Hiroki is a college student who is finishing up his exams to become an art teacher. He used to paint and draw a lot, but since a few years, he doesn't do that anymore. He 'works' as the advisor of the art club at Nadesiko Academy. With him lives Elis, his cousin, who lost her parents in a car accident when she was little, and therefore she can't use the color red in her drawings anymore. She studies at Nadeshiko, and (after some troubles) joins the art club as well. Kiri is the P.E. teacher at the school, and incidentally also a friend of Hiroki's, from their high-school days. She used to have a crush on Hiroki, but he rejected her when she confessed her feelings to him.
The rest of the cast is rounded out with various moe highschool girls with squeaky voices.
It could turn out as a harem anime (and the first episode certainly seems to hint that way, what with the various females surrounding Hiroki -- sometimes in panty-exposing ways), but it did not. Which is pretty novel for a series like this.
Instead the series focusses on the love triangle between Elis, Hiroki and Kiri. You see, Elis is (of course) completely smitten with her oniichan, while Kiri couldn't forget about him either. The rest of the (female) cast acts as windowdressing in the 'fight' between Elis and Kiri.
Elis is a total brat. She is spoiled and gets pouty when she doesn't get her way. When Kiri 'invades' on her terrain, she acts quite rude and defensive, while Kiri acts quite mature about it. Meanwhile, Hiroki just stumbles through his life, rather oblivious about everything -- at least in the first part of the series.
The ending creeped me out. Most series where a younger sister-figure is smitten with an older brother-figure either don't end on a resolution, or the male lead chooses a competing girl. Sure, the writers sidestep the icky issue on incest by making the 'brother' and 'sister' cousins (in Japan, cousins can legally marry), but it is still icky, right? Well, that doesn't stop the writers of Canvas 2 to let Hiroki and Elis end up together. And not in a 'hold hands'-kind of way -- the epilogue shows them huddled together under a blanket...
And all that time, it seemed like Hiroki would do the sensible thing and get together with Kiri (which would have been an excellent ending, in my opinion -- Elis would be forced to finally grow up). But due to some plot twists (that I found rather hard to believe), Hiroki hurries into Elis' arms...
The animation is quite basic but serves its purpose well, the voice acting is decent, the character designs are suitably moe. The series doesn't feature as much panty-shots as one would fear from the first episode, which may be good or bad depending on your view of such things. ;)
The plot is actually quite decent and not run-of-the-mill. The focus is on character development rather than panty shots, which kept the series interesting along the way.
- Character-driven plot.
- Elis' brattyness;
- The ending.
If such romance dramas are your thing, you'll like it because it is slightly different than the other offerings in the genre. If you don't like the genre, you won't like Canvas 2. I'll give it a 6.5.