When dating sims get their own reality: PhotoKano and KimiKiss

photokano-horz

Good day, finally got more shows to write about.

Why I combined both of them is because of similarity. Both of them are from dating sims games and are also from the same creators as Amagami, but both of them are not linked together in anyway and were adapted by completely different producers. Photokano ran for only 13 eps, while KimiKiss ran for a lengthier 24 eps with 1 OVA. I will include some comparisons with Amagami inside this review.

Let’s kick things off with some phototaking sessions.

Photo Kano

This is actually the weakest one out of the trio. The chronology runs a bit similar to Yosuga no Sora, but its all in sequence, but not jumbled up. Storyline’s selling point is the amount of fanservice this show has. To be honest, I cannot watch this show seriously, they planned and timed the fanservice scenes so well that nobody can treat the show serious anymore. But main storyline is nice, but lacks character developments and depth and the priority of fanservice sometimes makes you forget that this show is actually a romance show. The story felt incredibly shallow and most of time is phototaking, like for some ero mag or something. The girls here are great tho, their personalities are unique. But sometimes they throw away the prologue to keep the characters arc going, which made the show feels like it’s starting over again and might get some people lost. Ending for character arc is ok, but as usual, lacks punch and depth. But main heroine gets the best possible ending, like pretty much many VN adaptation. It’s start to sound like the show is getting pretty generic but it was fine, it’s generic at the format but not at the setting and story.

Animations by Madhouse. The quality is incredible. Just when you thought the normal scenes were already above average, wait till you see the fanservice phototaking scenes. The frames suddenly felt like its running at 120fps and the 2D characters suddenly get depth and textures, its not 3DCGI but it’s more like Live2D. Character designs were splendid, colors were well-saturated and they managed to animate the DSLR’s bokeh effect excellently.

Music is erm… ok? The main weakness of the trio are always the OP and ED. But the BGMs were fine.

VAs is a damn nice list. Shimazaki Nobunaga, Ito Kanae, Mizuhashi Kaori, Nakahara Mai, Saito Chiwa, Kanemoto Hisako, Ogame Asuka, Sawashiro Miyuki, Ise Mariya, Midorikawa Hikaru, Shiraishi Minoru, Okamoto Nobuhiko, Takagaki Ayahi, Seto Saori, Endo Aya.

Ise Mariya’s imouto voice is splendid. Nobuhiko’s hillbilly voice makes a comeback. Ayahi’s weirdo voice also is pretty nice. But best voice I will give to Ogame Asuka, the best homemaker voice.

KimiKiss

This show is the most unique out of the three.. They did not use the character arcs style, they instead managed to write a chronological smooth romance story instead, which is a big feat, because including all the characters into a story where there is only 1 person getting the happy ending. And another unique thing is they split the main hero into 2 guys, which means 2 girls going to get the happy ending. It’s a nice arrangement and I like it, this prove that dating sims doesn’t necessary mean only a girl gets the happy end. The last thing is that there is 1 more anime-only guy, who acts as a rival. The main disadvantage of adding anime-only characters is that they break the relationship between people from the game. So there were some families got “broken up”.

The storyline is incredibly smooth, I love it. The extremely roomy 24 eps made the story progress a bit slow, impatient people will definitely give up. But the romance is sweet, but not cheesy, forced or rushed. They may take their time but its all for the sake of building up the mood for the perfect happy ending. The girls are nice here, we get the usual mixture of imoutos, kouhais, senpais and osananajimis. Personalities are unique again, actually I liked the girls here more. Since there is no character arcs, the story moves and weirdly, everything does fall into their place. Character developements are pretty diverse. Ending is incredibly sweet. I love it, one of the best and sweetest happy endings you can ever find in anime. Whoever who wrote this anime storyline deserves my salute.  The OVA is a bit of fanservice I guess, since the main show surprising lacks fanservice, looks like they were serious about the romance elements.

Animations from J.C.Staff. This show is the oldest out of the three, so you need to cut some slack with the quality. Character designs are ok, but during animations, the face sometimes does become slightly distorted and the distance between the eyes does fluctuate sometimes. This show might have invested a lot on the perfect story, until animators got their pay docked. It’s not THAT bad but acceptable, we are talking about J.C.Staff here, don’t expect quality animations if the story is good.

Music is actually their strong point. OP and ED are incredibly sweet and fitting for the show, BGMs were decent.

VAs is a huge list of legit people. Hino Satoshi, Mizushima Takahiro, Sakurai Takahiro, Ikezawa Haruna, Hirohashi Ryou, Koshimizu Ami, Tanaka Rie, Noto Mamiko, Nogawa Sakura, Mizuhashi Kaori, Fukuyama Jun, Nakahara Mai, Kawasumi Ayako.

The guys were fine. Koshimizu Ami always gave me an impression of her roles are either the dense ones or the rough ones, but a sweet-voiced Ami was fine, or in fact excellent. I will give best voice to Tanaka Rie, her cool voice does turn out to be a bit sexy, she’s like Tanaka Atsuko here, but with a more deeper voice.

Scores: PhotoKano | KimiKiss

Story: 6.5/10 | 8.5/10

Art: 8/10 | 7/10

Music: 7/10 | 8/10

VAs: 8/10 | 9/10

Here, I will rank Amagami, KimiKiss and PhotoKano in different categories.

Storyline:

  1. KimiKiss – Sweetest storyline.
  2. Amagami SS – Character arcs but they addressed every girl equally.
  3. Amagami SS+
  4. PhotoKano – Fanservice ruined everything.

Character Developments:

  1. Amagami SS – The character arc strategy worked well on this one.
  2. KimiKiss – The character developments are far and wide.
  3. Amagami SS+ – It’s the second season so it definitely dropped for sure.
  4. PhotoKano – Fanservice ruined everything.

Ending:

  1. KimiKiss – Sweetest possible ending. It was quite painless actually.
  2. Amagami SS – Individual character endings… It’s satisfying.
  3. Amagami SS+ – The endings got weaker.
  4. PhotoKano – The ending doesn’t feel like one, blame fanservice.

Music:

  1. KimiKiss – Strong OP and ED brought this show up.
  2. Amagami SS – Weak OST
  3. Amagami SS+ – Weird OST
  4. PhotoKano – Cannot feel anything.

Animation Quality:

  1. PhotoKano – Madhouse sure give tons of eye candies.
  2. Amagami SS/SS+ – It’s already considered good for AIC’s quality.
  3. KimiKiss – J.C.Staff tho…

Character Designs:

  1. Amagami SS/SS+ – The designs were like literally carried over from the game.
  2. Photokano – Slight tuning did the job.
  3. KimiKiss – Off the tracks.

Girls:

  1. KimiKiss – A lot of girls here actually my type.
  2. Amagami SS/SS+ – 2nd most girls are my type.
  3. PhotoKano – Only Rina best girl here.

Cast:

  1. KimiKiss – Everyone literally matches whoever they are voicing.
  2. Amagami SS/SS+ – HUGE list, and most of them hit the spot.
  3. PhotoKano – Weakest list out of the 3.

Best Imouto:

  1. Photokano – Ise Mariya saved my life.
  2. Amagami SS/SS+ – Asumi Kana is pretty ok with the imouto role…
  3. KimiKiss – Weirdest possible imouto. Nogawa Sakura as imouto is such a waste.

Best Kouhai:

  1. PhotoKano – Gymnast as kouhai? YES PLEASE
  2. Amagami SS/SS+ – Incredibly shy but extremely awkward.
  3. KimiKiss – Weirdest possible kouhai.

Best Senpai:

  1. Amagami SS/SS+ – Haruka tho, she’s too cute to the core.
  2. KimiKiss – Senpai as osanajimi?! SURE.
  3. Photokano – WEIRDO MEGANE. Maybe too strict.

Best Osananajimi:

  1. Kimikiss – Osananajimi a senpai?! SURE.
  2. Photokano – A sweet girl, I want…
  3. Amagami SS/SS+ – Too tomboyish for me.

Recommending to Tomodachis:

  1. KimiKiss
  2. Amagami SS/SS+
  3. Photokano

Overall:

  1. KimiKiss
  2. Amagami SS
  3. Amagami SS+
  4. Photokano

Well, that made the post a bit lengthy but at least I covered the “basics”. Hopefully the scores and rankings help you and also to let you know to avoid PhotoKano, even the fanservice felts like crap.

If you want to find my Amagami review, Here is for the 1st season, and There is for the 2nd season.

My next post will be a Yuri+Mecha combo show. I think some might be able to guess. See ya!

 

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