We’ve all heard of Key’s big anime titles: AIR, Kanon 2006, and Clannad/After Story, but there is one neglected title that I think deserves some recognition, Kanon (2002).
Unlike its successors, which were animated by Kyoto animation, Kanon was done by Toei Animation and has what could be argued as the largest eyes in anime. Indeed, 10 years ago, anime was pushing the limits of large-eyed kawaii-ness, and Kanon stood at the forefront of the movement. The early 00’s was also the era of harem anime (thanks in part to Love Hina) and the beginning of the rise of “beautiful” anime (thanks in part to Hoshi no Koe). Kanon fit in with all of the anime trends of the time and was hugely popular, sweeping the fandom by storm. Being an average anime fan back then, I was also caught up with Kanon’s appeal.
Of course, I didn’t just jump onto the bandwagon, I seriously enjoyed the original Kanon so much that it was one of my top 5 anime until 2006 and one of only 2 series that I ever recommended to people (the other being Martian Successor Nadesico). A lot of people praise Clannad for its heart-wrenching and beautiful story, Kanon had the same effect when it aired. The tragedy that each girl faces was too sad to fit into 13 episodes, it was a real tear-jerker. The animation quality was also top-notch at the time. Having the setting in a quiet snowy town made it even more beautiful and romantic.
Nowadays, Kanon is treated like a lesser version of Kanon 2006, but I still think it’s a good anime. If nothing else, it’s what led me to watch AIR, Kanon 2006, and Clannad.
This is part of Trzr23’s Remembering Love project. See below for posts from other participants.