Sunday, December 28, 2008

Looking Back at Kannagi


Before the fall season started, Kannagi was probably my most-anticipated series--it's hard to believe, but it's over already, and while it wasn't perfect (for me, it comes in second to Toradora this season) it did manage to live up to the hype. It's biggest strength, to me anyway, was Nagi--she's one of the most unique and entertaining characters I've seen in a while, and I could probably watch 100 episodes of her antics and not get bored. Sometimes insecure, sometimes prideful, sometimes mischevious, sometimes serious...she has a depth of character that's too often lacking in similar roles. Nothing's more subjective than what's funny, I know, but Nagi and Jin's interactions, and the whole episode with Daitetsu's rampant imagination had me cracking up. The animation quality was also pretty impressive--try watching one of the middle episodes of a lower-budget series like Hyakko and then watch Kannagi and it's hard to believe they were produced on the same planet. The character designs, the attention to detail on backgrounds, the fluidity of motion--maybe it's just the fact I can't even draw a decent circle, but seeing animation at this level almost strikes me with a sense of awe. It's hard to put a finger on it, but the "feel" of each scene just seemed to be perfectly done to me. And yes, the Lucky Star cameo in the karaoke episode brought a smile to my face too.

On the downside, though, the supporting cast of Kannagi didn't really pull me in the way Toradora's side characters do--Zange-chan's moe-nun act doesn't do much for me, and while Tsugumi is nice and it's hard not to feel bad for her situation, she's pretty much a walking childhood friend stereotype and you could see her fate coming from over 9000 miles away. The rest of the cast gets a few laughs but really doesn't get much development (although Daitetsu can be entertaining). For me, Kannagi suffered the most towards the end, as the comedy went away, and screentime for Nagi was replaced by Jin being moody--I think when I go to re-watch this it'll be hard not to just skip re-watching the last three episodes.

Overall, though, I'd definitely put Kannagi on a list of most memorable anime of 2008--here's hoping that we do get to see a second season at some point down the road.

4 comments:

voodoomage said...

It's all good and fun until someone get's emo.... I hope there is another season. Too many questions left un-answered.

AstroNerdBoy said...

Shino! Shino! For me, she was the best of the side-characters and episode 10's end sealed that for me. ^_^

Can't wait to see episode 13, but I really hope we get a sequel series while at the same time, hoping that the manga-ka gets better and gets back to writing more Kannagi.

Yumeka said...

I just wrote my review of Kannagi too ^_^ I agree with most of what you said, about the awesome animation and Nagi stealing the show. However, I still enjoyed the emotional, less humorous final episodes as well. I guess I kind of like it when a good comedy series takes a break from comedy and shows that it can also portray drama well, which I think Kannagi does.

I'm also enjoying Toradora!. I'm still debating which one I like better. I'll have to see once Toradora! finishes =)

suguru said...

@voodoomage:
True, and since I read the first volume sold over 10,000 copies, hopefully a second season will be on the way someday...

@AstroNerdBoy:
That's true, I was negligent in not mentioning Shino, she was better than Zange and Tsugumi combined in my book. Also hoping the manga-ka has a speedy recovery.

@Yumeka:
The last episodes were well done, I think I'm just more a fan of comedy...it almost seemed like a jarring transition, but it's hard to squeeze comedy and some drama into 13 eps and overall Kannagi did it well.