Welcome one and all to the greatest show on earth! Well, at least for someone that is!! This is the newest installment in the series now. I dub it: Anime we Love! This is simple in idea and execution. I find a wonderful person on the interwebs and just simply interview them about their favorite anime. I feel like the culture and fandoms we see so often are just a distorted and ugly place most of the time. I’m tired of all the perverse and mean behavior. People insulting things just because, and then in turn insulting the person for having unique tastes. It’s awful and needs to stop. So, I am here to spread the love.
Today we talk about an anime that has gone through some trials and tribulations before finally becoming what it is today. The anime being vicariously loved by all of you and more personally by my friend, Daniel, is Kanon 2006. The second anime adaptation of the original Key visual novel by Jun Maeda. After some hurdles with a disastrous attempt to produce the story years before, finally in 2006 fans were treated to a proper version. And that is what we have today. The 2006 adaptation was produced by Studio Kyoto Animation(Haruhi Suzumiya, Hibike Euphonium) and directed by veteran of the company and creator of many other Key based anime, Tatsuya Ishihara,(Air, Clannad,). After getting Air under his belt, Kanon 2006 was next, and boy did it delight for many as it paved the way for many shows to come. It’s a great benchmark series to start off with, and easily can be one of many series looked at when the boom in popularity came back then.
DISCLAIMER: This post contains spoilers for the anime series Kanon 2006. If you have not seen the series and want to avoid spoilers I recommend coming back to this post afterwards. Thank you so much for your time and now on to the interview!
Do you recall when you first saw the series? Was it something you already had planned to watch or was it on a whim of sorts?
Daniel: It was definitely on a whim. It was during a time where I was extremely depressed I don’t remember what exactly spawned the depression but what I can say for sure is that “English dubbed romance anime” became my most searched thing on google. It was through one of these searches that I found Kanon by way of a website or a forum post recommending this for those looking for good romance anime. now that I think about it this was the same way that I also found some of the other shows I really enjoy like Toradora and Spice and Wolf.
Doaki: Ohh geez that is quite a way to discover your favorite anime! I know I’ve come across my own fair share of series in odd ways too. You just go searching around for something and the anime gods in their mighty grace bestow upon you this gift you didn’t know could even exist. I know the feel of depression though and seeking out something to cope with it at the time. Many things I love have happened in the same fashion.
So now for the fun part. Tell me a little bit about what makes this anime stick out so much for you. Why do you love it so much?
Daniel: Well what has always stuck out to me is the interactions between Ayu and Youichi. From the ~Uguus~ and haha’s! to the serious tear jerking moments to those subtle gestures of support the both give each other.
As for my love of the show well it is a lot of elements mixed together. But probably most important of all timing. Again I was depressed when I watched the show but It was at my seemingly lowest point that I found Kanon. It sort of nurtured me back to mental stability through a mix of quotes that became gateways for introspection, characters whom I aspired to emulate , and a setting that captivated me through nostalgic remembrance of the past. I’d like to believe that I have a profound intellectual love for the show but when it comes down to it, I really just love it for the impact it made on me.
Doaki: Well that is easily one of the most commendable reasons for loving an anime so much. Many people have their own reasons for an anime being their favorite, but you have one that I always find the best. It is that right there that drives me to share anime with people and make posts like this one. Anime can be such a personal journey with the way it affects your life, that holding on to a certain show to a special degree makes sense in that context. If a series can do this for one person like you, then I imagine many other anime have done it for others too.
The series has a fairly large cast but I assume you have a favorite of the bunch. Who is it and why are they the personal favy?
Daniel: As for the why….Well I don’t want to seem lazy since you will probably recognize a lot of this from my response to the similar question you posed to me on ask.fm. But this was the most eloquent way I have ever answered this question and I was particularly proud of my response. Ayu Is an irrational childish girl whom only wanted to help those around her. These aspects of her made one of those “gateways for introspection” I was talking about and lit a fire under my butt to start getting back on my feet. This really cemented my admiration towards Ayu and turned what in most other circumstances would have passed as simply a likable character into what the show depicted Ayu as an angel. She swooped down into my life helped me get on my feet and left leaving only the memory to be immortalized in my mind…….. and on disc.
Doaki: Haha getting to know you over the past few months the answer of Ayu is nothing short of a given. I mean she is your personal angel in many ways, so why wouldn’t she be so highly regarded in your eyes. She has a natural positivity coming off of her that is like a healing aura of sorts. Like waves of taiyaki and uguus making the heart hungry and happy. My personal favorite is Shiori, who I know you also rather like. Her extremely thoughtful ideas on the way to view life were something I was doing at the time as well. With several ideas of suicide in the past year I could really relate to her character on the viewpoints of life and it’s meaning. Granted I didn’t have Keybola but you get the point! haha
Daniel: I whole-heartedly agree Shiori is definitely great! I love her philosophical mind-set when tackling things. It really adds on to that “girl just wanting to see the world” Idea which really give a lot more impact to her emotional scenes.
Are there any particular scenes in the series that really exemplifies your love for it?
Daniel: There are various scenes that I love for more in the moment reasons like the movie theater scene in episode 6 which always has me grinning and chuckling. Or the more feelsy moments like in episode 18 when Shiori says “was I able to smile most of the time” .. ah I am tearing up just thinking about it. * sniffle * There is one scene in particular though that is more subtle but just as impactful. It is right near the beginning of episode 17 where Youichi lays distraught contemplating the news about Shiori’s condition and life expectancy. Ayu walks in and after a small amount of banter just sits next to him. This small gesture of support through just being there for him exudes dedication and the thing I love the most about this show which is the character interactions with each other. With Ayu and Youichi’s always being my favourite no matter the context.
Doaki: Now this is what I expect from a bonafide lover of this show. Now while I love the movie theater scene as well(It was to me maybe the funniest scene of the whole show), and well most of the entire Shiori arc…I did not catch that subtlety. I’m impressed by your eye, although I’ve only seen it once! It’s hard for me to pick a favorite altogether, because if anything, Kanon does have some nice dynamic shots. I think for me, my favorite is one of the earliest shots of the series. When Youichi is waiting in the snow on the bench and is covered in it. I feel it’s a good metaphor for all the past things in is life he is buried under, and at the time it is something so seemingly natural he doesn’t even take notice of it. [I feel it’s a good metaphor about all of the past things in his life he’s buried under, and at the time it is something so seemingly natural he doesn’t even take notice of it.]
Daniel: Definitely a great scene. It really is a great way to introduce the snow as a motif rather than just a setting piece. I always think of winter as a magical time so seeing the iconic white fluff being used as more than just that always puts a smile on my face.
Are there any particular episodes in the series that stand out to you as being very important to your love for it?
Daniel: It is hard for me to say if they are important for my love for the show overall. However they do have a lot of things I love to see in any narrative driven medium. Natural feeling character interactions and reactions , thought-provoking elements and emotional scenes. Episode 6 for example at least in the broader sense is the pinnacle of all those things I love. A lot of character interaction with every single main character being show cased. There are funny moments , elements of intrigue , serious moments and of course A LOT of Uguus. The Shiori arc episodes (16 , 17 , 18 ) are more refined versions of the same things. With some philosophical perspectives on miracles , Heart-wrenching and lighthearted moments with Shiori and plenty of the Ayu and Youichi interactions that I love so much. Episode 22 which is probably my favourite episode is the point where everything feels the most alive so to speak. The characters actions feel genuine for their roles. The emotional stakes are at their highest and the way the episode ends I could totally see me having a hairpull moment if I watched it when it was airing.
Doaki: Haha I can see it was hard for you to pick just one episode! Yeah episode 22 does sort of have the climax of the show in many ways. So much going on that you can’t really help but be genuinely fascinated at what could happen next. Keeping you on your toes, that they did. I can’t really add too much here since episode 18 is my favorite of the show hehe. I am a Shiori fan, and her episodes captivated me the most. I loved the party scene(so much energy and fun put into that on top of a sisterly reunion), and the final exchange between them with the gift and kiss. They really sold her arc well from start to finish to me.
Daniel: I agree Shiori’s arc is definitely well constructed I especially like the way they foreshadowed not only the main conflict of the arc but also the psychological stand point Kaori takes within the arc with things like the small conversation Kaori has with Youichi outside the school in episode eleven where she disagrees with Youichi’s idea that making it to school was a miracle.
Music always plays a large part of a show. It’s rarely an exception. What musical tracks were your favorite and why?
Daniel: Now this took a bit of digging on my part to actual discern which tracks I like. Not because I didn’t have favourites but because Kanon uses various renditions of the same tracks that came from different albums. So I have listed them by album with links as well as the episode and scenes in which those particular versions are featured to make things easier!
Anemoscope ( 1999 ) Shojo no Ori ( a Girls Cage ) – Episode 14: when they find an injured Sayuri and Mai goes ape shit (Author’s Note: The embedding wouldn’t allow the version he wanted so I have another below. If you google search the Anemoscope OST and go to the 10:33 mark you will be able to find the version he requested)
Todo Kogen ( Frozen Plateau ) – Episode 22: Youichi goes looking for Ayu
Kanon Original soundtrack ( 2002 ) Asakage ( Morning Lights ) – Episode 24: The intro scene before the opening