cleverness sprinkled in – and now they’re relying on the formula too much, forgetting why they established the formula in the first place.

    A prime example of formulaic reliance elsewhere in animation is one many of you are familiar with – Family Guy. Go back and watch the earlier seasons, and you’ll see that there’s very few of the “remember the time when…” scenes that have since saturated the show in recent seasons. It’s gotten so bad, there was even a South Park episode making fun of it…and yet, Family Guy remains as popular as ever. Just because it has the reputation, doesn’t mean that it’s still the great show it once was. While this over-reliance on a formula has resulted in a much greater degredation of quality in Family Guy, it’s a good example of what could happen to KyoAni if they keep this up.

    Like Jeff Lawson said on his ‘Hop Step Jump!’ anime blog, “Haruhi is Haruhi. Kanon is Kanon.”

    I hope you all continue to read my column, and whether you agree with it or not, remember to always read between the lines.

    Until next time!


  20. > YES! Has anyone else realized the whole point of this post? It’s not about bias, not about right or wrong, nor love or hate. It’s about reading between the lines.

    Well, I’m glad that you got what I got what you got what I got what you said. Or something.

    I have seen enough lame anime to know that this [Kanon 2006] is not it [thus far].

    I do realize of course that it’s fashionable to bash something that’s gotten a lot of attention. So, kudos for that if that’s what you’re going for. I look forward to reading your archives for your unlimited angst towards Tsubasa Chronicle and Naruto. But I think it’s premature for you to bash Kanon 2006. I got the impression that you think the new Kanon blows from your last column and from the multitudes of anti-fans that bashed it in this thread.

    Rather than bashing Kanon 2006 based upon “uguu” and “auu,” catchphrases to be sure, why not bash it based on more than two episodes? Eh, you cannot? Oh, sad day for you!

    Come to think of it, I don’t really care what you might think. Or anyone else for that matter. Kanon is a great game and Toei’s version was fun and I hope that KyoAni’s version will be too.

    If you don’t like it and others don’t like it based on hype or references to another series, boo to you. I don’t really care.

    So enjoy your self-inflicted wounds, baka!

    Richard 23
  21. It bugs me so much so I have to say it , sorry if my English is bad because I’m not a native . Why most of you have to mockingly go against the author ? It’s just his point of view , and from what I see , I don’t think he hates Kanon or anything . What he says is not “trolling” nor “bashing” . IF you call this is “bashing” then I dont know what the media is saying nowadays anymore . I have to agree with everything he said , although I am a big fan of Kanon . Being a fan of the show doesnt mean that you’d be hostile to anyone critisize it T__T .

  22. I completely agree. If one tries to add value to something that has already its value, one can very easily destroy the original value because decharacterization, i mean, we end up with something that hides the original qualities of something by covering with superfluous or unrelated things. The final product of a remake is always at risk of becoming superficial, so remake producers should always pay attentio to this.

    Toei seems to have had this in mind, since they kept even the original character design, which i assume is more difficult to do than using standard ones. Of course i’m not saying everything was equal, but that they had in mind not to change things randomly, or to put “value added” detail to the series, but to present it as close as the author and character designer would like it to be.

    But Kyoto Animations seems not so worried about this point, and this is what makes me a little bit sad about this new Kanon sometimes. Not that i’m completely unsatisfied, because it’s really very nice to see parts of the story we couldn’t see in the previous Kanon and such, and the artwork is beautiful, and hearing the voices of the girls in those new situations is a happy thing.

    But the problem is… sometimes we don’t feel sure anymore about what parts of the story were in the original Kanon and what was changed by Kyoto. At for Toei’s Kanon i’ve always had a feeling i had a subset of Kanon.

    So, the other reason for not inserting new elements is that, if it’s done in excess, the viewer will become worried if he’s the real novel, of if he’s watching modifications and what parts were modified and such. In an original work, this worry doesn’t exist in the first place. Unless of course, the changes start being visible even for those who have a vague idea of the original material.

    I like, for example, Kyoto Animation’s humor, i think it’s great, but if humor in the same style is not present in the original Kanon, they should refrain from using it. That kind of humor was very appropriate for AIR, and contributed to give it peculiar characteristics, but if used (and excessively) in Kanon, it tends to decharacterize Kanon, because it changes the perception of the personalities of the anime chars involved in the fun/humorous situtations, as they’ll have to have reactions to these funny/humorous situations that could potentially differ from their original game/novel personalities.

    Since i didn’t play the game, i don’t know what was and what wasn’t part of the story, but some anime parts surely almost certainly to have been inserted by Kyoto staff, since they remind us of AIR a lot. This impression gets stronger if you take into account that Yuichi’s voice actor is the same who voiced Yukito of AIR, and that the character design lost Kanon’s original design and is now like AIR, then after all of this we feel as if we were watching Kanon’s character in Kanon’s scenery doing AIR dialogues. So in the end i think it was a bad idea to have the same voice actor for both Yukito and Yuichi, even more if we consider that AIR was finished and aired (hehe 🙂 just recently. Not that I dislike the voice actor work, he works very well, the problem is this generates the feeling that we’re watching AIR, for those who did watch this anime. And since AIR is a romantic one, a good part of Kanon audience will have had watched AIR, so they should have foreseen this situation and avoided it. Maybe they tried and in the end didn’t find a better person for yuichi’s voice. But for me it seems they wanted to make the series more similar to AIR in order to raise the audience and revenues, without caring for the end impact in the perception of the anime for those who have already watched the first Kanon.

    Another point i dislike in this new Kanon is Kyoto Animation’s use of the music. Sometimes it’s very annoying. For example, sometimes, just Makoto’s presence triggers the music “the fox and the grapes” or other music just because it seems they think it’ll make Makoto’s apparition more funny. But Makoto is Makoto, and only her presence is enough fun. They should trust more their animators work, or the voice actors work, or the personalities of the chars in the novel instead of worrying about *always* adding music, even in situations were the silence (no music) would be more appropriate (like for example, when they’re in the desert school at night).

    So i think Toei had the virtue to know how to and when to use music, and what music to use, and also when to use silence. But in case of animes like Kanon, this virtue is very important, since the music is very beautiful, poetic, and if Kyoto’s doesn’t learn how to do this till the end of this series, Kanon 2006 will be weaker in this point too. I hope it doesn’t happen, or else we’ll all loose this only one more opportunity… =(


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