PhotoKano

photokano

Kazuya is given a camera by his father. This leads to him interacting with a number people he would otherwise not have interacted with. Primarily various girls, but also including the guys in the photography club (who are not to be confused with the similarly named photo club). The main girls he interacts with fall pretty nicely into tropes. Haruka is the childhood friend that has become super popular and has thus become somewhat distant. Masaki is a tomboyish friend that wishes she was more feminine but is very straightforward with her feelings. Muroto is the class president who is very strict with others and herself, but is also feeling the weight of tremendous pressure put on her by those around her. Sanehara is a girl who was betrayed by her friends at a young age, and thus has become very anti-social. Sakura is an underclasswoman trying very hard at gymnastics but needing some extra motivation. Yunoki is a somewhat clumsy girl that exhibits a lot of mother, or “wife” as shes described in the anime, like qualities. Misumi is a girl who has been moving around due to her fathers job her whole school life, and thus wishes she was more popular but can’t bring herself to be. Kanon is the non-blood related little sister. The series starts off with an introduction to all these girls as well as some plot set up, that then splits up into an omnibus format with an arc for each girl.

***

The cast of characters was very tropey, but I guess it was pretty diverse. There wasn’t a lot of overlap in terms of character between the heroines of the various arcs, which is very important to omnibus as it can quickly get repetitive otherwise. I don’t mind tropes that much, and I didn’t really mind while watching, but looking back, that cast is ridiculously tropey. Still, there were some interesting characters that weren’t featured, such as  Kudou the club president, and Uchida who had super stealth abilities and also seemed to be a famous cosplayer. Uchida gets a route in the game so I was disappointed she didn’t in the anime. All of the other routes not done don’t seem like much of a loss, though they should have done Momoko for the teacher route if their goal was to get maximum trope coverage.

Story wise there were a lot of issues. The primary one was that it was too rushed. Haruka is the only one that gets two episodes for her arc, and hers is the only one that felt fleshed out with actual conflict. The others were far too smooth. Hence, all of the others had their moments, but they all felt lacking. The vast majority of them were pretty forgettable, though done well enough otherwise. Based on just the plot, Misumi was the one that I liked second best, as hers and Kanon’s seemed to be the only ones that actually explored themes related to photography rather than just leaving it off to the side as a backdrop. Hers was the last arc in the main series, and thus served as a solid ending point as through her it also went through all of the other heroines in a pretty beautiful way. Still, I wish it was a bit longer. Another issue, is that the story overall is really contradictory. It has random skips back and forth. Things that originally happened in the common route seem to disappear for some of the routes. There are a lot of areas where you’d expect consistency that don’t have them, such as each arc ending with a monologue by the heroines. The plots while not especially strong were somewhat decent, but the way they were told made them downright weak.

In terms of budgeting, the art and animation were low quality a lot of the time, but also very high quality randomly during photography. When prioritizing resources that seems completely fair for what they were going for I suppose. The OP and ED were decent and fit the camera theme, though the OP sort of bugged me for reasons I can’t explain.

It had potential, but was a pretty throwaway adaption that definitely had its moments and was good if you only look at some of the arcs such as the main one, but due to its omnibus nature that’s not quite enough to make it good overall.

6/10

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