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Photo Kano

April 12, 2013

Originally a dating sim game for the PSP with an enhanced version for the PlayStation Vita coming out soon, ‘フォトカノ’ already received several manga adaptations and now gets the anime treatment.

One cannot deny that anime adaptations of eroge or dating sims are a dime a dozen, most alas make up the bulk of the mediocre, repetitive and uninspired shows every season.
Still wanted to give “Photo Kano” a try because the plot and a significant portion of the game’s playing mechanics had a unique photography element, that emphasis on photography is present in the anime as well.

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Aside from being an unsurprising plot gimmick for ecchi content by having the harem of cute girls feature in front of the male lead’s camera lens, there actually is a significant amount of more genuine amateur photography content.

However, next to a few references here and there, do not expect “Photo Kano” to be a discourse on various forms, the techniques or art of photography. Nonetheless, the show is filled with gorgeous photography inspired imagery.

While the animation by studio Madhouse is fair to good overall, with enough care going towards providing decent animation for the various female characters, Madhouse really seems to make every effort to include scenes of what could make excellent photography.

Especially the frequent use of still frames depicting landscapes, nature or school life in images that all have interesting composition, angles and lighting is a feast for the eyes and something that may appeal to those who are into amateur photography.

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Interesting to note is that Maeda’s camera is obviously a Canon Kiss X2 while photography club members Nakagawa and Azuma, who have a penchant for what they call borderline erotic photos, are using Nikon cameras.

Another appealing element of “Photo Kano” for me are some of the main voice cast talents. Haruka is voiced by Kanae Itou, who also tackled roles like Ohana in “Hanasaku Iroha”, Sena in “Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai”, Nana in “To Love RU” and she also voices Saten in this season’s “To aru Kagaku no Railgun S”.

Nakahara Mai voices stern student council president Aki, she previously tackled roles like Zakuro in “Otome Youkai Zakuro”, Rena in “Higurashi no Naku Koro ni”, Nagisa in “Clannad” and Haruno in this season’s “Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru”.

Tomboyish Nonoka is voiced by Saitou Chiwa, she also voiced Aika S Granzchesta in “Aria”, Senjougahara in “Bakemonogatari”, Francesca in “Strike Witches” and Homura in “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”.

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Kanemoto Hisako voices Mai, she previously voiced Ika Musume in “Shinryaku! Ika Musume”, Haruka in “Kotoura-san” and Kanata in “So-Ra-No-Wo-To”.

Shy Tomoe is voiced by Sawashiro Miyuki who also did Perrine in “Strike Witches”, Masazumi in “Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon” and Yomi in “Black★ Rock Shooter”.

Ogame Asuka voices Rina, she voiced Momo in “Vividred Operation” and Erio in “Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko”.

Do not believe that “Photo Kano” will be a remarkable anime, still after these first two episodes am confident that next to the predictable harem romance elements it will offer plenty of striking visuals that will appeal to those who are into amateur photography.

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