|View Poll Results: Kanon 2006 Total Series Rating|
|9 out of 10 : Excellent||135||30.20%|
|8 out of 10 : Very Good||37||8.28%|
|7 out of 10 : Good||24||5.37%|
|6 out of 10 : Average||9||2.01%|
|5 out of 10 : Below Average||4||0.89%|
|4 out of 10 : Poor||1||0.22%|
|3 out of 10 : Bad||0||0%|
|2 out of 10 : Very Bad||0||0%|
|1 out of 10 : Painful||2||0.45%|
|Voters: 447. You may not vote on this poll|
|2007-03-20, 03:46||Link #41|
*singing In the Navy*
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Naval Base partying with the Sendai sisters
*I have seen the 2002 version*
- Animation Quality: 9
The Kyoto Animation quality. I could give it a 10, but a 9 is more than enough, since it could have flaws I would have overlooked.
- Voice Actors: 10
Sugita's kyon-ism is the improvement over 2002 Yuuichi. But after a couple of episodes, through the mean of his voice acting, he managed to make us forgot he was Kyon Sugita. Instead, we have a Yuuichi that first sounds like Kyon, wisecrack much like him but is definately not Kyon. He gave Yuuichi a groove that made him stand more like a big brother/father figure than a harem lead.
I'll not get started on each female and male seiyus of the show, that would take too long.
- Execution: 8
I could have go for a 9, but my qualms with the pacing prevents me from doing it.
One arc felt like dragging on too long, leaving not much space to the remaining ones.
The last episodes, while managing to give the series a conclusion by wrapping up the things good, felt rsuhed (?).
But it is KyoAni's first series that is over 14 episodes, so I am willing to let it be, while hoping it gave the staff the experience to improve from it.
Then there are the Kyoto Animation touch, I mean the easter eggs left here and there to please the fans. I meant things like Yuuichi suddenly pulling a Kyon before Kaori (the self-narration bit) or the Misuzu's peach juice in the real Makoto's fridge.
Adaptation from Game: NA
I have not played the game.
A huge improvement from Kanon 2002 imo. I give it a solid 8, the flawed pacing is what preventing me giving it a 9.
|2007-03-20, 10:36||Link #43|
Join Date: Dec 2005
I rate things based on how likely I would be to recommend it to others (not necessarily on how much I enjoyed it, something I don't think I could quantify into numbers anyway). By that rating, I would give Kanon an "8". To me that indicates that it is probably the pinnacle of the genre, anyone who likes sad-girls-in-snow shows should watch it, as they'll probably appreciate it. It's not a "9" because I would not recommend it to any anime fan (for example, I never would have recommended it to Kaioshin_Sama ), nor would I recommend it to people who aren't anime fans (which would be a "10").
EDIT 2: I guess I was somewhat copping out. On a personal level I enjoyed the show. It had a nice theme ("It's called a miracle because sometimes it happens"). It never made me cry, but I did laugh quite a bit at the funny parts.
|2007-03-20, 12:12||Link #44|
Join Date: May 2006
For me, a solid 9.5/10
So, a 10/10 then.
I loved this anime, i looked forward to the day of the week that i would finally see the conclusion to whatever was initiated the previous episode. Of course, i have never played the game that this is based on, but i feel this allows me to judge the anime on it's own merits, and focus on how it was as a stand alone series, without constantly refferring back to the game and going, "Oh! They didn't do this! How could they leave that out!"
Story-wise, i thought it was little above standard fare, really. Guy likes a bunch of girls, each girl has a problem, that's overcome and then it's all ended with some closure. Nayuki makes peace with the past. Shiori lives and makes peace with her sister. Makoto gets her wish of being with Yuiichi granted. True, there were unique flourishes along the way, but it wasn't a hugely complex or radical story. And that's not to insinuate that story is bad or flawed in any way, shape or form - to the contrary i think it's brilliant. But, i thought that the reason that this show thrived, was the storyTELLING, not the story.
The way the arcs were linked together, the layout of the episodes, the sequence of the arcs - it was all done to a very high quality, and drew me in. I actually came to this anime without a clue at what Kanon actually was. I had never heard of it before, and i avoided it for a couple of weeks because it looked dead soppy, and the logo looked fucking crap (which i still think it does, but i digress). But the sheer power that the story was told with, combined with the excellent quality of the animation,a nd marvellous voice acting, just sucked me right in there and made all of the events seem much more raw, and hit me with a violent punch.
Of course, there were times where things sorta just let go, and the story kinda went in 8 directions at once - for example, just after makotos arc. It is evident, looking back, that Kyoani is setting up the plotlines for the ensuing arcs. At the time, however, it sort of felt anti-climatic. All that build up to the end of Makoto's arc, and then there was just slice-of-life for a couple of episodes.
But really, that didn't really detract much. I still enjoyed it, and i always wanted to see the next episode - i never got bored during the middle of an episode and willed it to finish. And, for me, that's all a 'perfect' aniem needs.
|2007-03-20, 16:45||Link #45|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Oh gosh this anime (first time viewer) truly hit the spot for me. I would love to say this anime was perfect, but like some people have said there were minor flaws. The only thing that brung it down for me was the ending, I think it could've been better, but netherless it was still fantastic. All the amazing animation, and characters surely make up for that.
Story - Drew me in right from the start, there were so many mixed emotions that I got from just about every episode. I would be anticipating the whole week waiting for the subs to come out.
Characters - The characters made it all for me. Who would've known that I would find an anime where I just about love everyone? Yuuichi was just a great character, I would usually find myself laughing when he would crack a joke.
The voice actors truly seemed to be at there best with Kanon.
It was a great ride, thanks KyoAni.
|2007-03-20, 17:26||Link #46|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Just keeping it simple and short.
Here's what I thought without getting into too much details about the whole series.
It's still not perfect with some of the inconsistancy in animation to details.
It's the standard Bishōjo Art Style with slightly more refined details, it's far from the perfect and very detailed art concept of the original material.
The story isn't very innovating or outstanding, but the experience through it all, the storytelling was enjoyable, even with a few occasional abrupt pacing. It still manage to fill in the blanks while leaving plenty of room for after thoughts.
Voice Performance: 10
Absolutely perfect, until proven otherwise. This is the best it'll get. Even with a perfect score in this area, it doesn't necessarily mean everyone will fall in love with it, but rather, it means the Seiiyuu(s) are seriously putting effort into portraying the character's emotions, quirks, and personality to their fullest.
A few occasional abruptness in some of the scenes lowered the score. The sound / music isn't anything all too soundbreaking that would even be consider reaching a 10 rating anyway.
You'll either hate or love them and continue to hate or love them, or grow to have sympathy for previously hating them. That's a definite sign of character progression or developement.
Value & Enjoyment: 9
Second viewing is a must for this series. As there are many things you can very easily overlook. There are plenty of easter eggs left behind by KyoAni, which is a nice touch and increasing the value of the series.
Overall Rating: 8.7
In this case, a 9 rounded up.
Edit for Vexx's comment below: Yes, that was back then, this is now. You can't call this story an innovation anymore. :P
Last edited by Raniie; 2007-03-22 at 16:39.
|2007-03-20, 17:31||Link #47|
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
Hmmm, the only counter-comment I might make is that Kanon *was* rather innovating when it appeared in 1999ish. One really has to view the story content through that historical lense otherwise one might start complaining that Beowulf is such a rip off of Marvel comics
|2007-03-20, 18:29||Link #49|
Join Date: Aug 2006
I'll have to give this a 10, but I do have my reasons for it. Simply put, this is perhaps one of the best anime I've seen yet, and it's obvious that so much work was put into it to achieve such quality. I could even go so far as to say it's tied with AIR as my favorite series, though ultimately I'll have to choose AIR for having a storyline I found more intriguing. Otherwise, Kanon had so much great stuff about it it's tempting to call it near perfect.
The art and animation were excellent, and even during episodes where the animation faltered, it was still above average compared to other series I have seen in its genre, so it's hard for me to criticize it too much. I loved how the animators not only emphasized the big parts of the series, but the smaller ones as well (Yuuichi and Kitagawa dancing being one memorable example). The colors and backgrounds were beautiful and stunning, and I daresay episode 24 had some of the best due to providing such a lighter mood away from the snowy days.
The voice actors were also great, though I don't want to have to pick which ones were my favorites. However, I have to say Tomokazu Sugita provided a suprising performance on Yuuichi since episode one, since I have always been used to his original voice actor from the 2002 version. I remember finding Sugita to be rather dull in Chobits, the first series in which I've heard him. In my opinion, he's definitely improved since those days.
The music is lovely, as to be expected from all the Key games I've heard. For some reason, for the first couple of episodes I found "Kaze no Tadori Tsuku Basho," as much as I get addicted to that song, to be unfitting until the final episodes (due to being used to the format of the 2002 version), but I soon came to accept it as a perfect touch, seeing as how this song and "Last regrets" play off of each other as polar opposites. The background music is very nice as well, though there were times when I found I was getting tired of certain pieces.
Lastly, the story. I loved AIR's ever so slightly more, but I don't want to go off and say it's less in-depth, because Kanon is full of life and hard for me to condemn in any way. It was also good for the scriptwriters to focus on one arc at a time instead of try and mix them together, because that way it matches that of a real-life canon more closely. There wasn't one girl's story that I didn't like in the least, although I did tend to favor some over others randomly. But still, the series just wouldn't have worked as well with one of them missing.
I'm not exaggerating when I say Kanon is very memorable. It will stay with me for quite some time.
|2007-03-20, 19:51||Link #50|
So why is harem a broken concept? Arguably, it's just a love triangle, rectangle, pentagon, hexagon... right? Well, that's exactly what is wrong. Except that instead of the main character choosing the person he likes the most, he chooses each and every one, browse through what they have to offer, then ultimately stops at the final destination of the one he thinks is the best. More importantly, harem really got in the way of the reoccuring theme of miracles. The romance in each arc really distracts the miracle motif. In a harem, romantic interest conflicts with one another in different arcs, tearing down this dramatic build up of occurances of miracles (and the devastating effects of them) to the final one that sets everything right.
Well, I have to admit, I was wrong when I said that the emotional impact cheapens because of the "favorite girl" bias. There are people (much more mature than I am) who is able to like instead of just to tolerate each arc.
Of course, every point I'm making is from my own opinion (it's really redundant to say IMO when what I say must be from my own opinion, or else this post wouldn't exist).
|2007-03-20, 19:52||Link #51|
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Somewhere near Seattle
I dislike giving overall ratings to shows or episodes, since I find my opinion is largely based upon varying contexts.
I was first introduced to Kanon by the Toei version, and for the time I thought it was both refreshing in being a "harem" anime where the male lead is NOT a spineless, wishy-washy putz, but actually something of a gentleman. I liked the Toei Yuuichi as he struck me as kind, more or less believable, and could use his chin as a snowplow. Oh wait, scratch the last part. It took me a good while to warm up to the snarky Sugita version, and I felt his relationship with Ayu felt more artificial, while the Toei one seemed to build more believably and felt more sincere somehow.
I think MegaTokyo's Fred Gallagher pinned it down in a recent blog entry where he mentioned that he felt that Toei's Kanon was more "dramatic" while KyoAni's was more "subtle", and that both approaches had their merits. I find it a little upsetting when a fan of the KyoAni version disses the Toei one without having seen it all the way through, because it's hardly a fair comparison. Of course KyoAni will demolish it from a production quality standpoint.
Overall I too felt the KyoAni version trounced the Toei one, though (particularly it was much better at wrapping up the Makoto, Mai, and Shiori arcs, as well as adding Sayuri's story and inventing one for Real-Makoto!), although a couple of favorite moments were overlooked in the KyoAni treatment, which disappointed me as they had ample room for them. I missed some of the stuff with the anteater and the waiting in the hospital. I was surprised they didn't use the scene with Ayu's wings, though I don't know if that was in the game or if it was Toei just reinterpreting the game opening a little literally. And most significantly, I was dismayed that Nayuki's pivotal scenes did not occur this time, when she already had been shafted last time as it was. In the Toei one, it was really a defining moment when Nayuki wrestled with whether to tell Yuuichi about Ayu's real location (as opposed to Akiko). I don't know if that was original to the Toei one, but it's absence in episode 24 made things ring a little hollow for me. And of course the scene with the talking alarm clock, but I admit I half expected that to be removed somehow, perhaps because they changed it from frog clock to cat clock.
Lastly, I did like how Toei gave some additional closure with the Kazahana Kanon special. I won't hold that against this version though since as we know, KyonAni all too happily did a pair of Air specials after that series, so it's still entirely possible that epilogue is still forthcoming (hope hope hope). I'm sure it would set some Makoto, Mai, and Sayuri fans' hearts at ease...
Still, what a fantastic run it's been. I think I'd personally rate it at about the same level as Haruhi (very high marks), and still above the Toei version overall. But I think my favorite KyoAni work is still Air, which took a piece of me with it and never let go since. Perhaps that's what the Toei Kanon did to me too, in a smaller portion.
|2007-03-21, 01:39||Link #52|
Kanon, 2006. Well, what can I say that has not already been said, both here in this thread by others, and by people in other threads and places around the internet?
I came to the New Kanon from the perspective of a fan of the old (2002) Kanon, and as someone who'd had a bit of a fiddle with Haeleth's partially translated version of the game. I loved the old Kanon for what it was - it stood out, amidst a mass of other harem and harem-esque shows, and gave me something special. The themes of the show were intriguing, and despite the aforementioned snowplow and rather... eccentric.. design, I loved it.
Flash forward, after Air, and after Suzumiya Haruhi, to the KyoAni version of Kanon. By now I was more 'immersed' in the key world, with Air and with more Kanon behind me, and I was also highly expectant of a fantastic show both because of the production company, and because of the source material I'd read from Kanon that simply didn't make the cut in the old version, due to time, budget, contract restrictions; honestly who knows. Watching the Prelude was a highly moving experience: it was beautiful, it had vast potential, and it had a resonance to it that moved me.
Overall, the subsequent show lived up to that potential.
The main areas in which a lot of reviews and impressions such as these are divided have been explored above - there isn't much more for me to add about the animation and artwork, for instance; we've all seen how well KyoAni has produced the show. Sound and music are much the same, it's a fairly common belief around the forum here that the VA cast chosen for Kanon '06 have done a truly spectacular job, and that using the BGM from the game, especially the OP/ED themes by Ayana, has breathed more life into Kanon. Did I mention the incredible job done by Sugita already? Kyon-esque indeed, the doubters from the first few episodes. He made Yuuichi his own and brought the character to life; all the VA's returned superb performances, far superior to their 2002 offerings to my ears (though several Nayuki fans might disagree).
The story... ah, the story has received the most vitriolic responses throughout the series, both in its content and its presentation, though the latter has been more obsessed-over than the former. The story is, let us be perfectly frank, not perhaps the best tale ever written. But, despite not being a classic of literature, perhaps, it still drew myself, and many others into it. We mourned with Yuuichi when Makoto died, we felt his resolve when he battled the demons with Mai, we empathised with his sadness when he saw Shiori was fading, we related to his guilt at his past treatment of Nayuki, and we felt his heartbreak over the loss of Ayu.
Which brings me to a tangential point, the development of relationships within Kanon. Although it can be argued that there is evidence for a romantic relationship between Ayu and Yuuichi prior to episode 19, it must be admitted that it could have progressed at a far more overt rate. The primary indication that I, and many others, seem to have received is that Ayu and Yuuichi, whilst no doubt close and comfortable in each other's company, seemed to be lacking a 'spark' that would explain exactly why their relationship suddenly kick-started. The potential, in my opinion, was there, but there was not quite enough buildup to justify such a sudden bloom.
Perhaps that's where Kanon '06 falls down, in the end. There is a tad too little build up to some of its execution, markedly in both the Ayu/Yuuichi relationship, and in the concluding episode's very fast summation and resolution. Perhaps the Makoto arc could have been cut by an episode, or half an episode, to ensure superior pacing further into the show. Perhaps the interweaving could have been a bit less sequential, although I am certain that down that path lies chaotic lack of comprehensibility, in terms of who is where and why. Regardless, there were pacing issues in Kanon, especially in the lead-up to the ending. I think that the show would have benefited from the extra two episodes available in a two cour series, with two more episodes, one to wrap up elements of Nayuki's arc and another to expand and deliver a more sedate and secure finale.
Kanon, despite its flaws, has set a bar which will be hard to top for any studio looking to produce any anime in a similar or related genre - and yes, I am including harem just for the sake of the argument, although Kanon is by no means a real harem anime. KyoAni have done again what they did with Air; they have created an adaptation of the show that is pleasing to its fans (though perhaps not all!) and is accessible, albeit less so than perhaps a show like Shuffle! or Negima?! s is to the general populace. In production quality, Kanon is unmatched in televised anime programming, in pacing, it suffers a few small stutters and issues, and in believability and story usage, it has again several small flaws.
Kanon isn't perfect, but it is a very beautiful and well executed show, that I and I'm sure others will enjoy for a long time to come. I've given it a score of 8.5 (rounded to 9), taking off one point for the issues towards the ending in terms of pacing, and another half point for the occasional stutters during the show. Overall the anime captured me and wouldn't let me go until I had seen it all, staying up late every Friday night to watch the newest episode... and it entertained me remarkably well whilst keeping me hooked. Realistically, what more can we ask for?
Last edited by andiyar; 2007-03-22 at 05:03.
|2007-03-21, 06:08||Link #53|
I couldn't give this any less than a 10. What can I say? The best visual novel/bishoujo game conversion I've seen, and not only that, but by far, and I hope others to come follow its example.
Well, my rating was more like a 9.6 or so, rounded up to 10. The episode I enjoyed the least was episode 24. I think they needed those 26 episodes so that the epilogue wouldn't have felt rushed.
|2007-03-21, 17:20||Link #55|
This is my personal overview of Kanon. This is the second series I’ve meticulously criticized since my return to anime in June 2006. Kyoto Animation has demonstrated a lot of potential in anime that I am proud to see happen here. It is really great to see how much animation has progressed during the years that I was focused on college work. But reflecting on the series from beginning to end, Kanon is not a perfect show. This may, however, reside in story-based imperatives that ended up being “lost in adaptation”.
Some of the things here you will probably agree with, others you’ll disagree scornfully. I judge the series both an anime enthusiast and as a filmmaker, which will probably conflict in how I rate the subjects to come. But that’s enough of an introduction. Let’s go.
Part One. Kanon – Where the Snow Falls From
Their Own Choices
For The Sake Of
Part Two. Characters – Everything yet Nothing
The Girl that Gets None
The Unrequited Paradox
Kanon – Where the Snow Falls From
1999 – The year of Napster, The Matrix, Fight Club, and Columbine. It was also the year I became a second year at high school. Coincidentally, halfway across the world, the visual novel Kanon was released in Japan that year staring a second year high school male in an anonymous modern Japanese city.
Anime (if not film and television as a whole) was different eight years ago as I recall. With the new century right around the corner, the stories dealt increasingly with happenings in the future and in the metaphysical. Because the future was impossible to predict or decidedly death at the hands of the Y2K crisis, most plots concluded open-endedly, morbidly, or left us with the prospect of a sequel (which usually didn’t happen). Animation quality itself was rough, more static, and reused more stock footage than it drew original panels. Most shows on TV retained the flat 4:3 ratio look, thus the visuals were grainy and conflicted with the better widescreen format that people were slowly appreciating thanks to innovations in (and perhaps, motivations from) DVD technology.
This is probably why Kanon is hailed as 1999’s best bishojo game. Although dealing with supernatural events, the integral plot of the story focuses largely on past events and how they affect a more down-to-earth present. The game itself is also chiefly player-based, where the player interacts and makes decisions that decides the novel’s course of events and closure. With five different girls to appeal to – each with a unique look and personality to satisfy at least five different types of men out there – Kanon became a commercial success.
Their Own Choices
Kyoto Animation tried hard to adapt this story and animate their first full series in company history. Their choice to make Kanon 24 episodes long was motivated by the fact that the first Kanon adaptation by Toei, 13 episodes in duration, forced many important and perhaps emotionally intensive scenes onto the cutting room floor. To adequately fit enough screen time for each of the five girls and time for the protagonist himself in thirteen episodes would mean each person would have a little more than 2 half-hour episodes devoted to him or herself. One hour (two for each girl) to listen, view, and reflect on the intricate relationships in Kanon is hardly doing a successful novel any credit. That’s like one episode to learn about somebody, and another episode to see how the protagonist reacts to it. For a better illustration, try telling your friends the feelings conveyed in Star Wars in five minutes. See what you end up leaving out while telling the story at the same time.
So KyoAni doubles the feature time for his audience, which is a bold move for them considering they have never done any production past 14 before (at least from what I’m told). The other bold move is isolating each girl’s story in consecutive episodes. In the game, a certain choice made by you, the protagonist, decides whether you spend the day with girl A or to keep your promise with girl B. Whatever decision you do not take will never be given again; the timeline has charted its course, and that will affect your relationship with all the girls as a whole and future decisions as well.
But KyoAni chooses to mix and match storylines, completing one girl’s arc before moving on to the next. It’s literally taking the events from the path you do not witness and jigsaw-ing it together. This pits characters that have almost nothing to do with one other interacting in familiar scenes, and KyoAni will even go so far as create original scenes and have them trip and spend the night with each other for laughs and cuddles. But this is not always for the sake of cameo. Several times the qualities revealed from this play has affected the protagonist and helped to reinforce the points made by other characters greatly. This decision, however, has caused more problems than it solved which could only have happened by telling Kanon in this way. KyoAni may have been struggling to create a balance of emphasis between each female character, but that may not necessarily have been a good choice.
For The Sake Of
Part of the problem is the fact that Kanon 2006 is labeled as a romance when in reality it is a very weak one compared to others I’ve seen. My expectation for this series was that of a competition between five different females for the same guy, who would choose a particular one and the relationship would grow from there. Everything except the latter was explored, and it was the latter that I was more interested in because in a romance, that is the heart of love.
The biggest dilemma here is Aizawa Yuuichi himself. Here is a character who has let three of the girls closest to him go (not always by necessity), and yet his personality doesn’t waver in the slightest. This conclusion is largely motivated by his attitude towards others in the series’ finale. Life is evolution, and evolution is change. Part of what makes good stories like Kanon great is how characters discover things within and/or beyond them that changes themselves for the better (or worse) at the end. This is certainly true of the game, but not so in the anime. Most of the interactivity stays fairly static, unchanging, and lead to almost no progress. Take his relationship with his cousin Minase Nayuki: he discovers that he has treated her unfairly after a love confession many years ago. We witness Yuuichi’s attempt at cheering her up and two apologies, but very little light is explored in the moments after this revelation. In the episode following these events, there is almost nothing new about them. The pool of change remains very stagnant.
This kind of trend follows along with the remaining four girls. Yuuichi as a person doesn’t evolve much (in fact, it could be argued that he doesn’t change throughout Kanon 2006 at all). Even though the first three girls in sequence were not expected to be Yuuichi’s number one pick of the litter, the happenings he had with them do not leave any lasting or significant impressions. Or at least, the impressions made don’t appear momentous enough to warrant certain thoughts and action. This is particularly true with Tsukimiya Ayu and Sawatari Makoto as I will go into later. Yuuichi doesn’t evolve. He’s not making any fewer jokes than he did before. His obligations to everyone remain curiously neutral. They’re all friends, at best. Yes, this behavior allows Yuuichi to have a neutral point of view at the start of every new arc, but it got tiresome and unrealistic to see how so much can happen to him and yet affect so little. If this was merely a series about how Yuuichi dealt with other people’s problem both related to him and not, then I would be comfortable with this. It would then be alright to have every girl with an equal level of love and respect for Aizawa Yuuichi. But this is not a simple drama. This is (at the very least, categorized as) a romance and I was encouraged to watch Kanon for its romantic aspects. Unfortunately, I found few.
Because of the equal level of emphasis on all the girls in Kanon 2006, it seems unlikely that any romance could blossom (somebody has to take the longest straw). Structure is part of the problem with this series, but consistency is also the other problem: certain girls like Kawasumi Mai deal heavily with supernatural phenomenon. Others like Misaka Shiori don’t have the slightest thing to do with aliens, time travelers, or espers. Why the game was made this way and earned its 1999 best title is beyond my understanding. I would have imagined that such a popular name like Kanon would have solved the issue of consistency by having paranormal circumstances appear throughout each and every arc of the five stories. But that is an argument for another day. The problem here is that in television, the need for keeping things equal is higher because there are so many critics and strict methods in telling coherent stories. How come Nayuki and Shiori have nothing extra-phenomenal happen to them? Point this out to any critic and they will say that bad writing couldn’t think of anything spectacular to give them. However, KyoAni did make a relatively faithful adaptation to the original game, and the fault lies more on the game itself, not the company that tried to retell it. Still, this issue is worth noting. Best guess would be on Japan’s cultural imperatives that I didn’t have the luxury of learning unless I had grew up there.
In the end, I feel that Kanon tried much too hard to stay true to game events. It had already swayed from it since episode one so why bother? As the series’ finale came closer, it delivered one brand new scene after another that left very little to be understood. It would have been easier simply to expand existing scenes and not show others at all. There is a common screenwriting adage, “Less is more.” What you take out enhances whatever is left behind. For example, if they had compressed Amano Mishio’s final appearance in episode 10 and allowed Yuuichi to give a better demonstration of emotion in that field of grass in the previous scene, the clarity of his loss with Makoto would be better communicated. Other scenes I felt were unnecessary include:
- The adult Sawatari Makoto (episode 23)
- Everybody (and I mean everybody) helping out the comatose Ayu (episode 24)
And then there are those scenes which I feel could have used a few more minutes of emphasis or better clarification:
- Nayuki’s tournament; Yuuichi didn’t really do all that much for her (episode 19)
- Yuuichi confronting Ayu about the loss of Shiori (episode 19)
- Yuuichi sitting in the church; he’s never appeared to be a church-going person (episode 24)
- Yuuichi supposedly waking up Ayu in her comatose state, if he did that at all (episode 24)
As far as I’m concerned, these examples don’t serve to advance the plot effectively. Sometimes, silence is not a good thing. Why show something completely anonymous and not explain or go into it before the end? It ends up being seen as contrived plot devices or screen time fillers. Kanon doesn’t need fillers; if anything, it needs more screen time allocated to clarification and depicting the series as a true romance. That said, it might have helped to have two more episodes giving Kanon a total of 26 (half a year). I don’t know how much more could have been presented with another hour’s worth of screen time, but at least it would have given more time to convey those emotions I desperately wanted to see out of Yuuichi, even if he may be just crying to himself. I guess I’m contradicting myself by saying sometimes silence is a good thing, but you know I’m talking about a different kind of silence. I’m referring to the moments where we see Yuuichi breaking down after seeing that note written by Shiori at the end of episode 18, or what Nayuki and Yuuichi do for each other at the bench of episode 23 (instead of ending the scene with a pan up. Sound familiar, Haruhi people!?).
The animation in Kanon is definitely art at its finest. The art quality is an important part of anime. If things are not drawn correctly, it becomes a distraction. If too many scenes are reused scenes, it reveals laziness on the animator’s part. The same can be said about single panel stills that are panned left to right or up to down. I can safely say that the animators of Kanon were not lazy. They paid attention to drawing every possible footprint in the snow, the bending of a fold-up chair, the creasing of a bed sheet, whipping hair, pedestrians, and just all those natural lights and movements that we don’t notice daily. But going from the above paragraph, a little more time could have been spent drawing more important scenes. Though this isn’t the animator’s problem; this is whoever storyboarded the series.
The use of CG is becoming more prevalent in the recent years, but its presence in Kanon hasn’t been a distraction. The effect of snow and water has been its primary role and it is rendered smoothly and successfully. The only mistake was certain moments when we saw the marble that Nayuki treasured. At times, it was unquestionably realistic enough to stand out in front of the animation. This is a relatively small complaint, but I remind everyone that in anime, the proficiency of one’s drawings comes first before resorting to the cheap deliveries of computer effects. If the latter is more important, it’s not anime anymore; it’s Toy Story.
Characters – Everything yet Nothing
I am a fan of character-driven anime, if not character-driven stories in general. How one approaches a person of the opposite sex, how one tells another that s/he loves someone, how well one handles his/her emotions in a crisis says more to me than anyone who resolves his/her differences by swinging their sword at others. Thus, I am particularly happy with the content of the Kanon game. Because it contains an absolute minimum of violence and people holding each other at gunpoint, I knew a lot of time would be spent on talk and action in the name of.
There are essentially six important people in Kanon. There are no antagonists short of themselves. It is a very slice-of-life environment where people are just learning or relearning things about each other. The great opportunity here is that the length of the series is similar to Utawarerumono (the first series I critiqued at length) but with half as many protagonists. The odd thing, however, is that despite everybody getting a fairly equal amount of screen time, the main male seems to develop more intimate feelings for one girl while almost none for the other. Sometimes, those levels are inconceivable to me. Furthermore, there are aspects about each girl that we learn but do not elaborate on further... which we should. Otherwise, they should have been omitted. This section serves to elaborate on why I have difficulty understanding Aizawa Yuuichi and the girls he interacted with as well as comment on everyone’s finer qualities.
The Girl that Gets None
Sawatari Makoto is the only character in the series that rubs me the wrong way. I like nice girls, but I like flamboyant girls too as long as they do not cause any trouble for others or learn to resolve their ways by the story’s end. In the beginning, I judged her harshly. She was always the trouble maker, demonstrated little regard for anyone other than herself, and was never fully aware of her actions. The fact that she had the brought-up mindset of a fox helped empathize with her just a little. By the time this fact was realized to us all, I honestly thought that she would become a changed woman, despite her gradual loss at intelligence. But in the end, she didn’t change at all, and that’s what frustrates me the most.
Makoto began her human existence with very little and depended on Akiko for food, money, work, and shelter all throughout the series. Yet she constantly gives nothing back. Her only motivation is getting revenge in some form or fashion at the boy who left him. Everything else is just sidestepped until she needs them the most. She is a nuisance that needs to be fed because her personality and charisma seems to be enough to let her actions slip by. What happens in her arc, to summarize, was to have her wishes fulfilled by the guy she hates most. Was she happy about all this? We don’t know, and that’s the gist of the problem. If Yuuichi doesn’t know if what he had done for her had made her happy, how could he have been happy as well? And yes, you could look at Makoto’s face and say here was a very happy girl in the end, but since she’s so autistic dumb by episode 10’s end, there’s no way to tell.
So basing off of this, I find Yuuichi’s influence from his time with Makoto to be exaggerated. Yes, the plight with Shiori was reminiscent. Here’s yet another girl where you know that time is running out, and she has wishes she wants fulfilled as well. Naturally, Yuuichi would cite his experiences with Makoto and I think this metaphor played itself out remarkably. The biggest gripe, however, is his looking at the stickers of Makoto taken in the picture booth. Yuuichi thinks Makoto’s presence would have made Nayuki feel better in episode 22 when in fact they spent very little time together. If anything, Ayu is the more appropriate candidate and it would have flowed with the happenings of that episode better. So the idea of his thinking about Makoto then and there is a little baffling. If Makoto really was to have a stronger influence on Yuuichi than I am describing, then it should have made itself more apparent because this is the conclusion that I am getting. Yuuichi probably showed a little more care for those around him afterwards, but whether this stems from the tragedy of Sawatari Makoto is anyone’s guess. You really could eliminate this arc and not suffer significant issues to character development, but eliminating this is like eliminating a fifth of Kanon, which I guess KyoAni couldn’t allow. But mind you, KyoAni has butchered the story enough already (based on what others have said already), so what’s one more plot point?
The Makoto we saw in episode 23 did not remain long enough to be significant. Yes, she saved his life; yes, Yuuichi used her as a confession stand, but these things aren’t necessary this late into the series. The snowstorm is already enough to have me convinced that nobody should be out there, so why her of all people? This coincidence didn’t sufficiently suspend my disbelief on the matter. And also, we’ve already seen Yuuichi withdraw into himself mentally for things he was confused with or hated himself for doing. Doing so again would not have been much different. Punching a wall or grieving in front of Akiko’s bed in the hospital could have provided the same kind of effect. If there was a voice needed to comfort Yuuichi, this older Makoto could have played the part, but if you ask me, she had to be more involved than just five minutes of screen time to give her influence any credibility. And really, because this Makoto and the Makoto we saw in episode 3 to 10 are two different individuals, no relation can be drawn. Introducing her means spending more time talking about who she is and where she comes from and how yet another woman has feelings for Yuuichi. And this whole thing would have had to be addressed in less than two episodes. So the adult Sawatari Makoto was, in my opinion, a mistake directed towards the fan boys who think her name wasn’t used enough times.
The most traditional and perhaps most successful arc out of the Kanon series is that of Kawasumi Mai. Her arc features a clear cut antagonist (which surprisingly happens to be her) which thus allows real conflict and real development to occur. I know this is not part of character, but Mai’s features perhaps the most stunning art I have ever seen (namely, episode 12) in anime to date. Episode 15 also stands as the most character-driven installment out of all of the ones we’ve seen. So if I had to make a call, Mai’s story gets the most thumbs up whereas everything afterwards just seems lacking compared to it.
Compared to Makoto, the mystery behind Mai is more approachable. We’ve all had our fair share of stoic women in anime and Mai is one of them. She’s a tough nut with her own set of rules and motives which conflicts with the modernity of today’s society (demonstrated effectively in episode 12). She definitely knows a lot (enough to pass high school), athletic, and doesn’t mince words – whatever the few words might be. By the end of her arc, we learn pretty much everything we needed to know about Mai and a few things more. This is the only story that goes full circle into closure, the only plot successfully and coherently told that elicits the full spectrum of emotions out of me and audiences alike.
And when I say coherent, I mean fully explained. Everything that we were interested in about Mai and her friend Sayuri is revealed to us, from those painful childhood memories to the physical manifestations of Mai’s powers that she spent years fighting. Yuuichi gives us his eulogy as an effective means to tell us how he feels about Mai. After remembering the things from ten years past, he actually does something about it. And the emotions felt in him were convincingly real; I really did feel the tears on me as Yuuichi did after Mai put that sword through her. Perhaps the only questions remaining are how she became such an emotionless sword wielder and where in the world she received her sword in the first place. But these are all minor details.
I can’t get enough of episode 15. They devoted so much time to the interaction of just two protagonists that it was awesome. They literally spent a whole episode learning about each other and dealing with a common threat in that evening of the school. And at least the supplementary character in this episode, Mai’s Mother, was related to her, better looking, and more involved in the development of Mai’s character. Everything we learn, everything that was done for each other and themselves was timed perfectly, sufficiently understood, and beautifully felt that I think Mai is the biggest success out of Kanon 2006. If only more episodes were modeled in this way.
I can’t say that Misaka Shiori’s arc was the most exciting or most dramatic out of all of them. It really feels more like a laid back section to separate the big fighting mess of the previous. But most importantly, there was nothing unusual with it. Somebody is suffering from a supposedly terminal illness and there’s a lot of different kinds out there. No miracles occurred and no past events were recalled. Just a lot of smiling.
Perhaps the problem with Shiori’s side of the story is that the facts get revealed little by little in the course of Makoto and Mai’s arcs and then suddenly get pushed aside to focus on the main event. The result is a largely disjointed story where shocks and revelations become old news and it’s just a matter of dealing with what you have left. So I’m not really crying rivers or going “oh my god” to things. It’s just very mellow. But perhaps the greatest strength about Shiori’s story is how romantic she gets (sometimes setting up the scenario on purpose like citing Cinderella and intentionally hiding or saying things that mimic clichéd drama), and that’s ends up having a similar effect on Yuuichi as well.
At this point, one girl has been lost and the other girl seems unobtainable if not disinterested. Then, in this seemingly smooth and normal storyline, Yuuichi takes greater strides to make this one girl happy so that history doesn’t repeat itself twice. They date, they party, they hold hands and confess something about themselves. And then they kiss, which completely surprises him. Just when you think things are really budding, Shiori runs away. We don’t really have a motive although the best reason would be to spare Yuuichi any pain from her coming death. This comes as a shocker to a lot of fans, but it didn’t shock Yuuichi that much from what I saw. The progression level on Yuuichi’s intimacy with each girl is getting higher and higher. The first one (for reasons I can’t comprehend) left him in bitter disappointment. The second one made him cry at her apparent death. One would have thought that this pattern would force him to do something equally as dramatic. But it didn’t come out that way. At least we have a reason to go to the next girl, but I can’t help but feel a little cheated by this maneuver.
The Unrequited Paradox
We finally get to the meat of Kanon, and with three of the characters expected not to return for a while, it felt like the chances for eye-catching drama similar to that in episode 15’s would be more common. But it turns out not to be true. I tried to convince myself that there was nothing abnormal with Tsukimiya Ayu and for a while I was right. You could pretty much stipulate that she was back from the dead with those angel wings on her backpack, but I figured there was a much more clandestine reason to it. But since we have been taking things at face value throughout the series, I guess I should’ve taken this at face value too.
Ayu as a person strikes me as a more responsible version of Makoto. She’s there to help Akiko, have fun with Nayuki, and gets along with just about everyone. The whole premise behind Ayu involves finding a missing item that has been lost seven years with no clue or reference to what it is or where it’s hidden. And of course, during the voyage, they develop feelings for each other which I think came at a very abnormal moment. If Yuuichi was feeling so down over Shiori and could still switch mental gears into Ayu’s, you’d think there’s either something wrong with him or that he would have had a similar transition from Ayu to Nayuki in subsequent episodes. But as we’ll learn, Yuuichi switches gears quite rapidly, so quick that it’s damaging, and that becomes the Achilles heel in Kanon 2006.
So Ayu and Yuuichi uncover a terrible truth that turns Ayu’s personality 180 degrees. It’s not the real Ayu that we have been watching for 23 episodes. This one’s a fake – it didn’t go through a birth, growth, and menstruation cycle that ordinary human beings do. It is simply Yuuichi’s conceptions of a childhood friend aged and brought to life. He said it himself. He never gave Ayu the headband. It was a more comfortable illusion… or was it?
Herein lies the chicken and the egg problem that dominates Kanon 2006’s controversial ending. In episode 23, we initially feel convinced that Ayu had disappeared from the world with her dreams come true and a smile on her face. Then we learn that she is not dead; in fact, comatose in the hospital for seven years. Although her eyes are shut and her senses impaired, she can still see out of herself and notice things like the snow and the window. Her memories and brain functions continued operating. At the end of the airing, the comatose Ayu had woken up with all her thoughts intact. She remembers people, places, and the awesome taste of red beans in a fish. Now if her body had been asleep for those seven years, you would suspect her consciousness departed from her body, took physical form, and gathered the sights and wonders of what we saw throughout Kanon. Otherwise, the Ayu that woke up from the hospital in the series’ finale could not have remembered all those people that Yuuichi was mentioning. So now we ask: who dreamed up the illusion?
More importantly, the Ayu that we had been watching physically existed somehow. She crashed into a tree and made snow fall, ran out and bought medicine for Akiko when she was feeling sick and interacted with the rest of the female cast, a doctor, several classmates and a taiyaki baker (and don’t forget Piro). If this was Ayu’s consciousness at work, why was it allowed to roam free, especially in Akiko’s house? Akiko certainly saw a strange connection (how much she knew about Ayu is certainly up for debate), but she didn’t turn her over to anyone, keeping the incident conveniently isolated. She didn’t freak at all or find any of this unusual.
But let’s say this manifestation was in actuality Yuuichi’s mentality taking root – which is all not that impossible to believe. If the illusion was Yuuichi’s, then the Ayu at the end could have simply been recalling the friends that Yuuichi had made since the tree incident and that her love for taiyaki was retained. But this would also put serious questioning into those dreams that we have been seeing at the start of several episodes in Kanon. Furthermore, this paradox would suggest that weird incidents and happenings occur a lot more frequently in this fictional world than we realize. Yuuichi had done something phenomenal that he had not been aware of for a long time. But if people like Akiko are comfortable with accepting this without question, you really wonder just how many other people do in the story. There are those like Shiori who don’t have anything spectacular happen to them at all. And then there are those like Mai who have ESP and use it on any random, plot enticed basis.
In the end, I categorize Ayu as an idea that almost worked. Granted, she was probably never meant to interact with so many people. The fact that everybody was taking care of Ayu in the hospital seemed to lessen the intimacy and romantic qualities that could have occurred between Ayu and Yuuichi. And it really felt that Mai was just being the extra-sensory tool that gave out vital information at just the right moment and that without her, the story couldn’t have reached a form of closure with Ayu. Yuuichi spoke that he was weak and fragile, but that’s not true. He had already helped Mai realize the finer parts in herself, helped make wishes come true, and helped Nayuki out of depression (although the truth of his own effectiveness did not come out until later). To be honest, I think KyoAni fell victim to its own good and honorable intentions, trying to make an Ayu ending when in reality, it could not be done short of causing a slew of illogical questions. The 1999 visual novel was made so that interactions between girls were kept at a minimum. Because there was so much in the anime series, the scenes conceived to be no big deal ended up conflicting with the overall logic of the story. And I ended up questioning the validity of the ending rather than going along with it.
As what happens frequently with films and television series dealing with multiple characters with similar goals, one or more people always gets the shaft as time constraints forces story into a higher priority. None is more obvious to me than Minase Nayuki, who has largely taken a backseat to everyone else in Kanon 2006. For a majority of episodes, this blue-eyed beauty has spent most of her time by herself or acting as Yuuichi’s support when the need arises. Even in the light of things that we learn about her in episode 21 and throughout, they remain largely untouched.
I don’t know if having her walk around half-asleep for a majority of the series was a good call but it has been established that she has trouble getting out of bed. Yuuichi gets the impression that she’s “brain-dead half the time” and would just treat her as another person and leave her alone. It feels like pushing her aside was done intentionally and I really think that she could have been much more involved in Yuuichi’s affairs, especially Makoto’s and Shiori’s. She probably wouldn’t be all that useful in Mai’s arc though she is athletic. At least she did suggest the school dance. What I’m really feeling disappointed with is how disjointed she and Yuuichi are despite the fact that they live one door apart. At the very least, they could have talked to each other more than the occasional “school’s over”.
For the most part, I’m satisfied that the marathon took place in episode 19, as it was an effective means to have Nayuki transition from sleepy mode to active. But it was such a monumental moment that didn’t get its good taste in drama. She was already passing all the other runners when Yuuichi caught up to her on his bike. How much more encouragement does she need? If she had been losing or tiring out, yeah, I could see the help in that. It was a great scene that overall could’ve used more umph.
You’ll notice we see a lot more of Nayuki in the last quarter of episodes since the marathon run, but most of the time is spent sympathizing with her discomfort that Yuuichi is more attracted to Ayu than to her. Even when Ayu disappeared, we knew. She kept supporting him as she had always done. At the time, it felt like the relationship between the spirit of Ayu and Yuuichi could never have worked out even if she did manifest again, either because she was dead or losing corporeal form in the wake of her true identity. Nayuki’s troubled past and Yuuichi’s sense of obligation made the whole idea of their relationship a strong possibility and a highly logical one. I mean, three girls have disappeared on him, but there is still this one who lives oh-so close to you and has been with you since day one. What’s even more important is that the one next to you confessed her love for the guy a long time ago. And those sudden mood swings you go through. Don’t you feel any attraction to her at all?
Sometimes I think that there was a Japanese FCC that couldn’t allow a cousin-cousin relationship to take place on TV. That or KyoAni was so desperate for an Ayu ending no matter how illogical it might seemed that they half-assed their way to provide the answers to one arc and none for the other four. The result is a series of coincidental miracles that we have no idea (nor do we have the time to think about) how they took place. Everything’s happy and convenient in the series’ finale, and I think it was much too convenient. Shiori returns, but the questions we have been keeping in the backs of our heads for 6 episodes don’t even get raised. Although it was a cute moment, it doesn’t address anything as if the whole past was somehow unimportant. Mai and Sayuri’s appearance in the first half was unnecessary because showing them attending graduation is already more than enough, drama-wise. And overall, Nayuki goes back to her support role for him. No light is shed on her relationship with Yuuichi even after Yuuichi remembers what he had done to her seven years ago. You could tell that he wanted to say something before he was interrupted by Akiko’s car accident back in episode 21. How does realizing this intimate moment affect their bond between each other? Unfortunately, the question is never raised again. If Nayuki had come to terms that she could never have him, it would have been nice to have witnessed this. Perhaps I would have believed it more. But I suppose for the sake of Ayu, emphasis on the details of Nayuki just had to end up on the editing room floor.
Most anime that run for 24 to 26 episodes usually don’t do very well. There are those episodes made to see guys and girls in swimsuits, do or say cute things for the sake of fans and maintaining consistency to the original game or manga. Of course, it could also be the fact that they had a certain amount of episodes to air and not enough content to show. These kinds of episodes usually end up telling us nothing about the characters nor do they have their attitudes progress in whatever form or fashion.
Then there is the problem that frequents with good stories made into a series. You have a lot of content to reveal but not enough episodes to tell. You begin by thinking that, yes we have all the time in the world to get to this important moment, but as crunch time nears, things get the cold cut out. Utawarerumono was like this. Kanon 2006 suffers the same problem. It had a relatively good pacing at the beginning that I was comfortable with. As we neared the conclusion, things just sped up so fast that I was like “what the hell happened” in the end. Things didn’t get addressed, things didn’t get explained, and there were things that we literally had to take at “face” face value that I believe is a lot of hooey. Shiori suggests the paradox that Ayu (and perhaps all of us) are within, but why does Ayu have a wish? Why now? Why didn’t we know about this in the prior episodes? I’m not feeling the string that binds episode 1 through 24 together. 24 just seems like a stand-alone episode that just forced its ending onto us.
I played a fifth of the Kanon game between the airing times of episodes 23 and 24. I went through Nayuki’s path and as I read through, I immediately knew how character-driven and romantic the story was. I know Kanon has a lot of potential, and it really does pull my emotions out (at least for Nayuki’s path). I am prepared to play through the other timelines and see how they go. But judging from Nayuki’s path already, I think Kyoto Animation took its time with a really good story and botched the ending. And it’s a shame that they tried so hard to stay true to the original that they refused to take any poetic license and create and ending that was their own and made sense. Yuuichi’s priorities take odd swings on more than one occasion, the unnecessary scenes that didn’t need to be explained coherently were explained coherently (tried to, anyway), and the necessary ones were neglected. Everything concludes too well for the wrong reasons. Perhaps it would have been better to mimic the narrative structure that The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya went by – although its adaptation was from a book, not a game, but the game (most visual novels at least) is equally thought-driven. There are times in the series that Yuuichi tells us, the audience, something in his head such as “that night, Makoto came down with a fever”. But he doesn’t do this often, so the mode of storytelling gets a little inconsistent.
I give high credit to the fine art that Kyoto Animation has again provided. And the story: replicating the mood and emotion of the game was well done up to where the confusion began at episode 19, possibly due to bad planning or indecision. I don’t know what. It was a good idea to make Kanon 2006 a one-by-one plot setup, but if they had done more to create their own mark of an ending and not force us with brain-numbing concepts and skepticism in a critical moment for the sake of one girl, the adaptation would have triumphed better. This is a romance and it has to end like one; it doesn’t matter which. But it still has to make sense. There comes a point where the logic of human feelings dominates our willingness to suspend our disbelief of the mystical and unreal.
Paraphrased from my first series critique:
Animation Quality: 10
Character Design: 10
Computer Graphics: 9
Voice Acting: 9
Kanon: 8 (Great, but lacking elements)
|2007-03-21, 17:52||Link #57|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Hmm...this brings up an interesting question. Do we judge an adaptation based on how it appeals to your average joe anime watcher, or do we judge it based on how it appeals to its intended audience? Most of us posting here probably wouldn't be included in its original intended audience anyway. While I enjoyed reading your critique, Zaris, I felt as though you emphasized the former too much while neglecting the latter. After all, the latter group is the one that will most likely demand as faithful an adaptation as possible. And it's quite debatable which group should take priority.
I also can't bring myself to agree that any and all changes to the original story are equal. Cutting out the entire Makoto arc is definitely NOT equal to removing the scene where Sayuri joins the student council or something.
|2007-03-21, 18:04||Link #58|
Join Date: Jan 2006
So basically, if we had gotten a Nayuki ending, it would've been a 10 right? lol jk, but damn dude how long did that take to write? I hate typing as it is XD. Good write up though.
As for me, when I watch a series that is enjoyable, I just lose myself into it and not pay attention to "flaws", only if I watch it 2 or 3 times do I find myself analyzing aspects of the show. But, I tend not to do that unless I need reference materials.
|2007-03-21, 18:55||Link #59|
Tell me who I am.
Join Date: Oct 2006
|2007-03-21, 19:36||Link #60|
Obey the Darkly Cute ...
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: On the whole, I'd rather be in Kyoto ...
I suppose you could do both: as in "I think this rocks" but "AverageJoe is going to suffer brain liquification because there isn't any gore or tits" or some other result.
The most interesting result is really how it appealed to YOU (or not). Reviewing based on the assumptions about a particular audience come closer to speculation....
I can judge Kanon2006 about a dozen ways depending on which audience I think is watching or what kind of story I want to approach it as. The rating can move from "sucks" to "radiant" depending on variations on either.
<shrug> Zaris had a lot of interesting things to say .... some of which I thought made sense, some I was less sanguine with -- but he gave examples of why he thought the way he did. Useful because if I want to point out something he might not have considered or I think he misconsidered, I now have a common reference point to pursue with him
(unfortunately, not much time tonight )