Kanon, The Complete Series – DVD Review

Review by: Brenda Gregson

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 576 minutes
Genre: Drama
Rating: TV PG
Release Date: Available Now

To know the truth one must look back to the past.

Having reviewed and actually liked The Complete Series of Air, I found myself prepared for a similar series that is heavy on the drama and cuteness. Kanon is not only similar in tone and feeling but the female cast is also downright endearing but what does separate this one from series like Air is the fact that there are interesting twists that make The Complete Series of Kanon a four-disc DVD collection with a lot of heart.

Kanon tells the tale of Yuichi Aizawa who returns to the snowy city he has often visited often to stay with his aunt and his cousin Nayuki. Unfortunately for him, after not returning for seven years, he finds that he can’t remember what happened during his last visit. He hardly even remembers his attractive cousin but one day a cute girl named Ayu literally runs right into him and Yuichi finds himself drawn to this loopy girl with a winged backpack for some reason.

Seeing as he is staying in the cold city until he finishes High school, Yuichi begins hanging out with Ayu and it is through her that he meets a girl named Shiori who seems to be waiting for something out in the courtyard of the High school. As he tries to piece together his lost memories, Yuichi runs into a girl who doesn’t even remember her name … the only thing she knows is that she hates Yuichi for some reason. Nayuki and her mother take the girl in and it is Yuichi who gives her the name Mokoto but there’s something about her and the name he gave the girl.

On top of that, there’s a quiet girl in school named Mai who Yuichi finds out is a demon hunter who haunts the school late at night with a sword as she battles invisible foes. Drawn by this girl as well, Yuichi joins her on her demon hunt. Meanwhile, Mokoto – who annoys Yuichi at first – slowly begins to lose her humanity as Yuichi makes a most startling discovery about this girl. While there are many a touching moment in Kanon, the Mokoto storyline happens to be sincerely heartbreaking.

After the sad conclusion that has Mokoto no longer living with them, Yuichi decides to spend his time with Mai and even takes up a weapon to aid her in her demon hunting. As her date to the school ball, a demon attacks and Mai comes to the conclusion that perhaps the demons aren’t after her but somebody else. As more pieces of the puzzle begin to come together, the truth behind Mai and the demons is discovered. Yuichi even finds out who Shiori is and who she’s connected to in their school.

Soon, the young man learns the unusual truth about what happened seven years ago in this very place and who Ayu is as he comes to terms with the very thing that made him forget. I won’t say more because doing so would spoil the many surprises found in this series. Sure, some of the twists you see coming but others are actually surprising.

The one thing about Kanon that separates itself from other similar series is that it does get exhaustingly overdramatic but it seldom gets boring or, on occasion, can actually be quite amusing. Yuichi might not be the most loveable of main characters but the ladies in the series more than make up for it and even Aya’s cute “Uguu!” can be endearing no matter how many times she says it.

Kanon, The Complete Series, exhibits a deeply human emotional drama even though it can go overboard on that front but there’s a tale here that can be quite unforgettable. That said, it might also not be everyone’s cup of tea but given the chance this one could easily haunt your dreams in ways that anime series like Air tried to do. If this is your kind of anime, you won’t be disappointed.

DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: B
After seven long years, a boy named Yuichi comes to stay with his aunt and cousin Nayuki with no memory of his last visit. When he runs into a cute girl with a backpack with wings on it and two other girls, the mystery behind his lost memories begins to unravel in an amazing way.

VIDEO QUALITY: B+
This is moe at its best but on top of that the snowy backdrop is absolutely gorgeous as are some of the effects found throughout the series.

AUDIO QUALITY: B
The original Japanese voices are fantastic and this is really the best way to enjoy the series although there’s something adorable about the English dub voices for the girls in the series. The score can get a bit overdramatic but the closing and opening theme songs by Ayana are wonderful.

EXTRAS: D
Uguu, there are no real extras to be found here except for some trailers.

OVERALL: B
At times, Kanon is emotionally exhausting but there’s a meaningful story that makes the Complete Series set something fans of this particular genre will find captivating and occasionally heartbreaking. A few uncharacteristic plot twists aside, the series you can’t accuse this series of not being interesting and there are even times when you will be swept away by the story so those who find this type of series right up their alley will find something to like about Kanon.

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