Kanon 2006 1 - Return to the city of eternal winter

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And I'm not just talking about Yuuichi either.

I've recently begun rewatching the masterpiece that is Kanon 2006. The first time through it was an incredible rollercoaster, mainly because I had no familiarity at all with the original source material.

This time around I plan to blog Kanon from the massive spoiler point-of-view, and I intend to search out all the foreshadowing in the show.

I've installed a thing that allows jumps in my posts now (thanks to Hackosphere!) so now I can can worry less about spoiling things to death. That said, I'm going to spoil Kanon 2006 to death, so make a run for it now, or hit the jump and continue...

My knowledge of Kanon when I first watched it was actually, probably, less than zero. I had only skimmed the Wiki page on it briefly, and I managed to mix facts up a bit. Somehow I attributed the characteristic of 'fox turned human' to Ayu, not Makoto, and even when Makoto turned out to be the fox, I still believed my silly little Ayu belief. Why? It can be argued that Makoto and Ayu are largely the same in mannerisms. Short, cute, know nothing, strange catchphrases...

Longtime fans of the show, back from the 2002 days, say that there are an incredible amount of hints hidden in the show. I'd have to agree.

First off is the typical spoiler intro, which I'll break up into pieces as the pieces of the story reveal their connections to the intro. The first is pretty obvious with the wings of Ayu's backpack morphing into real ones (which you can barely see, if you squint). This is probably most symbolic of the angel doll, although it's fooled many, I would guess, into thinking that Ayu's actually dead - which isn't too far out from the truth.

We launch into the first of many dream sequences, with this strange picture that shows up about 18-odd episodes later, if I recall right, when Yuuichi is asked about his first love. I can't quite place what it is but given the rotation on the image in the anime, I would guess that it's Ayu Ayu falling off the tree (except really obscured so you can't see it). This would fit, considering that Yuuichi's first love could be considered either Real Makoto or Ayu Ayu.

Dream sequence continues, Ayu narrates from her point of view, staring up at the tree, nearly comatose. You know how she got down there.

A crying person can also vaguely be made out. It's loli (can that be applied to guys?) Yuuichi, of course. For some reason I always imagined the Bad Event In The Dream happened to Yuuichi, although that wouldn't make sense why a girl narrated it.

It's a promise. The iconic line of Kanon. Y'know, behind "Uguu~,""Auu~," "Nyuu~," "Nyoo~," "I don't like people who say that," "I'm hungry," "ichigo jamu," and "If it's you naked, I've already seen it."

Also, note in the first episode, Nayuki actually manages to get up before Yuuichi, something she will fail to accomplish again for many episodes. She must be trying really hard to leave a great first second impression. Fighto dayo!

Nayuki fanservice is important because this is the only time in Kanon you get fanservice. Savor it, fanboys. And keep those hands on the keyboard.

Yuuichi brings up the 'seven years' that will turn out to be an important revolving point in this show and his life during his walks with Nayuki.

A big foreshadow is when he notes the school used to be a cornfield. Sounds like idle talk but it's actually reminiscent of his playboydays with Mai seven years ago. You'll revisit this cornfield soon enough...

You get Mai feeding the dog and a glimpse of Sayuri - two very cute important characters that will come into play later (uh, next episode). The dog can also be considered a foreshadowing point - remember that Mai and Sayuri were brought together by this dog. And if you have no idea what I mean by that you haven't actually watched the anime, you cheater.

Shiori in her classic outfit also makes an appearance in the first episode. (also note the 'nobody likes hospitals' line, which is a double Shiori/Ayu threat) What's interesting is that she's talking to someone other than Yuuichi. I'm not sure who she is - my first thought was that she was the girl who talks to Yuuichi (the one with flowers in her hair) about 'Misaka-san' in Ep. 12, but the looks don't match. It doesn't seem like Kaori either - in fact, nobody is credited as 'person who talks with Shiori' in credits. Maybe it's generic.

Yuuichi has a bit of the tree flashback again. It's strangely empty, just so we can't figure anything out. Hmph.

Nayuki screams 'care about me!' some more when she hints that Yuuichi will remember all sorts of things (hopefully involving her) given time. It'll be a while, though. Isn't it sad, Nayuki?

The full harem gets introduced (technically) when the two of them meet a fox at Monomi Hill.

This probably isn't Makoto, but the theme is introduced in a strong way when Nayuki mentions that the foxes on this hill are 'special.' Although I doubt she knows the full extent of that...

Oh yeah, and Nayuki does the head-knuckle thing, which I only started noticing after Mikuru started the trend in another KyoAni work that shall remain nameless.

Flash forward to the Ayu Zone shopping district, where Nayuki and Yuuichi reenact the shopping scene from seven years ago. However, this doesn't remain as secret as I remembered, given that Nayuki hints at it within a minute and Yuuichi has the full flashback of it before the episode is over.

Anyway, cue important girl Ayu. She's much shorter and loli-er than Yuuichi or any other character. I always wonder if that's part of her character or a hint at the fact that, essentially, time stopped for her seven years ago.

Yes, even the taiyaki stealing scene has some subtle jabs. Piro the vaguely important (and by important I mean 'something that shows up in the Minase house') shows up in Ayu's recollection. If you believe what she says, anyway.

I can't identify Canon in D to save my life, but I do wonder what's playing in the cafe where Ayu and Yuuichi hide. I also wonder why every harem anime only has one restaurant that the characters go to (see: Kareha's cafe).

Yuuichi gives the 'it'll be too late tommorow' line, which probably wasn't even meant to be foreshadowing, but I found strong parallels to the scene in Episode 20 where Ayu searches frantically for the angel doll, and gives essentially the same line. I doubt not paying Taiyaki-san would have the same grave consequences, however...

Ayu has her cute spinning scene, and notices she has wings. Blatant plotbricking. It's not really foreshadowing, as her wings aren't a direct correlation to her plot (but more the angel doll), but it's still imporant characterization.

Also, note that she takes pause when Yuuichi Aizawa mentions his name, saying "Yuuichi...kun?" She seems to recognize him from long ago - this will be followed up on next episode.

On a tangent, I wonder how long Ayu, in apparition form, has been wandering the city waiting for Yuuichi. Did she reappear when Yuuichi did? This is the kind of stuff that makes Kanon a wonderful anime to debate.

Yuuichi has a flashback to Ayu Ayu in the tree, a little more obvious this time. This lasts less than a second however, and was a pain to screencap. First time viewers, keep blinking.

The scene ends with the first Ayu Ayu flashback, of the shopping scene aforementioned. The two run off together, abandoning Nayu Nayu, in a scene that seems like it could be passed off as the ending of AIR or something (forgive me, I just re-watched the last episode this morning). Ayu Ayu cries in this scene, hinting at her mother's death, something that can be ranked as something Important But Not Really.

1 down, 23 to go. The second should have plenty more to write about with the real introduction of Shiori and Makoto (and vaguely Mai).