As we know, Key writes stories that have a period of happiness before making the reader or the watcher tragically crushed with a unpredictable tragic event happen to one of the characters. Don’t get me wrong, I like most of Key’s works like Kanon and Clannad and soon Air, after watching the anime adaptations by Kyoto Animation… but how this compare to other popular Shoujo anime and works? Yet’s find out, shall we?
What makes Key’s stories so special? (and a brief history)
Well, Key’s stories are mostly regarded as masterpieces, first starting with Kanon, a city where it perpetually snow for months and also 5 “sad girls in snow.” It lived up it’s hype that other companies start taking the same formula that Key had put out such as Circus’s Da Capo…. but didn’t do it quite right… The point with Kanon is that instead of sticking tons of adult-oriented scenes like most did in the 90s, it focused more on the story and yes, they did released a clean “All Ages” versions of it and it was also the case with Air too, which focuses even more on the Supernatural.
Later, Clannad was released in 2004, and it was the longest visual novel made by Key without any adult-oriented scenes and it was well received. This led to other non-adult oriented stories to release like Planetrian and Little Busters! (before the release of Ecstasy, which contain adult-oriented content).
What made it more popular is probably the adaptations by Kyoto Animation starting with Air which is a 13 episode series which is completely clean with the whole adaptation of the Dream arc and afterwards the 2 episode special with the Summer arc. The cameos of Nayuki, Ayu, and Makoto in Air episode 2 have made fans call Kyoto Animation to do a remake of Kanon, which turned out to be a masterpiece compared to the previous and forgotten adaptation by Toei Animation. Next, they done Clannad and Clannad ~After Story~ so far did a very good job. The point is that the Anime tells the bulk of the story which many people can enjoy without playing 30 hours or more of the visual novel… but how this compare to other popular Shoujo anime that focuses on the same thing?
How this compare to other Shoujo anime?
Most of Shoujo anime mainly focuses on romance… the most popular is Fruit Baskets which involves Tohru Honda, a girl who is homeless after her mother died in a car accident and left living in a tent after her grandfather is renovating his house. Then, she meets a guy named Yuki and offers her to live in the house with a group of bishouen which turns into animals from the zodiac… Sounds interesting right?
Well, after watching one episode of Fruit Baskets, I just couldn’t stand how boring and uninteresting the episode is. It’s story after reading it’s summary seems weak compared to Kanon or even Clannad (I might be biased, but Kanon and Clannad had better character and plot development compared to Fruit Baskets) and also the bias of perfering a group of bishoujos instead of a group of bishouen (but that alone was not a factor of Fruit Baskets having week plot development) which is probably why I end up dropping Fruit Baskets anime… It didn’t have the feel of a good romance-drama anime.
Next up is Ouran Host Club, another popular manga and anime series involving a honor student, Fujioka Haruhi gets admitted to a precious private school as a honor student and shortly after forced into a host with a group of guys. Unlike Fruit Baskets, Ouran Host Club seems to be enjoyable, but the problem is that it’s unrealistic and not likely to happen in real life (who spends their school days in a private school fooling around?) and I also found the animation a little weak compared to Kyoto Animation’s (yes, I’m a Kyoani fanboy).
The problem with most Shoujo romance-drama anime I have seen that they are cliche and not likely happen in real life (like most do)… Then again, I may be biased since I perfer watching a anime with a harem filled with girls rather than boys, but this isn’t a factor in why Shoujo romance-drama is weak compared to Key’s stories.
But wait! Key’s anime adaptations are not Shoujo, but Seinen? Why would any girl watch this?
Again… everyone knows that demographics are pretty much meaningless because I seen girls watch Shouen anime shows and boys watch Shoujo anime… What matters is the plot, animation, character developments, and etc and most of them are suitable for 13 and up anyways, so it wouldn’t hurt to check them out.
And I only watch shows that are PG13 or under.
Overall, all of Key’s Anime adaptation would appeal to anyone who love romance/drama/comedy (yes, there is some comedy in Key’s stories)/Slice of Life and more enough to say Uguu~ all the time. So far, I love all the anime adaptations that Key and Kyoto Animation have put out so far, so I suggest doing the same and watch them… Really good stuff and hopefully they will animate Little Busters!.
A editorial is posted every one-three weeks on Thursday depending on how much ideas I have in my mind during the time.
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