Doublepost: Kanon Kazahana + sola 1

What is eternity doing tonight? has become Mega Megane Moé. For the latest posts, please change your links accordingly. Luckily, before the downtime I was able to stock up a nice pile of anime to watch, a lot of them old and some of them new. Among the ancient we have Honey & Clover, Da Capo, To Heart 2, and ONE. Among the newer we've got Wangan Midnight and sola in the queue along with Lucky CHANNELUUUUUUUUUUUUU Star.

Although, I must say, with every series I'm getting more and more piled up in a jumble of names, hair colors, and relationships.

In this post I'll cover briefly in text form Kanon Kazahana, the special OVA-ish thing that came after the TV run of Kanon 2002, as well as the first episode of sola, a series from 2007. Whoa.

Technically, I should warn for Kanon spoilers, as Kazahana comes after the canon Kanon (OK, I just like to say that word) storyline, not to mention me discussing the ending of Kanon for no reason than other to scare off people. Hit the jump.

Kanon 2002 is a hit-or-miss anime, in that it really sort of depends on whether you've seen the remake, Kanon 2006 or not. Despite its flaws, 2002 was a decent series, but the biggest problem with it is that the 2006 version completely destroys it. 2006 is longer, and thus has more time for better pace and storytelling. The Makoto arc takes forever in both versions to me, but forever in 2002 is twice the forever of 2006, since there are only 12 compared to 24 episodes.

2002 is animated in a different fashion than 2006 as well, in that 2002 is what could be called quite 'ugly', due to it being outdated. 2002, also tends to have more of an 'anime' feel to it, with the characters going into SD mode and having extreme facial distortions more often, which will be a hit or miss.

And in 2002, personally, Yuuichi comes across as much more of a jerk than a sarcastic guy who's really nice on the inside. I'm not sure if this is the casting or the Kyon voice (although, I saw Kanon before Haruhi), but in any case it's definitely a bit of a drag on 2002.

But, of course, 2002 has its high points as well, as has been discussed down on the Kanon board in GameFAQs (see, the boards are good for something!). The main merit for 2002 is for the Nayuki fanboys, who get as close to a NAYUKI ENDING DAMNIT as they're going to get (although, the Mai and Shiori fan in me wonders how the end would have gone if it was tilted that way). There are other minor pluspoints as well, like a bit of 'fanservice' (although there's not much either way, rare for an eroge adaptation), some characters being handled better, and so on.

Kanon Kazahana, however, is one of the greatest things 2002 has to offer. Kazahana is a 'after-the-end' special, which I don't believe was per se covered in the original version, so Toei's probably taking some liberal adaptations here. But it works, at least only because it's interesting to see where everyone ended up...whenever this is. Probably a year after episode 12 or 13 (considering, at least in 2006, a year was covered between the hospital incident and the hairband incident).

Mai and Sayuri have moved abroad to Generic Sunny Nation, and we get to see an adorable Mai in Not-School-Outfit and with her hair down, and an exposition of her...relationship...with Sayuri. (move along now...) She's still the same lovable character as always, with her quiet demeanor hiding a hidden level of kindness.

Mishio still spends forever on Monomi Hill. She seems to be talking to the air, but suddenly Makoto materializes out of nowhere, one of the bigger shocks of the episode. Perhaps Mishio and Makoto meet every day or every so often now at the hill. It's nice to see Makoto gone...and it's nice to see her not forgotten too. Hehehe.

Shiori and Boy Haircut Ayu spend some time together having drinks (unfortunately not of that kind) in the shopping district, in which Shiori is typically humble in complimenting Ayu on her haircut and saying how looks don't matter anyway. A bit of a slip, at any case, at her pleasure from having gained another position in the cute race. (all of a sudden with their talk about looks I'm tempted to ask how many of them are eligible for the Flat Chested Alliance...)

Nayuki, as always, is running, and she gets a large piece of exposition in this episode as she's running a strong second place to Ayu in the Yuuichi competition, having confessed her feelings and gotten in a kiss - very impressive in any case. One leftover piece is how Yuuichi is going to handle her, and perhaps vice versa, afterwards. Nayuki claims she is OK to Kaori (who, of all people, actually IS going out with Very Feminine Jun, at least for today!), but as usual I doubt that's true, as she still seems a bit down.

Nayuki and Yuuichi share a retake of the Nerine-on-the-swing-bench scene from...an entirely different anime in which they discuss things that may or may not make Nayuki feel all better. In the end they separate paths and walk from each other in a very symbolic manner, probably symbolizing them moving on. It's too bad there isn't another guy in the series to ship with, since Jun doesn't count at all.

And Akiko...cleans the house. No jamu today, even. Well, she's the hidden backbone of the anime anyway, at any rate.

With just that summary it's a bit hard to show why Kazahana's worth your time, but it has its interesting moments, its amusing moments, and its heartful moments, so give it a try if you've watched 2002 or even just 2006. It's a good episode, even if the art is a bit lacking.

...as for sola, hmm, that's going to be a trickier thing to explain as because it is a new anime it is mandated that I do not get it at all. That's usually the draw of a lot of these anime, of course, the promise of having things Make Sense. There's not a lot to say about the sola characters whose names I do not remember, but nearly all of them probably have quite the interesting story, whether it be Feminine Cameraman Protagonist guy, Tomato Soup girl In The Church, Quiet Hospitalized girl, Vaguely Tsundere Possibly Childhood Friend girl, Spoiled Loli-In-A-Box girl (in a maid outfit or something!?), and Probably Evil guy With Glasses. That's about all I've caught out of it, and all I remember without screenshots. I'll recap it perhaps later, and when I've seen more episodes as well.