Well, indeedy-do. I was not crazy when I gave this title a positive score last year. It has enjoyable characters and some decent animation. The problem? Story.
What makes up a story? Typically, it’s a linear telling of a chain of events that result from each other stemming from the overall plot. Of course, it isn’t only limited to this, but that’s basically the running typical. Of course, I may also be wrong, but whatever. Regardless, Kannagi’s story likes to mix elements of slice of life, comedy, and a sprinkle of shounen. It just doesn’t do it altogether. Oh, no; they take turns. It goes shounen first, sprinkled with comedy. Then it goes to full blown comedy, with a sprinkle of harem tropes. Then it goes to slice of life, with a sprinkle of everything else mentioned before. It finally ends with what all other easy-going titles end with: drama. Don’t you love that?
The thing with this is the plot becomes aimless. It becomes too aggravating to pinpoint what exactly the series does best, as it feels as though they’re only experimenting with what they have, or they’re trying too hard to appeal to everyone. Not to mention, it makes the characters seem unsubstantial. Among the myriads of genres showcased in this anime, many of the characters are either shown more or less depending on the genre at hand. With shounen, we have Jin and Nagi. With comedy (sprinkled with harem tropes), we have Jin, Nagi, Tsugumi, and Zange. With slice of life, we have everyone else. With drama, we have Jin, Nagi, and Tsugumi. The “everyone else” seems to have dropped off the face of the planet, but not totally. With this constant dropping and adding of characters, it’s harder to really feel a connection to said characters, along with the plot. It’s similar to adding all sorts of bizarre ingredients to soup. Sometimes it works, while other times you can’t help but vomit.
Despite the mess of a plot that Kannagi has, the characters are an absolute delight. They’re good. They’re legitimately good characters, but not without the use of falling into certain archetypes. Something I forgot to mention earlier about the plot, but the mixture of all sorts of genres into one story makes it seem as though this story is a sort of parody. The characters are similar. They way they’re introduced, the way they act and appear. It seems almost too bizarre to consider them identifiable characters, but they act rationally enough to escape out of the parody mindset.
Jin as a main character is fine, but not dandy. He exhibits a lot of the main character stereotypes, but at least he acknowledges them. Heh, as if that makes him any better. Another sign of parody. Nagi is a self-proclaimed god that has to destroy impurities that crawl around strange places for an unknown reason in order to prevent “bad things” from happening to people. This is really the extent of where the story goes, as is found out later that no one knows what the fuck they’re even doing any of it for, even Nagi. Another sign of parody. The minor characters also fall under stereotypes, but in a more satirical way. And like most of Kannagi’s story, nothing is really explained of why they act the way they do. This is another example of learning to love the characters at face value. You don’t really care enough about the characters to wish for their well-being, but at least they entertain you. This can be applied for most (if not all) characters in this series. But hey, they’re entertaining!
Early on in the series, the animation seemed similar to that of any Shaft production. Characters would move around and make exaggerated gestures at bizarre moments without any precaution. Another sign of parody. This eventually stopped as the focused genre switched. When this stopped, most of the animated creativity went with it. There’s nothing really to say about the overall animation other than the characters’ almost satirical appearances and behaviors. The overall art style was alright, and fan service was kept to a certain minimum, which pleased me greatly, because the opportunities were endless. Just cut out the ending.
I ended up giving this anime a lower score than last time, but that’s not exactly the anime’s fault. I had the same problems with it the last time I saw it, I just liked the characters and art style a little more. What pleased me most about re-watching this title was getting a different perspective on the entire basis of the story. Unlike last year, I see the whole concept for this anime as a sort of satire for a variety of anime tropes. It just didn’t have that sort of “Umph” to get it past fine in my eyes. The plotholes didn’t help either, for when Kannagi actually decided to have a plot.
Personal Score: C+
Critical Score: C+