In the final in this gushy, over-the-top (according to your e-mails), Kanon worship series, Shipon scoops the entire universe with fresh screencaps from today’s release of the Kanon Prelude DVD.

Gamer’s opened at 10.30am. At 10.37 I was there at the register with the hot little disc in my hand. I’ve been looking forward to this since it was announced and I saw that crappy little WMV trailer that was on the official TBS site. And now it’s here.

Kyoto Animation are behind the brilliant animation in such fan favourites as Fullmetal Panic Fumoffu, Air and most recently Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu and as such the announcement that they would tackle Kanon was quite momentous. Kanon’s story (as in the original game) is already recognised as being extremely complex and well-written and the combination of such a story with the high-quality and innovative animation of KyoAni is expected to provide an exceptional viewing experience.

Kanon Prelude

One of the major changes in this series is that in the Toei Animation version of Kanon, the series was only 13 episodes long. KyoAni have almost doubled this, and are producing a full-length 24 episode series with the original seiyuu from the game/first anime series. In this respect it’s less of a remake than a re-version.

The DVD is priced at an affordable ¥1980 and contains a 32p booklet of designs similar to that of the book in the Kanon Premier Pack. It also includes a bundle of Winter calender cards starting in October. The DVD itself contains an opening, ending, 4 promotional clips and and extended interview with the Character Designer Ikeda Kazumi (who was responsible for some of the work in Air & Fullmetal Panic Fumoffu).

The screencaps below hardly do the animation justice. The compositing & 3D lighting effects are first rate. The snow (which was relatively flat in the first series) has been brought to life by the use of CG lighting techniques and the mimicry of the physical optical effects of shooting in the real world with proper lenses, etc (as seen in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu) in details such as perspective, depth of field, etc is unbelievably accurate. Not to mention that the cityscapes and forest scenes in late afternoon are incredibly accurate to frozen Northern Japan (I can vouch – I have the heating bills to prove it).

The other welcome addition is the use of the original game’s OP/ED themes. The Toei animation version used two original songs composed specifically for the series, but the memory of playing the game and the emotional investment in the characters stories somehow seems tied more to the music from the game. Or maybe I’m a fanboy sucker – perhaps a little bit of both. ^_^;

Unfortunately, I don’t have BS-i (TBS’ digital satellite service) but now I’m pricing it the cost of getting a dish bolted to my balcony.

Shipon spends his time in Tohoku figuring out how to lure Horie Yui to his apartment with Taiyaki.