After three episodes, Kanon’s arc finally comes to a close. Given its progression, I question whether three episodes was really necessary to begin with though. Looking back, they probably reiterated her insecurities a lot more than they had to to get that point across, and also took the better portion of an entire episode to show how Keima was being supportive of her — something that Ayumi’s arc managed to do just as well in a single episode. While some viewers will likely appreciate the extra time invested, I actually felt it worked against the emotional finish they were going for. Rather than getting the comedic material out of the way early, it was riddled throughout and kind of upset any sort of build-up that was established. An example of this was when Kanon went to great lengths in showbiz to get Keima to notice her, which led to her tendency to disappear coming up. It was a bit unusual since it never got any tangible explanation except the Ghost in the Shell parody here, but did make for a good cliffhanger to leave off on at the time. More importantly, it resulted in a serious take on Kanon’s troubles. Whether intentional or not, that build-up was quickly made light of with all the focus on her fans from Elsie’s investigation and Keima’s goofy support shortly afterward, before things got kind of serious again with Kanon going missing just before her big performance. In short, it was this flipping back and forth between these two moods in the past two episodes that kind of ruined it for, because it made it seem like it could’ve dragged on for as long as they wanted it to.
Having seen the whole story now, I can safely say that it was the cause of my confusion as to what sort of direction this story was taking in the previous episode anyway. After following that relatively long and somewhat “messy” progression, my expectations of this arc had naturally gone up, under the assumption that the writers would have a twist in store to make it all worthwhile. As such, when the conclusion turned out to be the most straightforward one to date, it felt like a bit of a letdown. To be fair, winning over Kanon did have its moments after Keima filled the role of supportive guy who helped her overcome her insecurities. However, it wasn’t anything special along the lines of what only the “God of Conquest” should be able to pull off and that was ultimately what led to my disappointment with this arc. This was after he already said he “sees the ending” last time and how he mentioned that it was crucial to his plan to find Kanon first, only for it to end in a way that any guy who isn’t as dense as a brick could have figured out. Keima really didn’t have to do too much in this one, as it wasn’t anything remotely close to carefully scripting out a fruits basket for Ayumi or a private party with Mio. Even with the backstory of Citron and showing that ex-members Lime (Hidaka Rina) and Yuri (Uchida Maaya) are supportive of Kanon’s solo career, I still wasn’t really feeling the emotions behind this one. I definitely feel it could have made more of an impact if the screenplay writers condensed the first two episodes into one, before wrapping things up with this episode.
With that said, I still felt this was an enjoyable arc, which could have been better if they didn’t beat around the bush so much. However, I get the feeling the extra time was for Kanon’s music, which relatively new seiyuu Touyama Nao was (probably) cast for to sing. Kanon sure did have a fair amount of songs, but the only one I really liked was “Love Call” performed here. “Happy Crescent”, which doubled as the ending theme for this episode in a super extended version, is just too happy-go-lucky for my liking, and even Citron’s “Koi, Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasu!” was kind of silly with its lyrics. I did like how Kanon did a short performance of the latter in an empty venue at the very end though, simply because it showed she was appreciative of Lime and Yuri’s help to get her to where she is today. Lastly, I have to say that I don’t find Keima in the anime nearly as arrogant as he came off in the first few chapters of the manga I skimmed. This is likely due to the fact that he isn’t portrayed as being too over confident in his abilities and has started to show signs that (the lips of) real girls aren’t so bad. At this rate, Keima’s going to end up being the one that falls for the girl, even though he’s supposed to be the “player”. He’s such a male tsundere.