Based on what I’ve seen from volume one, “Kanon” is probably best compared to the sleeper hit anime “Haibane Renmei.” Like that series, nearly all the characters are amnesiacs who only recover their memory in their dreams. Thankfully, almost all the girls in the anime remember the male lead, Yuichi Aizawa. They are all somewhat related to Aizawa. And they all seem to like Aizawa.
Aizawa moves to the mysterious snowy town, meeting his cousin, Nayuki Minase, at the train station. He hasn’t been in town for seven years, and his own memory is sketchy. Nayuki is very close to Aizawa–she shows him around the town and introduces him to her friends. While Aizawa is waiting for Nayuki at the supermarket, Tsukimiya Ayu suddenly bumps into him. She grabs his hand and runs with him to a restaurant to hide.
She was hiding from a street vendor selling taiyaki, a small fish cake. She took the cake, but a cat nearby ate a cake from the vendor. Ayu was scared and she ran away from the vendor to bump into Aizawa. Fortunately, Aizawa took Ayu back and apologized. However, Aizawa remembered a pinky promise he made with Ayu when he was young.
While this entire anime is an adaptation of a dating video game for the PC, Playstation 2 and the Dreamcast, this isn’t a typical romance anime. The entire town is a mystery. Almost all the characters are amnesiacs–they cannot remember their past. The most shocking image appears in episode 4, when Aizawa sees one of the girls, Mai Kawasumi, standing in a classroom holding a sword. Only in the preview for episode 5 do we discover that Kawasumi is a demon hunter.
For mystery fans, “Kanon” is a very intriguing series. Although this was released early in 2008, it could turn out to be one of the most interesting anime of the year. The white snow also contributes to the subtle mystery of the town, in the same way that “Fargo” featured plenty of white snow. While “Kanon” is not as good as “Haibane Renmei”, which also featured an nearly all-female cast, “Kanon” is still fascinating nonetheless.