OP Sequence

OP: 「恋するレンズ」 (Koisuru Lens) by 隼人加織 (hayato kaori)

「出会い」 (Deai)

Meet Maeda Kazuya, your typical didn’t-really-do-anything protagonist who has lacked an eventful life until he got his hands on a good DSLR camera. Upon acquiring said camera, cute girls around him begin asking to have their photo taken as well as vice versa. Such girls include Kazuya’s little sister Maeda Kanon (Ise Mariya), school idol and childhood friend Niimi Haruka (Itou Kanae), chummy friend Masaki Nonoka (Saito Chiwa), and Kanon’s friend, Mai Sakura (Kanemoto Hisako). Sound like familiar character types to you? Must’ve watched Amagami SS.

Due to this, Kazuya has attracted the attention of the Photography Club, which boasts its focus in borderline eroticism and the beauty of the young female form. After much pressure from the club and the rival Photo Club headed by Kurebayashi Katsumi (Mizuhara Kaoru), Kazuya reluctantly joins, torn between the appeal and the shadiness of their activities. However, the real drama begins as Kazuya observes Misumi Tomoe (Sawashiro Miyuki) crying on Haruka’s seat, which triggers the unveiling of a secret meant only for the two of them.

In order to judge this show’s debut correctly, I proceeded to recall the first time I watched Amagami SS and think about what kind of reaction I had back then. For a first episode, the show was alright–it had good art, a pleasant cast of characters, and that hok at the end was good enough a reason to keep watching. I wasn’t spectacularly impressed though, as other shows that season, such as Sekimatsu Occult Gakuin and Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi had caught my attention. It was an alright show, but then episode 4 stole my heart (as well as Haruka)–from then on out, I gave that show a lot more respect, especially for its fair distribution of screentime for each character.

Though I am hesitant to apply that same hope for Photo Kano, it’s possible, especially after looking past the graphical flaws that the show presents.

When I first watched the first episode, I was thoroughly disappointed in the animation and drawing quality, at least as compared to the standards that a rom-com fanservice show should abide by. Though the screenshots above manage to capture the better-looking moments that episode, those moments mostly came from still-shots. The majority of the animation is an average effort, though the animation of dialogues between characters is borderline low-tier. In order to hide this, the episode likes to flash many a shot in photographic fashion, but the tactic is used so much that it almost feels like watching a slideshow at times. Why can’t the show look like this or this all the time? Though there are moments where the animation is slightly creative, those moments need to appear more often to have a more profound effect. By golly, if you’re going to animate a dating sim that requires taking pictures of cute girls in the name of borderline eroticism, you’ve got to make sure, before all else, that your animation is superb!

But after a second watch-through, it looks like this adaption isn’t as much of a letdown as I originally thought it to be. There are numerous hints in the background foreshadowing the events yet to transpire, as well as events in the foreground that are subtle enough to hint at the future conflicts between the characters. Though lacking in animation, the careful directing of subtle hints creates an effective foreshadowing that actually makes a second watch-through enjoyable. I didn’t notice the first time that Hiromichi was actually stalking Maeda from the very beginning, and that Tomoe hinted at the sad distance she has with Haruka well before the end of the show. It’s those small details that go unnoticed in the first viewing, but become fairly obvious (and enjoyable to find) during a second watch. Though the larger plot and dialogue needs some work, I’ll give the show the benefit of the doubt for trying to cram all the characters in 20 minutes. It wasn’t the most fluid plot, but if Photo Kano is trying to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps, I have hope that the show will improve over the course of the next 3 episodes.

There is one thing to look forward to in Photo Kano though, and that’s the audio! The cast is filled with experienced seiyuu, who despite the sometimes awkward dialogue they had to recite, did their best in doing so. The voices I’ve heard are so far pleasant and provide a much-needed aesthetic boost to the show. What’s even better though is the music selection and the OP, both done by the very talented Kubota Mina. Her work with creating the OP’s for the Aria series and Sasameki Koto shows itself again in the music and the opening song. The music fits well with the tone the show is aspiring towards, and while the animation for the opening song might be average, the song itself is catchy and gentle, like the river in four seasons…or something like that.

Anyways, those who feel a bit disappointed this episode should stick it through, especially if Amagami appealed to your tastes. Though the staff is almost entirely different from the last Enterbrain adaption, their true strength doesn’t begin to show until the introductions have completed themselves. It’s a shame that the animation hasn’t gone so well, but hopefully with a well-directed story and pro audio, the value of this visual novel adaption should show itself soon enough.


ED Sequence

ED: 「スマイルF」 (Smile F) by うたカノ♪ (Uta Kano♪)



    1. whatever, they have tits harem

      and it’s completely different from amagami. amagami has all routes cleared. so yeah, if this will have serious drama, it will turn out to be a much more “kimi-kiss” like

      sorry for my english, i’m sleep deprived

      Ichijou raku
  1. I’ll probably stick with it till the end unless it turns out to be completely dull & boring.

    Leaving animation issues aside,the thing that worries me the most is the large cast of heroines,especially for a 1-cour show.It hints to no-to-little character delevopment since even giving each a little bit of spotlight will take a while.

    1. Love Live last season was 13 episodes for 9 girls. It managed to do alright, though it’s mainly because dialogue is usually done between 2-3 girls at a time.

      For this show, I’m worried in the sense that there’s actually a male MC (unlike Love Live) so there’s inevitably gonna need to be some time between MC and a single girl.

      1. That’s the exact problem- the focus is entirely different.

        Sure, Love Live had more girls- but it wasn’t a romantic affair. The themes and stories to be explored are entirely different.

        Unless you manage to have several episodes dedicated to the development of one girl (as Amagami did- and I’d argue that it wasn’t quite enough), or actually choose a girl and follow that route (like Shuffle did), it’s nearly impossible to successfully create a sastisfying harem adaptation. For the most part, they serve as a sample of the games they’re based off of.

    2. I hope this starts a trend of one-upsmanship in harem anime in which they try to stuff as many girls into the fewest episodes possible, like some bizarre clown car of character archetypes. “32 girls in two episodes and a 30 minute OVA? I’ll take that challenge!”

  2. Yeah, I do get the feeling that only the most popular of the girls will end up getting the most development while a couple will probably end up feeling more like side characters more than anything. When I first saw stuff for this, I was hoping it’d either follow the Amagami SS omnibus style (though, as mentioned, it’d require two cour to cover it all effectively) or the Yosuga no Sora format that sort of intermixed the scenarios with one another.

    All I can do is stick with it and see how it turns out, even if only to watch the girls, lol.

  3. Well, this seems to be a fanservice guy’s dream anime… Not how I shake, but the characters are sure good. It looks like the Characters are going to carry this anime, and I think they can do it. That softball girl was sure cute.

  4. It’ll be fun to guess who he’ll end up with given the sheer volume of girls in here.
    The animation does seem weird at times but the seiyuu cast is just spectacular, all the way down to the guy who specializes in high angle shots in the Photography Club.
    Will definitely continue to watch this.

    Nonoka = best girl. For now.

  5. I’m a bit worried with the direction that this show could be heading. Hopefully, there’s more focus on the girls (I like some of them, though most of them are pretty generic), and less on the photography club, who I found unbelievably annoying.

    1. Unfortunately no. I can’t handle mid-week shows right now, as well as covering more than two shows, so I won’t be covering this one, nor it seems anyone else due to similar situations.

      Sorry! 🙁

  6. This was actually better than I thought but that just may be because I went into it with low expectations lol

    It’s flashy, the art is pretty darn good, and has plenty of ecchi!! So this can just be my guilty pleasure of the season

  7. After seeing the first episode, 2 thoughts come to my head:

    1. This might be like watching a fashion show.
    2. I wonder why that girl Uchida is in the photography club instead of the photo club? 😉

  8. Somehow I was hoping they would they would do the multiple route thing like Amagami ss did. Like use 4 episodes to cover each girl. But seeing how it’s only 12 episodes, i guess that’s not going to happen.

  9. Dunno what i should think about this Anime. a Story of a “Ecchi” Lover Photograph? that only see the Girls as Objects for his “work”? as if he peek into a another World if he look trough his searcher

    Looks like this Anime will build on heavy “ecchi” Fan Services shoots. To much “unbalance” for me

  10. Haven’t played any of the games, have watched KimiKiss, haven’t watched Amagami in its entirety.

    Impression on the first episode? Not as interesting as Kimikiss’ first episode. So far the characters with more lines are unappealing at best and annoying at worst.
    The MC feels kind of bland (but then again, The only MC I found interesting out of the three mentioned shows is the redhead soccer guy from KimiKiss anime, so maybe a rather-bland MC shouldn’t be a problem). Another type of character I disliked in harem shows are overly enthusiastic-eroticism crazed-bromantic foil like the buddy from Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi. In this show, I felt like there are three of them. IMO that’s annoying.

    However, The potential love interests seem interesting. I’ll give this show another two episode to see if it can tell a good story about those girls. So, not dropped yet.

  11. It’s a little hard to see promise for this one. I’m not too sure what to make of the style of this show, as a lot of scenes seem to want to give the audience a view that attempts to resemble one from a camera. There will be, I assume, better exploration into the personalities of the different girls. Making them aesthetically pleasing does help, of course. :p

    Personally I liked the story from the Sweet Snap manga, but I have to say I’m a little unsure about prioritising this one over the many shows with great pilot episodes. As always, reserving judgment till the next few episodes.

  12. Ugh… the whole voyeuristic angle of the photography club is annoying and rude. I immediately disliked the main character when he agreed to joining that club. Dropping this anime, for sure. Too bad.. I thought it would be better because I really liked KimiKiss


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