Kannagi: They’re Definitely Crazy, But They’re Definitely Amazing

It may just be me, but I’m inordinately pleased with Kannagi. I’ve no idea what the Takenashi Eri manga is like, having not read it, but it looks like I may just have to (in that nebulous point in the future known as “someday”) since the anime version is amazingly well-done. I talked a little bit about it in my previous post, but, for simplicity’s sake, the part I found most appealing about the first episode was the quaint charm of both the humor and the overall mood, a feeling continued into the second episode. It’s funny, yes, but neither is it forcing too much humor down the viewer’s throat, even when it’s being excessively silly. Apparently the pairing of Yamamoto Yutaka and reknowned (to me, anyway) Kamichu! co-creator Kurata Hideyuki is a highly effective one. Who knew?

Perhaps most interesting about episode two is that it throws a few curveballs that I didn’t expect–number one being that the kittens from early in the episode died by the end. I was all expecting a sorrowful, tearful apology from Jin and a heartwarming scene of feeding milk to cats (piano optional). Nope. Cats’re dead. Naturally, this is the instigator for Nagi marching off and trying to handle things on her own and steadfastly refusing to go back and rely upon Jin, which, indeed, she does not go back–it’s Jin who goes off after her. That may actually be expected, but at this point I no longer care, as it was well-executed, and–holy crap–started tugging at heartstrings! How dare my silly “wish-fulfillment magical girlfriend” series do that to me!

It’s a bit difficult at this point to qualify my particular developing fondness for Kannagi, partially because it’s only been two episodes, and partially because I’ve been up for 18 straight hours on five hours sleep. Is it a ground-breaking earth-shattering heavens-piercing epic masterpiece of an anime? Well, no, and it’s not likely to be–but why should it be all those italicized words? Isn’t something which sets a modest goal and acheives it as good as the ambitious series which also succeeds in its goals? Is something, merely by being unambitious, therefore reduced to the degrading moniker of “mediocrity” despite how well-crafted it may be? Are people even aware what the word “mediocre” means these days? Am I even aware of what the word “mediocre” means these days? Am I just some crazy loon trying desperately hard to justify my burgeoning fondness for Nagi (whomay or may not have a split personality and may or may not be telling the truth at any give point in time) by making overly short posts due to lack of sleep that possibly don’t say much of anything? Are any of these rhetorical questions even necessary? How many roads must a man walk down before one can call him a man?

I don’t know! Suffice it to say, Kannagi gets my vote for (currently) severely underrated series of the season. And I’ve always had a habit of unconsciously gravitating towards the less-well-known yet incredibly well-done anime (or, well, anything, really), so, likely, this is yet another example of such. I think, after Ookiku Furibakutte, Tetsuwan Birdy Decode, and now Kannagi, I’m starting to develop a peculiar fondness for A-1 Pictures. That could just be me, though.

10 Responses to “Kannagi: They’re Definitely Crazy, But They’re Definitely Amazing”

  1. 1 washi 14 October 2008 at 2:13 am

    Good post, and I completely agree with you. I was just writing something about ep 2 myself and commenting that it reminded me of Kamichu when I stumbled on your entry. I didn’t know that a co-creator from Kamichu was involved! I loved that show as well.

  2. 2 karry 14 October 2008 at 2:50 am

    Manga is…much more…ordinary than you might think. Nagi is immensely cute, especially with her patented airhead looks, but other than that manga is quite the usual harem. Anime feels much better, so far.

  3. 3 Kaiserpingvin 14 October 2008 at 5:41 pm

    While Kannagi might be mediocre in premise, it is anything but mediocre in presentation. It so delightfully ignores falling into overblown reiterations of the ordinary executions of the given plot elements it manages to feel fresh anyway.

    I intensely approve of it and want more cute girls speaking in high-and-mighty god-Japanese in the future.

  4. 4 Jasonp 14 October 2008 at 8:16 pm

    It reminds me quite a bit of Spice & Wolf, but without the merchant/economy angle. I can also totally see the Kamichu connection. I almost dropped it after the rather mundane episode one, but episode two really lets the series show its true colors. I only hope they can hold onto this magic for the remainder of the season.

  5. 5 OGT 15 October 2008 at 12:33 am

    @Kaiserpingvin: That’s pretty much why I love Kannagi at the moment, yes.
    Incidentally, Nagi’s speech is just excessively royal–she tacks “ga yoi” on the end of sentences at random. “ga yoi” is, in a post-Lafiel world, a pretty major charm point.
    @Jasonp: I quite liked episode one; it wasn’t as good as episode 2 turned out to be, no, but it still demonstrated many of the same strengths. I think Kannagi is better directed than Spice and Wolf, honestly, but the similarities are there. I wish someone’d license the Spice and Wolf novels.

  6. 6 otou-san 16 October 2008 at 10:04 pm

    I’m with Kaiserpingvin as well. I think the premise is typical but the execution is just plain sublime — and funny.

  7. 7 Owen S 20 October 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Wow, thanks for putting this into words. Well-directed yet understated anime like these have the annoying habit of being like that itch just out of reach, and I definitely think that Kannagi falls into that elusively rare category. Episode 02 sealed it for me, too.

  8. 8 frog212 21 October 2008 at 3:02 am

    i’m really glad they gave this director another chance

  1. 1 Wakaranai » Blog Archive » Kannagi 02 - かんあぎ Trackback on 14 October 2008 at 2:27 am
  2. 2 Shameful Otaku Secret! » Kannagi the dark horse Trackback on 16 October 2008 at 10:00 pm

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I cannot understand those that take anime seriously, but I can love them, and I do. Out of my love I warn them to keep clear of this blog.

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October 2008

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