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REVIEW: Kanon DVD 1


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whoisfriend



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 366
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:22 am Reply with quote
Wow. Glad to see this up here. And a positive review no less.

A few things worth noting:

1) Air and Kanon both used their original game soundtracks, so it's only natural Air would have the better music. I personally love Last Regrets, though I didn't at first, it really grows on you.

2) The ending theme is actually very melancholic, especially after hearing the full version and realizing where it would come during the ending.

Air was definitely very quickly paced. I appreciate Kanon's slower, slice-of-life pace.

There's also lots of foreshadowing in these episodes. On a second watch-though, it almost seems like it's thown in your face. And Ayu's winged bag is actually spoiler[relevant to the plot.]
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HitokiriShadow



Joined: 09 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:39 am Reply with quote
The opening is called "Last Regrets", not "Last Request". At least that's what it should be, unless ADV changed it for some bizarre reason.
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:17 am Reply with quote
I corrected the song title in the review. Wouldn't have caught that one if someone hadn't mentioned it. . .

who_is_friend wrote:
And Ayu's winged bag is actually spoiler[relevant to the plot.]


Oh, I assumed that. But even so, it's still cuteness overkill.

One other interesting observation: ADV's trailers for this series focus primarily on content beyond the first volume, which is quite unusual. The leisurely progression of this first volume gives little clue that all the strangeness shown in the trailer is upcoming. (Well, beyond Mai's curious nighttime behavior.)
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HitokiriShadow



Joined: 09 May 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:34 am Reply with quote
I really liked the opening them, but I didn't care for the ending theme so much, especially later on when you switch from ending the episode on very somber and serious notes and suddenly its this happy cheery music. It was rather jarring and annoying.

But that was my main complaint with the series and the only other ones were fairly minor but I can't say them here since they are major spoilers for the last few episodes.

I'm disappointed at the lack of inserts, which ADV seems to have stopped doing for anything, but I was glad to hear that they included the making of feature as I wasn't even expecting that much. I can't wait for my copy to ship out. Even better, this is coming out monthly, so when the next TRSI ADV sale comes out, there is a chance the last volume will have already been solicited so I may be able to get the whole series (except volume 1, which I won a copy of) in one shot.

Quote:
One other interesting observation: ADV's trailers for this series focus primarily on content beyond the first volume, which is quite unusual. The leisurely progression of this first volume gives little clue that all the strangeness shown in the trailer is upcoming. (Well, beyond Mai's curious nighttime behavior.)


Are there DVD trailers different from the one on their website?
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Zalis116
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:25 am Reply with quote
Wow, didn't expect to see this review so soon Very Happy I would disagree with the "haremfest" description, though. Yes, it has one guy interacting with lots of cute girls, spoiler[and later living with some of them], but there's no overt competition between the girls for Yuuichi's affections as there is in series like Love Hina, Tenchi Muyo, Girls Bravo, and Ai yori aoshi. And with those series, the original source material is decidedly harem, whereas with the original game for Kanon, you only experience one girl's story path at a time. I know some viewers react the same way to "1 guy + lots of girls" situations regardless of source material subtleties, but I'd like to think that series like Kanon and Air are distinct from those others that I listed. Maybe that's my fanboy side talking.

Random nitpicks:
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as does do brief shots of Mai at the end of episodes 3 and 4
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It's hard not to like the sensible Nasuki Nayuki, who goes to no personality extreme beyond being a remarkably deep sleeper...
Actually, Nayuki does have a trademark phrase, that phrase being "Nyuu~". She doesn't say it as much as the other girls say theirs, though. And speaking of those trademark phrases, do they appear in the subtitles? I'm just curious because one of the major points of contention between the two top fansubs on Kanon was that one included those phrases in the subtitles, while the other didn't. (Yes, it's silly to debate about that, but in the dark corners of the Internet, Moe Anime = Serious Business.)

Between this review and the comments in the Anime forum, I'm looking forward to the English dub. Good thing ADV's found a "go-to" director for drama in Kyle Jones (who directed Air and Diamond Daydreams), especially with a currently-airing, KEY game-based, KyoAni-animated series on the horizon Wink
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(In one scene it has Sayuri using her own name instead of “I,” which is the way it's done in Japanese but sounds unnatural and pretentious in English.)
Ah, but there's a reason for that, spoiler[although it isn't explained until somewhere around episodes 14-16.] I'd say it was a conscious decision to have her speak that way.

I thought the soundtrack fell in the "good but not excellent" category, mainly on the strength of "Promise," Ayu's theme that gets remixed into several different versions. For the OP/ED, I have to say I found myself liking the Kanon 2002 OP/ED as much or more than the remake's songs.
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In fact, if Air is Key's summer story then Kanon can be looked upon as its winter counterpart. It can also be looked upon as highly derivative of Air (or Air is actually highly derivative of it, since technically it was animated first)
If either is derivative in any way, it would be Air, since the Kanon game came out first. But the similarities work both ways; I saw Air first, followed by the old Kanon series, and drew plenty of pAiralells between the two.
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Ongaku_no_tenshi



Joined: 29 Jun 2003
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Location: Virginia
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:43 am Reply with quote
Very informative review of this first volume. I look forward to check this series out when my copy arrives in a few days. I've been hearing a lot about this show, both positive and negative. I hear that it's a decent story with good drama (which is one of things I look for, good story telling), but on the other hand I hear things about it being a stereotypical anime that only appeals to "moe" fans. Whatever. Ultimately it all boils down to personal opinion. Honestly, I couldn't care less whether or not this series is considered to be just more "moe dribble coming down the pipe from Japan" (I read a lot of comments like that on several forums and blogs in my attempt to find out more about the show). All I know is that this show was animated by Kyoto Animation Studios, the same studio that produce the animation for "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" and that show was freaking gorgeous in terms of production value. It has a highly entertaining story that easily warrants several repeat viewings. (Plus, I'm extra happy I brought the special editions of each volume, they have great extras.) But I digress, so please forgive me.

Again, I thank Mr. Martin for such a informative review and after reading it, Kanon also sounds like another entertaining show. I look forward to viewing it.



Take care everyone


J. Green
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 8:57 am Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
Actually, Nayuki does have a trademark phrase, that phrase being "Nyuu~". She doesn't say it as much as the other girls say theirs, though. And speaking of those trademark phrases, do they appear in the subtitles? I'm just curious because one of the major points of contention between the two top fansubs on Kanon was that one included those phrases in the subtitles, while the other didn't.


Boy, if Nayuki has that as a trademark phrase, I wasn't hearing it, at least not in this volume. The trademark phrases for the other girls are in the subtitles, but it seemed like the English dub skipped them at least a third of the time; often, I suspect, because they didn't fit well into the lip-syncing. I consider a smaller amount of them a plus (I find those cutesy catch phrases irritating), but hardcore sub fans may not.

Quote:
Quote:
(In one scene it has Sayuri using her own name instead of “I,” which is the way it's done in Japanese but sounds unnatural and pretentious in English.)
Ah, but there's a reason for that, spoiler[although it isn't explained until somewhere around episodes 14-16.] I'd say it was a conscious decision to have her speak that way.


If that's the case then it makes senses. Without knowing that, though, it sounds really awkward.
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Furudanuki



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:40 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Zalis116 wrote:
(In one scene it has Sayuri using her own name instead of “I,” which is the way it's done in Japanese but sounds unnatural and pretentious in English.)Ah, but there's a reason for that, spoiler[although it isn't explained until somewhere around episodes 14-16.] I'd say it was a conscious decision to have her speak that way.

If that's the case then it makes senses. Without knowing that, though, it sounds really awkward.

Oh, the joys involved in translating nuances of spoken Japanese that simply do not have an appropriate counterpart in modern English! Laughing Sayuri referring to herself in the third person seems perfectly natural in Japanese because all of her mannerisms and polite-humble speech patterns are those of a well-bred young lady from an upper class and/or traditional family. It probably does seem awkward if Sayuri is the only character who uses the third person form in the English dub. But as Zalis116 said, it is necessary for a reason which will be revealed later. For my part, I can't wait to see how they are going to dub a certain scene later on where an extended gag sequence revolves around the difference in using "boku", "atashi", and "ore", all of which translate as "I" in English.

BTW, I know it has to be tough to write a review of the first volume of a series like Kanon. You have to stick solely to what is presented in that volume, but so much of what happens simply will not seem relevant at the moment, and a lot of time has to be spent establishing a "baseline" mode for the normal everyday behavior of the characters so the viewer will be able to identify subtle changes in the future. Whatever other genres Kanon may fall under, the central plot is organized and presented as a mystery. So the first few episodes are full of hints, portents, and foreshadowing of events that will occur later.
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crilix



Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Posts: 208
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 1:14 pm Reply with quote
The concept of "moe overkill" is an unknown to me. If one feels moe to something, one cannot get enough of it. How can moe enter the state of overkill is beyond me, unless the reviewer has absolutely no understanding of what he's trying to describe. Rolling Eyes
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Seif



Joined: 16 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:26 pm Reply with quote
But to people who do not feel 'moe' towards these characters it may feel as if the show is trying to hard.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:52 pm Reply with quote
I am currently watching the remake after having finished the original 13 episode series. I'm just more interested in what was added or altered. My god, it gets funnier and funnier in the beginning.

Compared to Air, the sadness is toned down considerably so it generally feels more lighthearted than Misuzu's tragic tale.
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Levonr



Joined: 19 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:49 am Reply with quote
I thought the music was perfect. Giving a C is harsh but I have heard people say they took a while to like the music. Maybe it doesn't seem to fit right now but when the story goes more into the psychological drama stuff I think its extremely powerful & adds to the emotion.
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teh*darkness



Joined: 16 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:22 am Reply with quote
I can't wait for this to release so I can pick it up and rewatch it "officially". This was such an amazing series. And from the little I heard of the dub in the trailer on the Anime Network site, it seemed almost acceptable, which, coming from me about an ADV dub, is really saying something... Very Happy
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Richard J.



Joined: 11 Aug 2006
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Location: Sic Semper Tyrannis.
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:45 pm Reply with quote
teh*darkness wrote:
I can't wait for this to release so I can pick it up and rewatch it "officially". This was such an amazing series.
The first volume is available for order now at Robert's Anime Corner Store, just in case you want to cut that wait time down a little.

Even though this review feels a little like a backhanded compliment, it does further my desires for this series. I loved AIR and Kanon (2006) seems to have even more of the things that made me love AIR, so my collection will be getting it. (Though I hope they haven't cut down on those cutesy catchphrases too much. I like those far too much for my own good.)
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Crisu



Joined: 11 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:46 am Reply with quote
I'm ordering my DVD from Amazon which releases it on Jan 1. Listings for volume 2 (plus the deluxe one with box) are already online; it will come out Feb. 12.

I agree with Levon_r that the music grade of C was a little harsh. As who_is_friend mentioned, Kanon used the game's original soundtrack for all the music in the anime, so it really feels as if you're watching the game played for you. Perhaps because of that, the tracks might sound dated or slightly lackluster (given today's music standards, I guess), but fans of the original game really love it. And I think it grows on you, too. After all, if it worked for the game, it should work for the anime, too. You gave the OP and ED a better review, and they were part of the 8-year-old soundtrack, too.

I agree with the reviewer that ADV deserves kudos for its choice of cover art, because it's the same as original Japanese DVD release. I'm glad they didn't design one on their own (it would be an example of fixing what isn't broken).

The reviewer uses the term "moe-fest" as if it's a terrible thing that plagues anime and reduces its quality. ^^; I would wholeheartedly disagree, but I guess that's me being biased because I'm a huge moe fan. Like crilix said, moe fans do not perceive "moe overkill" as there is no upper limit to moe.

But I understand if the reviewer was just trying to give fair warning to non-moe-fans. However, Kanon should not be avoided by those who dislike moe, because the storytelling and character development are one of a kind. While the opening episodes may appear very light-hearted, later ones that are supposed to be serious really are serious. This is one of Kyoto Animation's strongest points; the studio knows how to pace things properly. The music should start becoming effective at those transitions, too.

As I learn more about the Japanese language, I find out more about the limitations of the English language; it's a shame that perfect translations are impossible. A lot of the girls' charm comes through their diction and intonation, and the dub loses a lot of that. But I wouldn't know how to fix it without it sounding so Japanese, you might as well be watching the sub. So looking at the dub as purely that, I agree that it's pretty good. But I do hope the voice actors read ahead in their scripts (or have studied the whole game already) instead of doing the job one episode at a time. All the girls, plus Yuuichi, go through a whole lot of emotional development/breakdown/recovery, and I think it's absolutely important that their voicework reflects this when those scenes come. I've watched an online video of the scene where Yuuichi first meets Ayu, and he just doesn't sound like the thoughtful person he really is. I'll assume the voice actors are just getting accustomed to their roles and will improve on everything in later episodes.

Air was fantastic but very confusin in my opinion. ^^; Kanon's story is much easier to follow, and with its longer length, every episode will be an absolute treat and thrill to watch. That B rating for the story is fine for now, but I'm looking forward to seeing it become A+ by the last DVD review (if not sooner =X).
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