Canvas 2 is a visual novel in a fairly standard setting, a high school. What's different is that instead of playing as some random student, the point of view is actually that of a teacher, Kamikura Hiroki. Five years ago, Hiroki was aiming to become a Master Painter, but instead wound up at the prestigious Nadesico, where he now teaches art.Or at least, that's what he's paid to do. In reality, Hiroki has a very vague grasp of the people who are supposed to be in his classes. He does the bare minimum he needs to in order to get by and doesn't show up for the club to which he is an advisor. Why is he a teacher and not an artist like he had dreamed? The plot in most routes is unusually dedicated to resolving the hero's personal issues, instead of those of the heroines. The focus may be on the heroine, or it may instead be on Hiroki. Sometimes it's on both.As the story starts, Hiroki is set in his ways. We meet most of the heroines when things are shaken up by the return of his old, also unlucky childhood friend, Kiri. Where will things go from here?A Visual Novel by F&C, it received an animated adaptation in 2005 by ZEXCS. There's also a complete Fan Translation of the original game.This visual novel provides examples of:
Afraid of Blood: Elis, to the point where she won't even use the color red in her painting.
Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Misaki is quiet, reserved and quite the loner. She seems uncomfortable when people try to get close to her.
A Man Is Not a Virgin: Every heroine is a virgin, but the narrative clearly works on the assumption that Hiroki is not.
The Atoner: Yanagi stole Hiroki's painting and became a professional artist with it, causing Hiroki to give up his dream of becoming an artist. He feels absolutely horrible about it especially when Hiroki doesn't hold a grudge.
Bleached Underpants: Neither the TV anime spinoff nor Miki Kodama's manga spinoff contain any explicit content. (Though the first Canvas visual novel inspired a two-episode adult OAV.)
Brilliant but Lazy: Hiroki hasn't done any serious art for years and it's a plot point in almost every route to get him to actually start painting again. On the teaching side of things, the vice principal notes that he's a great teacher when he bothers doing more than the minimum amount of work.
Building of Adventure: Almost all of the action in the story occurs either in the school or in Hiroki's house.
But Not Too Foreign: Elis is half-French and half-Japanese. Actually used as something of a plot point rather than an excuse for pseudo-Foreign Fanservice - Elis's French relatives don't even know she exists, which leaves her even more lonely when her parents die. And toward the end of the story a Long-Lost Relative finds her and offers her a chance to go to a prestigious French art school.
Continuity Nod: The original Canvas isn't in English, but there are clearly numerous nods to both the main character and at least three of the heroines.
Contrived Coincidence. Subverted and played straight. It's strongly implied that Kiri came to Nadesico knowing perfectly well that Hiroki was there. Yanagi showing up later was a complete coincidence though.
Despair Event Horizon: Hiroki after having his painting stolen and seeing it win the exhibition. A large chunk of the game is dedicated to resolving this.
Easily Forgiven: Yanagi stole Hiroki's painting, passed it off as his own and sent Hiroki into a funk that kept him from painting for years, yet he is forgiven even before apologizing. In fact, Hiroki even apologizes to Yanagi for being too considerate during that conversation.
Karma Houdini: Yanagi. While he might feel horrible about stealing Hiroki's painting, nothing really bad ever happens to him. Especially when we see how this affect Hiroki throughout the story and how Hiroki doesn't hold a grudge.
The game starts with one where both Hiroki and Yanagi like Kiri and she likes Hiroki back, but he turns down her confession out of a combination of wanting to give Yanagi a chance and not wanting to upset the status quo.
Kiri and Elis with Hiroki, who is completely oblivious.
In the game, Elis' huge crush on Hiroki makes any potential romance with Hiroki and another girl one of these.
Meido: Takeuchi's work uniform resembles a maid outfit and more than one person squees over the idea of her being a maid.
Open-Minded Parent: For better or worse, Mr & Mrs Takeuchi. On one hand, they don't seem to mind Hiroki constantly visiting their cafe to hang out with their daughter (or maybe it's because he is her teacher, a well-educated adult, but they still ignore that Teacher/Student Romance is usually forbidden). On the other hand, they leave the career choice to their daughter completely, no guidance or advice or anything. Of course Hiroki is there to give her the necessary advices.
Operation Jealousy: A downplayed version: Kiri speaks highly of Yanagi in front of Hiroki in an attempt to make him jealous. She also agrees to marry Yanagi if Hiroki doesn't come in first at the Concours. She turned him down as soon as the two were alone, though.
Optional Sexual Encounter: With Shie in Hagino's route if you choose to go drinking with her at the end. A few details change in the ending if you do it.
The Rival: Yanagi and Hiroki's relationship generally works like this after fixing their relationship. They have ample chance to be each other's rivals after the Yanagi's plagiarism, but đi not take it, so this is also an aversion.
Second Love: The premise being Hiroki's relationship with his high school girlfriend Kiri did not work out, every girl he pursues in his adult age will be Second Love, minus Kiri herself, of course.
Secret Keeper: Takeuchi and Hiroki start getting closer after Hiroki finds out about her part time job at her parents' cafe and the interesting attire she wears on the job, which she's terribly embarrassed about.
Serious Business: Averted. The characters involved with art all take it seriously, but character like Tomoko and Hagino make it obvious that they're really the only ones.
Sex Equals Love. Averted. After a date midway through Hagino's route, the two begin having sex but don't finish. It just makes things really awkward later. There's also the optional encounter with Shie later, which helps mend the relationship between them but doesn't lead to love or anything.