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Visual Novel / Photo Kano

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Back row: Tomoe, Nonoka, Rina; Front row: Hikari, Aki, Haruka, Mai

Kazuya Maeda, a mild-mannered high school sophomore coming to the end of a very average summer break, receives a digital single lens reflex camera as a gift from his father. His nerdy fascination with its design soon turns to wonder when he realizes this little gadget could really give his social life a shot in the arm!

Photo Kano (フォトカノ Foto Kano, lit. "Photo Girlfriend") is a Japanese Dating Sim video game developed by Dingo and Enterbrain, the latter being the same studio behind Kimikiss and Amagami, making this its Spiritual Successor. It was released for the Sony PlayStation Portable on February 2, 2012, but received an Updated Re-release for the Sony PlayStation Vita on April 25, 2013. It also got an Animated Adaptation that aired as a part of the Spring 2013 Anime season, using a similar omnibus format the Amagami SS adaptation had.


The Anime may be watched legally on the Crunchyroll website for viewers living in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

Tropes associated with Photo Kano:

  • Above the Influence: Kazuya, to the point the heroines will only allow him to take pictures of them.
  • Accidental Kiss: At the start of Episode 3, after Nonoka Masaki jumps the corner of the stairs, she crashes face first into Kazuya. This is what kicks off her character arc in Episode 9.
  • Accidental Pervert: Kazuya often finds himself in these situations, such as…
    • Thanks for the Mammary: A surprising subversion, yet deliberately invoked - in Episode 6, Haruka Niimi asks Kazuya to touch her chest (while she's in a bikini to boot) to prove she's not as physically fragile as he feared she was when they were children. This is Played for Drama rather than for sensual purposes.
      • Played deliberately straight in Episode 3 with Rina Yunoki when Itta Nakagawa pushes Kazuya towards her and in Episode 5 when he tries to help Haruka to the nurse's office.
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  • A-Cup Angst: Played with - in Episode 10, Mai Sakura tells Kazuya she wishes she was a bit bigger. Kazuya (including the audience) think she means chest size, but Mai clarifies she's the shortest member on the gymnastics well as the flattest.
  • A Day In The Lime Light: The first four episodes introduces each of the heroines and gives them some brief interaction with Kazuya. With the exception of Haruka, who gets Episodes 5 and 6, every heroine has one episode dedicated to their character arc, starting with Hikari Sanehara, Aki Muroto, Nonoka, Mai, Rina and Tomoe Misumi, respectively, then automatically reboots to allow the next heroine interacting with Kazuya, having no Continuity between them. Episode 13, however, focuses on Kanon Maeda, Kazuya's sister.
  • All Men Are Perverts: The Photography Club members seem very interested in shooting rather revealing pictures of the various girls in their school. Unfortunately, Kazuya is pulled into their hijinks.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Hikari's middle school life was filled with bullying from her peers.
  • Ascended Extra: Completing all seven heroine's routes in the game unlocks Kanon as the eighth heroine; this is repeated in the anime where the final episode is dedicated to her.
  • Ash Face: Played for Laughs on Nonoka in Episode 9 after Kazuya tells her that two bowlfuls of food she plans on eating turns guys off. She gets zapped by lightning, and for the next few seconds talks to him with a blackened face before returning to normal.
  • Beach Episode: Or rather a "segment" of an episode - Kazuya and Haruka go to the beach together in Episode 6, as well as Episode 9 with Nonoka.
    • Turns into a Plot Point during a Flash Back in Episode 13: Kazuya recalls something important with Kanon when they were younger.
  • Beautiful All Along: Yuko Uchida whenever she cosplays as Alice; the difference is striking.
  • Big Eater: It's implied Mai is normally this, but subverts it on purpose to stay in shape for gymnastics. Instead, she makes Kazuya eat her share as a proxy, inadvertently becoming one himself, during her character arc.
  • Blackmail
    • Kazuya does this on Aki after catching her attempting to sneak into school. He puts it to use twice in Episode 4, first to help Kanon and Nonoka avoid disciplinary action from Aki, then later by having her do his homework for him.
    • Turned against Kazuya when Mai catches him with some porn magazines in the same episode, who threatens to tell her club leader in gymnastics about it, thus revoking his privileges to take pictures at their club. Instead, Mai forces him to make a promise to her by eating her share of food she can't eat to stay in shape during Episode 10.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Kazuya's "Canan" camera
    • There are "Zikon" cameras, too
  • Blinding Bangs: Yuko, the sole female member of the Photography Club. Justified in order to hide her distinct beauty mark that would oust her dual identity as the Alice cosplayer.
  • Broken Bird: Hikari was ostracized by some female classmates in middle school, which explains why she largely dedicates herself to focusing on photographing animals and scenery rather than people. Her character arc involves Kazuya attempting to help her break out of that mold.
  • Camera Fiend: The Photography Club and Hikari
  • Cassandra Truth: When Mai discovers Kazuya's porn magazines, he tries to explain they aren't his and they belong to other members of the Photography Club (which is true). Mai looks at him and asks if that's the truth, but he immediately points out the look in her eyes suggests she's not going to believe him regardless.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Episode 9, while cleaning the Photography Club room by himself, Kazuya accidentally knocks a box over which contains some of Yuko's belongings. He sees a Playboy Bunny suit along with a black wig and suspects the Alice cosplayer he was taking pictures of in an earlier episode might be Yuko.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: If Kazuya decides to pursue Haruka
  • Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive: Kazuya pulls a Gendo Ikari pose in Episode 7, complete with Scary Shiny Glasses.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl
    • All the heroines at the start of Episode 1 does this to Kazuya when he's taking a picture of the Alice cosplayer. Haruka taps him on the shoulder, and as he turns to look, they all seem slightly mad and pouting, since they're all in Playboy Bunny outfits themselves. Turns out it was All Just a Dream.
    • In Episode 4, Kanon looks at a picture of her leg Kazuya took to help her see if she has a bruise on it. She starts looking at other pictures in his camera and finds interesting shots he took of Aki in her swimsuit, and gets a bit upset at him, claims he's "cheating" on her, even though they're siblings.
    • In Episode 9, after Haruka is finished sewing Nonoka's damaged bag, the latter gives a dirty look at Kazuya, who's simply just watching them; Nonoka continues to be mad at him for paying attention to Haruka and storms out of the classroom. In this case, it's because she's starting to accept her budding affections for him after their Accidental Kiss.
  • Cosplay Otaku Girl: Yuko
  • Cower Power: Kanon and Nonoka hide behind Kazuya in Episode 4 after Aki catches them playing baseball in the school hallway with a broom and rag.
  • Cry Cute: Haruka in Episode 6 and Nonoka in Episode 9 when Kazuya professes his feelings to each of them, respectively
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hikari
  • Demoted to Extra: As a result of the omnibus format, every girl not given A Day in the Limelight treatment post-Episode 4. They're either not seen at all during that heroine's arc or play a very minor role.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: One of the female leads, Rina Yunoki, is this. Apparently everyone calls her "My Wife" seeing as she's the motherly type and has the body of a goddess.
    • Yuko Uchida turns out to become this trope to various otaku guys when she cosplays as Alice.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Photography Club might be filled with perverts, but they make a point of refraining from taking any explicit shots of girls.
  • Evolving Credits: Starting with Episode 7, the ending credits is changed slightly. The girl releasing the dandelion is different depending on who gets A Day In The Lime Light for that episode. Up until Episode 6, it was consistently Haruka.
  • Expy: The girls in Photo Kano share parallels with the Amagami characters.
    • Haruka Niimi and Haruka Morishima are the School Idol with an optimistic personality.
    • Hikari Sanehara and Ai Nanasaki are calm, collected and cool (yet occasionally snarky) girls with Sugar and Ice personalities.
    • Aki Muroto and Tsukasa Ayatsuji are students in positions of power, a Tsundere for the male lead, involved in Blackmail and have hidden aspects to their personalities.
    • Nonoka Masaki and Kaoru Tanamachi are Tomboyish Genki Girls who befriended the male protagonist during middle school.
    • Mai Sakura and Sae Nakata are friends of the male leads' younger sisters, the protagonist's kouhai, shy and meek and sport Girlish Pigtails.
    • Rina Yunoki and Rihoko Sakurai are ditzy, clumsy, noticeably busty girls with a love for either cooking or food.
    • Kanon Maeda and Miya Tachibana are the protagonists' energetic younger sisters who call them by unique variations of "big brother" and classmates of potential Love Interests.
  • Fanservice: Used quite a bit in the anime
    • Gainaxing: Abundantly done, as each heroine has enough cleavage to bounce, especially when they're wearing bikinis and Playboy Bunny outfits. Also occurs with Katsumi Kurebayashi in Episode 13 during the beach volleyball game.
    • Male Gaze: All over the place but it's specifically invoked by the Photography Club.
    • Ms. Fanservice: While technically all the girls could qualify, Haruka gets the most attention in this regard early on, although not entirely by choice, no thanks to the Photography Club's attempts to take pictures of her at any given moment.
      • Nonoka fits this trope in Episode 9 when she suggests she puts her hands under her bikini top to cover her breasts in a sexy pose for Kazuya. He's almost Distracted by the Sexy before he pulls an Above the Influence out and tells her that he doesn't want to take lewd pictures of her.
      • Aki, by far, has the most gravure photo shots taken out of all the girls.
      • Tomoe tries to become one on purpose by wearing a skimpy bikini because she feels she's too "plain-looking". Cue collective Face Fault from Kazuya and the girls.
  • Flash Back: Primarily used throughout Haruka's arc to show more back-story between her and Kazuya. Also used in Episode 13 with Kazuya and Kanon.
  • Food as Bribe: Inverted; Mai does this to Kazuya in Episode 10 to help describe various foods she likes but can't eat because of her diet. He initially refuses until she mentions the dirty magazines she confiscated from him earlier.
  • Genki Girl: Kanon and Nonoka
  • Girlish Pigtails: Aki, Mai and Yuko
  • The Glomp: Kanon does it to Kazuya in the beginning of Episode 4 as she's running away from a bee by latching onto his head.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: In Episode 5, while Kazuya didn't exactly ask for help, the Photography Club members decide to help him find Haruka after she skips class for a day. They also get various other characters to help out as well.
  • Got Volunteered: Kanon does this to Kazuya in Episode 10 by telling him she was supposed to go to the pool with Mai, but isn't feeling too well, thus tells Mai over the phone that Kazuya would go in her place, without asking him first.
  • Gratuitous English: Photography Club president Hiromichi Kudo tends to do this during the next episode's preview.
  • Heroic BSoD: Kazuya and Haruka suffer through one in Episode 5 after he suggests she date the soccer captain. She's unhappy the guy she likes tells her to date another guy. Kanon states Haruka's been missing tennis practice regularly, and when she does show up, she's extremely downtrodden.
  • Hidden Depths: Hikari, Aki and Yuko, though the latter's Played for Laughs rather than drama.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Aki and Katsumi; the former gave up diving because of family issues stemming from academics and being told to succeed her father in medicine, the latter gave up volleyball after suffering a Game-Breaking Injury.
  • Imagine Spot: Mai in Episode 10 when Kazuya starts describing various food he's forced to consume, allowing her to immerse herself in them.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Kazuya towards Haruka — she's a great tennis player, beautiful, smart, and well-liked by both the male and female students at their school. By contrast, he views himself largely as an average guy with no real defining qualities, believing she's too good for him, regardless of what her own feelings towards him may be. This comes to bite him in Episode 5 when he suggests she date the soccer captain.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In Episode 5, Kazuya overhears some girls gossiping about how Haruka could do so much better than a guy like him; moments later, he also eavesdrop on the soccer team captain asking her out. Although Harkua's hesitant to answer him, Kazuya suggests she go out with the captain since they're both athletes and would probably be a good couple. However, this suggestion makes her extremely upset, and she storms off crying.
  • Large Ham
    • The Photography Club in general, but specifically Hiromichi (see Gratuitous English)
    • Kazuya in Hikari and Nonoka's arcs
  • Loners Are Freaks: Hikari often prefers to spend time alone
  • Love Confession: Kazuya will give one to each heroine at the end of her respective arcs, though there are exceptions.
    • Inverted with Nonoka, who confesses to Kazuya in the form of a "letter of challenge", citing he'll wind up falling in love with her when he never felt the same way, even after their Accidental Kiss. Played straight at the end of the episode.
    • Kanon also inverts this in the final episode and the confession is considered fine since she and Kazuya are Not Blood Siblings.
  • Love Epiphany: Having spent enough time with a heroine, Kazuya will come to have one as he realizes his affections for her in the form of a photograph he took of that heroine displaying all the qualities of that character. A more specific example is in Episode 5 when he remembers how long he's spent with Haruka, realizing she did so because she's liked him all this time, including when they were children.
  • Meat-O-Vision: Happens to Mai briefly in Episode 10 — when Kazuya is showing pictures he took of her, his arms suddenly turn into a piece of fried chicken, prompting her to bite him.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kazuya after hearing that Haruka hasn't been showing up for tennis practice and isn't answering her phone. As he storms out of the Photography Club's room to search for her, he begins to think about past memories with her and realizes what a big mistake he's made when he finally realizes the feelings she's had for him since they were kids.
  • Mundane Made Awesome
    • Episode 9 utilizes this quite a bit with Nonoka's letter of challenge to Kazuya, such as having the school roof turn into a Jidaigeki battlefield, complete with both characters in armor and flying arrows. Nonoka even takes off her helmet and some arrows are seen stuck in the gate before the scene switches back to normal with them in their school uniforms.
    • Itta and Takashi's "super high angle pose" in Episode 11.
  • No Sense of Direction: Student teacher Momoko Otani, who gets lost trying to find the garbage dump at their school in Episode 4. After Kazuya teases her about finding her way back, she claims she totally can, but has him guide her back anyway just to play it safe.
  • Not Blood Siblings: In Episode 13, it's revealed Kazuya's mother married Kanon's father when their children were young.
  • Off-Model: Not always obvious, but the girls certainly have much more refined detail in character design and certain care is taken in their animations compared to the guys, especially Itta and Takashi.
  • Pet the Dog: In Episode 5, when Haruka and Kazuya have a small falling out after a bad suggestion he makes to her regarding the soccer captain, none of the Photography Club members seem to have it in them to take secret pictures of Haruka. They even go looking for her with Kazuya after Kanon reports she hasn't been showing up for tennis practice and doesn't answer her phone.
  • Playing Sick: Kanon in Episode 10 as an excuse for Kazuya to go with Mai on a pool date. After she tells him Mai was really excited about him going, he points out his sister seems awfully cheerful for someone who's supposed to be sick; after a moment, Kanon immediately lays down in bed again and fakes a cough.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Alice the cosplayer has red eyes, but they're actually a subversion since she's really Yuko, who has dark grey eyes. She's simply wearing contact lenses while in cosplay.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: A beehive is occasionally seen nested near the school swimming pool. In Episode 8, Itta and Takashi Azuma knock over the beehive while trying to take pictures of the girls in the Swimming Club.
  • Secret-Keeper: Rina is asked to keep one in Episode 11 when she recognizes Yuko cosplaying as Alice for the cosplay cafe at the school festival.
  • She Is All Grown Up
    • Kazuya feels this way about Haruka, who has grown from a Tomboyish little girl into a stunning beauty.
    • What he thinks of Kanon in Episode 13 when taking pictures of her while she's playing tennis.
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: Tomoe
  • Smashing Watermelons: Nonoka's picture is taken in Episode 9 while doing this.
  • Spiritual Successor: Variation - although it's touted to be one to KimiKiss and Amagami, the producer to KimiKiss is the sole recurring staff member of all three games.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye
    • Several of the Photography Club members seem capable of this, with Yuko utilizing it the most, to the point of appearing out of and fading into thin air, sometimes even while another character is looking at them.
    • Hilariously, it doesn't work on Rina: Kazuya is confused as to whom she's talking to, allowing Yuko's "stealth" to dissipate and fail.
  • Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Kazuya is on the receiving end of this from some angry girls after Itta and Takashi are caught trying to take pictures of them. When he mentions he's only taken pictures of girls in the gymnastics team, it doesn't win him any favors, and he gets slammed to the ground and beaten up when they realize he's leering at them.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Haruka calls out Kazuya for his nonchalant suggestion she date the soccer captain who asked her out moments earlier in Episode 5. She suffers through a Heroic BSoD as a result of this, which causes some problems with the Tennis Club for a few days later.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Kazuya tells Aki this in Episode 8 when she believes she's not cut out to be Student Council President or a doctor.