Based on a popular dating sim video game, you would be forgiven in thinking that the anime that used it as it's source material may not be that great. Surprisingly however this is not the case, Kanon is a wonderfully poignant story of love, loss and forgiveness that inspires a warmth that is ironically in direct contrast with it's snow covered winter back-drop.
Yuuichi is the protagonist in this drama, he transfers to a distant town where his cousin and aunt live - it's a quaint location, midway through the winter season where a thick blanket of snow covers every surface. Yuuichi is no stranger to this place though, he has visited before when he was younger, and the events that occurred then would now on his return begin to fully transpire.
A Criticism squared at Kanon is it being too formulaic, and this is more or less the case, a vaguely familiar pattern emerges after the second arc or so. The major characters that were introduced quite early on all have their own dilemmas - often the root cause being something that happened in the past. However regardless of this flaw, the anime as a whole doesn't really suffer for it. The real draw is the fleshed out characters - mannerisms, eccentricities and sheer personality all intertwine to form a group of people that you really genuinely care about. It's nearly impossible to not be charmed by such a winning combination.This all lends itself to undeniably it's greatest strength, because you can emphasize so well with them the moments of harrowing sorrow are all the more moving. So as a result it's almost guaranteed that you'll tear up watching this - only complete un-interest in the genre or a lack of pulse are any reasonable excuse not to!
Kanon is a thoroughly engrossing drama with an emotive pull that is almost unparalleled,sumptuous relationship based progression make this stand out amongst it's field as well as making it highly memorable to the viewer. To some though, the charm and cuteness may at times be too sickly sweet - which is really encapsulated by the strong Moe style that the show uses, which can it must be said take some getting use to. The narrative is consistently strong however; with sufficient pacing and variation that this is quickly forgotten. The only drop in momentum comes towards the end of the series itself where some loose ends get tied a little too conveniently. But don't allow this to deter you from watching this spectacle - beautiful in both animation and narrative Kanon is essential viewing for anyone interested in the genre. A whimsical Winter Fairy tale that will melt even the most concrete of hearts.
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