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Kanon: Mai and Sayuri Analysis


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Well it's finally done. In side the spoiler contains a literary analysis of Mai Kawasumi and Sayuri Kurata from the visual novel and anime Kanon. I explore the complexities of their friendship through analyzing them as individuals. I don't want to say any thing more because of spoilers. Speaking of spoilers, if you have not watched the Kanon 2006 anime, or read Mai and Sayuri's routes in the Kanon Visual Novel then you have been warned. However, if you read Mai's route without reading Sayuri's, I personally wouldn't stray away from this paper as Sayuri's route is only around an extra 30 min - 60 min of original text. So I don't think you would be spoiling yourself from much, but in the end it's your choice. This paper does not spoil any other character routes.  

 

A few notes about how I incorporated quotes

 

1) Non-Directional Translations created the English patch for the Kanon visual novel, so my quotes are of their translation. 

 

2) After I finish a quote I cite the character's route by writing their name, and then I include the in-game day that it was said. For example: if Mai said "I like Usagi-san", and the in-game day was January 15th. I would write it like this: Mai said, "I like Usagi-san"(Mai, Jan 15). This is significant because... (It's not).

 

Kanon was first released in 1999 and was the first visual novel produced by KEY. At its core Kanon is a crying game (nakige); which for those that don’t know is a subgenre in visual novels that aims to evoke emotional twists from the reader. Kanon succeeds in this regard, however what really impresses me with Kanon is not how well it managed to evoke emotions from me, but rather the literary depth and complexity of its characters. In particular the friendship between Mai and Sayuri has both confused and intrigued me since I first experienced the story years ago.

 

maiandsayurieatinglunch.jpg

 

Mai Kawasumi and Sayuri Kurata are an inseparable pair that can usually be found eating lunch near the entrance to the school roof. Although they are close friends their personalities could not be more distinct from one another. Sayuri is social, well mannered, and kind; whereas Mai is cold, distant, and silent. These contrasting personalities are immediately established simply through how the two girls are first introduced to the main protagonist Yuuichi. Yuuichi first meets Mai after retrieving a notebook he forgot at school late in the evening. When preparing to return home he is shocked to find a girl holding a sword in the middle of the ominous hallway. After inquiring her several times she finally responds “…I am a hunter of evil spirits”(Mai, Jan 11), and says nothing more. The next day during lunch Yuuichi catches Mai in the hallway and asks her what she meant by demon hunting. It is then that Sayuri appears and interrupts their conversation. Upon being intrigued to see somebody actually attempt conversation with her usually silent friend, Sayuri invites Yuuichi to have lunch with them. Yuuichi soon mentally notes of Sayuri, “What a girl. Quite Mai’s opposite”(Mai, Jan 12). This observation of Yuuichi’s raises two questions. Why are these girls such good friends, and do they share any similarities with each other?

 

Regarding the latter question, one very apparent similarity the two girls share is that they both possess an odd and distinct manner of communicating with other people. Mai generally resorts to very basic communications (such as yes and no), and even then often prefers to remain silent. This contrasts but also compares quite nicely with Sayuri’s habit of referring to herself in the third person. Although silence is very different from self-reference in third person, the origins of how both these quirks developed does point at deeper similarities between the two girls.

 

Behind her ever-cheerful smile and charming laugh, Sayuri is in actuality quite a broken person, (arguably even more so then Mai). Sayuri lost her younger brother Kazuya when they were both still young. It was his death coupled with her disappointment with herself as an older sister that caused, and continues to cause her so much grief. Since her parents where often busy with work, Sayuri was the one who often acted as a parent for Kazuya. Her father instructed her to avoid spoiling him and to discipline him whenever necessary. Sayuri took those instructions to heart and often appeared uncompassionate towards her brother despite her concealed desire to soften up on him. When Kazuya entered kindergarten his poor health coupled with his muteness prevented him from making any friends. As his condition worsened Sayuri continued to act as a disciplinary until his illness got to the point where his survival was unlikely, it was then that she gave into her desire to spoil him and bought him all the toys and sweets he desired. As she presented her gifts to Kazuya she looked at him and “saw such an innocent happiness in his smile. As if he was silently saying… ‘This is fun, isn’t it?’ At that moment, we were brother and sister. It was the first time we had ever played together. It was also the last time” (Sayuri, Jan 26th). Kazuya’s death left a permanent scar in Sayuri’s heart that simply wouldn’t heal. What hit Sayuri so tremendously hard about his death was that it was only in her last moments with him that she realized how she always should have treated Kazuya. It was seeing his happy face for the first time only hours before his death that resulted in a void of regret. Had Kazuya not smiled in those last moments, Sayuri probably would have gotten over his passing. It’s his smile that brings her pain, because it’s his smile that reminds her how counter-productive and wrong she was to have hid her affection for so long.

 

MaiandSayurianalysis11.png

 

The grief from Kazuya’s passing evolved into depression and self-loathing, to the point where Sayuri could no longer stand to be herself. Instead she could only view herself the same way she saw everybody else, as a third party observer; thus developing her habit of speaking in third person. It is in her self-loathing, and how she expresses it through her style of communicating that we can start drawing similarities between her and Mai.

 

Mai’s silence represents her inability to trust others. But even more so, her inability to trust others is intrinsically tied to her inability to even like herself. As everybody who has watched or read Kanon already knows, the demons Mai fights are physical manifestations of her own powers. Mai’s insistence on fighting the demons is a representation of how she rejects her own self. Or as Yuuichi put it when he was introspectively thinking to himself, it is an example of how “Mai had been denying her own life”(Mai, Jan 30th). The backstory behind how Mai came to hate her powers had to do with her distrust of other people, as well as the fact that she once even accepted her powers.

 

When Mai’s powers were first discovered after they healed her mother from a terminal illness, Mai’s relationships and capability to connect with other people forever changed. Her aunt decided to exploit her abilities by selling her out to television, and from there everybody started to treat her differently, as though she weren’t human. Her community out casted her, and even when she and her mother fled to the town that the events of Kanon take place in, she was still recognized and couldn’t make friends. (Her powers became a sort of scarlet letter). Mai could no longer get along with either new people, or people she once trusted (like her former community), this resulted in her developing a general distrust of all people. Mai’s distrust of people drove her to self-isolation, which is why she began playing in a wheat field where she could avoid other children and be alone; that is until Yuuichi showed up. Yuuichi was spending the summer visiting his cousin’s town. One day while lost, he wandered into the wheat field Mai frequented and met her. He then made it a daily routine to return so he could continue playing with her. Pretty soon Mai started opening up to Yuuichi, and eventually she even showed him her healing abilities that out casted her. After witnessing them Yuuichi still treated Mai the same and encouraged her to accept her powers as a part of herself. Mai, probably ecstatic with joy that she finally found somebody who accepted her, took his advice and later told him, “I… think I’ve come to like this power (…) It’s because you told me to… Yuuichi.”(Mai, Jan 30th). Yuuichi responds by saying that it scares him how much influence his words had on her, but from Mai’s perspective it makes perfect sense. Yuuichi showed Mai that even with her powers she doesn’t have to be alone, that there are people out there who will accept her for who she is and not ostracize her for one aspect about her.

 

Sadly summer break only lasts so long, and when it approached its end Yuuichi had to return back home. Yuuichi departed with Mai, but the next day Mai called him trying to persuade him to come back. Yuuichi told her that he couldn’t as he had to return back to his hometown. As the conversation continued Mai disregarded Yuuichi’s excuses, as though in disbelief. She repeatedly implored for him to come back to the wheat field, insisting that demons were taking it over and that they needed to protect it. Yuuichi assured her of the absurdity of that lie, and told her that he really did have to leave. Mai continued to insist and as though the more she repeated her lie the more she believed it. Before they hung up Mai said, “I’ll wait for you…! Even if I have to fight by myself…!”(Mai, Jan 30). Mai convinced herself that if the demon’s really did show up that Yuuichi would return, she wished for the lie to come true hoping it would put an end to her loneliness.

 

Mai interpreted Yuuichi’s returning home as him running away from her like everybody else. Yuuichi departed with Mai at the worst possible time, after he had learned of her powers. Mai, who is extremely self-conscious of her powers and who is very distrustful of others, seemed to have thought she was getting rejected yet again. In this case however, the psychological shields of skepticism she built up were actually protecting her from the truth. She developed such a strong delusion due to constant rejection that she couldn't even trust the one person who accepted her. She ultimately clung to a self-destructive lie in hopes it would bring her friend back, whereas what it really did was encourage her to embrace her isolation. When Yuuichi left Mai, Mai essentially abandoned herself. She wanted to reject her powers because she concluded that everybody, including Yuuichi left her because of them. As she rejected her powers psychologically, her powers manifested into physical forms as though to remind her that she can’t escape from them even if she denies them. It was then that she started fighting them. Ironically the more she fought and rejected herself, the increasingly self-absorbed she became; to the point where she wouldn't even bother communicating with other people.

 

Maibunnyears.png

 

What connects Mai and Sayuri is an almost subconscious recognition that they are both deeply scarred individuals. As Sayuri told Yuuichi about her initial impression of Mai, “She was the same as me, her mysterious eyes always seemed indifferent”(Sayuri, Jan 27th). What makes their friendship so compatible however, is not simply the similarity in self-rejection that they recognize in each other, but even more importantly are the key differences they share (which resulted from the different circumstances that led to their self-hate). Sayuri is a girl who wants to make those that are out casted and close to her (like Kazuya) happy because she failed to make Kazuya happy for most of his life. Mai is the perfect recipient for Sayuri’s devotion as the reason she isolates herself is because the feelings of constant rejection she faced became too much for her to bear with. So ultimately speaking, we have a girl that desperately wants to make somebody lonely happy, and another girl who desperately wants to be accepted by somebody. The only question this leaves us with, is that if Mai and Sayuri complement each other so well, why is Yuuichi necessary?

 

Yuuichi’s importance rests in the fact that he is the only person who can actually help Mai and Sayuri overcome their sorrows. While Mai and Sayuri do find solace in each other’s company, neither of them can heal the emotional damage of the other. This is why despite being happy when with each other; they still maintain their verbal quirks, which as we already established are symbols of their depression. In Mai’s case, only Yuuichi can help her accept her powers as he was the only person who ever convinced her to like herself. It was Yuuichi leaving that caused Mai to despise her powers, but with him back in her life he can persuade her to accept her powers again. I feel like the explanation for why Mai needs Yuuichi’s help was well established by the end of her route. What is not so apparent though, is why Sayuri needs Yuuichi’s help. If you end up on Sayuri’s route Mai tells Yuuichi, “Please… help Sayuri”(Sayuri, Jan 26th) as though indicating that only he can. You then spend the remaining duration of the mini-route with Sayuri and discover that the reason Sayuri insists on referring to Yuuichi formally (she always adds “San” to his name), is because after Kazuya’s passing she could no longer look at anybody (including herself) in a familiar way. Whereas Mai represents Kazuya to Sayuri, Yuuichi represents everybody else. If Sayuri strictly only stays friends with Mai, she would never get over Kazuya, but if Sayuri can accept Yuuichi in the same way she accepted Mai, it would be possible for her to live life again. Sayuri looks at herself objectively like how she looks at everybody else. If Sayuri can learn to look at other people in a more personal and less objective manner, she will be able to do the same to herself.

 

MaiandSayurianalysis15.png

 

Before I conclude this paper I would like to address a point I made earlier but couldn’t answer then. Near the beginning right before I started talking about Sayuri, I mentioned in brackets that Sayuri is arguably a more broken person than Mai. I would articulate this on my own, however of all things a YouTube comment summed it up best, “After bitterly regretting keeping her brother so distant, and finally confessing her true feelings, she tried to stay with him forever. Part of sayuri will always be with her brother, and what is left of her tries to exist in a world without him…………sayuri is suffering with a smile”(credit goes to mywhipperin1 from the comments section in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URP7rVBQq5s). I feel this explanation nails the reason why Sayuri is the saddest of all the characters. Even at the very end of her route, Sayuri still has Kazuya at the forefront of her mind. In fact the last image you see in Sayuri’s route before it breaks into the credits is this:

Maiandsayurianalysis5.png

 

Ultimately it is left up to the reader to decide whether Sayuri will continue “suffering with a smile”, or if she will find happiness for herself with both Yuuichi and Mai.

 

What makes Kanon such a prime example of good writing in the visual novel medium is its ability to construct complex characters like Mai and Sayuri through the subtlety of their developments. Kanon’s purpose was to evoke emotions from the player, but in the end just doing that would leave it as a merely good, or sub-par visual novel depending on how harsh of a critic you are. What makes it great, and the reason it still stands the tests of time is its replay value. Emotions pack a punch, but eventually the pain of a punch is forgotten, but the effect of being intellectually stimulated is not forgotten. Kanon is a masterpiece because it does both. It emotionally punches you, but even after you know what happens and are immune to the emotional effects, you can still find value in re-reading the story. This does not just apply to Mai and Sayuri, but to the whole cast of characters. Every character in Kanon is complicated, and it is their complexity that makes them feel like real people.

 

(I hope you got something out of reading this paper as I did writing it. Whether it is motivation to re-read Kanon, or to think about the characters in ways you didn't consider before).

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The paragraphs are too long, and the introduction (which kind of takes up at least half of it all...) a bit too meandering given that the piece is intended for people who have already read Mai's route. The analysis is nice though. Not sure if all Kanon characters/heroines have quite the depth you're ascribing to them at the end (feel free to prove me wrong.)

 

Also you write Yuichi when it really should be Yuuichi or Yūichi. It bothers me.

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The paragraphs are too long, and the introduction (which kind of takes up at least half of it all...) a bit too meandering given that the piece is intended for people who have already read Mai's route. The analysis is nice though. 

 

Thanks for the feedback it's much appreciated. I myself was quite confused with how to include summary and analysis. On the one hand I learned all my life that when you write an interpretive paper you should write it in such a way where even somebody who has not read the work should be able to follow along. I also feel that some people who read Mai's route years ago might be a bit iffy with the details, which are absolutely necessary in order to understand my points. On the other hand I agree with you that for somebody who knows Mai's routes well the summary is quite annoying. In an earlier draft I basically included one large paragraph of pure summary (for those that might appreciate it), and then another large paragraph after it that was pure analysis. In the end I decided to interweave summary and analysis where I could, as it ultimately felt a bit more smooth that way. I tried to cut back as much as I could with summary but Mai's back story is rather convoluted, and the details of it all are crucial. I'm glad to hear you like my analysis though. Everybody can improve their writing, but so long as my interpretations were well presented then I did my job. :)

 

Not sure if all Kanon characters/heroines have quite the depth you're ascribing to them at the end (feel free to prove me wrong.)

 

That's a whole another paper buddy. :P I'm totally not prepared to write such a paper anytime soon, (I'll have to reread each route again). But simply put, no character is as simple as they appear. Each character's quirk does more then provide comedic effect, but they tend to subtly hint at deeper issues with the character.

For example Shiori never showed her fear of death and always acted upbeat and witty, acting this way was mental escapism for her. Which is why after she is cured she finally cries all her repressed tears. Nayuki sleeps way too much. Sleeping all the time is one of many symptoms of depression. Nayuki is depressed at how Yuuichi always forgets about her, and abandoned her 7 years ago.

  

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Also you write Yuichi when it really should be Yuuichi or Yūichi. It bothers me.

 

Sorry for the double post. As far as I can tell "Yuichi" and "Yuuichi" are both commonly used spellings. I searched across the web, and I found both spellings commonly used. I personally think that "Yuichi" looks prettier in English than "Yuuichi". Also the wiki page of Kanon uses "Yuichi". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanon.

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Sorry for the double post. As far as I can tell "Yuichi" and "Yuuichi" are both commonly used spellings. I searched across the web, and I found both spellings commonly used. I personally think that "Yuichi" looks prettier in English than "Yuuichi". Also the wiki page of Kanon uses "Yuichi". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanon.

'Yuichi' is incorrect. If you go to the Wikipedia section on him specifically, you'll see it correctly written (祐一 - Yūichi). The rest of the article was not written that way, probably because writing Yūichi is inconvenient on most western keyboards.

The biggest reason 'Yuichi' is wrong is because the correct pronunciation of 祐一 has four syllables - Yu-u-i-chi. In English, there is no inherent way to make 'Yuichi' take on the correct four syllables.

'Yuichi' is a name - it's just a different name than 'Yuuichi'.

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'Yuichi' is incorrect. If you go to the Wikipedia section on him specifically, you'll see it correctly written (祐一 - Yūichi). The rest of the article was not written that way, probably because writing Yūichi is inconvenient on most western keyboards.

The biggest reason 'Yuichi' is wrong is because the correct pronunciation of 祐一 has four syllables - Yu-u-i-chi. In English, there is no inherent way to make 'Yuichi' take on the correct four syllables.

'Yuichi' is a name - it's just a different name than 'Yuuichi'.

 

from what i can tell the vn translation patch used "Yuuichi". 

 

Both of you raise fair points, I've already edited and fixed the error. I'm sorry that I was a bit stubborn about editing it. I was certain that his given name in the translation was "Yuichi" until I remembered that upon first getting this VN I changed the name to my last name. But after I applied the voice patch the novelty was ruined so I changed the name back. I must have missed the extra "u" when I changed the name back. (It's been "Yuichi" in my copy of Kanon for years lol). 

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Very interesting, I'd never thought anywhere near this deeply about it.

If you ever do write more about the other characters, don't forget to post here!

BTW it's "summary" not "summery". ;)

 

Thank you. :) Also I corrected "summery" to "summary", thanks for pointing that out. I feel so embarrassed at all these silly spelling errors of mine. Maybe I should get more sleep...

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  • 1 year later...

I've been rewatching Kanon again, although this time in Japanese without subtitles to practice my listening comprehension. In any case, I discovered a few things that are relevant to my article.

 So in episode 15 of the 2006 anime, at around 3:02 it shows an infection growing on Mai's leg as she progresses in killing the demons. Further symbolizing that not only is she rejecting herself by fighting her powers, but actually killing herself by doing so. Given Mai's suicidal tendencies this makes a lot of sense. Also, I noticed that there are actually multiple scenes of Sayuri covering her wrist. I was already aware of one scene in which she does this, but it happens at least one or two times more if you pay attention. 

Anyway, this seemed like a relevant enough reason to bump this thread. This has been buried in the archives of VN talk for quite a while now. So I hope some newer members enjoy reading my thoughts.

 

 

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  • 6 months later...
On 7/30/2014 at 2:15 PM, Zalor said:

Well it's finally done. In side the spoiler contains a literary analysis of Mai Kawasumi and Sayuri Kurata from the visual novel and anime Kanon. I explore the complexities of their friendship through analyzing them as individuals. I don't want to say any thing more because of spoilers. Speaking of spoilers, if you have not watched the Kanon 2006 anime, or read Mai and Sayuri's routes in the Kanon Visual Novel then you have been warned. However, if you read Mai's route without reading Sayuri's, I personally wouldn't stray away from this paper as Sayuri's route is only around an extra 30 min - 60 min of original text. So I don't think you would be spoiling yourself from much, but in the end it's your choice. This paper does not spoil any other character routes.  

 

A few notes about how I incorporated quotes

 

1) Non-Directional Translations created the English patch for the Kanon visual novel, so my quotes are of their translation. 

 

2) After I finish a quote I cite the character's route by writing their name, and then I include the in-game day that it was said. For example: if Mai said "I like Usagi-san", and the in-game day was January 15th. I would write it like this: Mai said, "I like Usagi-san"(Mai, Jan 15). This is significant because... (It's not).

 

 

 

Hidden Content

 

Before I begin, I like to first take a moment in offering my apologies in taking a long time to give you a response.  I know it was in my analysis that you posted your thoughts but, I thought it would be more appropriate tell you my thoughts here on Sayuri x Mai dynamic first.  Furthermore, the reason why I took so long to respond was that I really was mentally exhausted from writing back to back Analysis and review of Kanon (It was well over 8k words and probably 20 pages worth of material) that I needed a small break away from Kanon to decompress.  With that said, here's my input.
 
  First off, I enjoyed reading your analysis but I felt it was almost retelling ad verbatim of what Kanon says about their characters.  There was very small original content of your own thoughts and research to supplement the material and it felt weak at parts because of this.  To put it another way, I felt like I was reading Mai's route again but having you tell me what the book says as opposed to Yuuichi saying it via dialogue or inner monologue.  I think the analysis could, in this case,  definitively use more analogies, comparisons, and insight to be of interest to those that already read the route.  As it is, the analysis feels like it would be better suited to telling readers that never intend to read Kanon why you like them so much.  I hope though that you see this more as constructive criticisms than an attack on the analysis itself.
 
  Second,  I agree with 95 percent of what you said in your analysis. I would have to disagree though on some of the dynamic points on Sayuri though.  For example, I believe that Sayuri not to be so tragic as you make her out to be (though she's pretty tragic no doubt) and that I have a different take on their relationship.  The way I see it, Sayuri's precious person is Mai but,  Mai sees her as a best friend though, to be fair, Sayuri uses the same terminology for Mai.  In this case, Sayuri is already on the road to moving away from her brother's death by a step but it's Mai that stays as she has been.  Though they have a close bond, Mai didn't offer to tell her about her power.  Sayuri, on the other hand, told her about the attempted Suicide she had. 
 
  Furthermore, Sayuri says in Kanon in the defense of Mai to the student council, when she broke the school window,  that despite only knowing Mai for a short time, she knew that Mai to be important to her.  Sayuri may say she looks at things objectively and lives her life of a detached third party but, she's still plenty capable of feeling.  I say in this case that Sayuri here proves that she can love again but it only really works when both parties are involved. I feel Mai drops the ball here a bit with Sayuri because of this and, that's why they need Yuuichi's help.  
 
  Going on to discussing Mai, I feel you're right about that she's happy that Sayuri accepts her and that's why their best friends.  The problem here though is that Mai doesn't set apart Sayuri way she does the boy in her memory.  I don't fault her either for that as her miraculous power, in her eyes, lied about someone being there that would accept that power.  Being that even a child that her power, that's so special because it saved her mother's life, said surely would accept her would reject her in the end, there would be zero chance, to Mai, that anyone else could accept that about her.  Not even her Best friend Sayuri and yet, Sayuri was able to believe this to be about Mai.  On the flipside of this, the child in Mai's memory is the person she sets apart most because he represented her hopes being crushed and there's no way Sayuri in their normal livelihood will replace that relationship.
 
   Moving on, Sayuri's route I feel to be bittersweet but not tragic as you implied it to be.  To quote her, "I really wanted to make her happy.  That was what would make me happy. I realized this by the warm feeling that spread throughout my body.  A person can make themselves happy, by making others happy. I've spent three years together with her, living in happiness.  Being a bad sister to Kazuya taught me a very important lesson.  When we give each other happiness, we all can be happy.  So do your best to become happy.  (Sayuri) That's my goal in my life."  There's nothing wrong in having shame or regrets about your decision but, its only when you forsake that you path that's been set on that becomes the problem.  I imagine that in my viewing of what Sayuri says in her route that, I'm an optimist at heart and that the words she says sound sure of someone that found their path to the miracle they seek.  In Sayuri's case, it's moving on and making Kazuya proud.  This doesn't sound like a tragic character to me as a person that carrying on past their tragedy. [Edit:  Izumi Akazawa from Another, now that's a tragic character.]
 
  To further quote Sayuri: "This is Happiness.  Being with Mai and Yuuichi-san together. All of us eating and talking together.  Isn't this… what I always wanted?  The happiness I've searched for all this time."  These are her literal last words of her route and they don't sound melancholic nor does the voice actress in this scene.  I feel in this case that the last CG you see is a lot like that of Makoto at the end of her route with piro. For Makoto, It's either that she came back alive via another miracle or that its symbolizing a happy thought.  I get the feeling in this case that Sayuri and Key are imaging a happy story in much the same way Shiori talks about, "Humans made fiction so they can see a happy ending."  I'm paraphrasing that by the way lol but the message is practically the same.  My argument here though is that it's not Sayuri not clinging to the past but imaging a happy what could have been.
 
  I suppose my overall point about Sayuri is that I feel you're selling the mini development a little short of the catharsis she experienced.  She's found happiness and an stable path in maintaining it.  That's why I don't feel she's a tragic character as a person to look up to.  I also feel that it wasn't a lack of trying on Sayuri's part to save Mai as she been defending her all three years at school.  Mai just needed another push and Yuuichi provides that.  One could also argue that it would have been impossible for Yuuichi to help had it not been for Sayuri presence.  Remember, she's the one that offers him to  have lunch with them and provides Yuuichi opportunities to get closer to Mai.  On a side note, I will say however that Sayuri's backstory is more tragic than Mai's and maybe par with Shiori and Ayu's.  
 
  Other than that, I feel Mai is a prime example of, "It takes pain to know Kindness."  That's why I feel Sayuri to have been attracted to Mai when she was letting the dog bite her hand.  It's not because Mai's in pain from being bit but because Mai is emphasizing with the dog's hunger.  Knowing that he's only on edge because he's hungry, Mai lets him take his frustrations in a controlled manner of letting him bite her hand; as opposed to rampantily attacking everything he sees.  Sayuri, despite being depressed, is able to pick up on how really nice and kind Mai really is even though she does it in a manner that isn't the norm.  The kindness here, by the way, that Sayuri always wished she could have showered on Kazuya.  It goes to show that even in the middle of her destruction, Mai still treats the world the way she wishes to be treated and that's speaks wonders for her character's complexity. 
 
Overall though, this is what I would supplement and incorporate had I been the one to write their character dynamic analysis.  I feel still your writing here is still the bible for explaining their relationship though.  I may also feel that I maybe too opinionated on see Sayuri in a positive light but then again, I could title my analysis "A Rebuttal:  The Light that is Sayuri at the End of the Tunnel" and have it be legitimized as an analysis that way lol.  In the end regardless, it was wonderful to discuss Kanon with you.
 
Afterwords:  I felt that I should have gone more into my thoughts on Mai side of things but I would just be retreading my review and miracle analysis.  If I was to write my own version of their character dynamic, I would definitively would have included it but as it is, I don't feel the need to as you read them.  I just wonder still if it’s the right call though.  But even if it is or isn't, this response took like a hour to make and I'm quite satisfied with the way it came out.   I'll judge the need to see about writing about Mai from your response. Other than that, I still plan to respond to your post on my thread.  Look forward to that.

 

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2 hours ago, Yoyo said:

Before I begin, I like to first take a moment in offering my apologies in taking a long time to give you a response.  I know it was in my analysis that you posted your thoughts but, I thought it would be more appropriate tell you my thoughts here on Sayuri x Mai dynamic first.  Furthermore, the reason why I took so long to respond was that I really was mentally exhausted from writing back to back Analysis and review of Kanon (It was well over 8k words and probably 20 pages worth of material) that I needed a small break away from Kanon to decompress.  With that said, here's my input.
 
  First off, I enjoyed reading your analysis but I felt it was almost retelling ad verbatim of what Kanon says about their characters.  There was very small original content of your own thoughts and research to supplement the material and it felt weak at parts because of this.  To put it another way, I felt like I was reading Mai's route again but having you tell me what the book says as opposed to Yuuichi saying it via dialogue or inner monologue.  I think the analysis could, in this case,  definitively use more analogies, comparisons, and insight to be of interest to those that already read the route.  As it is, the analysis feels like it would be better suited to telling readers that never intend to read Kanon why you like them so much.  I hope though that you see this more as constructive criticisms than an attack on the analysis itself.
 
*Snip*

 

Hey man, don't worry about responding a bit late. Especially with me, as I am no longer as active as I used to be. 

Also, your criticisms about a lot of the article having too much summery is completely justified. At the time I wrote this, I wanted people who had not read Kanon (but didn't care about spoilers) to be able to understand it. So I included a lot more summery then I should have. Also, I wanted people who hadn't obsessed over Kanon as much as I had, to remember the key points that I would be referencing. In any case, this was my first serious analysis of a VN, and I my over inclusion of summery was admittedly a key fault. 

Regarding the rest of what you said, particularly about Sayuri. I see how you could see her ending as happy, especially with her last words. But I think what makes the ending particularly complex, is that the final CG does contradict a happy ending. She claims to be looking forward to the future. But we see no proof of this. She still refers to Yuuichi formally (if I remember correctly), and her last thought, is of remembering her brother. Thus showing that while she claims to be looking towards the future, in reality she is still hindered by her past too much.

Another crucial point, is that Sayuri can not be happy with only Mai, or only Yuuichi. She requires the two of them. And this seems to be true of Mai as well. In both of their respective endings, all three of them end up together. Mai and Sayuri have an inseparable relationship, but they are incapable of giving each other true happiness. Yuuichi is needed for them to all finally be happy. But unlike Sayuri's ending, Mai's is very clear that she has found her path to happiness. While Sayuri's route contradicts her well meaning words with the final CG. 

This is all I have to say for now. Unfortunately it has been a while since I have last been able to seriously close read Kanon. But I'm glad to have run into you. You are probably the only other person I have met who loves Kanon to the same degree I used to. And at this current state in time, you have probably surpassed me. As over this past year, I have lost a lot of the enthusiasm I used to have with VNs. But it will remain a story that is close to my heart, and it is really nice to know that there is somebody else out there that loves it enough to write thousands of words about it. :D For the longest time I used to be alone in this obsession with Kanon. I honestly do feel that it is the strongest work by KEY (even better than Clannad in my view).  

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17 hours ago, Zalor said:

Hey man, don't worry about responding a bit late. Especially with me, as I am no longer as active as I used to be. 

Also, your criticisms about a lot of the article having too much summery is completely justified. At the time I wrote this, I wanted people who had not read Kanon (but didn't care about spoilers) to be able to understand it. So I included a lot more summery then I should have. Also, I wanted people who hadn't obsessed over Kanon as much as I had, to remember the key points that I would be referencing. In any case, this was my first serious analysis of a VN, and I my over inclusion of summery was admittedly a key fault. 

Regarding the rest of what you said, particularly about Sayuri. I see how you could see her ending as happy, especially with her last words. But I think what makes the ending particularly complex, is that the final CG does contradict a happy ending. She claims to be looking forward to the future. But we see no proof of this. She still refers to Yuuichi formally (if I remember correctly), and her last thought, is of remembering her brother. Thus showing that while she claims to be looking towards the future, in reality she is still hindered by her past too much.

Another crucial point, is that Sayuri can not be happy with only Mai, or only Yuuichi. She requires the two of them. And this seems to be true of Mai as well. In both of their respective endings, all three of them end up together. Mai and Sayuri have an inseparable relationship, but they are incapable of giving each other true happiness. Yuuichi is needed for them to all finally be happy. But unlike Sayuri's ending, Mai's is very clear that she has found her path to happiness. While Sayuri's route contradicts her well meaning words with the final CG. 

This is all I have to say for now. Unfortunately it has been a while since I have last been able to seriously close read Kanon. But I'm glad to have run into you. You are probably the only other person I have met who loves Kanon to the same degree I used to. And at this current state in time, you have probably surpassed me. As over this past year, I have lost a lot of the enthusiasm I used to have with VNs. But it will remain a story that is close to my heart, and it is really nice to know that there is somebody else out there that loves it enough to write thousands of words about it. :D For the longest time I used to be alone in this obsession with Kanon. I honestly do feel that it is the strongest work by KEY (even better than Clannad in my view).  

  Right after Sayuri says "This is my goal," she continues to explain to Yuuichi, "Sayuri has still a long way to go.  Sayuri will do her best.  So please, wait a little longer."  I feel this provides ample evidence that she's acknowledging there is a problem and is reassuring Yuuichi who asked, "I can't replace Kazuya but, can you at least treat me the same?" Where I can see why you point out Sayuri is clinging to the past, there's evidence here that shows that, despite the three years she had with Mai, she's only barely still getting started.  Of course it would seem like she's not letting go because of this but in her defense, most of us don't in real life, and the best we can hope for is coming to terms with our sad moments like Sayuri does in Kanon. 
 
  Moving on, Yuuichi's immediate thoughts upon hearing Sayuri words are: "I couldn't say anything.  I couldn't even blurt out an apology.  I felted ashamed for not understanding it earlier.  Maybe it's something Mai doesn't even know.  Those unspoken words." As a first party observer witnessing Sayuri's story, he provides primary commentary within Kanon on how insensitive and thoughtless it was asking Sayuri to treat him the same as Kazuya.  I take this as an indirect way of Kanon telling readers that Yuuichi's been under estimating how far Sayuri has come and how hard she works knowing she can't live that way forever.  I feel that it would be unwise to ignore this subtext in determining her ending as it's evidence of coming to terms with Kazuya.
 
  Furthermore, Sayuri follows up to Yuuichi thoughts and says, "Someday, I'll use those words.  Though, Sayuri doesn't even know when that will be.  But someday, surely…. (She then says here to imitate a greeting) Morning, Yuuichi-kun. Like that."  Though she admits that doesn’t feel comfortable yet to dropping the politeness with Yuucihi, she provides the proof of concept of when such a day will come.  Yuuichi, in her eyes, is very close in crossing over the threshold of being familiar with Sayuri and she is telling him here that it’s a definite possibility she will start calling him the way she does Mai.  Yuuichi response here after that is a simple, "Don't worry, I'm in no hurry.  Just take your time."

 

 With all this in mind, I actually have to disagree with you that the ending CG is contradictory to a happy end.  The subtext in the previous conversations provide a strong reasoning why we shouldn't look at it melancholically.  Furthermore, the literally last words of Sayuri, "Isn't this… what I always wanted?   The happiness I've been searching all this time," I feel is ample evidence that the CG is a happy one.  If we're literally following her line of thought, she's thinking that all she ever wanted to do with Kazuya, she's obtain with Mai and Yuuichi. This is a line of interpretation that's powered by the subtext of how she emerged, with the knowledge of how to be happy, from her depression, by becoming best friends with Mai, and the current every day happiness she's experiencing.   
 
  To look at it another way, I definitively think that Sayuri is thinking about her brother.  THE MAJOR difference however is that she's thinking of him in a happy manner.  The thoughts of him there no longer pains her and she can think back on him now, after becoming friends with Mai and Yuuichi, cheerfully.  Just because Sayuri still has feelings for him and remembers him, it doesn't mean that its cruel fate that shackles her to the past.  If anything, I think it's giving her strength now to continue happily forward much as for his sake as her own.  
 
  Other than that, I don't see too much significance that Sayuri's happiness is tied to Mai and Yuuichi.  I feel what's more important is that her miracle of happiness is achieved through them.  She saves herself through them and that's what is crucial about her ending.  Furthermore, there is the fact the Sayuri is a supporting actress to Mai's story and Yuuichi, in being a decent human being, can't ignore Mai for Sayuri as he'll have to turn a blind eye to the night fighting at school.  In this case, it's literally, "Love unlike justice, which cannot lose, DOESN'T have to WIN."  A Yuuichi that chases a love that involves Sayuri could only end badly for Mai.  I imagine Sayuri wouldn't do that to Mai like she says at the end of Mai's route. [Edit:  It’s a lot like the case of Toradora where Mai's voice actress Tamura plays the character Minori.  Minori has obvious feelings for Ryuji but sees her best friend Taiga loving him just as much, if not more, and decides to let Taiga have him as she needs his company more than her.  I feel its likewise in this case for Sayuri.] 
 
  To further clarify, Sayuri is plenty happy as she is and I don't see that as a tragedy.  She doesn't need Yuuichi the way Mai does nor does her rasion d' tere for living revolve around being accepted like Mai.  Sayuri's miracle here is that she actually does find people she can make happy and therefore bring herself to be happy too.  In summary, Sayuri has been longed saved way before Mai was in my opinion. It's just that her tragic past still clings closely to her and still has its influence.  Just not enough though, to me, to justify saying that Sayuri isn't happy or doomed because to it.  On a side note, I suppose she can be less self-deprecating to better signify better the happiness she is living in.
 
  Overall, this is why I think Sayuri isn't a tragic character nor is her ending.  I just wonder if my line of reasoning and evidence is compelling enough evidence to convince you.  I'll admit though to having feelings, in trying to prove my own analysis, that I'm selling short the misery Sayuri did experience.  But, I think Sayuri's route is complex enough, despite the 30 minute playtime, to intellectually dwell on whether if she is or not happy at the end of Kanon.  I'm just on the opinion she is.
 
  Now ignoring the talk of analysis for a bit, I can understand the feelings of not being enthusiastic for visual novels like you used to.  I took like a year and a half to finish the last VN before Kanon for me to finish.  For me, I get restless siting in one place and visual novels I feel are a very passive hobby that doesn't distract me from those anxious feelings.  That's why I took a long break as I just sick of using my free time looking at a computer screen despite enjoying the stories very much so.  
 
  In the case of Kanon,  I felt I was driven to have a primary experience of the story after watching the anime.  Every step of the way though it felt like a tedious chore and a homework I gave myself.  In other words, I really didn't enjoy my time with Kanon lmao despite more than 8k words I dedicated to the story.  I have my OCD about following a creators work chronologically and being a completionist about finishing what I started to thank..  
 
  As for all my posts, I decided to write everything I did so that in my discussions with everyone, I can sort all my feelings on the matter Kanon lest I want to start reading from page one again.   I rather have fun in showing someone else my interpretations  and learning something new from another person view point than go over the same boring material.  I say boring in this case as I read the book so much that I'm sick and tire of it lol.
 
  Overall, yeah I feel you lol and that I'm not very active part of a community either.  I just decided to join Fuwanovel's in hopes that someone here actually read Kanon.  I used to be a big forum goer back in the day however.  That's why I'm so used to writing these big posts as I had ran the debate tournaments, RPG sections, and writing forum.   Sounds like a lot of work, and it was, but I felt I was more satisfied writing and talking  about subjects than actually reading or watching the stuff people brought up in conversation lol.  I suppose this made me a boring conversational partner that could just talk about nothing forever lol.  Anyways, I'm looking forward to your response. 

Afterword: I realized that I forgot to talk about your reasoning about why the Analysis is the way it is.  I don't think the information dump on what occurs in Mai's route is the problem but, its the lack of one 

Afterword: I realized that I forgot to talk about your reasoning about why the Analysis is the way it is.  I don't think the information dump on what occurs in Mai's route is the problem but, its the lack of one to one ratio of your own supplemental insight.  Not to say that you should make everything balance but, I feel it would add more for the primary reader's enjoyment to hear more of your own thoughts than what just Kanon/Yuuichi says about Mai and Sayuri.  That said, it serves as a good refresher and it accomplishes that goal well. 

  Now for some off topic stuff, I have now written more on the discussion of Kanon than I have for my love of Type-moon, Monogatari, and freaking Madoka Magica.  All three of them I own stuff of and seen their animes countless times.  I love them a whole lot more than I did with Kanon, especially Madoka Magica which I think is Flawless, but, I feel Kanon just became one of those stories I worked to love like I did Elfen Lied.  

Now, that's a story I know I liked but wasn't in love with, Elfie Lied that is, but ended up wanting to have a complete understanding of it.  So like with Kanon, I read the whole manga and discussing it at lengths with friends that matched the intensity of my Type-moon and Madoka Magica love. I suppose , in these cases, that both works are like cats  in that it takes effort to love and that's what makes the love more special than what comes naturally. 

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On 6/9/2016 at 4:12 PM, Yoyo said:

With all this in mind, I actually have to disagree with you that the ending CG is contradictory to a happy end.  The subtext in the previous conversations provide a strong reasoning why we shouldn't look at it melancholically.  Furthermore, the literally last words of Sayuri, "Isn't this… what I always wanted?   The happiness I've been searching all this time," I feel is ample evidence that the CG is a happy one.  If we're literally following her line of thought, she's thinking that all she ever wanted to do with Kazuya, she's obtain with Mai and Yuuichi. This is a line of interpretation that's powered by the subtext of how she emerged, with the knowledge of how to be happy, from her depression, by becoming best friends with Mai, and the current every day happiness she's experiencing.   
 
  To look at it another way, I definitively think that Sayuri is thinking about her brother.  THE MAJOR difference however is that she's thinking of him in a happy manner.  The thoughts of him there no longer pains her and she can think back on him now, after becoming friends with Mai and Yuuichi, cheerfully.  Just because Sayuri still has feelings for him and remembers him, it doesn't mean that its cruel fate that shackles her to the past.  If anything, I think it's giving her strength now to continue happily forward much as for his sake as her own.   

Regarding what you said before this (about the conversation that Yuuichi had with Sayuri), I always saw that as cancelled out by the very ending, the CG. Which, as you know I associated with a clinging to her past, and despite trying, not being able to successfully overcome her traumas. But I have to say, you've convinced me. I think you are right, she is thinking about not only Kazuya in a positive manner, but truly has found him in her relationship with Mai and Yuuichi. 

Also, your habit of finding more fun sinking your teeth into the subtitles of a work than the actual process of reading I can very much relate with. I really liked the Kanon 2006 anime, and it was the first anime I watched that got me interested in the mediums of anime, manga, and VNs. In a very real way, I feel that the Kanon changed my direction in life. Through the interest in anime I got from Kanon, I later found an interest in broader (and more traditional) Japanese culture, and from there started learning the language. And the Kanon anime was really the starting point of all that. 

So because the Kanon 2006 anime held such a special place in my heart, I felt obligated to read the VN. So Kanon was my first VN, but too be honest with you... While I think the story of Kanon is very good, I think the anime presents it in a much more interesting and fun way. The VN really is kind of a bore a lot of the time. (And it was actually my second ever VN, Yume Miru Kusuri, that got me hooked on VNs during my teenage years). So I understand you when you said, "I learned to love it", lol.

However, the issue of enjoying analyzing more than the actual reading, is something that I have a lot more for books. I don't enjoy the process of reading actual books so much, but I love thinking about their contents. But for a long time, VNs used to be the only written medium that I actually really enjoyed the process of absorbing. Admittedly, while VNs were the only written medium that I actually ever found fun, only a handful of VNs I found were good enough to achieve this. In fact I can list them for you now, (Swan Song, Symphonic Rain, Narcissu, Yume Miru Kursuri, Sayonara wo Oshiete). I've read a decent amount of VNs, but those were the only ones that I really had a special affinity for. 

Furthermore, I think my loss of enthusiasm for VNs really came when I started college. I like to enjoy VNs by reading them in practically one sitting, all at once. And once I started college, I no longer had time for that. And without the luxury to read a VN all at once anymore, I just gradually lost interest. Another reason I think I lost interest though is because around a year ago I put a ban on myself from reading translated titles. The purpose of this was to improve my literacy of Japanese through a semi-immersive environment. And while good study practice, it felt more like work than fun. During those times I probably spent way more time looking at my electronic dictionaries than the actual VN. Sayonara wo Oshiete was the only untld VN that I truly finished, and that was because the story was so fascinating that I eagerly worked through it with a dictionary to find out what happened next.

As somebody who started out learning Japanese from a literary and perspective, but then later on took actual classes. I recommend at least taking a year of classes before tackling VNs (this advice isn't necessarily geared towards you, just me venting a bit, lol). A lot of people in the VN community promote the idea of "Study Japanese grammar, then read VNs with dictionary assistance". But doing it that method as I started out is painfully slow and honestly dull. By taking at least a year of classes first, you can then read manga, VNs, etc without having to constantly look up the most basic shit. You will still read super slow with a dictionary, but at least it will be more tolerable. Also, by taking classes, you can learn to actually speak the language too. Which is necessary if you actually want to communicate with Japanese people irl. 

Sorry for that little rant. But anyway yeah, having been a part of Fuwa for a while, and also having lurked on other VN sites. I think most VN fans find more fun in the actual reading than in the analyzing, which is why I think there exists relatively few analysis of VNs. And one thing I'm sure that you've learned from this, is that once you are done with writing the analysis, you have read and reread scenes in the VN so much that you become kind of sick of them. For all of the VNs I wrote analysis of, during the process of writing the piece, I would reread scenes over and over again to make sure I knew what I was taking about. Also to find to key quotes. And by the time I finished, I couldn't stand the VN for at least a week. But after a month, my love for the VN completely recharges and I appreciate that I went through the effort of writing my thoughts down.  So I think it is totally worth it, but it is definitely a difficult process.   

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/10/2016 at 11:16 PM, Zalor said:

Regarding what you said before this (about the conversation that Yuuichi had with Sayuri), I always saw that as cancelled out by the very ending, the CG. Which, as you know I associated with a clinging to her past, and despite trying, not being able to successfully overcome her traumas. But I have to say, you've convinced me. I think you are right, she is thinking about not only Kazuya in a positive manner, but truly has found him in her relationship with Mai and Yuuichi. 

Also, your habit of finding more fun sinking your teeth into the subtitles of a work than the actual process of reading I can very much relate with. I really liked the Kanon 2006 anime, and it was the first anime I watched that got me interested in the mediums of anime, manga, and VNs. In a very real way, I feel that the Kanon changed my direction in life. Through the interest in anime I got from Kanon, I later found an interest in broader (and more traditional) Japanese culture, and from there started learning the language. And the Kanon anime was really the starting point of all that. 

So because the Kanon 2006 anime held such a special place in my heart, I felt obligated to read the VN. So Kanon was my first VN, but too be honest with you... While I think the story of Kanon is very good, I think the anime presents it in a much more interesting and fun way. The VN really is kind of a bore a lot of the time. (And it was actually my second ever VN, Yume Miru Kusuri, that got me hooked on VNs during my teenage years). So I understand you when you said, "I learned to love it", lol.

However, the issue of enjoying analyzing more than the actual reading, is something that I have a lot more for books. I don't enjoy the process of reading actual books so much, but I love thinking about their contents. But for a long time, VNs used to be the only written medium that I actually really enjoyed the process of absorbing. Admittedly, while VNs were the only written medium that I actually ever found fun, only a handful of VNs I found were good enough to achieve this. In fact I can list them for you now, (Swan Song, Symphonic Rain, Narcissu, Yume Miru Kursuri, Sayonara wo Oshiete). I've read a decent amount of VNs, but those were the only ones that I really had a special affinity for. 

Furthermore, I think my loss of enthusiasm for VNs really came when I started college. I like to enjoy VNs by reading them in practically one sitting, all at once. And once I started college, I no longer had time for that. And without the luxury to read a VN all at once anymore, I just gradually lost interest. Another reason I think I lost interest though is because around a year ago I put a ban on myself from reading translated titles. The purpose of this was to improve my literacy of Japanese through a semi-immersive environment. And while good study practice, it felt more like work than fun. During those times I probably spent way more time looking at my electronic dictionaries than the actual VN. Sayonara wo Oshiete was the only untld VN that I truly finished, and that was because the story was so fascinating that I eagerly worked through it with a dictionary to find out what happened next.

As somebody who started out learning Japanese from a literary and perspective, but then later on took actual classes. I recommend at least taking a year of classes before tackling VNs (this advice isn't necessarily geared towards you, just me venting a bit, lol). A lot of people in the VN community promote the idea of "Study Japanese grammar, then read VNs with dictionary assistance". But doing it that method as I started out is painfully slow and honestly dull. By taking at least a year of classes first, you can then read manga, VNs, etc without having to constantly look up the most basic shit. You will still read super slow with a dictionary, but at least it will be more tolerable. Also, by taking classes, you can learn to actually speak the language too. Which is necessary if you actually want to communicate with Japanese people irl. 

Sorry for that little rant. But anyway yeah, having been a part of Fuwa for a while, and also having lurked on other VN sites. I think most VN fans find more fun in the actual reading than in the analyzing, which is why I think there exists relatively few analysis of VNs. And one thing I'm sure that you've learned from this, is that once you are done with writing the analysis, you have read and reread scenes in the VN so much that you become kind of sick of them. For all of the VNs I wrote analysis of, during the process of writing the piece, I would reread scenes over and over again to make sure I knew what I was taking about. Also to find to key quotes. And by the time I finished, I couldn't stand the VN for at least a week. But after a month, my love for the VN completely recharges and I appreciate that I went through the effort of writing my thoughts down.  So I think it is totally worth it, but it is definitely a difficult process.   

 

 

I'm going start with a bit of correspondence before I get back to talking about Sayuri and how she relates to my now new experiences with Air.
 
  I want to say that, for me, Kanon was the anime that brought me back into anime as it came at a special time I moved back to my hometown though I'm sure I must have said this earlier elsewhere.  The thing I may have left out, however, I was prior in a japanese culture rejection phase as I was really big into, at the time, western comics and animation.  I'm sure it was fueled by my former home forum apathy towards stuff release here in the west and my futile attempts in convincing them to give them a chance.  Regardless though of that, it was a great many years had I finished an anime in its entirety and despite even then having felt the story was a bit sappy, I really fell in love with it.  I say it was my second anime coming though wouldn't really get big into it maybe a year or two later.  
 
  Moving on, I read only two of the stories (Narcissu and Swan Song) of what you suggested but I'll agree with you there that they are masterpieces.  In Narcissu case, I actually read your analysis of them and I had been quite a long time a fan of yours because of them but it's only now that I can tell you lol.  If anything, I been wanting to either to cross examine your analysis or just write one from scratch from my perspective.  The only problem though as been all my writing efforts been put into Kanon and that my last re-reading of it was last year.  I felt that if there was a time for it, it would had been then when my memories were really fresh.  I just may have to if only to talk about how much I love Himeko, as a person I feel has a significant impact on my own life as someone living and breathing, but it probably has to be after I finished Air.

 

  As for Swan Song, now that's a book so deep that made me lose my faith in humanity aha.  It's the book I would accredit my current sense of wanting to be an ally of justice as to prevent such tragedies.  In all seriousness though, I really love that book but it was so intense that I had to take a massive break for a long time reading dark stuff.  Its only now that I feel enough time has passed that I can reread it this year during the winter.  The reason being, I do want to just reread it but also to see if I got the true end.  I don't think I was such a noob back then not to consult a walkthrough but I heard you had to get a bad end before getting the true end.  I'm curious if the end I got where the MC passes out in the church when the sun starts to show is the true end.   You can tell me if it is or not as it might save me some time in the long run lol.  
 
  Other than that, I have to say I actually place a high enjoyment factor in the reading of visual novels outside the anxious feelings I get sitting still.  I love having a soundscape as it drowns out any lingering mental noise I have and just adds to the immersion factor.  My most real problem however is trying to read more than one visual novel at a time.  It irks me to have a setting clash like a horror story like Higurashi be read after something like Air as it cuts into my immersion factor.  I suppose it’s just me to want to fully concentrate on one thing as to not miss out on the details.    Overall though, I say the vast majority the books that captured my imagination (Like Tsukihime, Steins;Gate, Saya No Uta, One, and even F/S/N despite my mixed feelings) are considered to be popular choices yet, I feel part of the fun in reading them is to connect with the community fan base.  I suppose this in the long run has kept my enjoyment high with visual novels as I'm able to become friends with other fans and in the case of Key works like One and Kanon, I actually immerse myself in playing their doujin fighting game "Eternal Fighter Zero".  It's quite fun really even if I haven't net played but I suppose I'm just a big fighter fan to say.
 
  Moving on, I feel like all the time I spend listening to Japanese music like the Vocaloids and the themse songs to anime along with watching Anime in subs, I definitively could have learned the language and enjoy them even more.  I love the language itself as it sounds distinctive and beautiful to my ears in a way my parents first language, Spanish, doesn't.  Maybe because it's in Spanish that you have to be able to Roll your R's that I gave up trying a long time ago to learn that makes me want to learn Japanese as it doesn't sound like you would do that often.  Even if the case isn't like I imagine it to be, I love it enough to want to learn it so I can enjoy the culture more.  It’s a shame though I can't take classes where I'm at as the local colleges don't offer it as a course.  I maybe instead of watching anime, I should just use the time to look up lessons lol but I digress.
 
  Now to back to discussing Sayuri, that's cool that I was able to convince you.  Where there was not much to Sayuri's indiviual story, I do feel that it was a nice job of Key to give her some time of her own and to give us the reader the answer to why Sayuri wrist was weak after we learned from Mai during the kendo training.  I wonder though, with that in mind, if Key would have maybe thought to do something like that with Kaori as she was the one I wanted to date most lol.   Regardless though, I did certainly feel a connection with Sayuri and I wonder if Key thought they could do something more with Sayuri themselves.
 
  I say this because I been reading Air and Misuzu, I'm guessing the main girl of Air, reminds me of the mannerisms of Sayuri.  I could be just be imagining things as they share the same voice actress and its obvious there will be some overlap.  But still, I feel the way she goes about talking is practically Sayuri if only that she doesn't refer to herself.   Then again, I do see a lot of Nayuki in Misuzu also she shares the same laughing quirks and just acts in a way I imagine a more childish Sayuri would that wasn't plague by losing her younger brother.  Of course, please don't spoil if you know if its defintively is or not the case as I'm only 2 days into the story of Air xD.
 
  Overall though, it's been great having these discussions with you and I feel you've been the only person that has ever really quite kept up with my analysis.   Not in like the comprehension level but being able to intellectually correspond an answer back with your own insight.  I'll be the first to admit though that I have had not joined places, prior to here, that prides itself on intellectual prowess either xD.  Still, I'm glad I was able likewise to made your acquaintance and I hope to hear a response from you soon.

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On 6/11/2016 at 1:32 PM, ittaku said:

It's most unfortunate that the forum software shortens topics to fit on screen and managed to shorten this one to "Kanon: Mai and Sayuri Anal..."

Unintentional click-bait ftw :illya:

35 minutes ago, john 'mr. customer' smith said:

I'm sure there's a doujin like that somewhere

When I was in Taiwan a few weeks ago, I found a Kanon doujin from the year 2000 or 2001. All the other doujins that were explicit had a warning that they were, but this one had a nice innocent looking title picture of the Kanon girls, and no such warning. Well I was deceived. Long story short, can confirm that it exists :komari:

 

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1 hour ago, Yoyo said:

Overall though, it's been great having these discussions with you and I feel you've been the only person that has ever really quite kept up with my analysis.   Not in like the comprehension level but being able to intellectually correspond an answer back with your own insight.  I'll be the first to admit though that I have had not joined places, prior to here, that prides itself on intellectual prowess either xD.  Still, I'm glad I was able likewise to made your acquaintance and I hope to hear a response from you soon.

It's been great talking to you as well. I'm going to respond to you via PM, as there is a lot of non-Kanon related stuff I want to talk to you about. 

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