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Canvas 2 ~Niji-iro no Sketch~ (Episode 1) PDF Print E-mail
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Now in Japan
Tuesday, 15 November 2005 00:00
Canvas 2 - EyecatchAnother season, and another deluge of dating-sims-turned-anime shows hits the airwaves.  Canvas 2 ~Niji-iro no Sketch~ (the original Canvas anime was an OVA series) follows trainee art teacher Hiroki Kamikura and the girls he teaches - with a little side interest from another member of the school staff.  With originality being a lost cause in harem / dating series, it all comes down to presentation, so how does Canvas 2 manage..?

1 - Forbidden Classic Red
Hiroki Kamikura is one year away from qualifying as an art teacher at Nadesico Academy, a high school that specialises in artistic subjects.  He's also the guardian to Ellis Housen, his younger cousin whose parents were killed in a motor accident several years earlier.  It's Ellis' first day at Nadesico Academy, but her direct manner and overly-familiar attitude to Hiroki (they do live together, after all) don't endear her to the other students.  When a painting by the art club chairman is defaced, suspicion immediately falls on Ellis.  Later, Hiroki receives a surprise when Kiri Kikyou, a girl he's been dreaming about lately and is now all grown up, arrives at the school...

Canvas 2 - One girl and her endless interrogationCanvas 2 - Passing out

Canvas 2 isn't a bad show by any stretch, but another h-game turned harem anime isn't really what I'm looking for at the moment.  The visual presentation of the show is good, in terms of character designs and animation quality - it would be a little bit ironic if a show with an artistic theme didn't look the part - but, so far at least, there's no real sign that it's going to try and do anything out of the ordinary.

I suppose one break from the usual tradition is the inclusion of a girl who's an obvious shoe-in for Hiroki's affections.  Teacher-pupil relationships seem to be more accepted in anime than in the real world so I suppose pairing Hiroki up with one of his students isn't out of the question, but the appearance of Kiri on the scene, along with her highschool confession to him, gives some fairly strong pointers to where things may go.

I had to laugh at one glaring plothole, though.  There's a lot of emphasis in this episode about Ellis' fear of the colour red, and the reasons behind it.  Shame someone forgot to take into account her bright red pantsu, as featured in the opening scenes, and her mostly-red school uniform.  Not quite as big a phobia as it would seem, huh?

A quick cast round-up for harem fans who have more time in their schedules than I do.  Hiroki Kamikura, as mentioned, is the male lead - a trainee art teacher, who won't draw anything himself for reasons yet to be revealed, but he's happy to teach & critique other people's work.  Ellis Honsen is his blonde cousin who lives with him as her own parents are now dead - she definitely has something of a brother complex.  Hagino Kana is the little redhead that loli-fans will love, young & inquisitive with detailed computer records on everything that goes on around Nadesico Academy.  Takeuchi Mami is the chairwoman of the art club, formal & proper most of the time, although she sees Ellis as a possible artistic rival which could possibly change that.  Hikari Tamaru is the stereotypical shy & quiet type, while Kiri Kikyou - the girl from Hiroki's dreams who confessed her love to him in high school - is the latest member of staff at the Academy and the obvious choice for future love interest.

Personally, I won't be sticking with Canvas 2, but it's more due to lack of time than lack of interest.  Diehard harem / slice-of-life fans may well find enough here to keep them interested for longer, though.