Kanon Visual Novel Receives 16-Bit Makeover for April Fool’s Day

Key is celebrating April Fool’s Day by giving visual novel enthusiasts a 16-bit version of its first and popular title Kanon — 25 years after its initial release. The game first debuted in Japan as an adult game on June 4, 1999 before receiving an all-ages standard version in 2005. The most recent version was ported on the Nintendo Switch in 2023.  

Although a real 16-bit version of the Kanon visual novel is not actually going on sale, Key still dedicated themselves to the gag by releasing a 16-bit main opening sequence for the game. Fans can see how it looks compared to the original 1999 opening, which features cleaner and early 2000s anime character designs. 


The company also launched a retro website styled in mid 90s to early 2000s visual aesthetics that features a cover for the game’s 16-bit version, giving fans a glimpse into what it would’ve looked like if the game was sold back then. 

Kanon has inspired two TV anime adaptations, with the first one being a 13-episode series from Toei Animation in 2002 with a 2003 OVA, and the second 24-episode series from Kyoto Animation in 2006. The visual novel also inspired five light novels, a trading card game, drama CDs, radio, and several manga series. 

ADV licensed and dubbed the anime series in English in 2007, before the rights transferred over to Funimation the next year. 

Crunchyroll is currently streaming Kanon and describes the main story as: 

Yuichi visits his cousin for the first time in years and discovers a haunting fact: he has no recollection of any previous visits. The pieces of the puzzle that might explain the gaps in his memory begin to appear—a beauty with blazing tresses; a girl with the winged backpack; a sword-wielding demon slayer. Now, Yuichi must put his missing past together in the vaguely familiar present.

Source: Key Official Twitter, Kanon 16-bit Webpage