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.