Kanon - Sayuri Kurata Character Discussion

Discussion topic for Sayuri Kurata character in Kanon. Please tag any references to events outside of Sayuri’s route with [spoiler].

Her birthday is the 5th of May.

Sayuri is one of my favorite characters in Kanon.I feel like I should have discussed a lot more about her when I reviewed Kanon 2006 on my blog. I think what makes me like her a lot is not only the fact that she is very friendly and polite, but also the fact that she her backstory was really sad. In fact, her backstory probably ranks up there alongside Mai and Shiori as one of the saddest backstories in Kanon.

When she was young, all she wanted to do was to discipline her younger brother so that he could become just like her. So when her younger brother was dying from an unknown illness and was admitted to the hospital, she realized she didn’t get a chance to play with him and give him affections. Speaking of which, the scene where she tries to play with her brother in the hospital for the first time was another scene that nearly made me cry. The scene was executed very well and I really felt sorry for Sayuri.

Additionally, she alongside Yuichi were probably the only characters who understood Mai and helped Mai regain her humanity.


Second favorite Key girl! (Mai gets top spot…)

There’s nothing really to dislike about her… She’s just a sweet person who is kinda self-depreciative.
I think she is the most memorable person of Kanon, despite her side-character status. I remember when I started to draw anime-style characters, a drawing of Sayuri was the first I was proud of… No one knew who it was, but that didn’t matter ^^;
I also think she has possibly the best character + voice actor combination I know of. Never has a strained laugh been so painful T w T
I grew up with “Ahaha” and “Hae” embedded into my speech, and a strange obsession with picnic blankets, and I have Sayuri to thank for that~ So happy birthday Sayuri!


I really did like Sayuri’s backstory.

This pretty much wraps up my views. Very… Overly modest and genuinely kind person.

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I think you guys have already put it as well as I could, but I really like Sayuri too. She was a really sweet character, and definitely one of my favourites from the story. I really like the way she takes care of Mai and seems to understand her better than anyone, she serves her role as a side character really well. But damn it’s so painful seeing what happens to her ;_;

Happy birthday Sayuri :3 She is probably the sweetest character in all of Key’s works and I don’t think any other character after Kanon has been given such a personality. Makes her unique.


Happy birthday! Sayuri Kurata

Much of what I can say about her was already told. She is a geniune, selfless girl who cared about Mai (and Yuuichi, later) and stood against the Student Council, but ended joining it for Mai’s sake. Then there’s her brother’s issue ;_;

Her “Ahaha” was so cute~ and the voice… DAT VOICE… Kawakami ;_;


Sayuri is really pure and cheerful. She’s the kind of person you feel blessed just having around and you’d definitely want to be friends with her until graduation and beyond. Just looking at her face makes you think “Aah, I want to protect that smile!”

What I find remarkable about her is that she managed to maintain her purity despite being more mature than the average girl her age. Due to her father’s position and her education, she learned a few things about the world of grown-ups. She already knew the importance of proper upbringing when she herself was still a child.
And yet she didn’t lose sight of her inner child. She did not become the kind of stuck-up elitist that make up the student council.

I’m terribly sorry for resurrecting a dead thread, but…

Her route is a half-hour exposition dump.

That aside, Sayuri is my second favorite Kanon character not because of her route, but because of her personality and how supportive she is to both Mai and Yuuichi. For one thing, she’s just so darn friendly. This girl never argues or gets mad with anything or anyone. She prefers to see the good in people, which I respect greatly. For example, when Mai is expelled, she takes action with Yuuichi to bring her back. Yuuichi gets pissed off at the Student Council for their abhorrent intent, but Sayuri says nothing against them. Instead, she uses her popularity as the former Seito Kaicho and returns to office in order to get Mai back, which was quite a noble deed.

She speaks in a more formal dialect than most, for reasons her route half-explains, which shows that she is rather polite about the things she talks about. It’s a little hard to understand honorific speech if you’re not Japanese (and I am not either, so don’t quote me on this), but a good example would be this:

Suppose Yuuichi says, “Morning, Sayuri. How’s Mai doing?”

Sayuri would return the favor by saying, “Good morning, Mr. Aizawa. Mai is doing well, but she is regrettably still not present today,” instead of saying “Hi, Yuuichi. Mai’s fine, but she’s not here…”

Sayuri would not use any contractions, nor would she mince words for the sake of keeping the conversation moving. She would speak her mind clearly, and in a detailed manner. Honorific speech works in a similar manner, and it adds a sense of humility and submissiveness to her character. I would say she would be similar to a Yamato Nadeshiko, but without a sharp side.

She is quite loyal to her family, which is also a trait I can relate to. Her brother, before he died, was the only person she talked informally to. She had to rely on the guidance of her tough, but fair parents in order to raise him. She doesn’t feel his death is her fault, or anyone’s for that matter. She does not let his death stand in the way of her life, which makes her feel more strong-willed than some of the other characters in the game.

I don’t know why Sayuri did not get a full-fledged route. Maybe she would have if she wasn’t tied to Mai’s story, or maybe Maeda ran out of time and pulled an Ilya by wrapping her route into Mai’s. I might never know the answer, but Sayuri deserved something more than the exposition dump she got. (sigh) Oh, well.

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Heeeey no problem, yo. We totally encourage thread resurrection over here :wink:

Wait… Wait I don’t remember Sayuri having her own route in Kanon o_O
Or was that the bad end of Mai route? Argh my long-term memory is terrible.

But yeah, those things you pointed out about her personality are exactly what makes her so unique. I could easily relate one or two points of one Key character with points of another Key character but Sayuri is just… Too well-designed for a side character :stuck_out_tongue:

(can be read as: well-designed and unique characters are relegated to side characters in an industry that promotes reuse of characterization tropes)

[quote=“Pepe, post:12, topic:301”]
Wait… Wait I don’t remember Sayuri having her own route in Kanon o_O
[/quote] It’s technically a mini-route, since it’s not as fully fleshed out as the other routes. It unlocks after you beat Mai’s route, and you have to make a specific choice on a certain day to access it. There’s no choices in it, so like I said, it’s just a half-hour exposition dump.

[quote=“Pepe, post:12, topic:301”]
(can be read as: well-designed and unique characters are relegated to side characters in an industry that promotes reuse of characterization tropes)
[/quote] So that’s why Satsuki and Ilya don’t have their own routes in their respective games…They’re too awesome and well-designed! XD

Yeaaaaaah I’m pretty sure I totally missed that Dx damn, now I have to read Kanon again. Well I guess we will have a Kanon bookclub sometime in the future eventually :stuck_out_tongue:

Welll uhhh… Type-moon is a different case, I wager. Ilya is just a total embodiment of characterization tropes and even has her own mahou shoujo series starring her :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

[quote=“Pepe, post:14, topic:301”]
Well I guess we will have a Kanon bookclub sometime in the future eventually :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote=“Pepe, post:14, topic:301”]
Ilya is just a total embodiment of characterization tropes
[/quote] Who cares? She’s still awesome!


Hey you know all your fancy ‘heroines’, and your ‘routes’ and stuff? Screw all that stuff. Let’s talk about Sayuri Kurata, the side-character to Mai’s story and my personal favourite Kanon girl overall. Rev up those Ahahas.

Even as a non-heroine Sayuri has some great scenes, and a key-tier drama backstory for her character.

I dunno really why but she’s always just stood out to me, among all of Key and Kanon in particular, she was the first character I took a real liking to.

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It’s a little early, but no one has mentioned this on the thread, so I thought I would point it out for Bookclub readers who are confused as to how to access Sayuri’s mini-route. If you already know this, you can disregard it.

While reading Mai’s route, make a save at the beginning of the 26th. Once you beat it, reload the save and read until you come across a new choice window. Pick the first choice to enter Sayuri’s route.

You’re welcome. :slight_smile:

EDIT (06/09/16) - In the best interests of the Bookclub (and the forum in general), my thoughts on Sayuri from both Mai’s route and her mini-route will be written below.

Jumping off from my Mai post, Sayuri is a kind-hearted ojousama with a deep attachment to Mai. Her charisma is apparently larger than herself, because she has a ton more friends than we actually see in the route. Nevertheless, most everything she does is for the sake of her best friend, Mai. Yuuichi finds it rather easy to fit in with Sayuri’s small elite circle of friends, although he is never given much of an opportunity to get as close to her as he does with Mai.

I do like her mini-route, as it is reminiscent of Maeda’s later works where romance always takes a backseat to the main theme of the story. In this case, it is not only about finding happiness after losing it from past mistakes, but also about the responsibility many of us bear in caring for others. Still, given how much I like Sayuri as a character and how great her chemistry is with Yuuichi, it’s still disappointing to be left with little in the way of a romantic resolution at the end, if at all.

Looking at it pessimistically, Maeda’s insistence on keeping Yuuichi and Sayuri friends ends up turning the whole route into an exposition dump’s worth of justification as to why. Granted, what this route does have going for it is well-written, enjoyable and keeps things in-character. It’s also more conclusive and makes more sense at face value than Mai’s ending did, but some part of me still desires more… ;;



It is really hard for me to talk about Sayuri without making a lot of references to Mai’s route so I am putting this under a spoiler tag for Mai Route Spoilers - though if you are reading Sayuri posts you have probably finished Mai’s route:

Sayuri may have turned into my favorite Kanon girl so far. I really love her devotion to Mai, and the hard way she had to learn the importance of making good memories with the people dear is played well through Mai’s story - her buying Mai and Yuuichi new clothes for the ball - her going with the student council to get Mai un-expelled. And it makes you think more on how she must have felt when Mai rejected include her in the odd happenings between Mai and Yuuichi. Finding out that all of this was from her failed relationship with her brother, and that for her making Mai happy was her way of atoning

Sayuri clearly has keen sense of what is going on around her - she knew that Mai had been going to the school at night, she knew the buttons she needed to press with the student council, she knew Yuuichi was lying to her, but she plays dumb when it is information her friends don’t want her to know and only seems to use the social suaveness to get her friends out of trouble.

the tl;dr is Sayuri is amazing and if she won’t talk to guys, she can just come be my waifu.

I do kind of wonder if this should have been a side mini route - I feel like it ties into Mai’s route too directly and would have functioned better as a side choice - maybe even one needed to get the good end.

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You have to read Mai’s route before Sayuri’s route. Tagging is pretty silly.

Mai’s route is already long and convoluted though. Knowing Sayuri’s past adds to the experience, but the ending of Mai’s route is about Mai, so I’d say separating them makes for a more easily manageable story. It also gives an incentive to re-read Mai’s route which is probably needed anyway.

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I agree, but I figured if I was questioning if I should tag I should probably tag to be safe. Better to be over-protective of spoilers than under?

I feel like Mai’s route needed a few more drafts, where a lot of the exposition in the long end could have been shortened and distributed more evenly, and in that I think they may have been able to fit this in? I guess between the way Mai’s route played out and this it felt like Mai’s route became a dumping ground for good ideas that they didn’t have enough time to polish - so we have the route as it is now.

Sayuri Kurata is my favorite character in any Key work. To break down how and why Sayuri is so absolutely stunning one must first understand what Kanon as an anothology of stories is trying to say. Kanon has an extrordinarily strong thematic backbone to it, with a focus that is only challenged by Little Busters. Kanon is about coping with loss and remembering that loss id felt from love, that is to say that the pain of disconnect comes from losing the feelings of connection that one once had. Ultimatly Kanon states that as painful as loss is what is important is walking forward with the memory of that love in your heart and making new connections into the future. Now let’s talk about Sayuri Kurata.

Sayuri is remarkable as one of the few characters in a Key work that has already underwent their character arc before the story even begins. That places her in the unique position that characters like Yoshino in Clannad are in that she acts primarily as a guidepost to help the characters around her develop in the same or better ways. From her inception chronologically Sayuri follows a similar sort of arc as the other heroines in the story, having experienced loss at a young age and having that loss result in negativity and destructive action. Sayuri falls into depression and it is only after a failed suicide attempt that she meets Mai and her arc is able to be completed. Sayuri takes her guilt and places it in the camp of responsibility. In recompense for not having shown enough love to Kazuya she decides not to punish herself physically, but to offer that light instead to another, to help someone who is suffering where she was previously unable.

Sayuri is a powerhouse of responsibility and character strength. To present day Sayuri carries the guilt of her past with her, but she does not use it to destroy herself, but rather to help her help others, an arc that is quite indicative of the narrative arc Mai undergoes as she advances through the story. In all adaptations of the story Sayuri has something new to bring that makes her fantastic, be it her quote about how life is like a kanon in the anime–stressing how one should be able to look at the bad memories in conjunction with the good and see how it all builds up to make life, the primary concept of Kanon itself–or her monologue at the end of her sub route in the visual novel.

Sayuri having just a normal day with Mai and Yuuichi, Sayuri laughing and thinking to herself, “These simple days with Mai and Yuuichi, this is happiness.” At the end of her route is one of the simplest and yet most beautiful lines in the entire game. In spite of all her pain and her shortcomings she finds happiness in something so simple. Sayuri is a perfect representation of everything Kanon stands for and will forever be my favorite character Key has ever made.

Read Kanon, it’s good for the soul.
Stay golden,