In the sea of dating sim game adaptations, Photo Kano (Photo Girlfriend) takes the mundane concept of a typical male lead hanging out with a bunch of cute girls and throwing photography into the mix. Some say that Photo Kano is the spiritual successor for Amagami, but does this show live up to that reputation? Not really. (Image Source)
The story focuses on a sophomore male student named Maeda Kazuya. He receives a Digital Single Reflex Lens camera after his father bought a new one. With the camera, he becomes interested in photography, but don’t realize the social prospects of potentially falling in love with another girl.
While Kazuya is your typical nice guy and weak-minded males we seen in the past, I felt that the Photo Kano adaptation was a poor man’s version of Amagami. While there are some moments of fanservice, there is nothing special about it. Not only that, I find the Photography Club’s members rather annoying as they want to take perverted pictures. Even so, the girls felt very similar to the characters from Amagami. For instance, Yunoki Rina and Sakurai Rihoko are both clumsy girls that happen to love cooking. Heck, Nanoka perhaps resembles one of Amagami’s girls, Kaoru Tanamachi the most.
While the girls have some differences, they are very similar except Mitsumi Tomoe, they are rather enjoyable except for one thing… they aren’t developed enough! This show simply didn’t have enough time to spend a good amount of time for each girl besides Haruka. In comparison, Amagami SS gave a good amount of episodes to develop the relationship between the main character and the girl. This just feels rushed, especially some of the girls like Hikari, Aki and Tomoe. The rushed development of these characters makes it seem that they are a different person! Topped off with the “not blood related” copout ending for Kanon, it just adds to the disappointment.
Overall, Photo Kano is a mixed bag. I wanted to enjoy it, but it disappointed me with the lack of character development. It felt as if they didn’t spent enough time for each girl even though they looked somewhat interesting. If only this show had some more episodes, it would have given me a better impression. As it stands, you should just play the game instead or watch Amagami SS instead since those will give you a more enjoyable experience than watching this show.
Overall Rating: 7.0/10, C-, Average