I know I may be copying Jason Miao in his efforts to cover Kanon, but as the series is quite serious, I also have to cover it in a different light than the amusing stuff I posted a little while earlier. If you were hoping to hear things like “Sad Bunny Girls in Snow”, turn away now.
From what I had seen so far while fansubbing the series, these stories are meant to be sad. Sad in that they make you feel for the characters and realize their circumstances. That does not necessarily mean that the endings will be sad, or bittersweet (like AIR), as the endings all portray a sense of conclusion in that the girls do end up having better lives than they did before.
Through the first ten episodes we find Yuuichi meeting up with these girls, but of course given the circumstances I found that Yuuichi has been trying to spend time with each and every one of them as much as possible. This of course presents the problem of, “What happens if Yuuichi decides to go with one girl?” Though the series does show a bit of a drawback when it comes to these scenes, Kyoto Animation tries to interweave them as much as they can so the girls are all related to one another and what happens to one can affect the other.
AnimeSuki forum-goers had looked over this and noted that Mai’s arc being interweaved with Makoto was exemplary; Mai had a sort of “esper-like” sense which allowed Mai to give Yuuichi hints about Makoto’s past. Of course, it’s not like she can butt in that far in-between those two, but something inside her tells Yuuichi to take care of Makoto (until her time is up). That, and Mai had led him to Amano Mishio.
Now, some complain that because of that, some of Mishio’s role in Makoto’s storyline was considered redundant. Others believe that, without Mai, the 2006 version of Yuuichi may not have had the chance to meet Mishio, and that he’d deal with a dying Makoto without ever realizing the true reason behind why it was happening. That, and perhaps Makoto would die without having her wishes fulfilled. I happen to agree with the latter, as a full-fledged anime should try to encompass all of the characters as much as possible.
Although we are talking about Youkou, typical foxes only have a lifespan of 2 to 3 years, but can last as long as 10. Makoto was lucky to even be able to survive that long and decide to make her decision; in fact, her decision to become human for a short while may have been worth it. Either way, she was going to die, and she chose to die staying with Yuuichi as opposed to dying alone. Give her credit for that. 😉
During episode 14, Sayuri had mentioned Pachelbel’s Canon, claiming that you “hear the same sound over and over again”, but that with every repeat the sound becomes more grandeur. You could say this is true, in that Makoto’s arc was the first ring, and Mai’s is the second. They all have sad stories, and each one of them may be different, but they are all similar in some way. Although Sayuri is not one of the five main girls, you can tell that she also has her own problems, as noted by the slits on her wrists. Though I wonder why Kyoto Animation decided not to cover why she slit her wrists, but that perhaps may have been for the better. We are viewing this anime mostly from Yuuichi’s point of view, so that to cover that sort of problem is left to viewers.
Mai may not have known it, but she wanted to be with Yuuichi just like Makoto. Although that was associated with her lie about fighting demons (which she forced herself to believe), it’s also brought her very close to him. Fortunately for her, she hasn’t died in her arc, but that will have Yuuichi spending time with her every once in a while to make sure she’s still all right. That, and he’ll have to be taking trips to the hospital to see how Sayuri is doing as well. Although these two are not covered in the preview for episode 16, my gut tells me these scenes are coming and Kyoto Animation would do well to cover it, because Mai isn’t dead and she doesn’t have the excuse that Makoto does. Neither does Sayuri.
Sushi-Y had posted some upcoming episode summaries for episodes 16 through 19… episodes 16 and 17 appear to be game-related, but episodes 18-19 seem to be original. If this is true, this will be the second time Kyoto Animation has decided to go with original material for the series, whether it be used as an important plot point, a filler, or perhaps a completely different take on Kanon. Knowing them, they’ve probably contacted Key thoroughly on this, and behind the scenes I am not certain whether it was Kyoto Animation that was responsible for the decision, or if it is Jun Maeda who wanted to revise his storyline (thus retconning the original material). We’ll have to see in about four episodes, yeah?