Kanokon (かのこん?) is a Japanese light novel series by Katsumi Nishino, with illustrations by Koin. The first novel was released on October 31, 2005, and as of February 25, 2008, nine volumes have been published by Media Factory under their MF Bunko J label. A manga adaptation by Rin Yamaki was serialized in Media Factory's seinen manga magazine Monthly Comic Alive between the August 2006 and August 2010 issues. A drama CD was produced by Media Factory that was released on March 28, 2007. A twelve-episode anime aired in Japan between April and June 2008 produced by Xebec, and has been licensed by Media Blasters for release in North America. A second anime season has been announced. A visual novel named Kanokon Esuii developed by 5pb. was released for the PlayStation 2 on July 31, 2008.
Kanokon's story revolves around Kouta Oyamada, an extremely innocent young first-year high school student who moves from the country to the city and thus transfers to Kunpō High School. On his first day at his new school, he meets a beautiful second-year female student named Chizuru Minamoto. Chizuru asks him to meet her alone in the music room. When he arrives, she tells him that she is in love with him and accidentally reveals to him that she is in fact a fox spirit. Chizuru constantly and openly flirts with Kouta, even in front of others, which embarrasses him greatly. Soon after the story begins, a wolf spirit named Nozomu Ezomori transfers into Kouta's school and class. From day one, she is all over Kouta which serves to embarrass him more and cause Chizuru to become annoyed at her new competition for Kouta's affection.
- Kouta Oyamada (小山田 耕太 Oyamada Kōta?)
- Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (Japanese), Mona Marshall (English)
- Kouta is the protagonist of the story. He moves from the country to the city in his first year of high school, and on his first day of school, he discovers that the second year girl Chizuru Minamoto is actually a kitsune. He used to live with his grandfather before moving. Kouta generally has a mild personality and is indecisive. When he was younger, he almost drowned in a river and now has a fear of swimming. At his school, everyone either calls him the "Great Erotic King" or a "beast" because of the disgraceful acts Chizuru commits with him in public.
- Despite his reluctance to engage in the 'intimate' acts that Chizuru desires, Kouta's feelings for her are genuine. One demonstration of this is that they are able to fuse together into a powerful being, which can only occur between a human and a kitsune when they share a deep emotional link. In this form, Kouta transforms into a black-furred five-tailed fox spirit.
- Chizuru Minamoto (源 千鶴 Minamoto Chizuru?)
- Voiced by: Ayako Kawasumi (Japanese), Dorothy Elias-Fahn (English)
- Chizuru is a carefree second year female student at Kouta's school. She appears to be a normal, albeit big-breasted, teenage girl, but she is in fact a 400-year-old powerful kitsune. When she changes form, her hair goes from black to blond and she gains fox ears and a tail. She is constantly hanging around and on Kouta; he is the only male she acts genuinely towards. She loves Kouta very much and wants to enter a "relationship of sin" with him. She is a very straightforward person and makes almost constant sexual suggestions and actions toward Kouta. She is also a terrible cook, though she improves later on, and shows some interest in masochism.
- Nozomu Ezomori (犹守 望 Ezomori Nozomu?)
- Voiced by: Miyū Takeuchi (Japanese), May Kao (English)
- Nozomu is a first year female student at Kouta's school who first appears in the third volume of the novels. She has short silver hair, and is in fact a 200-year-old wolf spirit. She has an older brother named Saku. Despite her seemingly detached and emotionless manner, she is in love with Kouta and thus a rival of Chizuru's for Kouta's affections. She sometimes insults Chizuru by calling her a "Horny Beast," saying that Chizuru "smells obscene" and that her breasts are flabby. While she has small breasts and a much more childlike appearance than Chizuru, Nozomu also frequently tries to initiate sexual acts with Kouta. She lives by herself in an expensive but empty penthouse apartment, where she always sleeps naked on the floor. Though Kouta truly cares for Chizuru, sometimes he prefers Nozomu's company because she is not as perverted as Chizuru.
- Tayura Minamoto (源 たゆら Minamoto Tayura?)
- Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga (Japanese), Ethan Murray (English)
- Tayura is the younger brother of Chizuru and Kouta's classmate. When they first meet, Tayura is jealous of the relationship between his sister and Kouta. Chizuru says that he is suffering from a sister complex. Tayura looks much older than many boys his age. He enjoys teasing his older sister and Kouta by calling them "love birds". Like his sister, he too is a fox spirit, much younger, and is not really related to Chizuru, but rather adopted. He generally has a calm and cool personality. Whenever he tries to get closer to Akane, he is given the cold shoulder, though he himself has stated that it is okay with her being cold.
- Akane Asahina (朝比奈 あかね Asahina Akane?)
- Voiced by: Chiwa Saitō (Japanese), Camilla Debry (English)
- Akane is the class representative of Kouta's class, and wears glasses. Due to this, she has a high sense of regulations, and therefore disagrees with Kouta's and Chizuru's close high school relationship. She is on good terms with Kouta, and worries about his relationship with Chizuru. She warns Kouta to watch out for Chizuru, though she might be jealous of Chizuru's body. Also, she is known to be intolerant of alcohol, as seen in episode six in the anime where Kouta gives her and Chizuru sweet wine. At first very cold to Tayura, she warms up to him after he riskes his life to save her in the ocean, though she still slugs him when he tries to be more intimate with her.
- Ren Nanao (七々尾 蓮 Nanao Ren?), Ai Nanao (七々尾 藍 Nanao Ai?)
- Voiced by: Mai Kadowaki (Ren) and Tamaki Nakanishi (Ai)
- Ren and Ai are twin first-year sisters at Kouta's school, and first appeared in the fifth volume of the novels. They are spirit hunters who live at a very poor temple, and are frequently seen doing things that homeless people would do, for example, making stew out of trash and roadside weeds, or eating thrown away bread crusts. Originally, they were given the task to assassinate Chizuru, but did not go through with it since she was still "only a kid," and the fact that she treated them to a free meal, which is considered as heaven to the twins. They are nearly identical except for their slightly different hair styles. They use chains when attacking, and are also seen in the anime ineffectively using explosives. They refer to Chizuru as "Mama".
- Omi Kiriyama (桐山 臣 Kiriyama Omi?)
- Voiced by: Takashi Kondō (Japanese), Bryce Papenbrook (English)
- Omi is a second year student at Kouta's school who is in fact a sickle weasel with the power to control the wind. Omi was once the bitter enemy of the Minamoto siblings. In the fourth volume of the novels, he succeeds as the gang leader of the delinquents at his school. He hates the friendship between Kouta and his friends, and does not speak much. In the anime, he accidentally hurts Kouta who took a blow for Chizuru. Since he is not permitted to harm humans, such an act has serious consequences for him. He thinks Mio is pretty.
- Mio Osakabe (長ヶ部 澪 Osakabe Mio?)
- Voiced by: Miyu Matsuki (Japanese), Elivia Gaitan (English)
- Mio is a second year student with a shy nature who hangs around with Omi. Due to her short stature, she is often mistaken for a grade school student and has even received multiple confessions from grade school students. She is in fact half frog spirit and can heal quickly. While she did not have a name originally, Omi named her from a combination of his own given name and his home town's name. She is on good terms with Omi.
- Ryūsei Kumada (熊田 流星 Kumada Ryūsei?)
- Voiced by: Kenta Miyake (Japanese), Andres Alexis (English)
- Ryūsei is a third year student who has a distinct cross-wound over his left eye and was a gang leader of the delinquents at school before Omi took over in his place. He is in fact a bear spirit. In the fourth volume, he graduated from high school, but soon changes his name to Suisei Kumada (熊田 彗星 Kumada Suisei?) restarts high school as a first year student.
- Iku Sahara (砂原 幾 Sahara Iku?)
- Voiced by: Noriko Shitaya (Japanese), Karen Strassman (English)
- Iku is a social studies teacher and is Kouta's homeroom teacher. She is prone to making silly mistakes and is very childish. She is in fact possessed by a yōkai and thus has dissociative identity disorder as an effect. She has to conceal her true identity to Chizuru, and oversees the spirits at school.
- Takao Yatsuka (八束 たかお Yatsuka Takao?)
- Voiced by: Takashi Matsuyama (Japanese), Dan Woren (English)
- Takao is the gym teacher at Kouta's school, and has a scary face. Like Iku, he too is overseeing the spirits at school. He is very wise, and gets along with Yukihana.
- Saku Ezomori (犹守 朔 Ezomori Saku?)
- Voiced by: Yūto Kazama
- Saku is the older brother of Nozomu who makes his first appearance in the second volume of the novels; and like his sister, he is a wolf spirit. He usually drives a motorcycle around town, and he later reveals that he is in love with Chizuru, resulting in him putting a bracelet on Kouta to stop him from doing anything perverted with Chizuru. The bracelet is taken off a few days later when Kouta and Chizuru defeat him in their fused form.
- Minori Mitama (三珠 美乃里 Mitama Minori?)
- Minori makes her first appearance in volume three of the novels, and refers to herself as Kouta's younger sister.
- Nue (鵺?)
- Nue makes her first appearance in volume three of the novels, serving as Minori's servant. As her name indicated, she is a nue, but also have a pair of raven wings for flight.
- Tamamo (玉藻?)
- Voiced by: Naomi Shindō
- Tamamo makes her first appearance in volume three of the novels. She is the manager of a hot-spring hotel deep in the snowy mountains and Chizuru's mother, though not related by blood. She is a very powerful, golden-furred nine-tailed kitsune. Occasionally, when business is slow, she manages a beach-side restaurant. She gets along with Kouta, though does sometimes meddle in his relationship with Chizuru.
- Yukihana (雪花?)
- Voiced by: Risa Hayamizu
- Yukihana, a yuki-onna, makes her first appearance in volume three of the novels. She is a ninja who works under Tamamo at her hot-spring hotel. She has an honest personality. In volume seven of the novels, she becomes a teacher for the handicapped at Kouta's school. When working as a teacher, she goes by the name Hanadai Yukino (雪野花代 Yukino Hanadai?), and if someone calls out to her using the name Yukihana, she will say she is not that person. She can manipulate snow storms and uses a gleaming sword in battle, and is physically very strong. Her name means Snow Flower.
- Okata (御方?)
- Okata is a yōkai who is the head of the Sahara family; her true form is that of an old woman. She has survived for thousands of years.
Kanokon began as a series of light novels written by Katsumi Nishino, and drawn by Koin. The series started under the title Kanojo wa Kon, to Kawaiku Seki o Shite (彼女はこん、とかわいく咳をして?) when the first novel was submitted to Media Factory's annual literary contest MF Bunko J Light Novel Rookie of the Year Award held in 2005. The novel placed as a "good piece of work" with two other titles which was more or less third place. The first novel was released on October 31, 2005, and as of February 25, 2008, nine volumes have been published. The novels are published by Media Factory under their MF Bunko J publishing label. The novels were licensed by Los Angeles-based company Seven Seas Entertainment for distribution in the English language, but was later removed from the Seven Seas website.
A manga adaptation was serialized in Media Facotry's seinen manga magazine Monthly Comic Alive between the August 2006 and August 2010 issues. The manga takes its story from the light novels that preceded it, and is illustrated by Rin Yamaki. Nine tankōbon volumes were released in Japan between January 31, 2007 and August 23, 2010.
A drama CD based on the series was released on March 28, 2007 by Media Factory. The drama's theme song was "Otokonoko Desho" (オトコのコでしょ?) sung by Marina Kuroki. Another drama CD will be sold on June 25, 2008.
Internet radio show
An Internet radio show produced by Media Factory called Kanokon Radio: Kouta's and Chizuru's Bouncing Growth Diary (かのこんラジオ 〜耕太とちずるのゆやよん成長日記〜 Kanokon Rajio ~Kōta to Chizuru no Yuya Yon Seichō Nikki~?) began airing on March 21, 2007. One episode is broadcast every other week on Friday. The show is hosted by Mamiko Noto (the voice of Kouta in the anime), and Ayako Kawasumi (the voice of Chizuru in the anime). There are four corners, or parts, to each episode. The shows starts with a short radio drama, which moves on to general news about the Kanokon anime and series in general. Listeners can send in comments about the show up on the air. The show's opening theme is "Strategy" by Ui Miyazaki, and the ending theme is "Sweet Time" by Yui Sakakibara.
A twelve-episode anime adaptation produced by the animation studio Xebec aired in Japan between April 5 and June 21, 2008 on the AT-X television network. The anime's opening theme is "Phosphor" sung by Ui Miyazaki, and the ending theme is "Koi no Honō" (恋の炎?) sung by Yui Sakakibara. There are also six specials spread out over three DVDs. Media Blasters licensed the anime for distribution in North America. A second anime season has been announced.
A visual novel playable on the PlayStation 2 entitled Kanokon Esuii (かのこん えすいー?) was released on July 31, 2008 and developed by 5pb. in limited and regular editions. The limited edition came bundled with an audio CD containing an image song and an original drama. The song, "Koi no Miracle Summer Vacation" (恋のミラクル☆サマーバケーション Koi no Mirakuru☆Samā Bakēshon?), is sung by Mamiko Noto, Ayako Kawasumi, and Miyū Takeuchi, the voice actresses of Kouta, Chizuru, and Nozomu, respectively. The audio drama is entitled "Natsu no Hi no Hajimari" (夏の日のはじまり?, lit. "The Beginning of a Summery Day"). The game is described by the development team as a "noisy romantic-comedy ADV (ドタバタラブコメADV Dotabata Rabucome ADV?). The game's opening theme is "Happy Succession" sung by Ui Miyazaki, and the single containing the song will be released on August 27, 2008. The ending theme is "Eien no Koi" (永遠の恋?, lit. "Eternal Love") by Yui Sakakibara.
The first DVD of Kanokon was ranked tenth on the Tohan charts between June 26 and July 2, 2008, ranked eighth between July 10 and 16, 2008. The third DVD of Kanokon was ranked sixth on the Tohan charts between August 21 and 27, 2008. The fourth DVD of Kanokon was ranked 21st on the Tohan charts between September 23 and 29, 2008. The fifth DVD of Kanokon was ranked 28th on the Tohan charts between October 21 and 28, 2008. The sixth DVD of Kanokon was ranked 14th on the Tohan charts between November 19 and 25, 2008.
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- Anime official website (Japanese)
- Xebec's Kanokon website (Japanese)
- Visual novel official website (Japanese)
- Kanokon anime at Media Blasters
- Kanokon (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia